Santiago is a place like no other. The Andes Mountains surrounding the city is a stunning sight for one to see, but being able to see it all together isn’t always an easy feat. While in the city, you’ll occasionally catch a glimpse of the impressive mountain range, but it often surprises you, as if you forget it is there. Which is why during your visit you must venture to higher grounds.
The best view in Santiago has to be one where both the city and Andes Mountains are visible, and for that, there are two special places: Cerro San Cristóbal and Cerro Santa Lucía. Both are parks with more to see than just the view, both feel strangely secluded from the city, and both are have beautiful views of the Santiago. But, which one has the best?
Cerro San Cristóbal
Location: Parque Metropolitan
How to get there: Hike, bike, drive, or take the funicular
Price: $2,000 Chilean Pesos, or just under $4.00 USD, roundtrip on the funicular, there is also a toll fee if you drive up – price depends on the vehicle you are driving
Other attractions: A large statue of Mary overlooks the city of Santiago. There’s also a chapel, gift shops, places to grab a snack, and plenty of pretty flowers.
The View: There’s a lot to see from here, as you are relatively high up. The day I visited, unfortunately, it wasn’t so clear, and the smog impacted my view a bit. Still, the Andes Mountains were impressive towering over the cityscape, even if capturing the beauty was a bit more difficult than I anticipated.
Cerro Santa Lucía
Location: Santa Lucia and Av. O’Higgins
How to get there: Walk
Other Attractions: The park is full of fountains, statues, and buildings that look as if they belong to a castle. It’s fun to walk around and admire what’s there.
The view: Not as high as Cerro San Cristóbal, so the views are a bit different. The buildings are more in focus and the mountains are clear behind them. Here, you don’t get a full understanding of how large the city is or how the mountains entirely surround it.
For me, the best view in Santiago, is Cerro Santa Lucía. Not only could I have spent my entire day here, but I felt that I could get a better grasp on the city, along with its proximity to the Andes from this viewpoint over that of Cerro San Cristóbal. Sure, it isn’t as high, and you can’t see the whole city, but for me, it was ideal. It’s more like visiting the Top of the Rock in Manhattan, whereas Cerro San Cristóbal’s view is like that at the top of the Empire State Building.
Even so, I still think that a trip up to Cerro San Cristóbal is one that everyone who visits Santiago should make. It’s beautiful and a nice escape from the city. Plus, there’s enough to see at the top, including Mary, that you will be satisfied with your trip.
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