In autumn and springtime, the numerous national and nature parks around Santiago are the perfect places for hiking. The Central Region offers beautiful foliage from April to June, and pleasant temperatures in the Chilean springtime of September to mid-November – a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.
In the Coastal Cordillera, northwest of Santiago, lies La Campana National Park, named after La Campana Mountain (1910m). The park, once explored by Darwin during his time surveying the coast, is a prime habitat for many animal and plant species; it is especially noted for the largest remaining contiguous expanse of the Chilean Wine Palm, which previously dominated the entire Central Region, and is the southernmost species of palm in the world.
To the northeast of Santiago, the Yerba Loca Cordillera private nature park is a charming place for hiking and relaxing. Quiet trails and picnic areas are located near a fast-rushing, mineral-rich river, along which grow a profusion of green trees and shrubs, contrasting with the arid slopes of the Andes mountains. The park extends all the way up to Cerro La Paloma mountain (4910m), where the river originates.
To the south, just behind Santiago’s La Reina district, is Aguas de Ramón Natural Park, which is surrounded by four mountains of the “precordillera” (Andes foothills). In addition to beautiful lookout points, the park offers visitors a 25-metre-high waterfall, the Salto de Apoquindo.
And to the southeast of Santiago, just a short drive away, lies the famous Cajon del Maipo, a canyon carved deep into the Andes by the Maipo River. At the small village of Baños Morales begins a walking route through Cerro Morado (“Purple Mountain”) National Park, with stunning views of the 5000-metre-high summits of the nearby mountains. If you’re lucky you may spot condors soaring high above, and in the Aguas Panimávidas sector are natural springs and the small San Francisco Glacier, the source of the Maipo.
For mor information on the wide range of Santiago-area hiking destinations, please contact your travelArt sales representative.