Hi There! Remember me!?? After a long hiatus… I’m back! Woo Hoo!!
So I was in Chile for the months of December/January and it was a magical trip! Not my first time there– I am a repeat offender with regards to my travels abroad! …I’ve been going to Chile almost every other year during my 25 years of life! With two (2!) Chilean parents it should come as no surprise… And with such a BIG family, it’s impossible not to go visit!
A beautiful country, Chile offers a diverse travel itinerary. The dramatic and arid deserts of the Atacama (northern Chile) are stunning, ethereal, magical and heavenly; meanwhile, the Lake Region of southern Chile is lush and vibrant with jarring volcanoes and majestic, crystal clear/turquoise lakes and rivers. Everything in-between is gorgeous too, the beaches are divine and the central valley produces sophisticated wines in a fertile and scenic environment. As a prime travel destination, Chile truly has something for everyone!
This time around I was blessed with a fun trip to La Serena, a rustic beach town with a lively scene. Joined by my lovely younger cousin Amanda, we also visited the Elqui Valley, home to Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral and the famous Chilean Pisco, as well as various other goodies like papayas and cherimoya fruits… The valley which runs along the Elqui River is surrounded by many quaint and humble towns, the further into the valley the higher the altitude and the closer you are to the Andes Mountains, a breath-taking sight. We arrived at Pisco Elqui– approximately 3 hours inland from the Ocean and La Serena–our final destination along the river (although not the last!), and in this town we went star-gazing, swimming in the river, bike riding, and of course, drank lots of Pisco!
Following our tour of La Serena and the Elqui Valley, my cousin and I journeyed to Viña Del Mar and Reñaca. Here we did nothing more than spend our days lounging away on the beach soaking the rays from the hot, hot sun– eventually taking breaks for a refreshing dip in the crisp Pacific.
A much-needed vacation to maintain the quality of life so to survive the everyday hustle and bustle, this trip was a blessing! I am eternally grateful to the powers that be for giving me such an exquisite journey opportunity!
Here are some of my fave pics from the trip… Hope they inspire a desire to travel and live more, more, more !!! xxoo
The Yoga Studio I Found…. Practice, practice and all is coming…..
Yoga Studio, Mt. Manquehue Background
A unique building for a high-end jewelry store on the street Alonso De Cordova.
Santiago Sidewalk Art Sculpture
A bill of $5,000 Chilean Pesos which equals approx. $10 USD. I love the unique images on each bill– this one, my favorite, has an OWL. Every banknote has an illustrated scene of flora/fauna unique to the country, this one pictures the national park La Campana in Valparaíso. On the other side a notable historical figure, this note happens to portray Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Here I journeyed to the Presidential Palace, La Moneda, in Downtown Santiago with two cousins where we caught the exhibit for the Chilean abstract expressionist and surrealist painter, Roberto Matta. Dynamic work, very detailed and involved, each piece draws you in and tells many stories.
Big Red by Matta, 1938. This is an example that is intriguing while yet not nearly amounting to the intensity and profundity of his much larger installations. Nevertheless, I love the style of this illustration, the shapes and movement, the tricks it plays…
Inside of the art museum…. Matta figurines hanging from the ceiling…
Santiago Institution, Bar Nacional (National Bar) where you find all Chilean food ALL the time. Established circa 1930’s.
Completo Italiano= Homemade Bun+Hot Dog+ Avo+Tomato+ Mayo. Optional: ketchup, mustard, and/or aji which is a spicy salsa.
This parlor makes the best ice cream EVER. I ate it all while I was taking this pic… OOPS!
Parque Forestal with Police Men and Lady on Horse
A boho neighborhood in an old part of Santiago, Bella Vista. Incredible antique homes turned into funky cafes, bars and shops!
Sidewalk tile mosaic.
Mt. Manquehue with Las Condes, a borough of Santiago, at it’s base…
Another shot of Santiago
Summer Sun still going strong at 6pm…. 80+ degrees….
The Pool Lawn at the club…. Summer everywhere….
An impressive sculpture outside the hotel.
A fountain gracing the sidewalk plaza with its presence!
Amazing Colorful Print Fabric, from a beautiful skirt I purchased! With Spring/Summer right around the corner it is sure to be shared with y’all very very soon!
If You Don’t Create It, Nothing Can Exist
Funky Refurbished Furniture
Sweet Little Cousin
Chacarrero Sandwich= Homemade Bun+Thinly Cut Beef, Grilled+Green Beans+Tomato+Avo+Mayo.Optional: ketchup, mustard and/or aji salsa.
The Spanish Country Club
A school at La Serena since 1902. The sign reads: To Educate Is To Love. Ain’t that the truth!?!!
La Serena Beach
El Faro at La Serena, The Lighthouse
The Beach through Arcs…
She sells sea shells
Cuchuflee… Yummy candy traditionally sold on the beach at summer, imagine dulce de leche (a milk based caramel) in a hard yet chewy sugar cone wrapping!
Delicious Chilean pastries at an artisan fair, homemade to perfection!
On our way to the beach an unusual sculpture…
Sculptures in the Plaza, Lady Bathing…
Elk and Condor
Smile for the camera!
My Sweet Cuzzy, Amanda
La Serena Buildings…
window treatments and decorative accents…
Churches, many Churches in La Serena!
Many intricate tiles are found in the various colonial buildings, unique and beautiful.
Bold Red Building
More decorative tile…
… plazas with fountains ….
…. colonial inspiration…
Before our Pacific Ocean excursion out to Isla Choros and Isla Damas (two islands north of La Serena). This day trip was all about marine life and the appreciation of all the beautiful creatures that reside in our oceans. We saw various birds of all kinds (over 10 species!), sea lions, sea otters, penguins, and dolphins! Magical, amazing, euphoric!!
Small Beach/Port in Punta De Choros, the town 20 minutes from the Islands visited off the coast. Sweet town with beautiful white beaches!
Catch of the Day!!
Serene at Sea
The view of the ocean from the beach at Isla Damas. Stunning.
Me and the Great Pacific, an overwhelming and estatic sense of calm ….
Beach Shot of Isla Damas. Tropical magic paradise!
Our tour through the Elqui Valley…
The dam that supplies all the water for the Elqui Valley… unfortunately, very low and in danger of running dry…
My Cousin and I posing! We look like Sissy’s xxoo
Another view of the Valley, going higher and getting closer to the Andes….
Vicuña, the town where Gabriel Mistral is from.
Our tour of a Pisco Distillery.
Barrels where Pisco (made of sweet white grapes) is aged…. the longer the aging process the stronger and higher quality…
Pisco Tasting! DANGER
Various Piscos and Pisco Drinks made by Fuegos.
One of the many murals encountered in Pisco Elqui. This part of the valley has an amazing feel, friendly small town people in a magical land receiving endless power and energy from the closeness of the stars above, our ancestors, our kin. MAGIC.
… I Love You….
Sun Goddess Power ….
Harvesting and cultivating Andean magic and celestial power…..
An homage to the poet Gabriel Mistral …..
Church at the Main Square of Pisco Elqui
Front of Church, from Main Plaza entrance.
Inside church shot.
Pisco Elqui, daytime stroll in the desert heat.
Our pet dog Yang… Followed us on our bike ride to the artisan village where we could bathe in the river. What an excursion! Approx 22 miles biking total!
The views of the valley as we ride our bikes….. Surrounded by pre-Andean mountains, so looming you’d think they were the real thing…
A desert flower, very intriguing and beautiful!
Be safe, wear a helmet when riding your bike ;)
Endless road on an endless summer day!
My cousin, cruising!
Artisan Village, think co-op/community market for various artists, jewelers and healers, as well as an organic cafe too!
Woven Dream Catcher
Down by the river…
The River, icy cold Andean water
Reñaca, the view from our apartment patio….
A night out, drinking and dancing!
Amanda, lounging at the beach under a palm tree!
An Empanada stand near the beach, a mug shot of the man making these delicious gooooodies. Yum Yum!
Sunset on the Pacific
Dulces Issa, the best Chilean pastries EVER