Recently I had the opportunity to go to Santiago, Chile with zero expectations except to fall in love with a Chilean. I knew that the entire length of Chile was longer than the entirety of North America, gay marriage wasn’t legal, and that Chile was the most seismic country in the world. For those of you wondering what the word seismic is it means earthquakes. Yup. In fact every day that I was in Chile there were tremors. However, I didn’t feel a damn thing.
I got to see Santiago and the outskirts with an incredible company called Pride Tours, a local organization empowering travelers to travel proud as they are. My first day, Pride Tours took me on a walking tour of downtown Santiago with six full out drag queens. In broad daylight. On a random Tuesday. We got a ton of stares but they were all super positive. Parents and children rushed the drag queens in awe to take their photos. I was blown away by the inclusivity. That was the moment I knew that Santiago was a safe space for queer travelers and that I was going to THRIVE in this city. The rest of trip was just as fabulous. The street art alone is a reason to travel to Santiago, let alone the incredible day trips to wineries and Valparaiso. How does one not feel on top of the world while surrounded by the Andes?!
Below are Ravi Round The World’s 13 tips when traveling to one of the most forward thinking, immigrant embracing, diverse cities in the world! #JustTheTip GET INTO IT!
13. Stay at Hotel Bidasoa
Hotel Bidasoa is the most green and eco friendly hotel in South America! They also have a high end restaurant with amazing vegetarian burgers and a gorgeous pool!
12. Get your WINE on at Vina Haras de Pirque
This gorgeous winery is built in the form of a horse shoe and all of the product made here is 100% organic making it one of the most green wineries in South America.
11. Eat Crossdressed Peruvian Food at Sarita Colonia!
It is called cross dressed Peruvian food because it is traditional Peruvian food that borrows ingredients from other cultures and cuisines! The ambiance here is super queer and eclectic.
10. Visit the Human Rights Museum
Get your history on by learning about the victims of human rights violations during the civic-military regime led by Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990.
9. Relax at El Santorni– a clothing optional spa.
This spa has a gorgeous pool, two hot tubs, rooms to relax, a sauna, incredible massages, and it is clothing optional. It is a fabulous spot to get tan in your birthday suit!
8. Eat GAY PIZZA
Pizza Bella is the ONLY restaurant in Santiago that has a pride flag on it and the pizza will melt in your mouth!
7. Learn about LGBTQ history.
Visit San Borja Park where Daniel Zamudio was murdered in 2012 for being gay.
After his death President Sebastián Piñera urged parliament to speed up the law on hate crimes which passed just 4 months later banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, appearance, or gender.
6. See Santiago by bike
Santiago is a super bikeable city and I highly recommend going on a biking tour with labicicleta verde.
5. Tear up the queer nightlife and party scene!
A main area of gay bars and clubs is called Bellavista. People don’t go out until after midnight so get your rest, but definitely see a drag show and dance the night away at Fausto Discotheque. Also check out Gay Datos for body positive super inclusive underground gay parties. I happened to go to a bear, otter, pup pool party which rocked my world.
4. Visit the magical city of Valparaiso.
An incredible day trip is to go to the magical city of Valparaiso. It is legit a color scheme DREAM, super affordable, lots of hills, incredible food, eclectic street, and the MOST amount of ways to entertain yourself.
3. WERK IT OUT by hiking the Andes!
You MUST leave Santiago and hike the most breathtaking ANDES mountains! #JustTheTip don’t forget sunblock especially on your hands and lips.
2. See Santiago by going on a Drag Queen Walking Tour
Pride Tours Chile organizes walking tours around Santiago with Drag Queens. We walked around all the historic sites and learned about the history of Chile!
1. No matter where you go, the views are EPIC!
Watch Ravi’s video of Gay Travel: CHILE
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