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San Cristóbal: a delightful walk on the heights of Santiago


The bravest can ignore the cable car to Pio Nono street and climb the 860-metrehill, which offers a unique and spectacular view of the Chilean capital.

Chileans have turned this nugget of the Bellavista neighbourhood into a veritable cult. Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass here in 1987 and at the top, a monumental statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception embraces the horizon with a majesty that evokes the Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro.

From here, the city gracefully yields its landmarks, surrounded by the snowy mountain ranges of the Andes and the Costa. With their thousands of annual visitors, several snack bars and a handful of souvenir shops encourage shopping while offering refreshments. Halfway up is the Chilean National Zoo, famous for the quality of its facilities and its very protective philosophy towards native species of the continent.

Here you will meet the Magellan fox, the condor, the pudú, and the flamingo. There are also penguins, for which the natural environment has been restored in part.

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