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  • Address: Antonia López de Bello, Región Metropolitana, Santiago, Chile

Santiago ATTRACTIONS See all

La Vega Central Tours

While the salmon-colored Mercado Central building is a self-contained, orderly area with impressive wrought-iron architecture and orderly seating areas, La Vega is anything but. This is Santiago’s main market for the purchase of fruit, vegetables, and meat, and also disposable containers and bags, items made of wicker, and even some terra cotta dishes from the nearby town of Pomaire. But most visitors come here for the controlled chaos, the bustle, and of course, to spy some foods you might not find at home. 

Different areas are home to different kinds of foods, with a wholesale berry section, an area of Peruvian goods (where you’ll find sweet potatoes and purple corn), and even an area just for hot peppers, including merquén, a spicy smoky mix of hot pepper with cilantro seeds and salt.

There’s a method to the madness at the Vega, in that you usually stand in front of a stand, and when the vendor looks at you, say what you’d like, a kilo of this or that. So if you want a kilo of avocados (and trust me, you do), you’d say, “quiero un kilo de palta.” Or just point to the avocados, and hold up a single finger. Quicker than you can whip out your cash, the seller will have your avocadoes in a plastic bag, tied at the top, and will already be helping the next customer.

Practical Info

Come in the morning to mid-afternoon for the most activity and the most open stands. Wear closed toe shoes due to crowding and as in any busy area, keep a hand on valuables.

Tours & Tickets

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Santiago Walking Tour: Food Tastings and Markets Including Lunch, Santiago, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Santiago Walking Tour: Food Tastings and Markets Including Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 37 Reviews

Watch vendors holler and shoppers bargain in the bustling markets of Mercado Central and La Vega during this 4-hour food-and-market walking tour of Santiago. ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.00
Experience Santiago: Private Food Markets Tour with Cooking Demo and Homemade Lunch, Santiago, Food ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Experience Santiago: Private Food Markets Tour with Cooking Demo and Homemade Lunch

Get a taste of Chile’s culinary culture and cuisine on this private tour of Santiago’s food markets, plus a hands-on cooking demonstration and seasonal meal in ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.00
Santiago Like a Local: Private Walking Tour with Coffee, Markets, Street Food and San Cristobal ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Santiago Like a Local: Private Walking Tour with Coffee, Markets, Street Food and San Cristobal Hill

4 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

On this private walking tour, experience Santiago like a true local -- a Santiaguiño -- as you explore boutique shops, food markets and diverse ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $86.00
Private Full-Day Bike Tour of Santiago, Santiago, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Bike Tour of Santiago

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Get a street-level view of Santiago’s historic sites, neighborhoods, and parks on a 6-hour, private bicycle tour. This full-day Santiago tour follows bike ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $140.00

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