Chile
San Antonio

Here you’ll find travel reports about San Antonio. Discover travel destinations in Chile of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Day 9 - On Board

    January 7 in Chile ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    The day dawned brightly for leaving Valparaiso. We had breakfast and left the hotel. A wrong turn led us up into the hills trying to find the road to Santiago but cranking up the GPS got us on track. We drove up through the Casablanca valley and into Santiago to drop off the rental car and meet our driver for the hour an a half trip to San Antonio. That drive took us through a very productive region with vegetable and fruit farms interspersed with cattle ranches. The port of San Antonio is relatively small but busy and crowded. Checkin for the cruise is much like checking in to a flight - just a lot more people (think checking in 3,000 passengers). Still, we completed the process in little over an hour and we in our stateroom by about 3:30. We unpacked then attended the mandatory evacuation drill.

    The Celebrity Eclipse is a huge boat. At almost 1,100 feet, it's three football fields (including end zones) long and 120 feet wide. It has 15 decks and holds 2,850 passengers. Walking around you can hear many languages but most programs and announcements are in English. Some announcements are also in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

    The ship sailed at 6:00 and we watched from our stateroom veranda. The San Antonio port is narrow and the ship had a pilot boat and a tugboat to help it clear the quays. As we pulled our, several small tourist boats filled with people came our to watch.

    Once underway, we attended a comedy show by an American, black comic, Daran Howard. He was ok but some of the references to black culture went over the heads of the international audience. We cruised south staying about a mile off the coast. We had a late (8:30) seating for dinner and waited to be seated with 1,000 other people. Our table mates (for the entire trip) were a couple from Germany and a couple from Lodi, CA. Hans, the German man, had been in the merchant marine and remarked on how skillfully the captain had handled the exit from the narrow harbor. Fred, the California man, turned out to be a civil engineer, like me, and Hans was a mechanical engineer. Fred's wife, Silvia, was originally from Peru but had been a teacher in the states, as had been Gail. Didn't learn what Hotie, Hans' wife, did.

    Dinner and our conversations lasted until 10:30 so we so called it a day.
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  • Day8

    Motorrad steht in Chile

    December 7, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Heute ging's durch die Zollhürden. Die Arbeit machte eigentlich Ronny der hier die Abwicklung der Motorradtransporte macht, und alles perfekt, souverän und sympathisch -vielen Dank!
    Wir-wir waren heute nur zu fünft -mussten nur noch die Formulare unterschreiben.
    Dann ging's mit Helm und Sicherheitsweste in den Containerhafen von San Antonio.. Sicherheitsvorschriften werden hier sehr genau genommen. Nach dem Anklemmen der Batterie müssen die schweren Böcke bis zum Zoll geschoben werden. Die Rahmennummer wird geprüft, wieder Papiere ausgestellt, unser Gepäck interessiert keinen, dann dürfen wir nach nur 4Std aus dem Zoll schieben, gestern dauerte es 10 Std.. Wir sind alle nassgeschwitzt. Jetzt erst mal zu Fuss zur nächsten Tanke, Sprit in die Kanister und wieder zu Fuss zurück. Mit Sprit springt meine alte GS sofort an, ohne will sie geschoben werden, da kommen dann 300 kg leicht zusammen. Ich frage mich, wer das alles eingepackt und aufgeladen hat.

    Nach einer Woche mit vielen Hindernissen geht's also endlich los.
    Im Hotel packe ich alles um, warum habe ich eigentlich so viel Krempel dabei?
    Morgen geht's Richtung Süden!
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  • Day33

    San Antonio, Chile

    February 4, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    We pull into a dark and gloomy-looking San Antonio at 6am, and my phone springs into life once more. My battery lasts for days at sea, yet is drained in minutes when we get signal again.

    You remember that buzz I said was running around the ship in anticipation of Rio? Well, the opposite has been happening for San Antonio. It’s a commercial port, and even the excursions team have been saying that there’s is literally nothing to do here for tourists, you have to go further afield to the bigger cities, or into the wine land. It’s basically a gateway port for Santiago (2 hours away) and Valparaíso (1½ hours away). It’s the Port Klang to Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, if that means anything to you.

    It’s not picturesque. Valparaíso has a port, but I guess docking here is cheaper. A quick chat with the security officer in the lift reveals that this is actually the first time the ship has docked in San Antonio. (Update: our local tour guide has just told us that ships are docking here because of dock handling issues in Valparaíso, where recently they didn’t let cruise ship passengers ashore, so I guess we shouldn’t complain!) Today, we’re booked onto the Casablanca winery tour today (can you spot a theme?), which will apparently include a sightseeing tour of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso too. So, the view should improve soon.

    We set off on our tour about 30 minutes late, although part of the delay is caused because we can’t walk straight off the boat, because it’s a working port with lots of heavy plant moving around, so we have to take a shuttle bus around the port to the embarkation terminal—a distance of about 100 metres in a straight line, but which takes 5 minutes on the bus. We locate our correct tour bus and we’re off. Our guide for the day is Cristian, who does his best to whip up some enthusiasm in a very dull and sleepy crowd (although the couple that are wide awake could frankly do with a sleeping pill, as they keep asking dumb-ass questions, and are demanding the guide narrate everything we’re passing)

    After an hour, we arrive at Casas del Bosque winery. The cloud that was hanging over the port has vanished now, and I’m feeling distinctly overdressed. The vineyard is set in beautiful grounds, with agapanthuses lining every walkway. Our guide around the winery, Manu, is exceptionally knowledgeable and speaks flawless English. The tour itself is interesting, but having just had a vineyard tour recently, there’s quite an overlap, and if you’re not passionate about growing grapes, then it’s a little repetitive.

    The main event for most people is the wine tasting itself, held in the vast cool cellar. We start with a Sauvignon Blanc, which sits ill with my heartburn. The next two glasses are red, so I hastily empty my glass into Mum’s (I still hate red wine - a drink that looks like fruit juice yet tastes like bitterness and regret). I don’t think I’m cut out for wine tasting. Our guide asks us what our wine smells of. I suspect ‘wine’ wouldn’t be an acceptable answer...

    As the tour comes to an end, we’re ushered through the shop (surprise!), and then back onto the coach for our scenic tour.

    Our tour takes us next to Valparaíso, a coastal city of 284,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, it seems that we’re to appreciate the sights exclusively through a bus window, which I wasn’t expecting. Thankfully, I’m sat next to the only window that doesn’t have a dark film on it, so at least my pictures won’t be as bad as everyone else’s.

    Valparaíso is certainly a very colourful place, if rather frayed around the edges. It’s known for its street art, and many of the buildings on the surrounding hills are painted in vibrant colours. It’s really annoying that we don’t get chance to get off the bus! Looks like there might be lots of interesting side streets to explore. Much like Salvador in Brazil, the city is split into a lower part, around the port, and the residential districts up on the hills. Locals here must have very good leg muscles. For those that don’t, there are two working funiculars.

    After meandering through the streets of Valparaíso, we leave the city to head a very short distance to its sister city, Viña del Mar. Here they actually do stop the bus for 10 minutes to give us a chance to take a picture of the famous flower clock. Well, bugger that—I’ve gone from 08:30 until mid-afternoon on a sip of dry white wine and I’m feeling quite dehydrated. So, I leg it across the 6-lane road to the beach, as I can see a café in the distance for a much-needed bottle of something chilled. Turns out to be a totally fruitless endeavour though, as on arrival, I ask in my best Spanish if I can pay with US dollars (as we’d been assured on the ship that you can use them everywhere in South America, except for Brazil), only to be told no, Chilean pesos only. I try again and ask if I can pay by card? No. No cards, and no dollars. So, there I am, gazing at a fridge full of deliciously refreshing drinks, with no way of getting hold or one. Dejected, thirsty and very sweaty from my dash, I head stony-faced back to the bus.

    OK, now I’m fuming. Fifteen minutes after the clock stop, we are dumped next to a casino in Viña del Mar for a 40-minute lunch break, for which the tour guide recommends we go into the casino to eat, but warns us that pretty much nowhere around here will take US dollars. So, into the casino we go, or at least we try. We go through security (!), and weave our way through the slot machines, with absolutely no visible clue as to where this restaurant might be. Finally manage to ask someone, who points us into a dead-end corridor. Very helpful. When we finally do find the ‘restaurant’, it’s actually a tiny little bar serving burgers. Now this is where being able to speak—rather than just sort of understand—Spanish would be helpful. We try to order at the bar, but they direct us back to the seats and tell us the waiter will come over. Thing is, he doesn’t. He smiles at us and walks off. After 10 minutes, we abandon hope, as we’ve now only got 20 minutes left to eat and get back to the bus.

    I’d noticed a McDonald across the square, so in desperation we head over there. Big mistake. The queue (as I’m British I’m inclined to call it a queue, but it was more of a rugby scrum) stretches right back to the entrance. We join the nearest line, a little bemused as to why so many people in the queue already seem to have receipts... I can’t see any obvious distinction between the counter and a cash desk, so we persevere. Typically, when we finally get near the front of the queue, the woman in front of us is placing a massive order and is taking a bloody age. And then, just as she’s about to pay, the till crashes and reboots itself. So, she’s now got to order all over again...

    With 3 minutes left before the bus leaves, we have no choice but to abandon our efforts and leave empty handed. No lunch for us. There’s a McCafé opposite, where I manage to swipe a bottle of mineral water, so at least I’ve quenched my thirst. But I don’t like being McTeased, and I’m hangry as f#%k. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry!

    I may well eat our tour guide before we finish the 1½ hour drive back to the boat. The excursions desk will be getting a sternly worded letter about time management and misinformation!

    As we drive back down the littler-strewn highway, I must confess myself to be feeling a little dejected by the latter half of this excursion, and sadly quite underwhelmed by this part of Chile. Punta Arenas was beautiful. This certainly isn’t. But one must take the rough with the smooth, I suppose. I can’t expect picture-postcard views at every port. And San Antonio is, regrettably, the very definition of a run-down, one-horse town. And we’re here for another day tomorrow. Maybe Coquimbo will redress the balance.

    Back on the ship, and straight into the Glasshouse for some food, which renders me in a much better mood.

    An afternoon nap is followed by dinner in the Indian restaurant. Excellent food as always in here.
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  • Day34

    San Antonio, Chile

    February 5, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We spent last night docked up in San Antonio, and will be remaining here until 5pm this evening.

    We’re at a bit of a loss as to what to do today. For once, I’m not exaggerating—there is nothing to do in San Antonio. I’ve found out a little more about the place actually—it was hit by a massive earthquake in 1985, and 80% of the buildings and infrastructure were destroyed, and it was further damaged by another earthquake in 2010. So perhaps my one-horse town comments from yesterday were a little insensitive.

    Still, those facts notwithstanding, it does seem like an odd place to bring a large cruise ship. Sadly, we don’t have any trips further afield planned today either (bit of a cock-up there—we didn’t initially realise we were here for 2 days, and by the time we realised that we’d booked nothing for the second day, all the trips had sold out). Dad keeps trying to float out the idea of going back to yesterday’s winery for lunch, but that might not be all that practical—it‘d be an hour in a taxi from here, and then we’d have to hope we could get back again before the ship leaves.

    So, at least for now, I’m staying in the ship to make use of the fact that at least I have Internet access while we’re docked.

    Often, while we’re in port, the staff use the time to rehearse the emergency drills. We are usually none the wiser, because we’re generally off on a trip somewhere. So, it’s quite a sight to see what’s going on this morning. Today, they’re rehearsing a big one—a fire in the engine room. I was just leaving my room as the drill started, and next thing I know I’m looking at a swift yet sleek procession of the full ship’s company, bedecked in life jackets, sweeping down the stairs. There are 850 staff on board, so I quickly hurry to the lift to get out of their way. Entering the lift at the same time is the ship’s HR manager, who tells me that this is one of the worst scenarios they can plan for, and as such, this hour-long drill is rehearsed every two weeks.

    Just before 1pm, we decide to take a stroll ashore. There’s a mall of sorts a little way along the coastline, so more for some exercise than a great desire to shop, we head off. It’s a 20-minute walk along the dockside to reach the mall, and it’s a fragrant promenade, to say the least, with the day’s catch being gutted and descaled in small huts beneath the walkway. The mall is quite modern, and there’s even a bureau de change, so we can finally swap our seemingly useless US dollars for some Chilean pesos. We hot-foot it to the nearest café, as Dad is gagging for a glass of wine (it’s 1:30pm, after all...), and Mum is keen as mustard to try the local pisco sour.

    By 3:15pm we’ve had our fill of the mall, and so make our way back to the ship, passing little blanket stalls along the promenade, before catching the hopper bus to the ship, for a late lunch.

    At 7pm, we pull out of port, and put San Antonio to our rudder. Not before time. We now have an evening at sea, before arriving at our next port, Coquimbo, early tomorrow morning.
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  • Day102

    San Antonio

    March 19 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    San Antonio ist der größte und wichtigste Hafen Chiles, von hier werden die meisten Güter international verschifft bzw nach Santiago gebracht...

    Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), der berühmteste Poet und Nobelpreisträger Chiles hat sich an diesem wunderbaren Fleck am pazifischen Ozean niedergelassen.
    Ein Besuch in dem seit 1986 bestehenden Neruda-Museum ist eine Pflicht, wo man die Wirkungsstätte des Dichters mitsamt vieler interessanter Ausstellungsstücke besichtigen kann.
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  • Day44

    San Antonio

    February 10, 2015 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    skulle egentlig kjøre fra San Antonio langs kysten til Viña del Mar, men heldigvis stoppet vi for å prøve å finne ett toalett, og fikk høre at det var kø hele veien! da bestemte vi oss for å ta den andre veien som går litt lengre inn i landet. det var ett eventyr i seg selv, utrolig dårlig skiltet! Men folk er veldig behjelpelig her, så vi fant veien tilslutt!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

San Antonio, Сан Антонио, 산안토니오, Сан-Антонио, 聖安東尼奧

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