Santiago is surrounded by mountains, from small hills to 6.000 meters high glaciated peaks, which probably makes one of the best cities in the world for hiking and outdoor sports. In the nearby backcountry, at just 30 minutes from downtown, you can find the first trails that go through Mediterranean forest, a unique environment with cactus and chaguales on the north faces and evergreen hard leaves trees on south ones, like Peumo and Quillay. Most of the trails gain altitude quickly and provide an amazing view of the big Andes Range or the whole city. Santiago also has a singular caracteristic than not many other cities can feel proud of: thousands of acres of “Island Mounts” inside the city. We call them island mounts because they are surrounded by the urban areas, and most of them have been protected, providing natural parks inside the city.
The biggest mountain you can find as “Island Mount” is Manquehue Mount of 1665 meters and at a side it’s little brother Manquehuito with 1316 meters. Manquehue means "Condor Place" and still now you can find them flying around. Andes Explora performs hiking to this mounts in Sunset Hike mode, where you can enjoy a nice sunset over the Andes and a safe return using head lamps, or morning mode enjoying the fresh air and the rise of the sun behind the Andes.
Then, going deeper on the mountain on a range of 1 to 2,5 hours you can access to medium altitude mountain, so now you are hiking deep in the mountain looking big waterfalls hanging from amazing cliffs and glaciers at 3000 meters, the air is completely pure, dry and cold and you will see in High definition mode the mountains around you. Some hikes will lead you to amazing glaciers like Juncal Glacier, Morado Hanging Glacier or San Francisco Glacier, other will take you to see amazing wild life like the Andes Tour were you can see the huge Condor Bird flying or foxes while you enjoy Chilean wine and cheese. One step forward if you like the high mountain is to enjoy the opportunity to access on an easy way to a beautiful summit of more than 4.000 meters (13.000 ft). You will drive up till one of the ski resort at 45 minutes of Santiago and from then there you can take the summer ski lift till the highest point were the adventure starts. You will walk over orange sand and you’ll fill like walking on Mars. The breath taking views will refresh your mind and finally you will reach the summit of Pintor Mount at 4200 meters with gorgeous views of huge mountains with glaciers.
In winter the Andes Over Santiago are covered by snow, just from the city is an spectacle to see this huge white wall. Some people said Santiago in winter is the most beautiful city in the world. Same snow allows to enjoy the mountain in a different way with skis or snow shoes, so you can make amazing trips in the Farellones Area, Yerba Loca Park or Morado Natural Monument all of them pretty close to the city.