Rising from the heart of Santiago is the scenic peak of San Cristobal Hill (Cerro San Cristóbal). The 2,280-foot-tall (860-metre) hilltop offers unbeatable views across Santiago and out toward the breathtaking Andes mountain range. Cerro San Cristóbal is the highlight of Parque Metropolitano, Santiago’s largest urban park. Enjoy its landscaped green spaces, swimming pools, a zoo and kids’ playgrounds.
Ride a funicular to the Terraza Bellavista lookout at the summit. The railway car departs up steep tracks from Plaza Caupolican, at the Bellavista entrance to Parque Metropolitano. If you are feeling energetic, make the 90-minute walk to the lookout from Plaza Caupolican.Enjoy sweeping views of Santiago’s cityscape and surrounding countryside, including glimpses of snowy Andean mountain peaks. Visit around sunset to marvel as darkness descends on the city and lights turn on.
Check out the white-washed 72-foot-tall (22-metre) statue of the Virgin Mary. The iconic Santiago landmark is visible from all over the city. At the base of the statue is a small chapel where Pope John Paul II once gave mass.
Follow the walking trails leading from the lookout to discover manicured gardens and picnic spots. Relax amid the cherry trees, lotus flowers and ornamental ponds of the Japanese Garden. Visit the well-maintained public swimming pools, which are ideal for cooling off during hot summer days.
See more than 150 animals, including the endangered South American pudú deer, at the Chile National Zoo. Find slides and climbing frames at the Parque Bicentenario de la Infancia adventure playground.
To get to San Cristóbal Hill, catch public buses or the metro to Parque Metropolitano. Access to the park and hilltop is available from Santiago’s Barrio Bellavista neighbourhood and the suburb of Providencia.
San Cristóbal Hill and Parque Metropolitano are open daily, including public holidays. Admission to the hill and park is free. Separate fees apply for the funicular, swimming pools and zoo. There’s also a fee when entering the park with a vehicle. Find full details on the official website of Parque Metropolitano.