Cerro Santa Lucia Santiago Chile
City Park Trails, Views in downtown Santiago
Cerro Santa Lucia is one of my favourite places to visit in in Santiago Chile. This beautiful city park in the downtown Centro district is a great place for travelers to get some exercise. Its terraces, forts, flowers, lookouts with sweeping city and mountain views make for great photo ops, too! On an earlier trip, I'd climbed the stairs leading up from the Terrazo Neptune (see pictures earlier trip). This trip, I'd walked the more easterly paths, and exited from Fort Hildalgo to Merced Street, on the north side near my hotel. (See Googlemap).
Cerro Santa Lucia Park Downtown Santiago Chile Landmark
This distinctive yellow building is Terrazo Neptune, and the main entrance to Cerro Santa Lucia park.
Entry to the park is free, but you may be asked to show ID or sign in.
For safety's sake, it's best to keep your visits to busy daytime hours.
If you want to see the higher reaches of Santa Lucia but don't want to walk, there is a funicular (cable car / elevator / ascensor) located at the west side entrance.
It operates Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m.to 6 p.m. It does not run on Sundays or Mondays.
Terrazo Neptuna at Cerro Santa Lucia, Santiago Chile
Here's another view of the main entrance buildings to Santa Lucia on the north side of Bernardo O'Higgins Avenue.
The park entrance is close to both Santa Lucia and Universidad Catolica metro stops.
There are washrooms located in this area.
To the left, just out of view, you'll find a great native Chilean arts and crafts shop.
Note the market shop is closed on Sundays.
Downtown Santiago Chile views from Santa Lucia Stairway
The trails to the top of Cerro Santa Lucia are interspersed with steep stairs, a mix of concrete, rock and mortar, with some stone steps worn smooth by many feet.
Signs warn walkers that steps may be slippery when wet or covered in dew in early mornings.
Large agave plants line the route, some with their large fleshy leaves carved with visitors' initials.
Geraniums, impatiens, nasturtiums, lantana, etc. are planted throughout the park, and irrigated with a maze of sprinkler heads.
Castillo Hidalgo (Fort Hidalgo) Santa Lucia, Santiago
Restored and open to the public, Castillo Hidalgo dates back to 1820.
'Fort' Hildalgo is located above the Merced Street entrance on the north side of Santo Cerro.
The steps down to / up from Merced Street are very steep and uneven, so I kept good hold of the handrail.
From here, trails lead to the right, around the hill to the ascensor (funicular lift) and side entrance.
Downtown Santiago Chile Highrises Reflect Cerro Santa Lucia Greenery
Looking west over Santiago from one of the Santa Lucia lookouts, the greenery of the park is reflected in the windows of downtown highrises.
Hidden by the buildings are the pedestrian malls leading (right) to Plaza Des Armas and the city markets.
If you go, allow an hour minimum to walk part of the trails, and up to two hours to explore all its paths and lookouts.
Trails are fairly well marked with signposts for directions.
About halfway up the cerro (hill) you'll come to the Terraza Caupolican, a large terrace named for a leader of the indigenous Mapuche people.
There are washrooms in this area as well as many benches to stop and rest a while.