Attractions Near SantiagoIf you travel to Santiago de Chile you will find not only beautiful buildings, museums, or shopping centers, but also a variety of places to visit near the city, including ski centers, national parks, patrimony towns, amongst other options. You can visit most of these places in a tour or you can also rent a car and go by yourself.
Archeological and religious attractions
- Santa Teresa de los Andes Sanctuary: located 70 km to the north of Santiago, in Auco town, within this temple rest the remains of the first Chilean saint. The town has picnic areas, cafés and a store where books and religous images are sold.
- Templo Votivo de Maipú: Inside this temple located 16 km. west from Santiago there's the shrine to the Virgen del Carmen, considered Chile's patron saint after the victory in The Battle of Maipu, in April 5th 1818 fought for Independencia. At the side of temple is the Museo del Carmen which has a colection of colonial furniture, religous images and historical documents.
- Pukará de Chena: It's an Incan construcction from the XVth century located through the "Ruta 5 Sur" road that crosses the Chena Hill, 13 kilometers from Santiago. It was originally conceived as a fortress and garrison for Incan troops given its location at the top of the hill which granted complete control over the valley next to Maipu River.
Nearby cities and towns
- Valparaíso: This city is Chile's main commercial port, capital city of the fifth region and the official seat of the parliament. It is located 120 kilometers to the North West of Santiago and it most recognizable features is the densely populated hills which use an old lift system. Featured places are the National Congress, el Muelle Prat, Ascensor Artillería, Plaza Sotomayor, Paseo 21. Los lugares más destacados son el Congreso Nacional, el Muelle Prat, el Ascensor Artillería, la Plaza Sotomayor, Paseo 21 de Mayo, “La Sebastiana” museum, Pablo Neruda's house and the Arturo Prat Naval Museum.
- Viña del Mar: It's the main beach throughout the central coastline, located 120 km. West from Santiago; it is also called "Ciudad Jardin" (literally: Garden City). Apart from it's popular beaches Caleta Abarca, Acapulco, Las Salinas and Reñaca, you can also find other places to visit, like Laguna Sausalito, Palacio Rioja Museum, Plaza José Francisco Vergara, Nationa Botanic Garden, and EnjoCasino & Resort.
- Los Andes: It's a town located 81 km. North of Santiago. One of its highlights is the Archeological Museum, the rides on "victorias" and its original pottery. There's also the Monasterio del Espírity Santo (or Holy Ghost Monatery) which dates back to 1923. Nowadays serves as an office to the Religous Historical Museum which preserves historical testimonies of the life of Santa Teresa de los Andes.
- Curacaví: Located at 47 km. fron Santiago, this town is one of the main producers of "chicha" and sweet bread rolls across de country.
- Pomaire: It's located at 61 km. from Santiago. The town preserves customary traditions of the Central Valley through clay craftwork and native cuisine. The "empanada de Pomaire" is a very popular dish from this town.
- San José de Maipo: It's a little town located 25 km. from Santiago at the riverside of Maipo River. The town stands out by its many adobe and straw buildings and the parish church tha dates back to 1798. It is also worth getting to know the San José de Maipo railroad station, built between 1906 and 1914 and specially designed for the train travelling back and forth Puente Alto and El Volcán towns. On this town there's also the Biblioteca Municipal and the Salón Cultural.
- Buin: Located 33 km South of Santiago, Buin is a populer town of the Central Vallet which is characterized by its craftwork, horitculture, fruit growing and resturants offering native dishes.
Trekking - Flora and Fauna (For more information: Trekking Guide and Flora and Fauna Guide):
The bordering area near Santiago, especially the Andean mountainside it's an ideal place for trekking as well staring and contemplating nature and its diversity.
- Lago Peñuelas National Reserve: It's an artificial reservoir sited at 94 km. West from Santiago on the way to "Ruta 68". It's surrounded by different forest species and native birds like ducks and eagles.
- El Morado Natural Monument: located 93 km South West from Santiago by the G-25 route and covers the Morales River territory and its surrounding hills. This reserve features El Morado Hill and Lagoon and the San Francisco glacier. Landscapes within are perfect for hikking, trekkin, ice climbing and mountaineering.
- Río Clarillo National Reserve: Placed within Pirque District, 45 km South East from Santiago. It's the last place ofshelter of Sclerophyllforest across Central Valley. It features abundant wildlife, ideal for talking a walk and contemplate its inspiring landscapes and also to have time to do some picnic and trekking.
- Yerba Loca Nature Sanctuary: located the on 15th curve marker on the road to Farellones, this sanctuary is made by a blending of native and foreign wildlife. Its lands cover a stream surrounded by hills, available for climbing, and La Paloma glacier. You can also practise trekkinge, do some camping and watch nature.
- AculeoLagoon: extendes over an area of 40 square km, located 68 km. South West from Santiago and. There you can find a group of old houses dating back the XVIIIth century, also named "casa de Pintué". Also, there's great abundance of native bird species inhabitting two small island or on the lagoon's swampy shores.
- Santuario de la Naturaleza El Arrayán: El Arrayán, Lo Barnecha District, entrance fee is 1500 CL per visitor.
- El Manzano: located 32 km. South East from Santiago on the G.25 route, it's a stream surrounded by low bushes such as Boldos and "Litre" (or by its scientific name Lithraea caustica), a well-known native tree that causes skin rash just by touching it or by mere friction.
- Alto del Naranjo: located on the road to Farellones, within the Contrafuertes Cordilleranos Ecological Reserve.
- Cerro Pochoco: It's a 1805 meter hight on El Arrayán valley, in Santiago. Has a clear walkpath for visitors to cross.
Mountaneering (See more in our Mountaineering Guide)
Chile's Andean Range is about 4200 kilomoters long with heights surpassing the 6800 meters and many of its summits remain unexplored. These mountains and hills throughout the Central Valley are most valued by professional mountaneers.
- El PlomoHill: Measuring 5,424 meters in height it's the highest mountain across Santiago. It has always an attraction to mountaineers who wish to reach its heights overlooking the valley and the Andean Range.
- Juncal Hill: It's a 6100 meters height entrenched on the surroundings of Leones river, in the Fifth Region, bordering with Argentina.Its northern slope is very steep and is always covered with snow and it has four summits, two of them shared with the eastern country.
- San José Volcano: It's located 100 km. East from Santiago. Has a maximun height of 5856 meters with a view over the whole valley around El Volcán valley.
- MarmolejoVolcano: It's next San José. It has a height if 6100 meters and has a glacier 20 km. long.
- Tupungato Volcano: Though its surrounding landscapes are much more attractive than the ones found in Acocangua, this volcano measuring 6550 meters in height is not climbed much often. A long walkpath leading to base camp and the enourmous amount of difference in altitude during the last stages, compare this apparently easy ascent to a tour across the Himalayas.
Rock Climbing(See more in Rock Climbing)
The goal of this sports is to climb solid rock walls with nothing more than you feet and hands. Broadly speaking, there are two types of climbing: Traditional Rock-Climbing and Sport Climbing. Next, are places in Santiago where you can practise this fascinating sport:
- Las Palestras: They are in Manzano locality, 32 km. away from Santiago and become visible from the road to San Jose de Maipo. The place has 30 routes, all of them with a length and difficulty ranging from 5.4 to 5.13.
- Torrecillas: Located in El Manzano stream, 32 km. from Santiago. In order to get there you need to access through the country estate paying an entrance fee. The walk is, at least, 2 hourse long, we recommend you to go for more than one day, well equipped and with plenty of water. There are around 30 routes with degrees of difficulty varying between 5.9 and 5.12. What's interesting about Torrencillas the routes have different lenghts which can reach great climbs of up to 50 meters.
- Piedra Rommel: Two huge stones placed on the side of El Manzano stream nexto the picnic area of the country estate bearing the same name. In Piedra Rommel there are 10 available routes each one with climbs of 10 meters in length and difficulty level ranging from 5.8 up to 5.12.
- Las Chilcas: These enourmous rocks are located 80 km. North from Santiago, next to "5 Norte" road. They have about 80 equipped routes with difficulty levels ranging from 5.8 up to 5.13, posing quite a challenge to climbers both Chilean and from abroad.
Kayak(See more in Sea Kayak Guideand White Water Kayak Guide)
Although most people associate Kayaking with vertigo and speed breaking through white waters across downstream rapids, this sport can also be practiced in the calmed waters of coasts and lakes. Some of the places you can practice this sport in Santiago are:
- Maipo River: It is found in Melocoton area, 22 km. from Guayacan farmhouse. The ideal season for going down the rapids is during Summer and Spring. Rapids in this river are class III and IV.
- Rapel Lake: Located 145 km. South West from Santiago, Rapel is the largest artificial lake from the country. Most activities are done on the Southern shore of the Cachapoal inlet where you can find most camping areas, hostels and private clubs.
- Caren Lagoon: It's 18 km. West from Santiago through "Ruta 68" road. Surrounded by eucalyptus and hawthorn forests, in this lagoon you can practice all kind of aquatic sports. Moreover, you can even do boat rides, picnics or watch nature and its wildlife.
- Aculeo Lagoon: Located 68 km. South West from Santiago, it stretches over an area of 40 km. square meters where you can do any aquatic activity you wish: swimming, windsurf, kayaking and waterskiing.
- El Yeso Reservoir: It's a drinking water resrvoir located 70 km. South East from Santiago, at 3000 meters height.
Paragliding(See more in our Paragliding Guide)
Paragliding is considered an extreme sport par excellence. A paraglider is an ultra light parachute for foot-launched flights. Its flight aerodynamics are consecuence of the movement of airflows. Recommended places to practice this sport are:
- Batuco: In the North of Santiago, entering "5 Norte" road.
- Colina: 32 km. North from Santiago, Colina es is small agricultural town.
- Vizcachas: area located at the beginning of G-25 route in Cajón del Maipo.
- Cachagua: Located in the Fifth Region, on the E-30 road, 70 km. North from Valparaiso.
- Maitencillo: In Valparaiso, Fifth Region.
- Algarrobo: South from Valparaiso, Fifth Region.
Fishing(See more information in our Fishing Guide)
- Lake Rapel: located 145 km. South West from Santiago, its recreational activity is concentrated mostly on the southern shore of Cachapoal inlet. In this place you'll find everything you need from campings, hostels and private clubs. Also, you'll find lots of silverside fishes in this lake for you to fly fish.
- Aculeo Lagoon: Located 68 kilómetros from Santiago, it has an area of 40 square km. and, on its waters, you can fish mainly yellow perch.
- Peñuelas Lake National Reserve: found at a distance of 94 km from Santiago, travelling through Ruta 68 road. It's an artificial reservoir built at the end of the 19th century where you can only do fishing on the shore. Sailing is not allowed.
- El Yeso Reservoir: Drinking water reservoiur located 70 km. South West from Santiago, at an altitud of 3000 meters high. Its waters have a turquoise color.
Skiing(See more information in our Skiing Guide)
- Portillo: It is the oldest ski center in South America located at 149 km north from Santiago, near the border with Argentina. It has 23 excelent ski slopes suited for any skiers ability level, Gear rent shop, hotels, restaurants and ski schools, amongst others.
- El Colorado-Farellones: Placed at 39 km East from Santiago. It has 22 tracks designed at the hillside of Colorado, 18 cable ferries, apart hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, gear rental and a ski school.
- La Parva: Located at 41 km. East from Santiago, this ski center has 14 ski slopes, 14 cable ferries, condos, cafeteria, restaurants, gear rental shop and a ski school.
- Valle Nevado: Located at 60 km. East from Santiago is the most recent available ski center in the country. It has 31 tracks suited for every skiing ability leve, 11 cable ferries -featuring one highspeed chair-, restaurants, cafeteria, gear rental, ski school, heliskiing, condos and hotels.
- Lagunillas: This little center is located 65 km. South West from Santiago. It's equipped with 13 tracks, 4 cable ferries and also a mountain refuge, cafeteria, gear rental and a ski school.
Mountain Biking(See more in our Montainbike Guide)
- Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo: Located 45 km South West from Santiago, in Pirque District.
- Yerba Loca Natural Sanctuary: Located on curve 15th on the road to Farellones, it's a perfect setting to practice mountainbike.
- El Arrayán Natural Sanctuary: Placed within El Arrayan, Lo Barnechea District, Santiago.
- Laguna Aculeo: Located 68 km. from Santiago, you can bike around the shorelines.
- El Yeso Reservoir: Located at 70 km. South West from Santiago 3000 meters of altitude (9842 ft).
- Valle Nevado: 60 km away from Santiago this is the most recently built sky center across the country. It is mosly visited during summer, where it welcomes its visitors with tracks, courts and cable ferries.
- Lagunillas: This little ski center is also ideal for mountainbiking during summer.
Rafting(See more in our Rafting Guide)
- Maipo River: Located in the area of Melocoton, 22 km. from Guayacan farmhouse. Spring and Supper are perfect for doing descents. Remember that El Maipo river is class III and IV.
Windsurf(See more in our Windsurf Guide)
- Aculeo Lagoon: Located 68 km Southwest of Santiago, it has a surface area of 40 km2, which are ideal for windsurfing due to the afternoon wind.
Horseback Riding (See more in our Guía de Cabalgata)
- Monumento Natural El Morado: located at 93 km. South West from Santiago, by the G-25 route. You can rent horses or mules at Baños Morales.
- El Arrayan Natural Sanctuary: Here you can rent hourses at the entrance.
- Yerba Loca Natural Sanctuary: You can rent horses and/or mules at Villa Paulina.