As car ownership grows, so does the traffic. Whenever possible, avoid rush hour (7:30–9 a.m. and 6–8:00 p.m.). During the summer months of January and February, many Santiaguinos head to the coast, leaving the city delightfully “empty.” Many restaurants close mid-February for vacation. Santiago is generally a safe city, but pickpocketing can happen in crowded areas. Leave your bling in the hotel, be discreet with your phone and camera, and always be aware of your belongings.