We hope you enjoy the latest video in our series of City Travel Guides: Santiago. Within days of publishing it on Expedia’s YouTube Channel, the Santiago video already had thousands of views and over a hundred positive responses.

One of the more typical comments was: “Wow!! Never realized how beautiful Santiago is!”. For many people who haven’t visited the capital of Chile (yet…), it’s an eye-opener to see how cosmopolitan, diverse and progressive this remote South American city actually is. Santiago is a city of poets that knows how to rhyme tradition with progress.

As always, we have taken great care in painting an accurate and attractive picture of the city. First we look at what the main tourist attractions are and what visitors like best about those. Then we find out what the country’s culture is all about and which natural features, buildings and famous residents define the city.


Our cameraman Jon filmed Santiago for Tourism Media in 2014. This all-round photographer is very well travelled, but he was still really impressed by what he found. In his own words: “Santiago has been a big surprise. I didn’t expect one of the economic hubs of South America. What a great city!”

As the capital of Chile, Santiago is also the gateway to the country’s stunning natural treasure. These include the arid Atacama Desert, the lakes, volcanoes, icebergs and steppes of Patagonia and the snow-capped Andes mountain range. Mark & Jan, a Brisbane-based camera team, were the lucky ones who got to film those remote regions earlier this year. Thanks to this, we were able to end with a teaser that reveals Chile’s stunning landscapes. We can now reveal that a video about Patagonia is in the making as well.

Script writing and music choice

With this great variety of stunning footage in hand, I found the scriptwriting process almost effortless. I’ve visited Chile several times and absolutely love Santiago. From experience I knew that many people would be surprised to find how modern, easy-going and artistic it is. The people are extremely friendly and, as this video shows, the “Chilenos” know how to enjoy the good things in life (pura vida!).

What I most enjoyed was passing on the feeling of excitement and optimism that this city evoked in me. The one challenge I faced was how I could erase Chile’s lingering image of a poor, oppressed South American nation and convey Santiago’s present-day essence: Its up-beat, liberating atmosphere.

In the end it was the country’s famous author Pablo Neruda who gave me the inspiration I was looking for, as you can learn in the video. Our in-house composer, Jacquie, perfectly understood what I was trying to achieve and her catchy music track lifts the mood where it needed to. Just like Santiago itself, it made us want to dance!

Local response

Because of its remote location, Santiago is not yet overrun by tourists, so we received a very enthusiastic response from the people representing the points of interest that feature in our portrait of their city. I used my best Spanish to email various Chilean organisations to obtain the necessary photo & video permits and they went out of their way to help me reach the right officials. They also patiently waited for the video to be finalised.

One of them, Roberto from the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, just sent us the following warm response: “Thanks so much for sharing the Santiago video with us. You all have done a great job in highlighting the splendour of Santiago. We are very happy with the result of your hard work and it was certainly worth waiting for. We have shared it within our team and will also share the video on our social media.”

Since the Santiago video now features on Expedia’s global pages, millions of potential visitors will hear about its many attractions. As with all our destinations, we hope that the city of Santiago gets all the attention it deserves.