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Santiago is not famed for its architectural heritage, unlike other Latin American cities such as Mexico City or Buenos Aires. Those visiting gay Chile for leisure are unlikely to make it a highlight of their trip and most take only a fleeting glimpse before heading off in search of natural wonders. Nevertheless, gay Santiago has much to offer travelers eager for cultural diversion and serene oases can be found in even the most fume-choked streets of the downtown area. Affluent Chileans, gay contacts, and indeed many gay escorts, are eager to portray the center of town as a lawless ghetto and warn against spending time there. Despite a rise in non-violent petty crime, however, the horror stories are largely exaggerated. Visitors prepared to venture beyond their hotel lobby will find a city of lively markets, atmospheric old quarters and shady parks with thriving artistic, social and cultural scenes. The city’s museums, albeit small, boast impressive collections, while quality cuisine is accessible to those on even the tightest of budgets.

Santiago is easy to master, as many of the city’s main attractions are located in the small downtown area sandwiched between the Rio Mapocho (Mapocho River), Avenida Bernado O’Higgins (Alameda) and Cerro Santa Lucia. Bellavista, just north of the river, is a popular gay area for its handicraft shops, cultural attractions and gay nightlife options, situated below Cerro San Cristobal, which looms over the city.

I recommend that Santiago visitors begin in el centro, the city's historic downtown and home to museums, cathedrals, cultural centers, and civic institutions. Read the descriptions below and choose a few contactos gay attractions that pique your interest; then walk over to Cerro Santa Lucia, gay escorts. From this hilltop park, cross Avenida Alameda to see the Barrio Londres/Paris neighborhood, then backtrack to Lastarria Street and Santiago's burgeoning art-and-cafe neighborhood, Parque Forestal (and the Plaza Mulatto Gil de Castro). From here, it is just a short walk across the Mapocho River to the gay Bellavista neighborhood and Cerro San Cristóbal. If you still have time in Santiago, wander around the shopping district of Providencia by crossing back over the river. If you have more than a day, you can take this tour at a more leisurely pace, or check out areas such as the Quinta Normal park.