When you’ve been living in Santiago for a while, it almost feels like a little bubble. The roads are clean, the subway system (metro) is great, and the traffic follows the rules of the road. So, it’s easy to forget you’re in Latin America. Until you make your way to La Vega.
**UPDATE: I now have an Airbnb Experience that will take you to 5 markets of Santiago - check it out here: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/203138
This market makes me feel like I’ve been transported back to India - there’s a rush of chaotic energy that pulses through the winding alleys, with people elbowing you out of the way to get to their destination. The 2-block long warehouse is bursting at the seams with vendors selling everything from broken radios, to raw chicken in black garbage bags.
When I went for the first time, I fell in love. Luckily, this market is only a 20-minute walk from our apartment, making it a convenient weekly grocery shopping trip to pick up whatever we need.
Competing with all of this are rows of little pop-up restaurants serving up mostly Chilean food, such as empanadas and cazuelas. My favorite is the vendor who sells mojito sin alcohol (it’s the same mojito you know and love without the taste of rum in your mouth, perfectly appropriate for a Saturday morning).
If you get the chance to visit Santiago, set aside 3-4 hours to experience La Vega yourself.
Interested in visiting the markets? Check out my Airbnb Experience that will take you to 5 markets of Santiago - check it out here: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/203138