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Santiago is making waves as the next great tourist spot in South America, and a big part of that is due to its Lastarria neighborhood. In between the historic centro area, funky Bellavista and Santa Lucia Hill, this elegant old barrio of meandering cobblestone streets and classic architecture has long been overshadowed by the likes of Vitacura or Providencia.
However, with the opening of new hotels; a wealth of museums and art centers; an array of charming stores such as wine boutiques and record shops; and some of the city’s hottest restaurants, it’s easy to see why everyone is eyeing Lastarria these days.
EatDespite being near some of Chile’s best wine valleys, Santiago was sorely lacking a premier wine bar until Bocanariz came onto the scene. Conceived by restaurateur Jerome Reynes and winemakers Katherine Hidalgo and Daniela Lorenzo, Bocanariz is now the place to wine and dine when staying in Chile’s capital. Tourists and locals alike explore Chile’s terroir through creative wine flights, a by-the-glass menu of more than 35 varietals and a wine cellar with 300-plus bottles, all with the aid of an expert team of bilingual sommeliers.
Next door, Chipe Libre – The Independent Republic of Pisco extends the concept to the other great product of Chilean soil: pisco. Made by distilling fermented grape juice, pisco is primarily thought of as the base for the popular pisco sour cocktail, but Chipe Libre is showing that it is as diverse in taste and utility as any other spirit, with a large selection of flights and delicious mixed drinks that go down way too easily. The seafood section of the food menu is also to die for — try the octopus.
SleepBoutique hotels are popping up left and right in Santiago, and Lastarria has been leading the pack with Luciano K, which is housed in a renovated art deco apartment building that was the tallest in the city when it was built in the 1920s.
Luciano K reopened in 2016 as a 38-room hotel with all the original trappings, including an iron-grill elevator and beautiful mosaic floor tiles. Since then, it has won over travelers with its impeccable service, a rooftop terrace, a bar and a heated pool that overlooks Parque Forestal, its excellent ground-floor restaurant.
PlayAlthough it’s not as popular with street artists as other parts of Santiago, Lastarria is still considered a haven for creative types. Clients can spend hours admiring the work of painters, photographers and street performers at Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro before heading to the National Fine Arts Museum.
View the space’s permanent collection of Chilean painters and sculptors, or opt to explore the other end of the artistic spectrum at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, which specializes in avant-garde performance art, including dance, theater and music.