Leisure travel between the UAE and South America just got a whole lot more exciting with the launch of a new service from Dubai to Santiago. The new flights, which will launch on July 5, stop en route in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and cost from Dh8,255 return including taxes. Previously, travellers wanting to reach cities including Santiago, Lima or Cusco had to switch to local carriers in Brazil.
The outbound flight will stop for 2.5 hours in Sao Paolo, with the onward flight to Santiago taking 4 hours. The entire trip will take 21 hours 40 minutes but means UAE-based travellers can now land on both sides of the South American continent using Emirates, gaining easier access to world-class destinations including Patagonia, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and the southern Argentinian city of Ushuaia, the departure point for cruises to Antarctica.
Chile itself is home to some of the world's most dramatic landscapes, including the canyons and volcanoes of the Atacama Desert, the glaciers and mountains Chilean Patagonia and the seaside town of Valparaiso.
Santiago was founded in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, and was originally named Santiago del Nuevo Extremo ("Santiago of the New Frontier"). Now a city of 5 million and home to 40 per cent of Chile's population, it offers dramatic views of high Andean peaks to the east and is an hour's drive from the coast in the west. Known for its historic colonial architecture, restaurant scene and increasingly creative cultural hubs, the home of the Nobel Prize-winning author Pablo Neruda, La Chascona, is a popular tourist stop.
Situated in the centre of Chile, Santiago is a useful regional travel hub, with direct flights to Lima taking just 3.5 hours.