Ecotourism in Santiago de Chile: what to do and where to go
One of Santiago’s distinctive features is that you can experience a drastic change in scenery within a matter of minutes. While it might be the most technological city in Latin America, Chile’s capital city is also able to offer a wide range of experiences for ecotourists. Let’s review some of its main attractions:
El Arrayán Nature Sanctuary
In Lo Barnechea, at the foothills of the mountain though still within the city limits is one of the best places for ecotourism in all of Santiago. El Arrayán Nature Sanctuary is a 20 minute car ride away from Plaza San Enrique, a well-known public square in Lo Barnechea. It has everything you need to have a great day communing with nature.
El Arrayán contains trekking paths, mountain bike trails and picnic areas, to name but a few of its main features. It also has a play area for children, bathrooms and all the necessary comforts that you might need for a family outing. Is is one of the six natural reserves in the Región Metropolitana.
This destination is open throughout the year, with entrance fees starting at $3,000 Chilean pesos.
Location: Camino El Cajón #21000 (El Arrayán, Lo Barnechea)
Cascada de las Ánimas
Translated to English, its name means “waterfall of the spirits”, so it’s no wonder this place calls to nature lovers from all across the globe. Located 63 kilometers away from Santiago, in the San José de Maipo district, this nature sanctuary invites you to try activities such as rafting, canopy, trekking and horseback riding, among others. You will be surrounded by impressive forests and waterfalls, the perfect environment for the diverse species inhabiting the area, which are well protected by local authorities.
The entrance fees begin at $5,000 and you can get there by car or via public transport.
Location: Camino al Volcán #31087 (San Alfonso town)
Padre Hurtado Park
If you don’t want to go too far from the city centre, Padre Hurtado Park is also a great choice to practice some ecotourism in Santiago de Chile. Formerly known as Parque Intercomunal, this lovely spot can be found in the La Reina district, and you can partake in activities such as canopy and trekking, and even some water sports, thanks to the lake located right in the middle of the park.
Padre Hurtado Park has all the necessary services for a quiet and relaxing afternoon out with family or friends. It opens its gates from Tuesday to Sunday, with entrance fees of as little as $300.
Location: Avenida Francisco Bilbao #8105 (La Reina)
There are plenty of other places to see, but the locations mentioned here are the best options for ecotourism in Santiago de Chile. At any of these sites, you are guaranteed to feel that special connection with nature.