If you’re in Santiago this weekend, looking for the party to end all decades (or was that last year?), you might be a little surprised to find out that most Chileans spend the actual stroke of midnight with their families and close to home, and only after actual midnight does the party get started at any of the assorted clubs and discos.
For the actual midnight hour, since you’re not here with friends and family, you’ll probably want to do what most people within a radius of downtown do, and catch the fireworks on the Entel Tower (located near metro La Moneda) in person. People used to cluster around the plazoleta Griselda Hinojosa at Augustinas and where Riquelme ends, and on the Huerfanos footbridge, but the construction of a new apartment building means your best bet is to see them from the Alameda side.
And while you’re out there, don’t forget to eat your twelve grapes, one by one, making a wish on each, and for good luck in the New Year.
If you’re looking for a place to go to join in with the masses, head over to Bellavista for some good, home-grown fun. It will be busy, crowded and somewhat messy, but with reasonable drink prices and a ton of people. If you’re all ’80s and/or techno, you’ll want to head to Santiago classic Blondie for a party that lasts way into 2011, with a 5,000 CLP cover. Those looking to rub shoulders with a more upperclass crowd might want to head over to Cerro Santa Lucia’s Castillo Hidalgo, with access from the Augustinas side. The entry will run you between 20,000 and 36,000 pesos the night of, with the latter giving access to a VIP lounge. The setting is lovely though, a giant former Castle, with elegant staircases and high ceilings throughout. Free breakfast comes with the more expensive tickets.
For whatever ails you the next day, and it could be everything, head over to the Mercado Central for a reviving cup of consommé or other seafood soup, which is alleged to heal up your hangover. And don’t forget to walk around the block with a suitcase a couple of times. It’s supposed to bring travel in the year to come.