Hills and Mountains
Santiago’s city centre is defined by two prominent structures the Cerro San Cristobal and the Santa Lucia Hill. The latter is home to the Santiago Metropolitan Park as well as the Chilean National Zoo where indigenous species of animals are housed especially alpacas, guanacos, vicuna and pudu, the world’s smallest deer. These two hills and the verdant Parque Forestal offer visitors a spot of tranquility and refreshing greenery amid the din of the city.
A short drive from the city ushers visitors into the rugged mountains of the mighty Andes Mountain Range. Nestled within these massive peaks is the picturesque El Yeso Dam where visitors can enjoy fishing and wind surfing. The mountains are also home to the scenic Cajon del Maipo and the high-altitude national park, El Morado National Monument. Sitting astride the border of Chile and Argentina is the challenging San Jose Volcano that peaks at 5856 metres above sea level. These are fantastic places for trekking, mountaineering and even a bit of skiing, when the weather permits.
Tres Valles in Santiago
Santiago has the unique distinction of being home to one of the largest ski zones in all of the Southern Hemisphere. Comprising the ski resorts of La Parva, El Colorado and Valle Nevado, the area is a whopping 10,000 hectares of snowy terrain and 100 kilometres of slopes.
La Parva usually sees the rich and the famous coming for a bit of winter fun and is a tad more expensive and the smallest when compared to its counterparts that make up the Tres Valles ski area. Avowed non-skiers can engage in a bit of hiking, trekking or just plain old winter fun.
Thanks to its varied and remarkable geography, Santiago promises a world of wonder and adventure for the global visitor.