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An Insider's Guide to Santiago

Canadian Andrea Palmer, CEO of Awake Labs, takes us to her favourite spots.

Andrea Palmer

Photo: Linda Wilson

Andrea Palmer is the founder of Awake Labs, a company dedicated to autism health, and the creator of a wearable device called Reveal that monitors anxiety in autistic children. With the S Factory, a Chilean start-up program for female entrepreneurs, she developed a prototype alongside data scientists in Santiago. “It’s the largest city in Chile, but each comuna has a different feeling and something unique to discover.”

Parque Bicentenario

Photo: Pablo Corvalan Meza

1. Parque Bicentenario

My colleagues from the S Factory and I packed a picnic and spent our spare time building an underwater robot to test out in the park’s North lagoon, where locals race their remote-control boats amid swans and flamingos. It’s a great spot in upmarket Vitacura to spend the day lounging on lawn chairs under big umbrellas, away from the busy city.
Av. Bicentenario 3800

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucía

Photo: Jorge Láscar

2. Centro Artesanal Santa Lucía

There are tons of booths selling local handicrafts, like lapis lazuli jewellery, copper goods, handcrafted leather and colourful indigenous items with Mapuche prints – all great souvenirs to bring home. The ceilings are low and the hallways are narrow so it’s crowded, but there’s a fun energy. And it’s right by the Santa Lucía Hill, one of a few spots that offers 360-degree views of the city.
Alameda 510, 56-2-263-26618

Holm Ensaladería

3. Holm Ensaladería

This is an amazing brunch spot that doubles as a bakery. Most of the bread in Santiago is white, but Holm makes really delicious breads with ingredients like nuts and whole grains. The last time I went, I had the lentil-pea hummus with whole-wheat bread that has sesame seeds baked inside the dough. The meal was massive but so good I ordered seconds.
Padre Mariano 125, 56-9-4227-4411

4. Mesón Nerudiano

I love the mystical atmosphere at this restaurant modelled after the interior of poet Pablo Neruda’s home. The patio has a waterfall and is surrounded by trees, so it feels like you’re in a forest outside of the city. Try the pisco sour and a shrimp ceviche while live Chilean folk music plays in the background.
Calle Domínica 35, 56-2-737-150-42



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