As you are about to walk across Richmond Bridge, take the steps down to the river promenade and you will see a bust of someone called Bernardo O’Higgins. You’ve probably never noticed, but take a closer look because Bernardo O’Higgins is one of the most famous men in South America and an important part of the continent’s history. Bernardo O’Higgins, who came from a wealthy Chilean family, liberated Chile from Spanish rule, became its Supreme Director, created the Republic, set the foundation for peace and introduced great social and economic reforms. He lived in Richmond-Upon-Thames as a student in Clarence House between 1795 and 1799. He left Richmond when he was 20, to found what is now the most stable republic in South America, and he was very pro British.

Plaza de la Costitucion, Santiago de Chile Plaza de la Costitucion, Santiago de Chile

Plaza de la Costitucion, Santiago de Chile

Santiago is perhaps the most underrated capital city in South America. With a population of 6 million, it is located at 567 metres above sea level in the central valley. It nestles between two mountain ranges, the Andes towering to over 4,000 metres to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with long dry summers and cold winters. The Pacific Ocean, at Valparaiso, is 135 km away.

San Cristobal Hill, Santiago de Chile San Cristobal Hill, Santiago de Chile

San Cristobal Hill, Santiago de Chile

Santiago has something of Rome, something of London, something of Paris. It is a green city, with gardens donated by Spain, Britain, France, Italy and Germany. Irish names feature prominently, with O’Carroll and O’Brien having played a part with O’Higgins in the country’s history. In the 19th century, eight thousand families from Britain, Germany, Greece, Russia, Croatia, Spain, France and Italy settled in Chile, helping to create what is, along with Buenos Aires, Latin America’s most cosmopolitan city.

Santiago is probably the safest city in South America. There is no racial discrimination, first and perhaps foremost. Its wines, developed by the French, who settled in Chile after the Phylloxera epidemic wiped out European vines, are some of the best in the world and the UK is the country’s largest market. The Chileans never allowed slavery; they are equally respectful of dogs which, whether strays or not, are fed, watered and kindly treated.

Downtown, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Downtown, Santiago de Chile, Chile Downtown, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Chilean society is conservative and stable; as a result, Santiago is the financial capital of South America. The country’s wealth comes from mining and farming and Britain has been a significant investor. Some 14% of the population has British ancestry. Lord Cochrane founded the Chilean Navy in the early 19th century and the first Chilean newspapers, plus horse racing and its oldest football clubs, were also British introductions.

You will realise, having read this far, that I was very impressed by Santiago. It is a vibrant, welcoming city, with excellent restaurants, top-quality shopping and it’s an absolute delight to explore. At heart it is a Spanish city, with 45% of the population of Spanish descent, but it is also a most successful melting pot of cultures and customs. Santiago should, in my view, be considered a vital part of any Chilean itinerary.

Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile
Noel Josephides

By Noel Josephides

22nd March 2016



Noel Josephides
Noel Josephides

Noel is Sunvil’s Chairman. Born in Cyprus in 1948, he joined John der Parthog at Sunvil in 1973. Before that and following university, he spent 3 years as a trainee buyer at C&A Modes and then worked for a large Cypriot builder and property developer for whom he set up a London Office buying electrical components for the Middle East and importing lemons from orchards in Cyprus. He still researches new destinations for Sunvil and is heavily involved in matters relating to the travel industry. He is the current ABTA Chairman, a long standing director and previous chairman of The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and the current chairman of The Travel Foundation - the travel industry’s sustainability charity.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8568 4499

We're open tomorrow at 9:00 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Details

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account


Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close