Santa Lucía Hill (Cerro Santa Lucía)#3 in Best Things To Do in Santiago
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A hilltop park on the eastern edge of downtown Santiago, Santa Lucía Hill (Cerro Santa Lucía) draws visitors with its panoramic views. To reach the top of Santa Lucía Hill on foot from the park's main entrance near the Santa Lucía metro stop, you'll need to follow a long narrow path punctuated by high stone steps. Though the hike can be arduous (especially on a hot summer day), recent travelers remark that it's well worth the climb not only for incredible photo-ops, but also for the pleasant ambiance — complete with a fountain and terrace. For the best views, take one of the two staircases to the Caupolicán Plaza. "You must allow a few hours to wander slowly around Cerro Santa Lucía. The views are impressive and it is such a quiet and peaceful place to be," one TripAdvisor user insisted.
Or, if you're not up for the trek, you can opt to take an elevator located at the intersection of St Lucía and Agustinas streets, just a couple blocks from the park's main entrance.
From March to September, Santa Lucía Hill welcomes visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The park stays open an extra hour from October through February. Entry to the park is free; however, you'll need to sign a registry before entering at the intersection of St. Lucía Street and Alameda Avenue. The easiest way to reach the park is to take the metro to the Santa Lucía stop, which is directly below the park entrance. Keep in mind that the area is known for attracting thieves after sundown, so pay extra attention to your surroundings.
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Beckoning to an artsy crowd, the Bellavista neighborhood features graffiti-lined streets with cafes, art galleries and boutique shops. Here, you'll find inventive cocktail bars and eclectic eateries rubbing shoulders with antique homes and colonial mansions. Spend some time exploring La Chascona — the former home of celebrated poet Pablo Neruda — before scouring the Patio Bellavista shopping area for souvenirs. Also be sure to continue north to take in the scenery from Santiago's crown jewel: St. Christopher Hill, a nearly 3,000-foot high hill tucked inside Metropolitan Park.
The creative energy, trend-setting boutiques and laid-back vibes found in Bellavista make this a popular hangout spot among travelers and locals alike. And according to some recent visitors, the best way to experience it all is by wandering away from the main drag, Pío Nono. "This place is like an outdoor art museum. Between the colorful houses and the street art there seems to be a surprise around every corner," one TripAdvisor user said.
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