The best view of Santiago

Cerro San Cristóbal is hard to overlook: this landmark hill, located in the heart of the city, is an integral part of the Santiago skyline. The views from Terraza Bellavista on top of the hill, some 300 metres above the city, are truly phenomenal. On clear days one can see the snowy peaks of the Andes Mountains.

The statue of the Virgin Mary

The statue of the Virgin Mary

A mountain of attractions

In addition to having a fabulous view, Cerro San Cristóbal offers a number of other attractions. In the summer, visitors flock here to enjoy the 2 outdoor swimming pools. Children also enjoy the Parque Bicentenario de la Infancia (Bicentenary Children’s Park) which was inaugurated in 2012. This amusement park offers tree huts, water attractions and a funicular. Halfway down the hill is also a zoo. It is a small zoo but worth a visit to admire the pudu, the world’s smallest deer species and Chile’s national mascot. The Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción, a 14-metre-high statue of the Virgin Mary, is the symbol of the mountain. A small chapel lies at the foot of the statue’s 8-metre-high pedestal.

Ascending the hill by funicular

There are several ways to reach the top of Cerro San Cristóbal, but the funicular ride is one of the most enjoyable. The cable car departs from the Bellavista district; the boarding point is at Plaza Caupolicán at the north end of Pío Nono. Halfway up the hill it makes a brief stop at the zoo. Those who enjoy a workout may also walk to the top. There also used to be a gondola to the top, but that service has been suspended indefinitely. It is not clear whether it will be repaired or completely replaced.

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