Cerro San Cristobal perches above Santiago, and is another popular spot for exercise, by bike riders, runners and walkers alike. There is also a cable car to get you to the top if you’re feeling less energetic, or you can drive up in your own car.
The hill makes a great weekend workout and, after climbing the steep paths to the Virgin that stands at the top, you are rewarded with a view over all of Santiago. Unfortunately, it also the best vantage point to see exactly how polluted Santiago can be at times, which you sometimes don’t notice as much at street level.
The locals are out in particular force on the weekend, and I swear that some only make the effort in order to drink the ridiculously sweet, yet refreshing, “mote con huesillo” at the top, a local specialty made with dried peaches, sweet juice, and a good serving of “mote”, a kind of barley.
When I take the hike, I don’t usually carry my camera, or any valuables for that matter, as it can be unsafe. There are stories of robberies on the sometimes secluded trails, and particularly if you are there late in the day (which I’m not, Dad.) Unfortunately, that means not many photos from the top!
It’s great to have Cerro San Cristobal close by for the occasional weekend challenge, and to see so many people making the most of the great outdoors, making it one of the reasons that it’s one of the things I love about living in Chile!