We arrived in Santiago de Chile yesterday morning. Everyone was pretty exhausted and excited at the same time. After checking into our hotel in Old Santiago, we went on a city tour of Santiago, which involved both a bus ride and some walking. Our tour guide, bus driver and Chile guide were all amazing and friendly. They have a lot of pride for their country, too!
After the city tour, we decided to walk around and ended up at a big park named Santa Lucia. We climbed what seemed like 1000 stairs and ended up at the top of a castle-like structure. The grounds, the historic little buildings and the view from the top were all incredible. It was like going back in time and I was happy to have made the trek up!
Today was a business day. First, we went to a company called Start Up Chile. This fairly new company is trying to promote entrepreurial ventures in Chile, either from Chileans or other citizens of the world. We had a great presentation from the COO at the headquarters and got to talk to several entrepreneurs who are in the program from countries like Argentina, Romania, France and the U.S. It was a really great experience and I hope to be able to talk more about it tomorrow, as we are taking a bus through the Andes mountains to Mendoza, Argentina tomorrow!
The second half of our day was spent at Chile's largest wine producer, Concha Y Toro. We had a tour of the winery and vineyards, a tasting, and a meeting with one of the company's marketing officers, where we learned a great deal about the company's success and its growing interaction with the U.S. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will certainly not forget anytime soon and I hope to be able to go into more detail in the near future about this as well.
Overall in Chile, I was very thankful for all of the kind hospitality we have seen in the past two days. I wish that we had more time to explore this beautiful and booming country, but onward to Argentina!