Paseo Ahumada, at the southwest corner of the Plaza de Armas, and its sister street Paseo Huérfanos, which bisects Paseo Ahumada a block away, are bustling pedestrian walkways that offer the visitor a good feel for downtown Santiago and the people who work there. Dozens of newspaper kiosks, musicians, and street performers entertain passersby who race to and fro the almost continual line of shops and restaurants. It can get frenzied during the lunch hour here; when it does, keep an eye on your belongings.
Coffee with Legs -- Downtown Santiago is home to a curious phenomenon known as Café con Piernas ("Coffee with Legs"), cafes manned by waitresses done up in skimpy ensembles and thick makeup, serving ogling businessmen from behind a stand-up bar. Café Haiti (tel. 2/737-4323; locations at Ahumada 140 and 336, Huérfanos 769, and Bandera 335) and Café Caribe (tel. 2/695-7081; locations at Ahumada 120 and Huérfanos 796, 945, and 1164) are local institutions and tamer affairs than otherwise raunchier versions (recognizable by darkened windows and men sheepishly slinking in or out the door). Café Haiti and Café Caribe are patronized by women as well as men.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.