If you are visiting Santiago in Chile one of the highlights has to be the Cerro San Cristobal. The hill of Cerro San Cristobal can be reached by foot, by car via the road or by riding the funicular. Once you arrive there is a final walk to the summit where you will find the with 22 meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an amphitheater and chapel. The statue measures 14 meters tall, and the pedestal on which it rests, 8.3 meters. This contains a chapel in which John Paul II prayed and blessed the city of Santiago on April 1, 1987.
Cerro San Cristobal is 300m above the rest of Santiago and is a great viewing point for the city skyline and the surrounding mountains. There are many photo opportunities to take advantage of. If you are lucky you could visit after it has rained, as I did, and have a smog free view.
Of course you will find facilities for the hungry and thirsty traveler. Also places to rest and watch the world go by. This is the only place that I have seen and tried something called Mote con huesillo. I urge you to give it a try, it was served ice cold. Mote con huesillo is a traditional Chilean summer-time non-alcoholic drink made from wheat and peaches and often sold in street stands or vendor carts. It is a non-alcoholic beverage consisting of a sweet clear nectar like liquid made with dried peaches (huesillo) cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon, and then once cooled mixed with fresh cooked husked wheat (mote).
A park, a stroll for lovers, and a big tourist destination Cerro San Cristobal offers some commanding views of the City. There is a funicular that takes you all the way up the hill to the statue. A great place to visit at sunset when the combination of the setting sun and the views are pretty spectacular. There is no charge to enter this area.
Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in northern Santiago. It is 880 meters above sea level therefore about 300 meters over Santiago. It was named after St Christopher by the Spanish conquistadors because of its use as a safe landmark.
It affords a great view over the city - if the smog allows. Best attempted after rain or in the summer months.
There are a Zoo and a Japanese garden on the hill and access is by road or the popular funicular rail.
Not far from La Chascona, you can catch the Funicular San Cristobal that ascends up to Terraza Bellavista, a station stip high up on the hill and above the city. From Terraza Bellavista you can climb up further to the summit where there is a huge statue of the Virgen de la Immaculada Concepcion. You can also ride on a cable car across the hill to Estacion San Cristobal and down to Estacion Pedro de Valdivia in Providencia. Near Estaction San Cristobel there are two swimming pools, Piscinas Tupahue and Antilen and only open in the summer, where you can swim and it's worth visiting the Jardin Japones, near Estacion Pedro de Valdivia. You can get great views down below of Santiago and its neighbourhoods although most of the time the smog can obsure the views but on a clear day you can see the Andes in the backgound.
Funicular - one way, 1,200 CLP (October 2007)
Teleferico - one way, 1,200CLP (November 2008)
At the peak, there is a church with an amphitheater, and a 22 meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary donated by France in the 1920s.
At its foothills are the Metropolitan Zoo and a Japanese-style garden, and up there are also two municipal pools, Tupahue and Antilén.
Cerro San Cristóbal houses Santiago's largest public park: Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park).
When you are at the top of Cerro San Christobal, near the statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepcion, you have a great view over the city.
I think this is the highest spot from where you can se the city.
While we were visiting this hill, the weather was grey and wet, but nevertheless the view was great.
And at a certain moment the clouds went open, a piece of blue sky appeared, and even a bit of sunlight shined on the snowy mountains, which was a fantastic view.
As we continued our journey up the San Christobal hill with the funicular, we finally arrived at the Sanctuario Inmaculada Concepcion.
At this Sanctuario Inmaculada Concepcion Pope John Paul II held a mass during his visit in 1984.
From here you already have a good view on the statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepcion.
At the top of the cerro San Christobal stands the statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepcion, this statue is 14 metres high.
It was a nice experience visiting the jardin zoologica de Santiago. It can be easily done while you want to visit the San Christobal hill.
There were a lot of different animals. During my visit, the white tigers were my favourites.
I think they are pretty rare, I can not remember that have seen white tigers many times while visiting other zoos.
They just look great
And in the cage next door where the common tigers (Indian tigers?)
At the end point of the funicular ride, you arrive at the Terraza Bellavista.
From this Terraza you have a splendid view over the city, and on a clear day you can see the snowy mountains.
As we visited Cerro San Christobal, it was winter, pretty grey and raining, but anyway the trip up was well worth the effort and the money.
The easiest way going up Cerro San Christobal, is using the Funicular.
For prices and schedules se my transportation tips, and of course the official website.
There are different formulas, I did choose for the one with the Zoo included.
That means you go up and halfway you go out in order to visit the Zoo, and afterwards you continue your journey up the hill.
You can take a two person gondola ride from one mountain/hill of Cerro San Cristobal to the next. There was a charge for the ride, but it wasn't much.
The view of the city was fantastic.
From the stories my friend, a native of Santiago, told, the funicular is very popular for "romance."
The monument for Virgin Mary, the Inmaculate Conception monument is one of the major attractions of Cerro San Cristobal, a giant construction that you may see from most places in the city of Santiago. There is a small chapel under the monument, but it was under construction, while I was there.