Our visit to Santiago got off to a bit of a rocky start when we were robbed within the first 30 minutes of our arrival in the city (you can read more about that here). As a result we spent most of our first two days in the city working to replace some of the stolen items.
Shaking off that unfortunate experience, we set out to see some of the many interesting things to do and see in the capital of Chile.
Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
This museum has a large collection of artifacts from Central and South America. Over 100 different people groups are represented, including familiar Mayan carvings and pottery that we had learned about in Belize.
Chemamull statues were used by the Mapuche people to mark grave sites.
The kids enjoyed seeing all the different pieces of pottery, especially the ones depicting animals.
The museum included a section geared towards kids, with interactive activities. The boys tried to imitate a traditional dance routine.
Cerro Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia Hill rises a few hundred feet above the city, providing a nice place to go for a walk and take in the views of the surrounding area. We made our way to the top, passing by tourists and locals alike who were out enjoying the nice weather.
Bicentenario De La Infancia
This park geared towards children is located just northeast of Cerro San Cristobal. We first learned about it from this post at The Expater and decided to check it out for ourselves.
At the bottom of the park there is a super long play structure with ramps and tunnels.
Another section of the park features a hillside full of concrete slides. The slides were a bit hot from the afternoon sun but the shade from the trees helped somewhat.
We followed a pathway up the side of the hill where we found another playground where the kids took turns seeing how long they could hang from the monkey bars.
We exited the park at the east (uphill) gate and walked along a dirt trail towards the Cerro San Cristobal Funicular.
Along the way we passed by more play areas. The trail and the playgrounds seemed relatively newly constructed.
Cerro San Cristobal Funicular
Cerro San Cristobal is the second highest peak in the city and is topped by a statue of the Virgin Mary that can be seen from all over the city.
It is possible to walk to the peak but we decided to take a ride on the funicular.
After a short ride we exited the funicular and took in the view of the city below.
We were also a bit hungry so we bought empanadas from a kiosk at the top of the hill.
After our snack we climbed the rest of the way up to the statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue is within a peaceful sanctuary; the Pope paid a visit here in 1987.
Museo Interactivo Mirador
This interactive science museum is located about six miles from the central part of Santiago. It is fairly easy to reach via the Metro but we decided to take an Uber.
We unwittingly visited on half price day (Wednesday) during the school holidays. Not surprisingly there were lots of visitors but the crowds didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the museum.
In the courtyard there was an art installation with colorful hanging tubes, an area with musical instruments, and a playground.
Inside we found some of the activities that we’ve come to expect in science museums geared towards kids, including a bubble making area.
One room was dedicated to electricity. Within were various displays demonstrating various concepts related to electricity, including a Van der Graaf generator and a plasma globe.
A separate building within the museum complex is dedicated to astronomy. Here the kids learned about different types of stars, comparing the size and mass of red giants and neutron stars.
Upstairs the boys experimented with this light table.
We had a great day out at the Museo Interactivo Mirador and it is one of the better science museums that we have visited. The only downside was that there were few English translations for the exhibits in the main building. Likewise, there were several live exhibitions on offer but these were also only offered in Spanish.
Santiago is a great family destination with plenty of activities for kids; the city is full of great public spaces and playgrounds. Despite the rough start to our stay there we look forward to coming back and exploring the city further.
In our next update, we head north to the Atacama Desert!