Cerro de San Cristóbal

As I was looking up different things to do while in Santiago, Chile I saw going up the San Cristóbal Hill and seeing the view of the city was a must.

On our way to the hill we were walking around aimlessly, I adopted a stray dog, the stray abandoned me for food, and then we were turned away at the gates of the hill. The worker told us the gate closed at 8pm and he couldn’t let us in with cameras watching. It was 8:30 and there was no way we were letting New Year’s Day go to waste. We found an open gate on the side and sneaked inside, great decision.

While trying to avoid the guard who didn’t let us in we finally found the start to the hill. When we began we had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into, online it said the trip was about 20 minutes to the top…longest 20 minutes I’ve ever lived.

As we kept going up the hill I felt like I had more and more energy to get to the top. The hill just continued to get steeper and everyone wanted to give up but that wasn’t an option for me, I knew I would make it to the top even if my last steps were crawling. The high altitude definitely caused shortness of breath but I was so eager I even started jogging up at certain points leaving my friends a bit behind. I really wanted to see the sunset from the top of the hill. As we kept going they kept asking different people how much longer until we reached the top and it seemed no matter how far we got people would say 20 minutes, it was no motivation so my friends gave up on asking.

When we were finally able to see the statue of the Saint located at the top of the hill we were excited to think we finally made it. When we thought we reached the top I saw another gate and walked right through. A guard immediately stopped me and insisted the top was closed but I wasn’t traveling all the way up there to not see the view from the top; I ran further in and told the guard it would just take a second, there were others still inside anyways. My friends stayed behind and after seeing the view I ran back to where they were and we began taking photographs and just taking in the beautiful view. Unfortunately, we only got to see the end of the sunset so there’s no doubt I will be returning before my trip is over. Regardless, it was beautiful to see all the lights in the city.

At some point the guards came up to us and told us we had to leave, it was too dangerous to be on the hill so late. They encourage everyone to leave by 9:30 because many people get jumped and robbed on the way down when it’s dark out, it was already well past 10. We had to walk down the car trail because it was the only section with lights although even that was barely lit. When we were a bit over halfway down a security in a truck drove by and offered us a ride. We all hopped in and going down the hill in the back of the truck was an adventure on it’s own.

In all ways the trip was quite a start to 2015, until we meet again Cerro de San Cristóbal.

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