This trip wasn’t planned much in advance, neither it was meant to be a real vacation. We did it, to check out if we like it and could imagine to move to Santiago. So the reality behind it was: Check out the the city with all it’s facets. Mostly it was only me, my two girls and a stroller/ baby carrier. Here comes what we did. Our personal Santiago guide, to your kiddos satisfaction. Everything kids approved!
They call the park the „green lounge“ of Santiago. It is the 4th biggest urban park in the world with about 700 hectare of surface. The park offers tons of things to do, for example: the zoo, the botanical garden, park Cerro San Cristóbal, bike paths, a cable car and a funicular… Finally we spent two days in and that’s what we did:
Our first visit was on a Sunday. To reach the funicular you best get of metro Baquedano and walk 5-10 minutes or you let your driver drop you off at the entrance of the zoo (Pio Nono street). Weekend prices are different than weekly ones,so don’t be surprised.
Due to the fact big J wasn’t in a good mood, we drove both ways and it was so much fun!!! It’s very steep and so illusion works perfectly, giving you the feeling of being super fast.
Luckily the line up wasn’t to long so we reached the top very soon, to enjoy amazing views over Santiago! A absolute must do in Santiago! Getting up there, no matter how. Between the station and Statue you’ll find some kiosks and souvenir shops to refresh and treat yourself. As well as a shady spot to enjoy and a path lined by giant crosses which are painted and contain themselves different themes!
I am not a religious person, but I really liked this kind of art. Getting to the bottom of the statue you have great view, almost 360°. It just captures daily life situations and makes the way less boring for the kiddos. Those of you who are religious, you have the chance to inflame a candle! Anyhow you can spent some time there, especially when you prefere to escape city noises.
On your way back down to the city, take your chance to stroll around. You are in the middle of the very colourful Bella Vista with many restaurants, bars and cute little shops. Remember you are in South America and kids are welcome even at late dinner time!
Keep in mind you are in Chile, so best you remember the Spanish names for the sights :-). Teleférico is the cable car! That day I went alone with my girls and entered the park in the middle. I came by metro and got off at Pedro Valdiva (Los Leones is possible, too). We walked about 20 min, crossing the nice neighbourhood of Providencia and stepped in at a part where you start realising the dimensions of the park! It was green and hilly all over. The cavalry just paused and the officer posed for a pictures with big J. Imagine how proud she was! We took the advantage of discovering the small playground, before risking our nerves and life up in the air.
Big J and I are good with heights and little J has adventurous blood, so we were fine. The ride in the cable car is just amazing!!! The view – spectacular! You see the Andes & the whole city, while having little butterflies in your tummy. Every know and than it kinda stops and „shakes“ a bit. I didn’t loose my poker face, but was a bit scared even though I really enjoyed it!
You will reach the Cerro San Cristóbal again. So if you don’t wanna go there twice, you could also do a combo tour. Means buying a ticket for funicular and teleférico and do it in one day. Getting up the hill with one and down the hill with the other.
Should you have little ones, like I do, I suggest to take a baby carrier. The access is much easier than. If you or your kiddos don’t like it, make sure you have a easy to fold, light wait buggy to assure you fit in the cable car and funicular. Otherwise just enjoy!
This park is located in the nice district of las Condes. A lovely neighbourhood and business district with many shopping and restaurant possibilities. My kids fell in love with it as much as we did. You have a huge open, green space to escape the busyness, let them run and relax. There are many play areas, shady places and a bike path. In the center of the park you have a food court, a nice range of restaurants, an interactive museum for children and a fitness center.
Believe it or not, I had the best burger in the past 2 years at Tquila restaurant (part of the food court) and for the first time in Chile I the national drink called „pisco sour“. So yammie! We have to treat ourselves too, right?
Besides eating and relaxing we spent hours at the water sprinklers!!! But they are not just regular ones! The water seems to dance. Yes, really. They play music and it looks like the water jets are moving to the rhythm of the music. And if you think it’ll be the same songs playing every day, you fail. We came here several times and the performances were different. The kids got a refreshment while dancing with the water and I got a break!
Just in case you get you need to move a little more you have direct access to Parque Juan Pablo II. Both parks are connected via a bridge, so you don’t even have to leave the safety zone! Here you will find more open space, outdoor fitness devices, a few „wild animals“ and a way to spend time at kids‘ needs.
Indeed these were our top things to do. The most relaxed ones as well, as they were perfect activities for our girls. Having 5 years of an age difference is challenging, but that way we managed very well!
These & That plus personal tips
First of all: For those who love city trips, Santiago will hold a large range of things to do for you. Kids are welcome and as long as you don’t run out of money it’ll be hard to ran out of opportunities in a week or two. Those who come for Chile’s nature – at least give it a quick stroll f.e. with one of the free guided tours (tours for tips)!
The city is safe! Of course take care of your belongings and skip certain places, especially after dark, but that’s it.
You should know some Spanish!
To get a first impression taking the „hop on hop off“ bus tour is a good option, we didn’t do it, but only because we ran out of time. Booking online at least the day before, saves you 20% per ticket!
In case you got sick, pharmacies are all over. If you need to see a doctor, with your private travel assurance you will have access to very good medical services. We „tested“ unintentionally.
We stayed in the city center, close to old town, I recommend to go to Providencia, las Condes or Bella Vista. Those neighbourhoods are less busy and loud.
I suggest not to come in April or May, worst months with smog.
A rental car in the city is a waste of money. Buy a metro card for 1550 CLP (3.20 CAD) and add as many rides (1= 1.40 CAD) as you need. Just avoid rush hours unless you go against the flow.
Many metro stations don’t have elevators. So be aware of carrying your strollers and kiddos up and down!
In las Condes and Providencia you will even find some „play coffee shops“, like Café Tropa Colón. You have a coffee & cake and the kids can play, but they will charge for it.
Coming from Europe, be happy the Euro is strong. Prices for groceries and restaurants are much higher than you are used too. Those coming from Canada/ USA prices are comparable!
Lust but not least: Santiago is a vibrant city which had developed a lot in the last 10 years. It’s busy and loud as you would expect a Latin American City is, but safe and green at the same time. You can feel free here and it has a lot to explore! My girls were happy and barely bored. So YES worth a trip!