Santiago is Chile's sophisticated and modern capital, and the entry point for most people arriving in the country by air. It's certainly an impressive arrival, flying past towering Andean peaks as you descend, some of which can be seen from the city on clear days. This city of six million people is a delightful place to spend a few days, with its Mediterranean climate, pretty parks, fun nightlife and excellent museums - before heading into the surrounding Central Valley or other parts of Chile.
The city's main thoroughfare is the busy Avenida Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, while another prominent landmark is the Plaza de Armas, home of the city's main cathedral. Close to both the Avenida and the Plaza is the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, one of Santiago's best museums, known for its fine displays of Andean artefacts.