San Carlos de Apoquindo
One of my favourite places in Santiago to train, run, do trekking and just escape everyday life is San Carlos de Apoquindo which is part of the Asociación Parque Cordillera. With so many different trails it’s a place you can easily visit more than once and it will still have that new adventure feel!
I love this place so much more than manquehue, which for me is so overrated – and overpopulated if you want to escape the city and do some exercise on a weekend. I personally don’t find the manquehue route that interesting – but don’t get me wrong though, the view from the top of that “hill/mountain” is spectacular. I just find that San Carlos has it’s own magic, like a real escape from the city (Sorry I felt a need to highlight Manquehue because it’s all the foreigners I have met can talk about as an “amazing” trekking route – but there is so much more to Santiago and its surrounding hills!)
Anyway, back on track to San Carlos. Easily accessible by public transport, and also close to the finish line and afterparty of the North Face Endurance Challenge (I highly recommend this trail running race), San Carlos de Apoquindo is a refreshing escape from the city. With various routes to take – and connecting routes to the other Parks that are part of the Asociación Parque Cordillera – there is a challenge for everyone at all fitness levels.
Also what is awesome about this park is that it is also for bikes and you can camp!
My favorite short route is Morro las Papas
Medium is Alto del Naranjo
And long route is Cerro Provincia (you can also stay here overnight)
I do still rate all the other routes and what I love about all of them is that it is like going on an adventure, not just scaling up the side of a hill.
Address: Camino Las Flores height 13,000, inside Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo, Club Deportivo Universidad Católica, Las Condes
Days open: Tuesday – Sunday (Monday Closed)
Summer Opening Times
Opens: 8:00 hrs
Last entry for staying overnight at Cerro Provincia: 13:00 hrs
Last entry for Trekking: 16:30 hrs.
Last entry for Bikes: 17:00 hrs
Check out time for Activities on the trails: 18:00 hrs.
Closes: 19:00 hrs.
Winter Opening Times:
Opens: 8:00 hrs
Last entry for trekking: 15:30 hrs.
Last entry for bikes: 16:00 hrs
Check out time for Activities on the trails: 17:00 hrs.
Close: 18:00 hrs.
Cost: $3.000 (General) and $2.000 kids until 12 years and adults over 60 years
Camping Cost: $3.000 per person in the park for the day
Groups must hire an Environmental Monitor
All this information is on their website (in spanish)
Getting there on Public Transport
Getting there is super easy! There are a few buses that will drop you a small walking distance away from the park. Generally I would catch them from the metro station Los Dominicos.
Bus: C09, C02 and C02c
Additional note: Due to recent tragedies in the parks around Santiago, there are limits to continue on certain routes and towards the end of the day park rangers will make their way down the different trails advising people that they now need to start descending. Particularly, there is a time limit for Cerro Provincia – you need to make the cross with Alto de Naranjo before a certain time to be able to continue (they will advise you when you check in), also in winter the administration may make it compulsory you to have ice spikes for safety due to snow fall on the route and up the top.
Finally, since I have left Chile I have discovered that the Asociación Parque Cordillera has a new app which helps make the check in process faster, has all the emergency numbers and all the routes! Have you used it? Let me know – I would love you hear what you think of it!!