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Santiago de Chile


Santiago, founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541, is probably the most "westernized" of all Latin American cities. It is also the capital of Chile. Outside its historical center, it resembles both LA and Toronto in terms of its urban texture: there are several major arteries with heavy traffic and glistening skyscrapers, but these cut through an enormous expanse of low-rise buildings (many just one-story bungalows). Also, much like LA, Santiago is not really one city but a collection of comunas. In fact, the business center has long moved east of the downtown, to areas such as Providencia and Las Condes. This is also where most expats prefer to live.