Providencia is an affluent middle class neighbourhood in the north east of Santiago. It’s a big neighbourhood but most of its restaurants and other businesses are located either side of Avenida Providencia, the continuation of Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins which runs through the north of the barrio. To the north it’s bordered by the Mapucho river which has a pleasant park running along its banks. You’ll find some of most modern architecture in Santiago along the Providencia bank.
This includes the Sky Costanera viewing deck at the top of Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest buidling in Santiago.
To the east is Las Condes where many of the private schools I was working at are located and to the north east is Vitacura, an even wealthier neighbourhood (see next post).
As you might guess, Providencia is very safe, which is why my employer puts us here. Personally though I find it quite sterile and boring so whenever I could, I’d hop on the metro to the downtown districts of Bellavista (posts here) or Lastarria (post here).
However, that’s not always an option when you’re tired after work so I’ve written three posts about restaurants in Providencia. Read about Peruvian food here, Chilean and French food here, and sandwich bars here. My top picks for everyday eating are Barandiaran and Liguria. You’ll fine everywhere mentioned on my map.
In 2018, work put me up in the Park Plaza Apartments www.parksuite.cl. Providencia has many old mansions that have been converted to offices and I think this might be one of them. The rooms were bright and new and have a kitchenette. It feels like a normal hotel except there’s a reception. A basic breakfast is delivered to your door as there’s no breakfast room.
In 2011, I was in the RQ Providencia Suites www.rq.cl, which were also serviced suites. Here the morning meal was delivered to your door at a time specified by you, which sounds great but in this case it was pure junk food; coco pops, manjar (dulce de leche) filled cakes, bland cheese and ham on plastic sliced bread, sugary fruit squash, with only a few chunks of pineapple and kiwi pretending to make your meal healthy. After just a few days in to a two week stay, I started handing the breakfast tray back to the delivery guy after taking off the fruit and yogurt. The reception and security weren’t very nice either.
On the plus side though, I did have a good view of some of the foothills of the Andes from my small balcony.
But essentially, try to stay elsewhere! Sorry if that’s not much help, I’m just giving my colleagues an idea of what to expect. My advice to normal travellers would be to get an AirBnB in Bellavista.
And that is my last post of twelve about Santiago! Click here for the full index. Off to the coast to Vina del Mar and neighbouring Valparaiso next…