The city’s second highest point, Cerro San Cristobal, with its Swiss-style gondolas,
rises some 1,000 feet above the rest of the city and is where Santiaguinos escape the urban bustle to picnic, swim, hike, and wander through gardens. Metropolitan Zoo
is at the base of the towering hill.
The west side of Plaza de Armas reveals Santiago’s juxtaposition of old and new. The Plaza de Armas building, a mirrored glass edifice by Echenique Cruz Boisier Arquitectos, rises above the grand Catedral Metropolitana. The cathedral’s main altar was recently renovated, and many Santiago luminaries are buried on the church’s site.
Leave it to a pair of monk architects to create perhaps one of the most unique chapels in South America: Los Benedictinos, with its ubiquitous white-on-white motif, cubelike forms, and light rays penetrating the interior from all angles, is one of Santiago’s most numinous locales.