Chockablock with high rises, downtown Santiago at night is a sight to behold,
particularly given the building boom the Chilean capital has experienced of late.
Yet the glass, steel, and concrete can’t fully distract one from the city’s natural heights: the ever-present peaks of the snow-draped Andes in the distance.
Palacio de la Moneda, a late-18th-century colonial presidential palace, is now the government seat. A stroll through the inner patios is particularly serene. Photo by Cristóbal Palma.
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. Photo by Cristóbal Palma.
Despite globalization, Santiago still retains examples of postage stamp–size streets, each selling one type of goods, whether leather, wicker, car-repair paraphernalia, or other sundries.
The cube-like exterior of Los Benedictinos.
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. Photo by Cristóbal Palma.