Santiago has risen from the ashes of military dictatorship to become a thriving contemporary metropolis. We were attracted by the city’s appeal, the horrific tales of its past, and the spectacular beauty of its environs during our visit. Here are some of the top Santiago activities for learning about the city’s rich history and legacy.
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6 Places to Visit in Santiago:
1. Free Walking Tour
A free walking tour with Tours 4 Tips is the perfect way to begin your discovery of Santiago. These guys offer a variety of tours throughout Santiago, Valparaiso, and San Pedro de Atacama, all conducted by young guides who are knowledgeable and energetic.
We chose the highlights tour of Santiago (there is also an offbeat tour available). Oscar, a student who grew up in Santiago, was our tour guide. While attempting to maintain objectivity, he discussed the influence it had on his family and city life in general.
2. Virgin Mary Statue
Many South American cities have significant structures. This magnificent white statue stands 300 metres above the city on Cerro San Cristóbal. While it is possible to take a funicular or cable car up to the statue, we took the more difficult route. It took us roughly an hour to go up the hill from the Po Nono entrance in the park’s south, with a few short breaks along the way. The view of Santiago against the rugged horizon from the peak of the hill is stunning.
3. Castillo Hidalgo
Cerro Santa Lucia is a modest hill near the city centre with a park and gardens. Located a few blocks east of the Plaza de Armas, it offers a more central city viewpoint than Cerro San Cristóbal Hill and requires less effort to get (but the view isn’t quite as good).
The park is free to enter, and there are several vantage locations from which to view the Santiago skyline. The park’s grounds also include a historic castle from the early nineteenth century. Castillo Hidalgo has served as among Santiago’s most famous monuments for the past two centuries.
4. Museum of Memory and Human Rights
Chile still bears the scars of the military takeover and dictatorship. The Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago tells the tale of this tragic chapter in history with appealing creativity.
This is the most moving museum exhibit I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. It strikes the perfect tone in exposing the repercussions of a very authoritarian and divisive administration through many displays, objects, and visual mediums. While many aspects of this history are upsetting to contemplate, the show also conveys a message of hope and optimism.
5. Quinta Normal Park
Quinta Normal Park is a lovely 88-acre area in Santiago’s same-named district. It also houses a few of the most noteworthy museums in the city. Both the Railway Museum and the Institute of Sciences and Technology are within the botanical park and are well worth a visit. As a consequence, it has a unique history in nature.
6. National Museum of Fine Arts
The Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts is another educational jewel in Santiago, located in the lush surroundings of Parque Forestal. It is South America’s oldest fine arts museum, having opened in 1880. The museum is housed in one of the city’s most remarkable and symbolic structures. It is free to access and serves as more of a gallery than a museum, showing works by Chilean and international artists.
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