Monday, March 20, 2017

* Iquique, Northern Chile


Photo of Iquique, North of Chile.
Plaza Arturo Prat. Wikimedia Commons, by Freddy Alexander Bugueño Tolmo.
    Iquique, one of the most attractive cities in Northern Chile, is a historical and modern seaport at the same time. Historical since in its bay, in 1879, the city still being a Peruvian port, under the context of the Pacific War between Chile, Bolivia and Peru, was carried out the Naval Battle of Iquique, one of the most heroic deeds of the History of Chile. Modern and of rapid growth in the last decades, thanks to the existence of the Free Trade Zone known as ZOFRI (Zona Franca de Iquique). Iquique is not a large city (only 180,600 inhabitants according to the 2012 census), but it has a great patrimonial and historical value, reflected in many details that can be appreciated by walking its streets and surroundings. Here is a list of the most popular places in Iquique. 


 

Beaches of Iquique

      Playa Cavancha meets the conditions to be the most popular beach of the city. Close to the old quarter flanked by the Avenida Costanera Arturo Prat Chacon (Waterfront Avenue), Hotel Gavina on the North and Cavancha roundabout on the South, in addition to being surrounded by a modern residential architecture and a pedestrian promenade.  Although the coasts of Chile are colder than in the Atlantic (due to the Humboldt Current) in Cavancha the sea is warm and you can swim all year round. The beach is extensive and there is always some entertainment. The northern sector of the beach, characterized by intense waves, is suitable for water skiing, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and body boarding. To the South lies Playa Brava, 4 km. away from the downtown in a very developed area of the city. As its name suggests, this beach is of strong swell and not suitable for bathers, however you can practice sport fishing and several water sports, besides being an ideal place for sunbathing, paragliding, with a series of additional attractions that draw the attention of thousands of visitors daily. Playa Huayquique, beautiful beach situated 5 km. South of Iquique, excellent for surfing and bodyboarding when the wave conditions permit, without the massive attendance of Cavancha what makes it special for sunbathing. Another beach is Playa Blanca, located 13 km. South of Iquique, of white sands and transparent emerald waters, suitable for swimming, sport fishing, diving circuits and the practice of various water sports.


Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower)

     Perhaps the most emblematic symbol of Iquique, in the middle of the Plaza de Armas (Arturo Prat Square). The Torre del Reloj, construction imported from England in 1878, erected by order of the Peruvian Government, (since in those years Iquique was a Peruvian city), is a National Historic Monument that constitutes one of the most representative urban expressions of the "nitrate era", built in Oregon Pine, material impossible to find in a region surrounded by the Atacama Desert. The engineer of French origin Eduardo Lapeyrouse, had ordered the design of the tower and the clock to Europe in 1877, Lapeyrouse was later the first Mayor of Iquique when the city became Chilean in 1879.



Teatro Municipal de Iquique (Municipal Theatre)

      
Municipal Theater of Iquique, Chile.
Photo: latercera.com
    The Municipal Theater is located in front of the Plaza de Armas, it was built in 1889 and formally inaugurated on January 1, 1890, during the time of the economic splendor generated by the exploitation of saltpeter (1880- 1930), it is almost entirely built in Oregon Pine brought from the United States. Due to its central location is very accessible, the visit to the building is interesting although without guides, you can observe furniture of the time. It should be pointed out that very soon the Municipal Theater of Iquique will be restored, repair works would begin during the first half of 2017, with an investment of about US$ 8,500,000.


Museo Regional de Iquique (Regional Museum)


      Address: 951 Paseo Baquedano, ground floor. Founded in 1960, under the patronage of the Universidad del Norte, since 1982 run by the Corporacion Municipal de Desarrollo Social de Iquique. The building was built in 1892 and originally its facilities housed the first "Intendencia de Tarapaca" and then the Court of Justice. The Museum consists of three areas: anthropological, ethnographic and historical. In the anthropological area we can know the history since 10.000 years ago such as the communities Chinchorro, Aymara and other cultures that had influence on the current North of Chile, the Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) and the Inca culture. Within the ethnographic area it is possible to know the way of living of the peoples of the high plateau, such as the Aymaras, from its beginnings to our days. The historical part of the museum shows the history of the "Nitrate era",  from beginning to end.


Museo Corbeta Esmeralda (Corbeta Esmeralda Ship- Museum)

     
     One of the must-sees in Iquique, to know a little of the history of Chile, located on Arturo Prat Avenue with Paseo Almirante Lynch. Inaugurated in 2011, this ship museum is a replica of the Esmeralda corvette belonging to the Chilean Navy, sunk on May 21, 1879, during the Pacific War. A surprising realism is achieved because every detail has been considered, to build it, the original plans were requested to England, it was also made an investigation in the sink ship so that the museum was as accurate as possible. The sound of the sea, heard in every corner, makes many believe the ship moves, although in reality it is on land.



The "ZOFRI" (Iquique's Free Trade Zone)


     Without being a tourist place, ZOFRI is one of the most visited sites of the city as it is the largest shopping center in Northern Chile and one of the the two Free Trade Zones existing in the country, with a significant commercial exchange with nations of the region such as Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Brazil.


Saltpeter Refineries

     46 km. East of Iquique are located the former mining towns of Santa Laura and Humberstone, declared a World Heritage Site. They are like "ghost towns" of what once were true cities called "Oficinas Salitreras", when at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century Chile was the first World producer of saltpeter. It should be noted that during the saltpeter boom, there were more than 200 "Oficinas Salitreras" working in the middle of the desert. This boom lasted until synthetic saltpeter was invented in 1930.



Volcan Isluga National Park


Village of Isluga, northern Chile.
Photo: ecuadoracolores.com
     A little more than 230 km. Northeast of Iquique, bordering Bolivia, lies Parque Nacional Volcan Isluga, at an average altitude of 4,000 mts. above sea level. This protected area, within its 174,744 hectares hosts one of the most impressive concentrations of biodiversity associated to the high Andean ecosystem, with the typical landscape of the precordillera, the high plateau and the little towns nestled in the mountains. To the East you can see the imposing silhouette of the Isluga Volcano that dominates the area with its 5,500 meters high, which gives the park its name. In addition to the Isluga Volcano, there are also other big mountains such as the Quimsachata (5,400 m.), Tatajachura (5,252 m.) and Latarama (5,207 m.), Geysers and Hot Springs.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

* Tourist attractions in Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile
Photo: radioturismo.cl

    
      Santiago, also known as Santiago de Chile to distinguish it from other cities of the same name, is the capital of the country. The population in 2014 reached just over 7 million. Although founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia, it was not until the late 18th. century that Santiago acquired the category of major city and especially the last few decades, have marked a great period of expansion. Today, Santiago is considered the most sustainable city in Latin America, -said by the Inter- American Development Bank-, and one of the most important tourist destinations in the South American Continent. Although without beaches, but because of its modernity, dynamic trade and tourist attractions Santiago is also known as "The Miami of South America" by visitors from bordering countries.

    "Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez" is the International Airport of Santiago, also connected to the major cities of the country, meets the highest safety standards and is the most important point of arrival of international passengers. By land, there are  many border crossings connecting Chile  to the neighboring countriesthe most important and closest to Santiago being "Paso Los Libertadores", also known as "Cristo Redentor", 153 km from Santiago, in the Cordillera de Los Andes (Andes Mountain Range), altitude of 3,200 Mts., connects with the province of Mendoza, Argentina.


Santiago, Chile's capital city.
Santiago, the most sustainable city in Latin America according to the Inter- American Development Bank.
Photo: Pixabay  
     The Metropolitan Subway, known as Metro de Santiago, is recognized for its advanced technology, cleanliness and safety for users. For the price of one ticket (the fare varies depending on the hours, the average is about U.S. $ 1.2), you can do all the combinations you need through its 5 underground lines that go through the city. The surface transportation system known as "Transantiago" is constituted by a fleet of thousand buses, and has been slowly overcoming serious shortcomings from its start in 2007. It is expected that in the near term, it can meet  the expectations that were set from the beginning. On the other hand, the railway system, which has gone through various periods of boom and bust today is regaining the lost ground resuming a renewed service between several cities in addition to the recent creation of the "Trenes Turísticos" project. From the bus terminals, there are departures and arrivals to/from almost all cities of the country and neighboring nations. Below I give you a list of places to visit in Santiago.


Places to visit in Santiago:



 Palacio de La Moneda  


 
"La Moneda", Chile's Presidential Palace.
"La Moneda" Presidential Palace, Chile - Photo: Pixabay
     
 Seat of the Presidency of the Republic of Chile, building that marks the civic heart of the city of Santiago, normally open to pedestrian traffic through an inner alleyway that runs between Bernardo O'Higgins Av. and Moneda street.  The palace is much visited by national and foreign travellers, not only by virtue of being the seat of  Government but also due to the historical events it has witnessed.  It was bombed and partially burned in 1973, being promptly rebuilt with the same exterior architectural characteristics with which it was created, only modifying certain interior rooms. This Italian neoclassical palace, is also known as La Casa de Toesca (The Home of Toesca) recalling its designer Joaquin Toesca. It was inaugurated in 1805, this was the building where the coins ("monedas") were minted, hence its name. The Palacio de La Moneda can be internally visited each year for the "Dia del Patrimonio Cultural", celebrated every last Sunday of May when the most significant buildings for the country's history and culture are opened to visitors.


Plaza de la Constitucion


     The Plaza de la Constitucion is located in the Barrio Civico of Santiago, surrounded mostly by buildings intended for government offices, and a minority for trade. Until the early 1900s the place was a residential area, in 1925 began the construction of two large buildings, which until today belong to Ministries. Other buildings around the Plaza belong to "Palacio de la Moneda" (the Government Palace), the Municipality of Santiago, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the Central Bank of Chile and the Minister of Labour. It is located within walking distance of the Metro Stations Universidad de Chile and La Moneda.


Catedral Metropolitana


     The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago is the main Catholic temple in Chile. Its current building dates back to 1748, but before this church there were other edifices, destroyed by fires or earthquakes. In fact, the current building is the fifth erected on the site for the same purpose. The Cathedral is located in the heart of Santiago, on one side of the Plaza de Armas, place today known as the "Km. 0 of Chile". Since 1952 the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago de Chile is a National Monument, it also has an incalculable historical value for the country because here lie the remains of many bishops of the Chilean Catholic Church, other great personalities and is the place to celebrate the most important commemorative ceremonies of the Nation, as the "Te Deum Ecumenico" of the Independence Day.


Mercado Central  


         One of the most traditional places to eat in Santiago, declared Historical Monument, 3 blocks away from Plaza de Armas, much visited by tourists. This is one of the most representative places of Chilean popular culture, you can go to many typical restaurants that specialize in serving both national and international travellers, with rich gastronomy based on fish and seafood. There is also a large variety of handicraft stores, meat, fish and vegetable stands, etc.


San Cristobal Hill and Metropolitan Park 


 
Metropolitan Park, Santiago de Chile.
San Cristobal Hill - Photo: Pixabay
   
      Parque Metropolitano de Santiago i
s a large urban green space, under the jurisdiction of the Ministerio de la Vivienda y Urbanismo, with more than 720 hectares that make it the largest in Chile and also in Latin America. Made up by hills San Cristobal, Chacarillas, Los Gemelos and intermediate sectors, the heart of this urban park is Cerro San Cristobal, on whose summit can be seen from any point of  the city the image of the Inmaculada Concepcion, huge statue of Virgin Mary brought from Paris in the early twentieth century. At its base is the Sanctuary from where Pope John Paul II blessed the city and the country during his visit to Chile in 1987. Near is located the Terraza Bellavista (Bellavista Terrace),  viewpoint  from where you have a good panoramic of Santiago  and where  is also located the Estacion Cumbre (Summit Station of the Funicular). Further down the hill, the Funicular also stops at the Zoo Station, where visitors to the National Zoological Park get down to visit   a wide variety of native and exotic fauna. There is also the Cable Car, currently undergoing repairs, but it is expected that by the 2016 it will start functioning again.

     
A relic and Historical Monument of the Metropolitan Park is the  "Manuel Foster" Astronomical Observatory, more than 100 years of existence (since 1903) with its almost original equipment. Other attractions in the park are the Tupahue and Antilen swimming pools, Restaurants, Convention Centers, Anfiteatro de las Naciones y las Artes "Pablo Neruda", Plaza de Juegos de Niños "Gabriela Mistral", botanical gardens, lookouts,  numerous trails frequented by sportsmen, etc. 



Santiago Cable Car


     Reopened at the end of 2016, this tourist transport is located at Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, the largest urban park in Latin America, with 46 last generation cabins, a capacity for six passengers each, some of them adapted for people with reduced mobility and strollers, special demarcation for blind people and bike racks to carry four bicycles each. In total there will be three stations that make up this renewed transport network: Cumbre, Tupahue, and Oasis. Since its reopening, the Teleferico de Santiago is again becoming one of the most favorite tours for both local and tourists. 


Cerro Santa Lucia  (Santa Lucia Hill) 


Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago, Chile.
Photo Rights: www.filmcommissionchile.org
      
















     



    Situated at the center of the city, very close to the Metro Station of the same name. It is a small hill (69 mts. height) called Huelén by the pre- Columbian natives, the History of Santiago is reflected here from its birth until now. Its main importance lies in the fact  that precisely here, under the shelter of the hill, was founded the city of Santiago on February 12, 1541. On the southern slope, carved in stoneis the reproduction of the letter sent by Pedro de Valdiviafounder of the city to the Emperor Carlos V, reporting enthusiastically about the new conquered lands  and the advantages of settling in Chile. During the colonial period, the hill served as a watchtower and fortifications with their defense batteries were built atop the summit. In 1872, on the initiative of the Mayor of Santiago, Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna, begins a complete remodeling plan to transform the area into a public promenadeSince then until today, Cerro Santa Lucia is one of the most visited places in Santiago for its easy access, exceptional location and beautiful environment. An old tradition is the  cannon shot  fired daily exactly at twelve o'clock to announce noon.


Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco Church)

     The Iglesia San Francisco, located on Avenida Libertador Bernardo O' Higgins, in the heart of Santiago is the oldest architectural monument in Chile. Adjacent to the temple there is a museum with valuable religious relics of colonial times. Since 1951 it is a National Monument and in 1998 was presented by the Chilean authorities to UNESCO to be considered a World Heritage. This monument also represents an extraordinary example of architectural solidity, since its thick walls are part of the first construction, dating from the late sixteenth century. Not even the earthquakes that throughout the history have ravaged the city, have been able to destroy them.


Parque Forestal


     This urban park has to date over one hundred years of existence since it was created in the early twentieth century, however it continues to be one of the main green lungs of Chile´s capital. It is located in the northern area of the commune of Santiago, flanked on the North side by the Mapocho River. On the south sidewalk of the park there is a continuous facade of elegant buildings, these residences of the fifties and sixties are today highly prized for its view of the park and its central location. Along the park, from the Pio Nono Bridge on the East to the Mapocho Cultural Center, you can tour significant and emblematic places such as Lastarria and Bellas Artes Quarters, the Centro Historico, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Fuente Alemana (German Fountain) and other important monuments of the city. One of the biggest attractions during the tour through the Parque Forestal is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts). The neoclassical building designed by the Chilean- French architect Emile Jequier displays an interesting sculpture collection made by Chilean artists. Behind the Museum is located one of the sites of the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art.


Barrio Bellavista


Barrio Bellavista (Bellavista neighborhood), Santiago de Chile.
Loreto St. in Barrio Bellavista - Photo: latercera.com
     Barrio Bellavista, created in 1920 as a residential area, nowadays has become the bohemian and artistic neighborhood of Santiago par excellence. Currently, pubs and clubs abound which liven up the capital's nightlife, as well as theaters, art galleries, craft shops and a variety of international restaurants. Famous places are the Patio Bellavista, ideal site to buy gifts and souvenirs of Chile as it has a wide range of fine handicraft shops, textiles, jewelry, copperware, books and other souvenirs of Santiago, and very especially "La Chascona", one of the houses belonging to Pablo Neruda, Chilean Nobel Prize for Literature.


Museums, Culture in Santiago 


  The Chilean Capital is not just a busy city, of great economic dynamism but there is also a good space for a diversity of Museums and cultural activities. Santiago offers a wide variety of galleries to learn more about the culture of the country, its people, history, art and natural wonders. For information about culture in Santiago visit my page Museums and Culture in Santiago.



Chilean National Zoo  


     Occupying an area of 4.8 hectares on the SE slope of Cerro San Cristobal (San Cristobal Hill), Metropolitan Park of Santiago. It is the main Zoo in Chile, with more than a thousand animals.  For almost a century, since 1925, it has been a traditional place to visit, among others, for its beautiful natural surroundings and prime location within the city. It is worth mentioning that the complete tour of the Zoo is quite tiring, as the hill has many different levels and one is going up and down continuosly. In summer you should be prepared to beat the heat (in my first visit when I was a child I suffered severe sunstroke).  
Summer Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 Hrs.
Winter hours: 10:00 to 17:00 Hrs.



 Buinzoo Zoological Park   

Zoo near Santiago, Chile.
Buinzoo, near Santiago - Photo: Pixabay
      Address: Km 32 of the Panamericana Sur, commune of Buin. 12 hectares with over 2000 specimens belonging to 400 species, separated according to their places of origin make up the largest Chilean Zoo. Shows and spectacles that delight both children and adults are often offered.  This zoo was created almost unintentionally, for the dedication of the Veterinarian Ignacio Idalsoaga who owned a pig farm in the place and spent part of his time healing sick or injured animals which were brought from the surroundings. After decades, BuinZoo has achieved great reputation for its conservation initiative, care of endangered species and improvement programs for optimal animal health. In fact, in April 2016, the Zoo celebrated the birth of its first baby giraffe, 1.70 mts. in height, in a completely natural birth and under the watchful eye of the veterinary team of the park that did not need to intervene.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 to 18:00 hrs.
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 10:00 to 19:00 hrs.

  
Parque O' Higgins

     76 Hectares urban park in Santiago's downtown, with picnic areas and artificial ponds, formerly called Parque Cousiño. Here each September 19 are commemorated the Glories of the Army  with a large military parade in the "ellipse" of the park. During the days of Fiestas Patrias (Independence Days) September 17, 18 and 19  many popular celebrations  are held in dozens of venues that open especially for the occasion, called "fondas" and "ramadas". This area of the Park is known as the "Pueblito del Parque O'Higgins". The gastronomic offer here is varied, although the most representative product is the "Chilean empanada", either fried or oven, of meat, shellfish and other varieties, also the different types of wine, "chicha" and prepared drinks, some of them wittily called according to the national idiosyncrasy as the "Terremoto" ("Earthquake"), the "Replica"  ("Aftershock") or "Tsunami". Other attractions of what was the "Pueblito" (Little Village) are the Feria y Plaza de Artesanias (Crafts Fair), the "Museo del Huaso", a complete  exhibition dedicated to the countryside man of Central Chile and his environment, the Aquarium (Acuario del Parque O'Higgins), showing the underwater world with more than 1,000 specimens of over 70 species. There is also the Museo de Paleontologia (Paleontology Museum of Chile) to learn from the past of life on earth through a fascinating display with replicas of dinosaurs, fossils of leaves, stems and marine life, a small sample of amber, resins into which there are insects of forty million years, remains of bones and dinosaur eggs, part  of a meteorite that fell in Russia in 1933, etc. A few meters away  is the Museo de Insectos y Caracolas  (Museum of Insects and Conches) that offers a very interesting exhibit of the entomological diversity throughout Chile and other parts of the World, with more than 1,500 native and exotic species like giant Butterflies, Rhinoceros Beetles, large Phasmatodeas from India and many others, all with didactic explanations and where one can appreciate the complete metamorphosis process.

     Another icon of Parque O'Higgins is the multipurpose events center "Movistar Arena",  a World class facility, famous for the artistic shows, Rock festivals and all kinds of Cultural and Sport activities that are performed there.  Also a great attraction in Parque O'Higgins is "Fantasilandia" Amusement Park,  just in front of the "Movistar Arena", with its 7.5 Hs. and more than one million visits a  year is the largest in Chile and one of the most important in Latin America. 
     There  is also the "Centro Deportivo y Recreativo" (Sports and Recreation Center), with excellent facilities for the practice of various sports and the recently inaugurated heated Olympic Swimming Pool, with a really wonderful infrastructure, this being the first of many  innovations expected for the coming years.


Financial District of "Sanhattan"


     Sanhattan (merging of the words Santiago and Manhattan) is the denomination that receives the financial district of Santiago, capital of Chile, located in the vertex formed by the communes of Las Condes, Providencia and Vitacura, area of the city known as the "Barrio Alto" (well- off neighborhood) of Santiago. The place has a large number of modern buildings, among them the Costanera Center, the highest skyscraper in Latin America. Since the end of the twentieth century, Sanhattan is considered the main financial center of the capital, displacing the traditional Santiago's downtown. But at the same time, it is a very welcoming neighborhood for tourists, since it possesses great commercial dynamism. This feature also makes it a great center of attraction especially for visitors from neighboring countries like Argentina, Brazil, etc.


Parque Bicentenario 


Parque Bicentenario (Bicentenario Park, Santiago, Chile).
Parque Bicentenario at sunset - Photo: radiozero.cl
     30 Hs. green belt, located in Vitacura Commune, one of the areas known as the "Barrio Alto" (district of the wealthiest people), north east of Greater Santiago. This park is of very recent creation, its maintenance and facilities are excellent, in its central part is located the local government building. It has grown into one of the attractions of Santiago since it is a very good option to enjoy nature, it is like an oasis in the big city. Though still young, there are over 4,000 trees, many of which are native species, there are two artificial ponds, in one of which live flamingos, black-necked swans, ducks, herons and fishes, in the other pond exotic aquatic plants are cultivated. Parque Bicentenario de Santiago is exceptional for relaxing, picnicking, doing sports, with places for pets and for the little ones to have fun, music, movie and theater performances, on the northeastern end of the park there is a restaurant called El Mestizo,  which provides an amazing natural sight.


Parque Padre Hurtado 


     Address: 8105, Francisco Bilbao Av., Santiago de Chile. Formerly called Parque Intercomunal de La Reina, with its 500,000 m2 is one of the largest recreational green areas existing in Santiago, capital of Chile. It was renamed in memory of Father Alberto Hurtado, Chilean saint of the Catholic Church. Currently, the park is divided between the communes of Las Condes and La Reina, separated by Padre Hurtado Avenue, so its sectors are called "Parque Poniente" and "Parque Oriente". In the West (Poniente) sector there is a picnic area, "Quinchos" (sheds to prepare and enjoy the Roasts), playgrounds, bike rental and paths, pony horses, mini golf, a little wheeled train that runs through the park, a "Medialuna" ("half- moon" to practice the Chilean Rodeos), a skating rink, a cafe, fitness trail, an amphitheater for 10,000 persons approx. which is used during the year for various events, a 1700 m2 artificial lake and bathrooms in different parts of the park. The eastern part of the park has 14 football fields, dressing rooms and toilets, besides a space dedicated to sports, recreation and health known as the "Ciudad Deportiva", a license in the same park given to the famous Chilean footballer Ivan Zamorano; Anakenna II beach with 4 swimming pools for children and an area for entertainment. Access is controlled and the prices are affordable, within the park is located the Administration, with permanent attention from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 18:00 hrs.  
Park Hours: Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays from 8:30 to 18:00  -  Mondays closed for maintenance.



Parque Ines de Suarez  

 
     Address:  1510 Antonio Varas St., Providencia Commune, the name Ines de Suarez reminds the companion and mistress of Pedro de Valdivia, conqueror of Chile, and with whom he founded the city of Santiago in 1541. It is a 5 Hs. enclosed green area, considered a very safe place for visitors, small Park but very entertaining, of very easy access, special for doing sports, picnics, with playgrounds, hiking and biking trails. This part of Santiago is also famous for the "Fondas"  and "Ramadas", venues where Chile's National Days are celebrated every year on September 17, 18 and 19th. 


Cementerio General de Santiago (General Cemetery)

    
     Located in the commune of Recoleta, with 86 hectares of surface area and approximately 2 million people buried, this cemetery is one of the largest in Latin America. Created by Bernardo O' Higgins, Father of the Nation, inaugurated on December 9, 1821. Due to its antiquity, the Cementerio General is an open-air museum with an immeasurable historic, cultural and heritage value for the country. Walking through its alleys, -taking advantage of the numerous tours offered by the agencies-, is getting to know the history of Chile, people and personalities that marked it.  Address: 951, Profesor Alberto Zañartu Av., commune of Recoleta.


Fantasilandia Amusement Park    

 

 
Fantasilandia Amusement Park, Santiago, Chile.
Photo: latercera.com
   This recreational area of about 8 hectares was opened on January 1978, situated in the famous Parque O'Higgins, just at the back of the Movistar Arena, not far away from Parque O'Higgins Metro Station. Today Fantasilandia is one of the most important amusement parks in Latin America, receiving annually more than one million visits. The park has fun for all ages, even for the little ones, because apart from having the thrilling Suspended Looping Coaster known as Raptor, the Boomerang Roller Coaster, the Kamikaze Ride, the Evolution Ride, the Tsunami and many others, there is also an area specially equipped for children called Fantasilandia Kids, with more than 14 children and family games, so that kids either alone or accompanied by their parents can enjoy a healthy and exciting fun adapted to their age.  
Location: 938 Beaucheff Av., Santiago.


Ski Centers in Chile 

     
    The Andes Mountain Range has been generous  to provide fantastic natural settings for the practice of winter sportsand the Chilean Ski Centers have taken advantage of this opportunity provided by Nature.  The season begins in mid-June and extends to mid-October. High season usually runs from early July until the end of August. In the south of the country there are also other important ski fields and resorts mentioned in post Southern Chile.  The most important Ski Fields near Santiago are:

* La Parva Ski Center
* Farellones Ski Center
* Valle Nevado Ski Center           
* El Colorado Ski Center
* Portillo Ski Center (Province of Los Andes, Region of Valparaiso)
* Lagunillas Ski Center