Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:32 am

I mentioned in an earlier thread that I was planning to buy some property somewhere between Santiago and Puerto Montt. One of the places high on my list was Rancagua as we don't want to live in Santiago but would like to have access if we're sick of the boonies. Until of course I found an older thread here in which Pax stated that he had lived in Rancagua when he moved to Chile and suffice to say that his general description of the place was less than kind.

So here it goes - which areas/cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt would you consider to be the safest and rank the highest in terms of quality of life? I don't care much about schools as we don't have children. But I do care about clean water and unpolluted soil, personal safety, some sense of community, low petty and major crime rates if possible, minimal drug trafficking, a few gyms nearby if possible, decent super markets with hopefully some organic food, and last but not least high speed Internet access, you get the idea. Always willing to compromise as we don't expect to find paradise but we certainly do not want to regret the day we moved down there. Internet is definitely important as that's how I do business and being cut off intermittently or for extended amounts of time would be a problem for me. I hope that does not mean we can't live in Chile ;-)

In regards to clean water and soil (and since Pax mentioned arsenic) please see this recent NYT article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... YJ20120124

Very scary!

Anyway, any insights would be appreciated, as always.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby nwdiver » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:43 am

fahrvergnugen wrote:I mentioned in an earlier thread that I was planning to buy some property somewhere between Santiago and Puerto Montt. One of the places high on my list was Rancagua as we don't want to live in Santiago but would like to have access if we're sick of the boonies. Until of course I found an older thread here in which Pax stated that he had lived in Rancagua when he moved to Chile and suffice to say that his general description of the place was less than kind.

So here it goes - which areas/cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt would you consider to be the safest and rank the highest in terms of quality of life? I don't care much about schools as we don't have children. But I do care about clean water and unpolluted soil, personal safety, some sense of community, low petty and major crime rates if possible, minimal drug trafficking, a few gyms nearby if possible, decent super markets with hopefully some organic food, and last but not least high speed Internet access, you get the idea. Always willing to compromise as we don't expect to find paradise but we certainly do not want to regret the day we moved down there. Internet is definitely important as that's how I do business and being cut off intermittently or for extended amounts of time would be a problem for me. I hope that does not mean we can't live in Chile ;-)

In regards to clean water and soil (and since Pax mentioned arsenic) please see this recent NYT article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... YJ20120124

Very scary!

Anyway, any insights would be appreciated, as always.




Visit, travel the areas for 6 weeks, rent a house for a winter then buy. Deposit the money you saved by buying in the wrong place in my bank account.
It's all about the wine.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby seawolf180 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:29 am

nwdiver wrote:
fahrvergnugen wrote:I mentioned in an earlier thread that I was planning to buy some property somewhere between Santiago and Puerto Montt. One of the places high on my list was Rancagua as we don't want to live in Santiago but would like to have access if we're sick of the boonies. Until of course I found an older thread here in which Pax stated that he had lived in Rancagua when he moved to Chile and suffice to say that his general description of the place was less than kind.

So here it goes - which areas/cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt would you consider to be the safest and rank the highest in terms of quality of life? I don't care much about schools as we don't have children. But I do care about clean water and unpolluted soil, personal safety, some sense of community, low petty and major crime rates if possible, minimal drug trafficking, a few gyms nearby if possible, decent super markets with hopefully some organic food, and last but not least high speed Internet access, you get the idea. Always willing to compromise as we don't expect to find paradise but we certainly do not want to regret the day we moved down there. Internet is definitely important as that's how I do business and being cut off intermittently or for extended amounts of time would be a problem for me. I hope that does not mean we can't live in Chile ;-)

In regards to clean water and soil (and since Pax mentioned arsenic) please see this recent NYT article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... YJ20120124

Very scary!

Anyway, any insights would be appreciated, as always.




Visit, travel the areas for 6 weeks, rent a house for a winter then buy. Deposit the money you saved by buying in the wrong place in my bank account.


Why hurry, make it a year, or two. The best part of your plan may well be the deciding part. Drag it out, enjoy. It's the honetmoon.
Rancagua isn't at all that great, but does have the Andes nearby. Always something up there. I live nearby on the coast and havn't been there in years, kinda avoid it for what thats worth. All those central valley cities certainly have their virtues but could be improved on, unless you are just nuts over wineries, agriculture etc. Their climates are either too hot or cold a lot of the time. Their residents flee to the coast or foot hills every chance they get. Large Chilean cities are generally not too attractive to most foreigners.
I believe that, in general, those that love Chile, live in attractive small cities or towns, of a geography to their liking. Lots of geography to chose from north to south.
But a very personal choice. Take your time. And, you'll compromise allright.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:00 pm

seawolf180 wrote:
Why hurry, make it a year, or two. The best part of your plan may well be the deciding part. Drag it out, enjoy. It's the honetmoon.
Rancagua isn't at all that great, but does have the Andes nearby. Always something up there. I live nearby on the coast and havn't been there in years, kinda avoid it for what thats worth. All those central valley cities certainly have their virtues but could be improved on, unless you are just nuts over wineries, agriculture etc. Their climates are either too hot or cold a lot of the time. Their residents flee to the coast or foot hills every chance they get. Large Chilean cities are generally not too attractive to most foreigners.
I believe that, in general, those that love Chile, live in attractive small cities or towns, of a geography to their liking. Lots of geography to chose from north to south.
But a very personal choice. Take your time. And, you'll compromise allright.


Thanks for that! As there are many areas with their respective micro climates all along Chile's 2600 long coast I would be curious to hear about the most Mediterranean areas. Although Los Lagos for instance sounds like a great match for this old German I am not sure I could put up with all that rain after having lived in SoCal for 20 years.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby nwdiver » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:26 pm

fahrvergnugen wrote:
seawolf180 wrote:
Why hurry, make it a year, or two. The best part of your plan may well be the deciding part. Drag it out, enjoy. It's the honetmoon.
Rancagua isn't at all that great, but does have the Andes nearby. Always something up there. I live nearby on the coast and havn't been there in years, kinda avoid it for what thats worth. All those central valley cities certainly have their virtues but could be improved on, unless you are just nuts over wineries, agriculture etc. Their climates are either too hot or cold a lot of the time. Their residents flee to the coast or foot hills every chance they get. Large Chilean cities are generally not too attractive to most foreigners.
I believe that, in general, those that love Chile, live in attractive small cities or towns, of a geography to their liking. Lots of geography to chose from north to south.
But a very personal choice. Take your time. And, you'll compromise allright.


Thanks for that! As there are many areas with their respective micro climates all along Chile's 2600 long coast I would be curious to hear about the most Mediterranean areas. Although Los Lagos for instance sounds like a great match for this old German I am not sure I could put up with all that rain after having lived in SoCal for 20 years.



The central valley towns are mainly about agribusiness, not very quaint as no matter how well it was built in the past an earthquake comes along and takes it down. A few of the towns around Santa Cruz are nicer, but that’s Wine country so land is not cheap.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:08 pm

patagoniax wrote:.
Another area to consider: the mostly agricultural valley between Limache and Olmue, northeast of Valpo. Access to irrigation water can be an issue, and an expense. Limache is the terminus for the metro/train system. Land there is not cheap, but the winters are rather moderate and there is a lot of sunshine, providing an opportunity to build a passive-solar house if you can direct the construction. Good internet access in that valley from what I have seen in Olmué. Obviously close enough to the RM for what you might need to find in larger cities.


Thanks Paxmeister - that looks really nice - I'll check it out! And feel free to post more pix of attractive looking Chilenas ;-)
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:16 pm

I just found an interesting 'quality of life index' study about Chile:

http://(link cloaking)/6uxd43q

Based on this San Pedro de la Paz apparently ranks pretty high outside of Santiago. Any further insights about that place as nobody here has mentioned it yet (as far as I recall).

Here's also the 'urban' quality of life index:

http://(link cloaking)/6tp84zo

Do you know the best places to live in Chile? You may be surprised by the results of the latest Quality of Urban Life Index (ICVU), which determined the best places to live in Santiago and throughout the regions.

Six Santiago neighborhoods, known locally as comunas, took the first six spots in the national ranking, but among metropolitan regions as a whole, greater Santiago came only fourth. And the picturesque lake-side town of Puerto Varas in the southern heartland received special kudos for quality of life.

The investigation was carried out at one of Chile’s leading universities, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The study follows on the heels of a report compiled by Chilean daily El Mercurio last month, and is considered to be a more thorough assessment of quality of life in Chile, since it takes into account 18 variables within six spheres: work environment; business environment; society and culture; connectivity and mobility; health and environment; and housing.

The best comuna in Chile, according to this study, is the eastern Santiago district of Vitacura, which scored a 80.56. Following Vitacura are the neighboring Santiago comunas of Las Condes (69.87), Providencia (66.35), Lo Barnechea (59.53), La Reina (57.84) and downtown Santiago (55.62). These same high-end Santiago communities similarly placed well in El Mercurio’s study in April.

In the regions outside Santiago, the best-ranked comunas are in Puerto Varas (54.67), the coastal resort Concón (53.67), mining center Copiapó (51.02), northern port Iquique (49.45) and the gateway to the Antarctica, Punta Arenas (48.60).

Among metropolitan cities, Antofagasta scored the highest ICVU at 48.38, followed by the metropolitan areas of Puerto Montt-Puerto Varas (46.19), Iquique-Alto Hospicio (422.12), Coquimbo-La Serena (44.09), Greater Santiago (43.26), and Rancagua-Machalí (43.16).

“The importance of using the Quality of Urban Life Indicator and of the analysis that it uncovers is that it allows authorities and the population in general to evaluate the importance of public and private investment, so as to better focus resources in those areas of the cities and neighborhoods where they are most needed, as a way of increasing the quality of life for its inhabitants,” said the president of the Urban Committee of the Chilean Construction Congress, Fernando Herrera.
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:47 pm

I just wanted to resurrect this thread. Anyone else have any thoughts on the statistics quoted above? Thanks!!!
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby john » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:56 pm

patagoniax wrote:
fahrvergnugen wrote:I just wanted to resurrect this thread. Anyone else have any thoughts on the statistics quoted above? Thanks!!!


Any study that lists Rancagua in consideration for "quality of life" needs to be ignored. There is no there, there.


A sister city of Oakland, CA? :wink:
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:57 pm

patagoniax wrote:
fahrvergnugen wrote:I just wanted to resurrect this thread. Anyone else have any thoughts on the statistics quoted above? Thanks!!!


Any study that lists Rancagua in consideration for "quality of life" needs to be ignored. There is no there, there.


LOL - I saw that :-)
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby fahrvergnugen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:59 pm

john wrote:
patagoniax wrote:
fahrvergnugen wrote:I just wanted to resurrect this thread. Anyone else have any thoughts on the statistics quoted above? Thanks!!!


Any study that lists Rancagua in consideration for "quality of life" needs to be ignored. There is no there, there.


A sister city of Oakland, CA? :wink:


Jeeezes - it's THAT bad? I remember Oakland from when I was living in the Bay Area. Kaiser Permanente offered me a pretty juicy IT job and I wound up rejecting the offer once I became familiar with the 'realities on the ground' :x
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Re: Best cities between Santiago and Puerto Montt

Postby wendyann » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:48 pm

Copiapo? Why do they say the quality of life is so good there? I know it's growing like crazy, but it seems to me as if that's purely a matter of the simple fact that that's where the mines are. It's certainly got nice areas, but they are mixed together with the, shall we say, not so nice ones. I can see investing there, maybe, but voluntarily living, without some specific reason to be there? The scenery is gorgeous, though.

Any thoughts on the Talca area?
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