With paved bike lanes leading to stunning hilltop views, biking is the best way to see Santiago. This guide will get you started, with some of the best scenic bike routes around the city center.
Through the leafy suburbs of Barrio Italia
Route: Plaza Italia – Parque Bustamante – Barrio Italia – Inés de Suárez – Ñuñoa
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This is a leisurely route on paved cycle paths through some of Santiago’s more picturesque neighborhoods. This is the route you may want to start with – especially if you would like to escape the busy roads and enjoy a relaxed cycle around some leafy suburban streets.
Go through the park and past the skatepark of Bustamente and take a left into Barrio Italia, where there are plenty of quirky, bohemian cafés to stop at. You can stay on the cycle path at Marin, until you get to Antonio Varas. This path borders on the Inés de Suárez Park, which is a great picnic spot if you’re looking for a pitstop.
Continue down Antonio Varas until you hit Plaza Ñuñoa, where there’s plenty of space to park the bike and walk around the neighborhood, which is full of cafés, theaters, and cute resting points.
The classic Cerro San Cristobal climb
Route: Plaza Italia – Pio No No – Cerro San Cristobal (Virgen) – Pedro de Valdivia
This is the classic Cerro bike route. Head north from Plaza Italia toward Bellavista. Once on Pio No No, take the bike path that leads to the Cerro entrance, where the cable car is. From here, you just follow the road and climb – there is a bike lane mapped out, but the path twists and turns, so do remember to watch out for cars when turning corners.
The timing will depend on your fitness, as it’s a pretty steep and constant climb, but experienced mountain bikers can reach the top within 30 minutes. From there, enjoy national beverage Mote con Huesillos before heading back down the same route – but you won’t be able to go down to Pio No No. Instead, you’ll have to head towards the Gabriela Mistral Park and take the Gabriela Mistral road down to Pedro Valdivia.
The historical route
Route: Plaza Italia – Mercado Nacional – Rosas – Plaza Brasil – La Moneda
This is a great bike route through the centro historico, where you’ll pass by some iconic places, landmarks, and museums.
Cycle through Parque Forestal towards Bellas Artes. In the park, you’ll pass the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – one of Santiago’s top museums. You can park outside the museum (there are some bike racks around the side – just be sure to double lock, and always use a U-lock) and check out some impressive art. To continue on, follow the Rosas bike path to Barrio Brasil, where you can take time to enjoy the colonial-style houses and the superb street art.
You can continue down Avenida Brasil until you reach the Alameda, which will take you up to La Moneda, a great spot to take some pictures of the Presidential Palace.
Santiago center – west bike trip
Route: Plaza Italia – Vitacura – Cerro San Cristobal (Antillen) – P. Valdivia
Get out of the city center with this bike route, and go past the fountain lit with colored lights at Plaza de Aviaciones and through Providencia toward Latin America’s tallest building, the Costanera Center. Keep on in that direction and you will soon find yourself out of the city traffic with the mountains ahead. You can go up the west part of the Cerro San Cristobal and ride through the green hills above the city. After five to ten minutes of steep climbing, you’ll be rewarded with some great views of the city and the mountains. From here, you can navigate the cerro roads – these aren’t exclusively bike paths, so be careful of cars when descending!
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