Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago


Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in Northern Santiago which consists of a large recreation area with many short walks through the park.

At its summit there is the immaculate conception statue and an amphitheatre for outdoor religious events.

The walk begins at the foot of the hill in the Providencia district and snakes around the hill along steep roads which are busy with bike and jogging traffic.

Various lookouts along the way give a view of Santiago, including its ever present smog.

The Costanera centre and surrounds from the lookout

The steep roads continue to climb up the hill for a further few kilometres until they reach the summit where there are several shops, another lookout and the entrance to the Santiago Fernicular (which, obviously can save an hour's trekking to the summit).

Santiago Fernicular

The views from the lookouts give a panoramic view of the city.

Santiago

In addition to the views there are shops selling touristy stuff, snacks and a traditional Chilean beverage: Mote con huesilos.

Mote con huesilos

The drink consists of dried peaches and husked wheat served in peach nectar with spices (such as cinnamon). It is gum curlingly sweet and I can't say I was a fan. However, there were some surprisingly good epanadas to make up for the interesting flavoured beverage. At least it gave me the energy for the final climb up the stairs to the immaculate conception statue.

Looking up the hill to the statue

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands 22 metres tall at the summit of the hill. Within the pedestal is a small chapel 

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the chapel in the pedestal

Strangely there are also many mobile phone towers behind the statue that ruin the scenery somewhat.

The statue of Immaculate Conception and the Mobile Tower of Immaculate Reception


There is also a small church and amphitheatre near the statue for religious services.

Inside the church


From the statue you can also get great views of Santiago.

Santiago from the top of Cerro San Cristobal


Another view of Santiago with the Chilean flag

Instead of walking back, I decided to take the lazy option of the fernicular back down the hill.

Heading back via the fernicular