Nestled at the foot of the snow-covered Andes, Santiago was often overlooked en route to farther-flung destinations like Patagonia or the Atacama Desert. Today, it’s boom times in the modern, cosmopolitan Chilean capital. It's where past meets present with colonial architecture and shiny skyscrapers, shady parks and nearby ski slopes, traditional markets and a burgeoning food scene, pre-Columbian art and avant-garde galleries—all in a delightfully warm climate that nourishes a thriving wine industry.