Sundays in Santiago

Um…so where do all the people run off to on Sundays? Like, all those people who crowd the downtown area near where I live? Where there are so many pedestrians, that it takes me a whole five minutes to make a right turn ANYWHERE?
And the taxis? The buses? Just – poof, gone! Seriously?

For a country, like most Lat Am ones, where close to 50% of the population resides IN THE CAPITAL, it’s mind boggling to me where these people go on Sundays. Do they head for the hills??!! The Andes don’t particularly look that welcoming or endearing this time of year actually… so what’s the deal?

The stores that line the busy streets are all closed, the kiosks are shut down, most Starbucks are closed, no one’s selling fruit/artichokes on the corners and even the guy who sits there and juggles apples, or what have you, at every intersection – gone! It’s actually rather spooky. Kind of like that short story by Stephen King called “The Langoliers,” where passengers on a cross-country red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Boston wake up and find that the crew and the rest of the passengers who weren’t asleep, have disappeared. Creepier yet, is that THEN they discover that they’re the only people remaining on the planet – PERIOD. (Very eerie story, check it out!)

Yeah, Santiago on Sundays kind of feels like that. If there are about 16 million people TOTAL in this country, and about 7 million or so live in Santiago, are they all just sitting at home? If so, then MY WORD they take this “day of rest” bit seriously…

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4 thoughts on “Sundays in Santiago

  1. That's why Sundays in Santiago is my favorite day of the week! I love running through the deserted city on those days! You would never guess you're living in a city of 6 million on those glorious days!

  2. Yeah, I also like the peace and quiet. I think people do still take Sunday as a family day for the most part – the parks are often full (Parque Bicentenario in Vitacura is always really busy), and we for example always go to my suegros' for lunch and end up staying til late at night.

    The buses running less frequently though can be a problem. We once waited for 45 minutes outside the bus terminal (we'd just come back from Valpo) late one Sunday night before finally convincing an off-duty taxi to take us home. The few buses that were passing were PACKED with people – hello, Transantiago planners, it shouldn't be shocking that people come back from weekends away on Sunday nights and need a way to get home!

  3. i used to really enjoy the long sunday lunches with the fam but after gaining like 6 kilos in santiago i decided those needed to be put on halt…as for sundays, i really hate them …i agree with emily that the parks are a good place to go…there are some restaurants open on sunday, notably near my house on tobalaba (thank god) and there's always the movies adn the mall. since you've never been i'd highly suggest hoofig it over to bellas artes specifically calle lastarria and go to Patagonia for their DELICIOUS lunch/brunch on Sundays (and Saturdays)…there are also quite a few ferias aroud the city for food but also arts and crafts…moloko on tobalaba for example often has a clothing design fair on sundays…also that little area outside of subterraneo…otherwise there's always jumbo or just coming over and laying out in my backyard with a bunch of us weeklys : )

  4. No, I'm sticking to my guns on this one, guys. It's just weird that the city is EMPTY on a Sunday.

    Good to know about the parks though. :o)

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