There are many shopping malls in Santiago. In the sector of Las Condes, it is easy to reach Alto Las Condes, Costanera Centre, Apumanque and Parque Arauco. But while each of them have their own character, Parque Arauco remains my favourite.

Apart from the usual two levels of indoor stores anchored by the Chilean department store giants Fallabella, Ripley and Almacenes Paris, there is much more. Sodimac is similar to Home Depot; Homy is similar to Ikea, and Tottus is a well-stocked supermarket to satisfy the shopper more than adequately.

And still, there is more.

The Hoyts Cinema complex boasts a very good multi-screen cinema with Premier theatres for those who want more comfort. There’s  an ice-skating rink and bowling alley for the energetic, a small cultural theatre (Mori) that has productions constantly and an outdoor boulevard replete with good restaurants, shops and an outdoor entertainment area that frequently features live music. Friday and Saturday evenings are my favourites here. The restaurants are buzzing with patrons after the mall shops close at 9pm and the evening live music begins.

Alto Las Condes may have its own cache and the Costanera Centre may have bigger and better stores. However, sitting in the boulevard in Parque Arauco on a weekend evening sipping a Pisco Sour and listening to good live music is my choice by far.

Getting to Parque Arauco is easy. If you want to use public transport then take the subway to Escuela Militar on Line #1 and transfer to a bus # 20 or #11 going to Parque Arauco. Often you will be entertained by amateur musicians on the bus as a bonus (or not).

Visit the official Parque Arauco website here.