Cerro San Cristobal

Cerro San Cristobal is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santiago Chile. Rising 2,820 feet into the sky, this Andes Mountains peak is the second-highest in Santiago, and on clear days, the views of the city from the summit are divine. Therein lies much of the allure for tourists.

St. Christopher’s Hill, as the Cerro San Cristobal is known in English, calls the delightful Bellavista neighborhood home and is also found within the boundaries of the city’s Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park) in Santiago. A major feature of the park, the hill is capped with a statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Concepcion. France donated the 72-foot statue in the 1920's, and in many ways the Cerro San Cristobal summit has been a sort of pilgrimage destination ever since. Also at the peak are a church and an amphitheater, and it is interesting to note that Pope John Paul II gave mass from the mount in 1987.

Cerro San Cristobal is the best known and most highly visited attraction in Santiago’s Parque Metropolitano. A funicular, which was inaugurated in 1925 and is a National Monument, provides an interesting way to get to the top. Along the way, a stop is made for passengers who wish to visit the National Zoo. It is also possible to bike or hike to the summit of Cerro San Cristobal, and a cable car known as the "teleferico" links the summit area to the Parque Metropolitano’s Tupahue area. As for getting to the summit in a vehicle that has four wheels, it is both possible to drive up or take a taxi.

Once at the summit of Cerro San Cristobal, visitors can find places to get something to eat or drink. A souvenir shop is also in place. As for the views, not only is it possible to look out over the city of Santiago on clear days. Also within sight are snowcapped Andes Mountains peaks. Summer is when the views tend to be at their best. The city smog is more dense in the winter. It can also be a good idea to venture up after it rains, as the rain cleans the air and reduces smog levels.

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