I am a San Antonian - born and raised. Every time I book a ticket to San Antonio online, I am given a choice of San Antonio, TX or San Antonio, Chile. Never did I ever think I'd one day go to San Antonio, Chile.
It started like this.....about a week ago I looked at map and realize just how close I was to San Antonio - so I searched Couch Surfing for any San Antonians - of the Chilean variety. There were four and the most recent login was about a month ago. So I posted a question to the general Chile forum. (it might be worth noting that I'd searched the Internet and come up with very little touristic information) The response to my question on CS was dismal - everyone said it wasn't worth it. So I threw the idea out of my mind and focused on Isla Negra. A few days later, a CS member from France, Cassandre, sent me a message asking if I wanted to day trip to the Isla Negra / San Antonio together. And that is how I ended up going to San Antonio today.....
Maybe I am biased, but I loved my experience in San Antonio! Actually Cass really liked it to, so I'm not totally biased.
It started with a pastry. We bought and split a pastry called Colegial. The conversation with the sales girl went much like this: (en Español)
Us: What is this?
Us: Yes, but what is Colegial?
Us: What kind of a flavor does it have?
Her: It tastes like Colegial.
So basically we had no idea what we were getting....but it was good! I'm pretty sure it was sweetened with Manjar.
We walked around a bit and the impression of San Antonio was just so-so.... But then we decided to find the beach...
Well actually we found the port.
We found the life of San Antonio! The port had vendors, performers, lots of people, a fish market and more...
The most surprising part though were the animals! Pelicans and seals! I took about a million photos.... They were crowded around the port, eating fish heads thrown to them by the fish market, sleeping and playing. The seals (or are they sea lions - I'm not sure of the difference) are amazing creatures! Huge, loud and expressive... You knew when they were happy and when they were not, I heard a noise something between a growl and a roar and saw teeth that could probably take off a hand without even trying. But mostly they appeared to me to be content and cute.
Cassandre and I took a boat tour of the harbor. It was really interesting and we learned a lot. For example, San Antonio was the first major port of Chile. The port of San Antonio is the third largest economic industry of Chile (copper is number 1 - no idea about 2) and was integral in rebuilding after the earthquakes of 1985 and 2010 because it sustained little to no damage. It's an active port. Fishermen fish for fish, frequently catching anchovies, barges come in from around the world carrying products for the entire continent and tourists appreciate the blue water and beautiful view. Yes, San Antonio is worth visiting!
Now that I have visited two San Antonios, I want to visit the other ones in the world. I know there are at least 3 in South America - Chile, Argentina and ummm... Bolivia? Guess I need to make some travel plans!
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Location:San Antonio de Chile