The 10 Most Beautiful Parks and Gardens in Santiago, Chile

View of the skyline of Santiago, Chile from Cerro Santa Lucia | © Jess Kraft
View of the skyline of Santiago, Chile from Cerro Santa Lucia | © Jess Kraft
Photo of Elizabeth Trovall
8 February 2017

Santiago, Chile is known for its numerous parks and green spaces that are easy to take advantage of thanks to the city’s warm and sunny climate. Ideal for a picnic, people-watching or reading some of Pablo Neruda’s passionate love poems, an afternoon in any of these ten beautiful parks is a low-cost, peaceful way to enjoy Santiago.

Parque Bicentenario

This well-manicured park in the ritzy Vitacura neighbourhood is a beautiful place for a relaxing stroll or jog. With the Andes mountains in the background, the Bicentenario Park offers nice pathways, sculptures and a pond where you can see flamingos in the flesh (er, feathers). For a bite of ceviche and a fine dining experience, check out the restaurant Mestizo, which offers a view of the park and is among Santiago’s top-rated restaurants.

Bicentenary Park with Santiago de Chile Amazing Skyline | 130629-4889-jikatu © Jimmy Baikovicius

Parque Quinta Normal

Founded back in 1841, the Quinta Normal Park is Santiago’s oldest and often regarded as the most beautiful. In addition to the park’s shady trees and pond complete with paddle boats, there are several museums and historic buildings located inside the park including the National Museum of Natural History and the Children’s Museum. Keep in mind the park can get very busy on weekends – which can be fun for people-watching – but makes for a less relaxed atmosphere.

Quinta Normal courtesy of Elizabeth Trovall

Parque Araucano

Often compared to New York City’s Central Park, Parque Araucano is one of Santiago’s top parks, featuring a rose garden, a skate park and other sports facilities. Inside Parque Araucano, there’s also a paid attraction called ‘Selva Viva’ where visitors can experience a tropical climate and engage with a variety of exotic plants and animals.

Parque Araucano 45 | © Rodrigo Pizarro

Parque O’Higgins

Santiago’s second-largest public park, Parque O’Higgins stretches across 190 acres and is great for an escape from the concrete jungle. Besides its expansive green spaces, lake, swimming pool, skate park and trails, the park includes the amusement park Fantasilandia and the Movistar Arena, one of the country’s leading music venues. Parque O’Higgins is also known for hosting traditional festivals during the Fiestas Patrias national holidays in September.

Green dreams II | © Antífama

Parque Forestal

This popular city park is conveniently located in the Bellas Artes neighbourhood along the Mapocho River. With great jogging and bike paths lined with trees, Parque Forestal is a beautiful place to get in some exercise and check out the heart of the city.

Tree hugging | © Eduardo Zárate

Jardin Castillo Hidalgo

On top of the Santa Lucia Hill in Bellas Artes, the unique Jardin Castillo Hidalgo is a pleasant garden area by the historic Hidalgo Castle where visitors can appreciate the landscaping and catch an unforgettable view of the city. Take some time to explore Santa Lucia; the hill is bigger than it looks and offers gorgeous green areas and lookouts.

CBC-34 | © Jenn Dyer

Santuario de la Naturaleza El Arrayán

Tucked away in the outskirts of Santiago, the Sanctuario de la Naturaleza El Arrayán is worth the trek. This gorgeous nature sanctuary is located in the foothills of the Andes and offers stunning views, fresh air, and plenty of spaces to grill or picnic along the Arrayán estuary.

Arrayan courtesy of Elizabeth Trovall

Parque de las Esculturas

Santiago’s Sculpture Park, or Parque de las Esculturas, is located along the Mapocho River in Providencia and is a divine location for familiarising yourself with Chilean artists or plopping down for an afternoon picnic. Walk through the park and discover the thirty different sculptures, each done by a Chilean sculptor.

Fragmento de PERCEPCIÓN, de Lisi Fox | © Carlos Reusser Monsalvez

Parque por la Paz, Villa Grimaldi

Dedicated to the memory of the thousands of victims of Chile’s 17-year dictatorship, the Parque por la Paz, or Peace Park, is small, quiet and packs an emotional punch. The park includes an audio guide in English to learn more about the park’s importance and the human rights violations of Chile’s political past.

Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi - Santiago Chile - Peace Park | © David Berkowitz

Parque de los Reyes

Watch locals play soccer, take a jog or long walk and enjoy this park that runs along the Mapocho river. While in the neighbourhood, walk over to the Estación Mapocho Cultural Center, located on the park’s east side.

Parque de los reyes | © Fernando Navarro Urrutia

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