Mark William Johanson

The Chilean capital is blessed with an absurdly picturesque setting, sandwiched between two ranges of towering mountains and bathed in 300 days of annual sunshine. Where else can you ski down powdery slopes, raft raging white water and sip your way through world-class wineries, all within 30 miles of a major metropolis? Sure, Santiago is often viewed as a launchpad for somewhere else—the Atacama Desert, Patagonia—but this city of 7 million has come into its own in recent years, thanks to a vibrant cultural scene, exceedingly strollable (or bikeable!) neighborhoods and award-winning eateries that will make you wonder why you’ve never before dined in a Chilean restaurant.