WHERE TO GO IN SANTIAGO AND SURROUNDINGS
Parque Metropolitano: (Metropolitan Park)
It is the largest urban park in Chile and is located in the hills of San Cristóbal, Chacarillas, Los Gemelos and the Tupahue secrotrs, Lo Saldes, La Pirámide y Bosque Santiago. It has more than 720 acres and within its attractions are the Metropolitan Zoo, the Santuario Inmaculada Concepción, the Funicular Railway, the Teleférico Metropolitano, different themed gardens, hiking trails, the Pablo Neruda Amphitheatre, a restaurant and much more.
Barrio Bellavista: (Bellavista Neighborhood)
One of the bohemian neighborhoods of Santiago and has restaurants, theaters, bars, clubs and shops to visit during the weekends. It also has beautiful turn of the century architecture and restaurants that stand out for their particular world cuisine.
Here you can also find one of the houses of the poet Pablo Neruda, "La Chascona", which is used as a museum.
Bellavista is one of the entrances to the Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park) where the funicular railway takes you to the zoo and to the Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepción.
Zoológico Metropolitano: (Metropolitan Zoo)
Located in Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park), within Cerro San Cristobal, it has a surface area of 4.9 acres and a collection of more than 158 native and exotic species. Among its attractive features are an aviary with walkways and an amphitheater where you can enjoy live entertainment.
It is the most famous park in the city of Santiago and is located in the heart of the downtown area, between Lastarria and Estación Mapocho (Mapocho Station). Within it are the Museo de Bellas Artes de Santiago (Museum of Fine Arts of Santiago) and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art). It is a beautiful tour where some weekends you can find a craft fair to buy souvenirs.
Close to Parque Forestal you find Barrio Lastarria which is a beautiful neighborhood with neoclassical architecture, designer shops, modern gastronomy, museums, cinemas, bookstores and music stores, with a quiet and residential style, but an active bohemian life.
It is another of the neighborhoods that stands out for its designer shops, gastronomy, art spaces, bookstores and outdoor activities such as bike rides, lectures, among others. It is located on Avenida Santa Isabel (Santa Isabel Avenue), in the neighborhood of Providencia.
Palacio de La Moneda:
It is the government palace in Chile, headquarters of the Ministerio del Interior, Secretaría general de la Presidencia, Secretaría General de Gobierno y Ministerio del Desarrollo (Social Ministry, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government and Ministry of Social Development). The building was built to be the Casa de Moneda in colonial times, designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca.
In 1845 it became the Governmental Palace, which was also the residence of the presidents until 1958.
Currently, opposite the Moneda you can find the Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda (Cultural Center of La Moneda), a cultural center where art exhibitions are held, there is a film library, free cultural workshops and other activities related with arts and culture. It features famous restaurants and cafés with typical modern designs.
Parque Bicentenario: (Bicentennial Park)
Newly opened, it is located in the commune of Vitacura. It has 30 acres surrounding the Mapocho River. It has more than 4,000 trees, an artificial lagoon for water sports, biking and running trails and outdoor spaces for sports and recreation.
Cerro Santa Lucía:
The Santa Lucía Hill called Cerro Huelén by the first inhabitants of the area is another attraction in the downtown of Santiago. Inside you can find the Castillo Hidalgo, a neoclassical building, with viewpoints where you can observe the city and some thematic gardens, including the Jardin Japones (Japanese garden).
It was declared a National Monument in 1983.
Mercado Central: (Central Market)
It is housed in a beautiful wireframe building with a neoclassical style with patterns in wrought iron, decorated pillars and arches supporting the roof. It was opened in 1872 and currently hosts several restaurants with typical food and seafood such as fish and shellfish as well as some fruit, vegetables and traditional Chilean craft stands.
This is the nickname given to the major financial and commercial district of the capital, located on the border of Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura communes. Here are more than 50 office towers and currently the Costanera Center, a large complex that includes the largest shopping center in South America, two 5 star hotels and 2 twin towers. The central building, the Gran Torre Santiago, is the tallest commercial building in Latin America, with 300 meters and 70 stories high.
Pueblito de Los Dominicos:
It is a well known craft center that brings together a great quantity of Chilean artisans and has 160 local stands made of mud and straw. Here you can buy all kinds of hand-crafted products like wood, wicker, clay, wool fabrics, leather work, silver jewelry and much more.
This town is located 36 kilometers from Santiago, in the middle of the Andes Mountains. During the winter months it is used as a ski center to practice winter sports. Through Farellones it is possible to access El Colorado, another famous ski center in the area.
It is also well known for its archaeological importance by the findings in the Cerro El Plomo, like the famous mummy "Niño del Plomo". Here the Casa de Piedra was also found, a construction possible built by the Aconcagua Culture that can be used as a refuge for adventurers and muleteers.
In turn 17 of the road to Farellones you can find the Santuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca (Nature Sanctuary of Yerba Loca), one of the most important nature reserves in the Metropolitan Region and where various outdoor activities take place, hiking for example.
Santuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca:
This natural area is located between the La Paloma hills to the summit of Cerro El Plomo. It is considered a National Monument and has forests, a botanical garden known as arboretum, camping areas, five trails and the possibility to access the hanging glaciers of La Paloma and El Altar Hills.
It is home to a lot of native wildlife such as different kinds of rodents, reptiles, eagles, peregrine falcons, tiuques, vultures and condors.
Santuario de la Naturaleza: (Natural Sanctuary)
It is located in the sector of El Arrayàn, east of Santiago. It is a natural reserve that has waterways, trails and camping areas to relax and enjoy fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching and other activities.
It is one of the most important ski centers in the central zone and is located 46 kilometers away from Santiago and 3,300 meters of altitude above sea level. It is located on the slopes of Cerro El Plomo and has an excellent tourist infrastructure with hotels, modern ski slopes, specialty shops, equipment rental and more. It is one of the biggest major attractions during the winter months in Santiago.
Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo: (Rio Clarillo National Reserve)
This national reserve is located in the commune of Pirque, south of Santiago, and into the Clarillo River, between 850 and 3050 meters above sea level. It has more than 13,000 acres of surface. It has trails, picnic areas and bathing areas to enjoy the refreshing waters of the Clarillo River, especially during the summer.
Cajón del Maipo:
The Cajón del Maipo is located in the southeast of the Metropolitan Region, approximately 60 kilometers away from Santiago. It is a mountainous area, irrigated by several rivers such as the Maipo River, El Colorado and El Yeso, among others.
It is one of the ideal places for lovers of the outdoors, since it has camping areas, places for hiking, climbing, canopy, rafting, horseback riding and much more. It also has areas of hot springs in the vicinity of the San José de Maipo volcano, located near the town of San Gabriel.
It has many interesting places to visit and enjoy the mountains throughout the year.
San José de Maipo:
It is the most important town of Cajon del Maipo and the capital of the commune. There are several shops and squares where during the weekends you can enjoy samples of craft products made in the area, plus delicious traditional cuisine such as homemade bread, tortillas, kuchenes and much more.
This tranquil town has various accommodation alternatives which allow you to feel comfortable in a natural and peaceful environment, as well as different alternatives to taste delicious local products like hot chocolate, kuchen, and dried nuts among others.
Also in this area it is possible to see the Tinoco Tunnel, a historical monument reminiscent of the old days of the railway that travelled around this place.
In this town you can see the rocky slopes of the mountains, you can go horseback riding that go deep into the mountains and enjoy the winter snow that accumulates in the boulders of this place.
Embalse El Yeso:
This is the area where the Embalse El Yeso is found, which is a large deposit of emerald green waters with a depth of approximately 55 meters. It is located more than 2,000 meters in altitude and enables you to do all kinds of water activities such as fishing and wind surfing. In the surroundings you can camp and enjoy the mountain.
This area was declared a National Monument and is administered by CONAF. It is located at more than 3000 meters of altitude and brings together two glaciers: El San Francisco and El Morado Glacier, which can be reached by hiking during the summer months and with the right equipment.
Here we also find the Laguna and Cerro El Morado, a famous peak of over 5,000 meters of altitude.
Lagunillas is found by taking a detour to the left of Cajon del Maipo sector following Route G 355. This brings us to the Centro Invernal Lagunillas, an attractive ski resort that features a complete infrastructure to enjoy the snow and its activities during the winter.
In summer, you can make descents in mountain bikes through its paths, hiking or just watch the stunning scenery that can be seen at 2200 meters of altitude.
This small town is at more than 2,000 meters of altitude and has thermal pools with healing waters. They can be visited during the summer.
This town is one of the most remote of Cajon del Maipo, at over 3,500 meters of altitude. Here you can enjoy natural pools directly from the rock, surrounded by spectacular mountain sceneries.