Over the last two and a half years I have spent in Chile I have noticed that trekking and trail running have become extremely more popular, on the trail running side it could be just because I have become more involved in the wonderful community that is here in Chile, but trekking is definitely more popular and fashionable.
The plus side of living in Santiago, is being surrounded by beautiful and majestic mountains that are only a skip hop and a jump away for a weekend adventure. With the vast variety of mountains, well, as they are called here, hills, it means there is something for all ages, and fitness levels.
Today I want to share with you one of my favorite basic treks (or basic trail runs), Cerro Manquehuito, which is located in the Vitacura neighborhood. Manquehuito is about 1,300m high but from the “official starting point” in the RKF park you will only have to go up about 200-300m. (I’ve found a few websites online saying its around 400+m but last time I went with my Garmin watch, it calculated it to be a bit over 200m.) and all it depends on the route you take. With a distance of about 4k you can easily get though the trek in less than 2 hours – but make sure to spend some time up the top taking in the spectacular views! It should be noted that the RKF park is also the starting point for Cerro Manquehue which is a tad more challenging so keen and eye out for when you need to turn right in order to summit Manquehuito!
How to get there
Getting there isn’t too hard via public transport. The best way is taking the red metro line (line 1) to the station Los Dominicos, from there you can easily take a collectivo up to the starting point, uber or taxi. During the summer months the Vitacura Community sets up weekend buses from the roundabout Lo Curro. In order to get there take the C14 Micro (Bus) from Escuela Militar. These buses run from 9:30 till 13:30 in the afternoon.
Before going out on any trek, in really any corner of the world, make sure you are prepared with water, food and appropriate clothing! Remember to check the forecast before going out. Over the past few years there have various tragic incidents in the hills around Santiago and Chile which some of them could of been prevented if those involved had been more prepared – please be careful.
Also to note, Cerro Manquehue and Manquehuito have been known for a few robberies in the past years, and you can see that RKF is doing their best to prevent this from continuing, however, it is best not to go alone, and well, it’s always nice to share the experience and incredible view with good friends or someone special!
One of the times we went up, we went up with the intention to catch the sunset. If you do so, make sure you know the route, have the correct clothes and have headlamps for the descent.