In November 2018 I rested up in Santiago for a couple of days to get over my jetlag before heading to nearby Vina del Mar for work (see coming posts). It was my second time in the capital. I visited back in 2011 and stayed in the rather soulless district of Providencia (posts here) and did a bit of tourism in the Centro Historico (posts here). On this visit I was able to tick off a few more sights. You’ll find everywhere on my map.
A must do for many tourists (hence me skipping it the first time) is a visit to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal to see the statue of Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción, Santiago’s answer to Rio’s Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer, my post here).
You can hike to the top, or if you’re short of time (or lazy like me, it’s quite a walk), take the funicular up. Videos here and here.
The reward at the top is some great views over Santiago. You can just make out the Andes towering over the city at the end of this video, also in the first pic in this post, just under the clouds.
See my later Bellavista post for places to eat when you come back down.
There is a second, smaller hill in the downtown, just east of the Centro Historico, called Cerro Santa Lucia which is actually the remains of an extinct volcano.
In the park at the bottom is an impressive fountain, the Fuente Neptuno.
While at the top is a small fortification called Fort Hidalgo.
The fort’s lookouts have great views over the downtown.
This is the view over to Cerro San Cristóbal. You can just make out the Virgen at the top.
And there’s a canon that’s fired every day at noon.
Although parts of the ascent are quite steep, the hill is only 630m high so most people will be able to walk up.
There are a few places I can recommend to eat and drink in the downtown districts around Cerro Santa Lucia, more of which next…