A postcard from Cerro San Cristóbal


Santiago is surrounded by towering snowcapped mountains. This sounds like an ideal city backdrop, and it may be in the summer. Unfortunately, smog gets trapped in the city during the winter months, obscuring what might otherwise be a stunning vista.

Even with a substandard view, Cerro San Cristóbal is an easy and cheap way to spend a few hours. A ride up the old funicular is a fun little ascent and a touch of living history in this thoroughly modern city.

The mirador sits 485 meters above the city, and offers potentially great views, depending on the weather. There’s a museum, a zoo, snack and souvenir shops, and of course the ever present stray dogs of Chile.

How to get there The funicular leaves from Plaza Caupolicán in Pío Nono, Bellavista. Or, if you’re up to it, you can walk to the summit from the same point.
Cost CH$1300 per person.
Hours 1-8 p.m. Mon, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tues-Sun

7 thoughts on “A postcard from Cerro San Cristóbal

  1. I’ll be in Santiago at the end of December – maybe I’ll make it up Cerro San Cristóbal and let you know if the view is any better during the summer. It’s really too bad how much smog ruins otherwise beautiful scenery! It’s the same in Los Angeles, though perhaps not quite as dire as your picture shows.

    • I hope it is clearer! It should be. You should definitely take a side trip to Valparaiso too, if you haven’t been. It’s one of the most interesting cities I’ve been to, not only just in South America.

      • Really? I’ve heard good things about Valparaíso, but I’m not much of a beach person. That said, I’m only in Santiago for a few hours for a layover – I’m not sure I’ll be able to do anything in the city besides get some lunch, let alone make it to another town. I’d love to plan a real trip to Santiago though for the future so thanks for the itinerary suggestion!

      • Valparaiso is on the coast, but it’s not really a beach city. It’s known for really beautiful and strange public artwork and interesting architecture, among other things. If you get a chance to go one day, you absolutely should.

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