Originally – and sometimes still – known as La Chimba, which means “the other side of the river” in Quichoa (the Inca language), Barrio Bellavista grew first into a residential area when Santiago’s population started spilling across the river in the nineteenth century. Head across the Pío Nono bridge at the eastern end of the Parque Forestal and you’ll find yourself on Calle Pío Nono, Bellavista’s main street. Nestling between the northern bank of the Mapocho and the steep slopes of Cerro San Cristóbal, Bellavista is a warren of leafy streets and a centre for restaurants, bars and pubs. An evening handicraft market that spreads along the length of Pío Nono is held at weekends.
You might also be tempted by the dozens of lapis lazuli outlets running along Avenida Bellavista, between Puente Pío Nono and Puente del Arzobispo, though there are few bargains to be found. Patio Bellavista, Pío Nono 73, is a shopping and dining complex – and a popular gringo hangout.