This is not a popular touristic destination but I thought I'd mention it on the blog as we had such a lovely time in Los Andes. Located just an hour north from Santiago, we stayed in a farm with one of Liz's friends. It was a very local experience and in two days we tried our best to communicate in (Chilean) Spanish. I highly recommend staying with locals to get to know the culture and the language better. Couch surfing is a great way to find people to stay with. It's ideal if you want to save your bucks and practice rolling your 'R's!
We stayed with Maureen and Felipe, a recently married couple who share a farm land with Maureen's parents. They really looked after us by cooking us delicious home cooked meal, a real treat when you're on the road.
Felipe has worked as a volunteer fireman for nearly 20years so we got to visit the 'bomberos' station with him and hop on some seriously big engines!