What to do near Santiago: the best adventure tourism activities in the central area

From north to south, Chile is an ideal country for adventure tourism and Santiago is not the exception. Near the capital there are several mountains, rivers and nature reserves where you can perform outdoor activities and get in touch with nature.

Here are the best panoramas to escape from Santiago on a weekend:

  1. Climbing the San José Volcano

Just 2 hours and 30 minutes far from Santiago is the San José Volcano, an imposing volcano of 5,856 meters high whose summit is reached in a time of 3 to 4 days. Located on the border between Chile and Argentina in the middle of the Andes mountain range, it is one of the most challenging treks in the Metropolitan region due to the climate in the area and the high altitude puna. It is recommended to go between October and May.

  1. Rafting on the Maipo River

Descending the Maipo River  is one of the best activities to do near Santiago if you are an adrenaline lover. Its intense class 3 and 4 rapids are raffled in a one-hour course that also includes a waterfall of 5 meters in height.

  1. Knowing the Andean Juncal Park

The Andean Juncal Park, located in the Aconcagua Valley, is a private protected area that hosts estuaries, wetlands, glaciers and a wide variety of native and endemic species of flora and fauna. It is an excellent place to watch birds, as well as to trek to places like the Juncal Glacier and the surrounding mountains.  

  1. Trekking to Quebrada de los Cóndores

Peumos, Maitenes, Quillayes, Boldos and other sclerophyllous forest trees in the central area, bordering the Mirador de los Cóndores trail. Located in the Cajón del Maipo, in the sector of the Alfalfal, it is a route that culminates in huge rocks that rise at the intersection of the Aucayes stream drawer with the Colorado river drawer and are the place where condors ( Vultur gryphus) and black eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) nest. It is recommended to avoid weekends or holidays due to the large number of people who visit it.

  1. Birdwatching in the Río Los Cipreses National Reserve

Águilas, kestrels, cachañas, pidenes and tricahue parrots, the latter in danger of extinction, live within the limits of the Río Los Cipreses National Reserve. Birding lovers come to this place to appreciate the wide variety of species that live in their multiple environments.  

  1. See El Yeso Reservoir in the Cajón del Maipo

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santiago. Throughout the year, hundreds of people come to appreciate the incredible turquoise color of its waters, which together with the Andes Mountains range make the perfect postcard for travelers. At an altitude of 3000 meters, the reservoir contains 253 million cubic meters of water. Access by car can be dangerous, it is recommended to go very carefully or to take a tour.

  1. Make an excursion to the El Morado Glacier

An hour and a half far from Santiago is theNatural Monument of El Morado, one of the unmissable protected areas of the central zone. The hike is of medium difficulty and lasts about 2 hours uphill to the glacier and 2.5 downhill if you start from the Choribulder. Due to the climatic conditions the park remains closed between the months of May and September, so it is recommended to visit it from December to March.

  1. Kayak in the Mantagua Mantagua Wetland

The Mantagua wetland is a body of water that serves as a habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna species, including birds. It is estimated that almost 78 species of birds inhabit this place. A good option to enjoy the surroundings is to rent a kayak and walk through nature.

Live the experience

  • El Morado Glacier Tour

    El Morado Glacier Tour12 Hours

    Come to visit the landscapes of the Andes mountain range on a trekking to the Natural Monument El Morado located in Cajón del Maipo,…

    • FromCLP $65.000per person
    • FromUS$94per person