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Santiago self-guided panoramic city tour

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Santiago from Cerro San Cristobal, Chile

The centre of Santiago is dominated by San Cristobal hill in the Metropolitan Park. The park covers an area of over 700 hectares and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

San Critsobal hill is the highest point and is crowned by a statue of the Virgin Mary which is lit at night and overlooks the city. The summit can be reached on foot, by bike and there is also a funicular railway and a cable car.

A great family friendly half day excursion is to go to the top of San Cristobal hill combining the funicular and the cable car. Here is our handy guide on how to do this.

 

 

Plaza Italia

Start the tour at Plaza Italia. This is an easy walk from hotels in the Lastarria district or you can take the metro to Baquedano Station.

From Plaza Italia cross the river walking into Bellavista district and walk along Pio Nono street for a couple of hundred metres and you will reach a square at the end of the road where a “castle like” building houses the funicular railway station.

Funicular Station, Pio Nono, Santiago, Chile

Funicular station

 

Funicular

The funicular railway operates in summer from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:45. On Mondays from 13:00 to 19:45 except on the first Monday of the month when it is closed.

Tickets are more expensive on the weekend and on public holidays. A combination ticket of funicular plus cable car (teleferico) on a weekend is approximately USD 8 per person. Tickets can be bought on-line.

Prices Funicular, Santiago, Chile

Prices

 

This is a popular outing with locals so on weekends and public holidays you can expect to wait up to an hour in line.

Funicular, Santiago, Chile

Funicular at Pio Nono station

 

The funicular ride in itself takes around 5 minutes with a stop at the zoo on the way up.

On the funicular, Santiago, Chile

Looking uphill

 

 

Summit of San Cristobal Hill

At the summit there are several terraces that lead up to a sanctuary and the statue of the Virgin Mary. There are kiosks that sell coffee and snacks and also public toilets.

Sanctuary and Statue of the Virgin Mary, San Cristobal Hill, Santiago, Chile

The Sanctuary

 

From the different terraces there are great panoramic views. These views will depend on the weather conditions. On a good day you can see the city below you with the Andes mountains in the back ground.

View from San Cristobal Hill, Santiago, Chile

View

 

Here you will find the summit station of the cable car (teleferico), Estacion Cumbre.

Cable car summit station, Santiago, Chile

Estacion Cumbre

 

 

Cable car / teleferico

The current cable cars have been operating since 2016 and each car can carry up to 6 people. There are three stations: the station at the summit of San Cristobal hill, Estacion Cumbre; one near the Tupahue public pool, Estacion Tupahue;  and one at the entrance to the park at the end of Pedro de Valdivia Norte Avenue, Estacion Oasis.

Cable Car, Teleferico, Santiago, Chile

Boarding the cable car

 

There are 47 cars going at an average speed of 18 Kmh.

The cable car operates Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:45.

The ride takes around 10 minutes and offers great views of the city.

On the cable car , Santiago, Chile

In the cable car

 

From the Oasis station it is a short walk to the park entrance which is at the end of Pedro de Valdivia Norte Avenue. Walk along this street for around 200 metres and you will reach the bridge crossing the Mapocho River.

View from cable car before reaching Oasis station, Santiago, Chile

View approaching Oasis Station

 

 

Sculpture Park

Next to the Mapocho River at Pedro de Valdivia bridge is the open-air sculpture park, Parque de Esculturas, which is worth a quick visit. Here you will find a series of interesting sculptures of differing sizes and styles in a well-kept garden setting.

Sculpture Park, Santiago, Chile

Sculpture Park

 

 

Pedro de Valdivia

From the sculpture park you cross the river and continue along Pedro de Valdivia Avenue for a block until your reach Providencia Avenue. Turn right and after walking around 50 metres you will come to Pedro de Valdivia Metro Station. If your hotel is in the Providencia neighbourhood it will be a short walk away.

Pedro de Valdivia with Providencia, Santiago, Chile

Reaching Providencia Avenue

 

 

Other options

You can do the excursion in the reverse direction, starting at Pedro de Valdivia and finishing in Bellavista district. Both Bellavista and Providencia have many places where you can have lunch, so a good option is to do the excursion either before or after lunch. From Bellavista you can take a 10 minute walk to eat fresh fish at the Central market.

Central market, Santiago, Chile

Central market

 

 

Video

You can also watch a video for instructions on this tour.

 

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