I soon changed hostels to one in a better location and that seemed to have a bit more ‘community spirit’. I met heaps of Aussies, Kiwis, Germans, Brits, Swedes, Mexicans and just about all the other nationalities of the UN. From the dry wit of Chris the tour guide who would often be found skiing down the stairs on an ironing board, to the delightful dance routines of Sole – this place had some spirit to it.
On my third day here I woke up to find that my left foot was red and swollen just under the arch and was quite painful when I stepped on it. I went to the doctor’s and went straight on some antihistamines for a possible insect bite. I found that for the next few weeks I was only able to walk for about 20 minutes at a time before my foot became too painful to bear. Am I the luckiest traveller or what? But the Bellavistians looked after me well, helping me find English speaking doctors, and helping me to get around in my limited capacity. I ended up staying there for 2 weeks waiting for my foot to get better.
Check out the Bellavista Hostel online at Hostelworld.com. It was my favourite hostel in all of South America!
When arriving in Santiago, check out the TRANSVIP shuttle service located inside the airport terminal. It’s cheaper than a taxi, and takes you direct to your lodging.
Don’t trust just any taxi at the airport or bus station. I heard and met many people who had been ‘stung’ or robbed by taxi drivers at these places. In other areas of Santiago, it did not seem to be a problem.
If catching buses to other cities, there are two bus terminals, the cheaper bus terminal is located across the road from the terminal next to the Universidad de Santiago metro station. Save up to 50% just by crossing the street!