Bellavista Walking Tour, Santiago

Bellavista Walking Tour (Self Guided), Santiago

One of Santiago's most enigmatic neighborhoods, Bellavista is a lively and quirky area akin to Montmartre in Paris. Known for its bohemian culture and thumping nightlife, the district is dotted with casual pubs, low-lit cocktail bars, discos and numerous eateries serving fusion cuisine. Many of the city's esteemed intellectuals and artists live in Bellavista, following in the footsteps of its most famous denizen, Chile’s Noble-laureate poet Pablo Neruda, whose former home, La Chascona, is part of the district and is one of its main cultural attractions.

The increasingly popular shopping/dining area, Patio Bellavista, boasts a number of bars and restaurants, as well as a selection of shops selling the sort of items – crafts, leather goods, weavings and jewelry – that visitors love to take home; a pleasant place for an afternoon stroll.

Other than the hip restaurants, boutiques, and avant-garde galleries occupying loft spaces, Bellavista stuns visitors with its colorful streets awash with fanciful old architecture. Also adds to the appeal is the lushness of a colossal tree-clad hill, Cerro San Cristóbal, providing a natural backdrop, complete with Metropolitan Park established in the 1870s.

The funicular service – Teleférico de Santiago – offers an easy, yet adrenalin-stimulating ride to the summit of the hill, crowned with the gigantic statue of Virgin Mary, by using the egg-shaped cable cars (teleféricos).

If you wish to acquaint yourself more closely with all the cuteness of Bellavista, at your own pace, consider taking this self-guided walking tour and enjoy yourself!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bellavista Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bellavista Walking Tour
Guide Location: Chile » Santiago (See other walking tours in Santiago)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Patio Bellavista
  • Plaza Camilo Mori (Camilo Mori Square)
  • Castillo Lehuedé (Red House)
  • La Chascona (Pablo Neruda House)
  • Metropolitan Park of Santiago
  • Teleférico de Santiago (Santiago Cable Car)
  • Cerro San Cristobal (San Cristóbal Hill)
Patio Bellavista

1) Patio Bellavista (must see)

A traveler searching for a one-stop place where culture, art and cuisine combine should make their way to Patio Bellavista in the heart of Santiago. This beautiful patio is a meeting place with numerous delights: wine shops, restobars, restaurants, art, crafts, an ice cream parlor and art gallery. More than fifty shops, featuring the best quality of art souvenirs and handicrafts, can be found here, with jewelry, artwork, pottery, fine leather products, textiles and books all finding a home.

The place can be accessed from various major tourist destinations, including La Chascona, El Mercado Central and Cerro San Cristobal. This is a top destination for a nocturnal traveler who fancies some night entertainment, whereas those more active during the day could relax and enjoy this patio visiting its various shops and restaurants. There are usually several events on the go that are sure to catch the traveler's eye, including historical and cultural exhibitions, as well as traditional dances that will give you a better peek into the life and culture of the natives.

Why You Should Visit:
Despite being in the middle of a very busy and dynamic area, it has a bohemian atmosphere (especially in the afternoon or early evening), with a mixture of souvenir and craft shops, excellent restaurants (Asian, Italian, Spanish and Chilean cuisines – some have a 2nd floor with a view to the whole patio), bars, pizzerias, pubs, as well as plenty of dessert spots for crepes or the rolling ice cream that's all the craze at the moment. Great place for first-time visitors.

Plan your trip to allow time to visit one of the open-air restaurants on the patio.
Plaza Camilo Mori (Camilo Mori Square)

2) Plaza Camilo Mori (Camilo Mori Square)

Camilo Mori Square (Plaza Camilo Mori) resides in the charming commune of Providencia, nestled in the heart of Santiago. This delightful square is situated between the bustling streets of Constitución and Antonia López de Bello, gracefully nestled within the vibrant Barrio Bellavista. Notably, Pio Nono street, a mere block away, leads to both the renowned Chilean National Zoo and the picturesque San Cristóbal Hill.

Camilo Mori Square stands as a prominent hub for bohemian culture in Santiago, attracting diverse souls seeking artistic inspiration and camaraderie. The square plays host to several prominent landmarks, including the captivating house-museum of Pablo Neruda, affectionately known as La Chascona, as well as the vibrant Centro Mori, along with a myriad of delightful pubs and restaurants that stretch southward along Constitución street.

Above all, this lively plaza boasts a plethora of workshops, theaters, and cultural centers, fostering creativity and expression for enthusiasts of various artistic disciplines. The spirit of renowned artists permeates the area, as exemplified by the esteemed namesakes of this part of Barrio Bellavista, such as Nemesio Antúnez, Pablo Neruda, Mario Baeza, and Camilo Mori. Their legacy enriches the ambiance and perpetuates the artistic essence of this captivating neighborhood.
Castillo Lehuedé (Red House)

3) Castillo Lehuedé (Red House)

Castillo Lehuede, or Red House, is located on Plaza Mori in the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago. It was built in 1923 for Don Pedro Lehuede, a successful merchant, but now serves as a boutique hotel.

The architect who designed the house was Federico Bieregel. The exterior of the home is covered in red stone and has numerous balconies. The interior includes oak floors, stained glass doors, large fireplaces and coffered ceilings.

Those tourists who do not wish to stay at the Castillo Lehuede can take a peek at the interior when they dine at the hotel's restaurant. The hotel also has an outdoor terrace where guests can sit to eat or have a glass of wine.

Castillo Lehuede is also referred to as the Castillo Rojo Hotel. Visitors who walk by the hotel can enjoy the view from the Plaza Mori, which is located directly in front of the building's entrance.
La Chascona (Pablo Neruda House)

4) La Chascona (Pablo Neruda House) (must see)

La Chascona, the home of Pablo Neruda, a celebrated Chilean poet, was built in 1953. Neruda and his future wife had used this property as a romantic getaway for years before they actually tied the knot. The house is located at Bellavista, at the foot of San Cristobal Hill.

It features a unique style, with one of its most outstanding features being the library with a wide collection of paintings from Chile and around the world, as well as the books that once belonged to the poet.

Replete with winding stairs, paths and bridges, La Chascona has a secret passageway and a bedroom at the top of the tower. Various collections of seashells, butterflies, wine glasses and many other different objects allow visitors a glimpse of romantic inspiration that was responsible for Neruda's poetic creations. Today the building is a house-museum and is open to public year round.

The property was vandalized after the coup of 1973 that overthrew president Salvador Allende, but Matilde, Pablo Neruda's wife, did her best to preserve the property and lived here until she passed away in 1985.

Why You Should Visit:
Very interesting mix of architecture and history of Neruda's life that will not leave you disappointed. The house itself can be both elegant and flamboyant at the same time, reflecting Neruda's unique tastes in furnishing and design. Besides, you get an interesting look not only at a brilliant creative human being but also a general overview of the 20th century with a little Communism, Socialism, gender equality, machismo, dictatorships and human rights all part and parcel...

Take the tour with an audio device, as it is really essential for understanding the layout. Also, make sure to see the short movie before embarking on the tour – you won't be able to see it after.
Metropolitan Park of Santiago

5) Metropolitan Park of Santiago

The Metropolitan Park of Santiago is a public park nestled within the city. It is more than 1,700 acres, making it more than twice the size of New York City's Central Park. It is the largest urban park in Chile and the second largest in South America.

The park consists of San Cristobal Hill, the Chilean National Zoo, two open-air pools, a botanical garden, a children's park and a sanctuary. The Metropolitan Park of Santiago also has a cable car that takes visitors from the base of San Cristobal Hill to the sanctuary at its peak. From there, tourists can take the Funicular downhill.

Birdwatching is a popular activity at the park. It is easy to find more than 40 species of birds on any given day. Most birdwatching takes place at the summit of San Cristobal Hill. Visitors who aren't lucky with their birdwatching can easily find rhea birds, condors, emus and penguins at the zoo.

The Metropolitan Park of Santiago is open from 6 AM through 8:30 PM from Monday through Friday and from 6 AM through 9:30 PM on weekends and holidays.
Teleférico de Santiago (Santiago Cable Car)

6) Teleférico de Santiago (Santiago Cable Car)

The Santiago Cable Car (Teleférico de Santiago) is a captivating aerial tramway designed for tourists, situated within the enchanting Metropolitan Park of San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago.

Commencing its construction in 1979, the project faced challenges due to the rugged volcanic rock terrain, which required installing 12 towers. After a year's effort, the Santiago Cable Car proudly inaugurated on April 1, 1980, boasting 72 ovoid-shaped cabins gliding at a speed of 14.4 kilometers per hour, covering a 4.8 kilometers stretch in just 20 minutes.

However, on June 7, 2009, an unfortunate mechanical failure occurred, leading to the temporary suspension of its services. In response, a comprehensive project was introduced in 2011, aimed at revamping the cable car system, providing it with new cabins, and restoring its infrastructure. Graciously, the cable car resumed operations on November 24, 2016, inaugurated by President Michelle Bachelet.

Presently, the renovated cable car is equipped with 47 cabins, with 16 cabins each in striking red, blue, and green colors, capable of accommodating up to six passengers each. Additionally, eight specialized cabins are thoughtfully designed to accommodate bicycles, with four in each carriage, along with a maintenance trolley. The system now operates at a flexible speed, ranging from 1 to 5 meters per second, which is approximately 18 kilometers per hour.

The cable car route encompasses three distinct stations: Oasis, Tupahue, and Cumbre. At the Cumbre station, passengers can conveniently connect with the Funicular de Santiago. The Tupahue station is conveniently located near the Tupahue Pool, the serene Mapulemu Botanical Garden (referred to as the "Forest of the Earth"), and the inviting Camino Real Restaurant.
Cerro San Cristobal (San Cristóbal Hill)

7) Cerro San Cristobal (San Cristóbal Hill) (must see)

Those who seek the best view of picturesque Santiago de Chile should make their way to the majestic San Cristóbal Hill in the northern part of the city. The hill rises to about 880 meters, which is approximately 300 meters higher than most of the sites in Santiago. It is the second highest spot in the city, and the view it affords is quite spectacular.

At the very top of the hill stands the statue of Virgin Mary, inaugurated in 1908. There is also a church which became well known after Pope John Paul II served a mass there in 1987. The largest park in Santiago, a vast urban expanse of green space with varied landscapes and roads for vehicles, is also found on the hill.

If you go there on a sunny summer day shortly after it is rained and the smog cleared off, you can see virtually everything from the high-rising towers of Santiago to the Andes mountains far beyond.

Why You Should Visit:
The "must-see" big hill in Santiago, hands down. Many things to do in the park, like hiking its many trails, cycling, going to the pool in the summer, riding the funicular and the recently renovated cable car, visiting different corners (Japanese Garden and/or different playgrounds), etc.

Make sure you get Mote con Huesillo at the peak! Most refreshing (made with a dried peach, husked wheat and sugar syrup) traditional drink plus an 'empanada de pino'!

Walking Tours in Santiago, Chile

Create Your Own Walk in Santiago

Create Your Own Walk in Santiago

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santiago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Santiago Introduction Walking Tour

Santiago Introduction Walking Tour

Santiago is the political, financial, and cultural center of Chile. The capital city was founded on Santa Lucia Hill in 1541 by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia. Surrounded by the snow-capped Andes, Santiago offers history, gorgeous architecture, world-class museums, and fabulous markets.

Start your trip from Santa Lucia Hill which has one of the best views of Santiago and the Andes...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Recoleta Walking Tour

Recoleta Walking Tour

Established under the rule of Pinochet, Recoleta is perhaps the most famous of all the Santiago communes. It is undeniably one of Chile’s most multicultural places, replete with historic and architectural attractions: churches, parks and more.

The Franciscan Church and Convent of Recoleta – built in 1843, this Neoclassical complex with Tuscan influence was declared a National Monument in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Historical Churches and Cathedrals

Historical Churches and Cathedrals

For a country relatively small in terms of population, Chile is quite rich in two things: coastline and churches. Thanks to the Spanish founders of the Chilean capital, the majority of Santiago’s temples are Catholic. Given that most of them are conveniently located in the downtown area, checking out these historic religious sites doesn’t take too much time.

The San Francisco Church –...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Santiago Shopping and Food Tour

Santiago Shopping and Food Tour

Santiago is a busy, walkable city, with a fairly compact downtown bursting with exciting places to dine and shop. In recent years, Chile's affluence has prompted many international retailers to open their stores in the country's capital. Here you can shop practically for everything: from food to clothing to gifts and beyond, much as your bank account allows you.

The pedestrian zones...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

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