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San Antonio

A grimy seaside town publicizing its poetic underbelly, San Antonio is Chile’s largest and most important port. Located to the south of more popular tourist destinations like Isla Negra, San Antonio is often skipped over by many non-Chilean tourists. For most of the year, the city consists primarily of locals going about their business and it is relatively safe. In the summer, however, Santiago vacationers arrive and the city becomes exponentially more dangerous. That said, San Antonio is a great stop for those who want to see more of Chile than the parts typically outlined in the guidebooks. The city of San Antonio is doing a good job of helping tourists get to know the area. You should stop by the tourism office near San Antonio’s Plaza de Armas when you arrive; they’ll give you a packet with excellent information about places to go and things to do in the city.

The city, however, is sorely lacking a decent selection of cheap accommodation, which tends to be limited to mid-to-high end hotels and cabañas. Bello Horizante, for example, has mid-range cabañas. It sits on a hill north of the San Antonio city center, which is inconvenient for those wishing to access the center, but the atmosphere is far more peaceful. Residencial Tú y Yo, which has a cheery restaurant attached, is two blocks from the tourism office and is, for the most part, the most economical option you’ll find in town ($18 per night). Shared and private bathrooms are available, and rooms with a patio and view come at a bit higher price.

In terms of food, there are, of course, plenty of restaurants serving fresh, cheap seafood by the harbor. You can also find some fancier options with nice overlooks. Restoran Logroño has pricier dishes in a classy upstairs dining area on a hill. Café Literario La Negra just down the street has tasty sandwiches and fresh juices for a good price in a slightly gaudy but nonetheless comfortable atmosphere. Both restaurants have WiFi access.

In terms of services, the tourism office is located just off the Plaza de Armas and there are several banks around the perimeter of the plaza. There is a hospital just south of the plaza on 21 de Mayo. On Calle Centenario you will find a currency exchange office, postal services, and phone centers. There are several Internet cafés just off Centenario on Lauro Barros. Tur Bus and Pullman have multiple offices around the city, the most central of which is on Centenario and Susini.

San Antonio Tourism Office – 21 de Mayo, 05; Ph: 56-3-5231858, E-mail:, URL:

Café Literario La Negra – Av. Barros Luco, 104; Ph: 35-2-10607

Logroño Restoran – 21 de Mayo, 274; Ph:/Fax: 35-2-33621

Residencial Tu y Yo – Blanco Encalada, 289; Ph: 035-2-11189

Bello Horizonte Cabañas – Av. Antonio Nuñez de Fonseca, 3865; Ph: 35-2-19115


Other places nearby San Antonio: Quintay, Viña del Mar, Maitencillo, Valparaíso , Quintero, Papudo, Cartagena, Los Andes, San Felipe and Portillo.

By Lauren Yero
I am a recent liberal arts graduate who travels as a compulsion. I have lived in several regions of the US as well as briefly abroad in England and...
15 Aug 2011

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