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Day 4 – What a Day

By the time our group sat down to eat dinner at the end of our last day in Santiago, we had all walked over 10 miles throughout the day! Our time was well spent in the afternoon as we hiked through some of Santiago’s culturally significant landscapes. First we started our walking tour in Santiago’s City Center; an open paved area bordered by many significant buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, which had been rebuilt five times throughout Chile’s history! In the main plaza, numerous species of plants provide resting shade areas and a break in the city texture. Here we saw people relaxing with their families and lounging under the canopy of the taller trees. An interesting fact about Santiago is how the city started developing and was designed to be a noticeable city block planning.

City Center flora includes various species from flowers and shrubs to enormous trees!

City Center flora includes various species from flowers and shrubs to enormous trees!

Here is one of the illustrations of the block design of Santiago over the years.

Here is one of the illustrations of the block design of Santiago over the years.

Our next stop was Santa Lucia Hill, a 69 meter high rock hill jutting out from the center of Santiago. At the top, we took in the views of Santiago from the highest point in the city center. History of the Santa Lucia Hill crosses between the original inhabitants [Heulén] and conquerors around the 1500s as lookout points. In the late 1800s, Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna redesigned Santa Lucia Hill to include fountains and lookouts with exquisite flora. Our group loved exploring the vastness of the creativity present on Santa Lucia Hill.

Taken from one of the tiers at Santa Lucia Hill.

Taken from one of the tiers at Santa Lucia Hill.

We finished the day with a ride in a rail tram up to San Cristobal Hill, home to the 22-meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This statue was also blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1987 and on the same day he blessed the city of Santiago. We opted to walk down from San Cristobal Hill, a decrease in 300 meter elevation, which turned into an hour stroll on our way back to the hotel. Needless to say, we all happily took a seat when it came time for dinner.

The Blessed Virgin Mary at San Cristobal Hill.

The Blessed Virgin Mary at San Cristobal Hill.

Views of Santiago on our journey down from San Cristobal Hill.

Views of Santiago on our journey down from San Cristobal Hill.

Our group truly appreciated the help of many of the people who showed us around Santiago, especially Leynar! Day 5 we travel to Talca so stay tuned for more!

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