"Santiago," says Chilean vintner Marcelo Papa, "has become … one of the best if not the best city in South America."
The chief winemaker at Concha Y Toro wines, made at the family estate just outside Santiago and distributed across Canada, also says that his hometown is famous for great food, night life and, of course, the wineries that surround it. "But above all, the majestic Andes mountains near the city amaze me every single day, even now after all my life living in the city."
For visitors who want to enjoy a glass or two in an urban setting, Papa recommends the following must-see spots.
A good sightseeing spot in Santiago is Parque Forestal and Barrio Lastarria. Parque Forestal is a great place to walk, think and take in the beautiful landscape. You will see a picturesque old avenue with a park full of people singing, artists showing their creations – much like Central Park. The good thing is you could finish your walk at the Lastarria neighbourhood with its great restaurants and cafés.
Liguria is a good bar to go to. Informal, great atmosphere, great sandwiches and a perfect location. Avenida Providencia 1373; liguria.cl
El Baco Vino y Bistro
There are many great restaurants in Santiago, but El Baco Vino y Bistro is one of my favourites. Great French food with a fantastic wine list with reasonable prices. Nueva de Lyon 113
Hotel Aubrey is located at Bellavista, close to downtown. It's a great hotel, modern, boutique style. It is owned by a British and Australian guy, not big, just 15 rooms. It is an old house, beautiful and service is great. Located right at foothills of San Cristobal hill. Constitucion 317, theaubrey.com
Arts and crafts
Pueblito de Los Dominicos to shop. It's a perfect tourist attraction with lots of handmade items from local artisans. Av. Apoquindo 9085
This interview has been edited and condensed.