I didn’t expect much of a family holiday when arriving in Santiago this year. But I have been pleasantly surprised to find many child friendly things to do with my daughter Maya.
If you are looking for a family vacation that has something for everyone then Santiago is the place! This bustling city is filled with beautiful parks and museums, delicious food, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy family fun.
The Great Outdoors at Parque Metropolitano
Santiago is a nature-lover’s dream. From the stunning snowcapped Andes Mountains to the lush green forests of Parque Metropolitano, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore the great outdoors.
I started my exploration with Maya at the Teleférico Metropolitano. I got an uber from my downtown dwellings to the Oasis Teleférico station that’s in Parque Metropolitano – in under fifteen minutes. The Parque (park) is the fourth largest urban park in the world.
For £8 return I bought myself an adult ticket (3 year olds are free and so are adults over 70). The cable car ride is long and offers stunning views of the entire city. It also goes over an amazing swimming pool and then stops at Tupahue Station. Being a pool lover I got out here and enquired about going in the pool. It was £7 for me to enter and free for Maya. Being a hot day ( all days are hot and sunny in the December – April months here) I jumped at the chance for us to go swimming.
We luckily had our costumes with us and enjoyed the very clean and huge pool for hours. It’s the largest swimming pool I have ever been in with magnificent views from the pool side. Maya enjoyed jumping in and letting me catch her for over two hours. The pool was the perfect temperature but I had to warm her up again on the grassy resting area for a bit before moving on.
After recovering by the pool we got back in the cable car to the top of the mountain where we disembarked and enjoyed mushroom and cheese empanadas and Mote con Huesillo which is a traditional Chilean drink made from wheat, flour, and peaches—typically sweet tasting and served cold. We sat on little stone seats placed looking over the mountain while enjoying our local delicacies.
Of course being a capitalist city there is a toy stand there at the top of the mountain and Maya wouldn’t stop demanding one. It actually had some very creative toys such as a pig faced camera that shoots bubbles, so I relented and got her that to keep her entertained.
Above this stop is a further walk to the statue of the Virgin Mary that can be seen from all over the city. Being hot and not having my pram with me I didn’t want to force Maya to go up hill with me to see Mary so we gave it a miss.
However at this point I did discover a vernacular that took us from the top of the mountain to a Zoo down below.
Maya of course loved seeing the penguins, the monkeys, the giraffe and the tigers. We made our way down the mountain enjoying an impressive selection of animals. The entrance fee was super cheap again, around £4 and the Zoo was certainly worth it.
By the end of the day we were both truly exhausted and got an uber as soon as we finished with the Zoo. Maya went straight to sleep when we got home. This was a very successful day of sightseeing and I noticed that there were still many more things to explore at the Metropolitan park, which is surrounded by playgrounds, swimming pools, trails and many attractions that you can visit. In addition, you can complement your visit with the Santiago Funicular or other attractions on board panoramic buses.
The Mapulemu Garden is another of the attractions near this station due to its 4.5 hectares of Chilean flora. Its name in Mapudungún means “earth forest” and is home to native species such as: mañíos, peumos, boldos, corcolén, thorns, among others.
Finally, the Plaza Gabriela Mistral is another nearby place, where the smallest of the house can have fun in the didactic games of the place.
The Tupahue Station is also a place of connection to paths that take you to all the entrances to the park, you can get off according to the ticket you have purchased and visit various different attractions.
It’s most important to remember sunscreen however as although there are lots of trees the sun can be strong. Read more about staying healthy whilst travelling here.