Santiago (/ˌsæntiˈɑːɡoʊ/, Spanish: [sanˈtjaɣo]), or also
Chile ([sanˈtjaɣo ðe
ˈtʃile] ( listen)), is the capital and largest city of
Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the
center of Chile's largest and the most densely populated conurbation.
The city is entirely located in the country's central valley. Most of
the city lies between 500 m (1,640 ft) and 650 m
(2,133 ft) above mean sea level.
Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia,
Santiago has been the capital city of
Chile since colonial times. The
city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and
winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other
styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills
and the fast-flowing
Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque
Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the
city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem,
particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by
Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and
the Pacific Ocean.
Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of
is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational
corporations. The Chilean executive and judiciary are located in
Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaíso.
named after the biblical figure St. James.
Santiago will host the 2023
Pan American Games.
2.1 Pre-colonial history
2.2 Founding of the city
2.3 Colonial Santiago
2.4 Capital of the Republic
2.5 19th century
2.6 The centennial Santiago
2.7 Population explosion
2.8 Greater Santiago
2.9 The metropolis in the early twenty-first century
3.2 Natural disasters
4 Environmental issues
6.1 Commercial development
7.3 Inter-urban buses
7.5 Public transport
7.5.2 Commuter rail
Santiago Public Transportation Statistics
7.6 Internal transport
8 Political divisions
9.1 Heritage and monuments
9.2 Cultural activities and entertainment
9.3 Museums and libraries
10.1 Private High Schools
10.2 Higher education
11 International relations
11.1 Twin towns and sister cities
11.2 Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities
11.3 Partner city
15 External links
In Chile, there are several entities which bear the name of "Santiago"
that are often confused. The Commune of Santiago, sometimes referred
to as "downtown" or "Central Santiago" (
Santiago Centro), is an
administrative division that comprises roughly the area occupied by
the city during its colonial period. The commune, administered by the
Santiago and headed by a mayor, is part of the
Santiago Province headed by a provincial governor, which is in itself
a subdivision of the
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region headed by an
intendant. Despite these classifications, when the term "Santiago" is
used without another descriptor, it usually refers to what is also
known as Greater
Santiago (Gran Santiago), a territorial extension
defined by its urban continuity that includes the Commune of Santiago
in addition to 36 other communes, which together comprise the majority
Santiago Province and some areas of neighboring provinces (see
The city and region's demonym is santiaguinos (male) and santiaguinas
See also: Timeline of
Santiago de Chile
According to certain archaeological investigations, it is believed
that the first human groups of the X millennium settled in the
Santiago basin. The groups were mainly nomadic hunter-gatherers, who
traveled from the coast to the interior in search of guanacos during
the time of the Andean snowmelt. About the year 800, the first
sedentary inhabitants began to settle due to the formation of
agricultural communities along the
Mapocho River, mainly maize,
potatoes and beans, and the domestication of camelids in the area.
The villages established in the areas belonging to picunches groups
(name given by Chileans) or promaucaes (name given by Incas), were
subject to the
Inca Empire throughout the late fifteenth century and
into the early sixteenth century. The Incas settled in the valley of
mitimaes, the main installation settled in the center of the present
city, with strengths as
Huaca de Chena
Huaca de Chena and the sanctuary of El Plomo
hill. The area would have served as a basis for the failed Inca
expeditions southward road junction as the Inca Trail.
Founding of the city
1541 founding of Santiago. Painting by Pedro Lira
Inés de Suárez, successfully defending
Santiago against a Mapuche
attack in 1541
Having been sent by
Francisco Pizarro from
Peru and having made the
long journey from Cuzco,
Extremadura conquistador Pedro de Valdivia
reached the valley of the
Mapocho on 13 December 1540. The hosts of
Valdivia camped by the river in the slopes of the Tupahue hill and
slowly began to interact with the picunches natives who inhabited the
area. Valdivia later summoned the chiefs of the area to a parliament,
where he explained his intention to found a city on behalf of the king
Carlos I of Spain, which would be the capital of his governorship of
Nueva Extremadura. The natives accepted and even recommended the
foundation of the town on a small island between two branches of the
river next to a small hill called Huelén.
On 12 February 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago
del Nuevo Extremo (
Santiago of New Extremadura) in honor of St. James,
patron saint of Spain, near the Huelén, renamed by the conqueror as
"St. Lucia". (The name
Santiago is the local Galician evolution of
Vulgar Latin Sanctu Iacobu, "Saint James".) Following colonial rule,
Valdivia entrusted the layout of the new town to master builder Pedro
de Gamboa, who would design the city grid layout. In the center of the
city, Gamboa designed a Plaza Mayor, around which various plots for
the Cathedral and the governor's house were selected. In total, eight
blocks from north to south, and ten from east to west, were built.
Each solar (quarter block) was given to the settlers, who built houses
of mud and straw.
Valdivia left months later to the south with his troops, beginning the
War of Arauco.
Santiago was left unprotected. The indigenous hosts of
Michimalonco used this to their advantage, and attacked the fledgling
city. On 11 September 1541, the city was destroyed by the natives, but
the 55 Spanish Garrison managed to defend the fort. The resistance was
led by Inés de Suárez, a mistress to Valdivia. When she realized
they were being overrun, she ordered the execution of all native
prisoners, and proceeded to put their heads on pikes and also threw a
few heads to the natives. In face of this barbaric act, the natives
dispersed in terror. The city would be slowly rebuilt, giving
prominence to the newly founded Concepción, where the Royal Audiencia
Chile was then founded in 1565. However, the constant danger faced
by Concepción, due partly to its proximity to the
War of Arauco
War of Arauco and
also to a succession of devastating earthquakes, would not allow the
definitive establishment of the Royal Court in
Santiago until 1607.
This establishment reaffirmed the city's role as capital.
Santiago at the beginning of the colonial 18th century.
The Calicanto bridge over the
Mapocho river was the main symbol of the
Santiago after its inauguration in 1779.
Santiago appeared to be in imminent danger of permanent
destruction, threatened by Indigenous attacks, earthquakes, and a
series of floods, the city began to grow rapidly. Of the 126 blocks
designed by Gamboa in 1558, forty were occupied, and in 1580, the
first major buildings in the city began to rise, the start of
construction highlighted with the placing of the foundation stone of
the first Cathedral in 1561 and the building of the church of San
Francisco in 1572. Both of these constructions consisted of mainly
adobe and stone. In addition to construction of important buildings,
the city began to develop as nearby lands welcomed tens of thousands
A series of disasters impeded the development of the city during the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: an earthquake, a 1575 smallpox
epidemic, in 1590, 1608, and 1618, the
Mapocho River floods, and,
finally, the earthquake of 13 May 1647, which killed over 600 people
and affected more than five thousand others. However these disasters
would not stop the growth of the capital of the Captaincy General of
Chile at a time when all the power of the country was centered on the
Plaza de Armas santiaguina.
In 1767, the corregidor Luis Manuel de Zañartu, launched one of the
most important architectural works of the entire colonial period,
Calicanto Bridge, effectively connecting the city to La Chimba on the
north side of the river, and began the construction of embankments to
prevent overflows of the
Mapocho River. Although its builders were
able to complete the bridge, the piers were constantly being damaged
by the river. In 1780, Governor
Agustín de Jáuregui
Agustín de Jáuregui hired the
Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, who would design, among other
important works, the façade of the cathedral, the Palacio de La
Moneda, the canal San Carlos, and the final construction of the
embankments during the government of Ambrosio O'Higgins. These
important works were opened permanently in 1798. The O'Higgins
government also oversaw the opening of the road to
1791, which connected the capital with the country's main port.
Capital of the Republic
Battle of Maipú, 1818
18 September 1810 was proclaimed the First Government Junta in
Santiago, beginning the process of establishing the independence of
Chile. The city, which became the capital of the new nation, was
threatened by various events, especially the nearby military actions.
Although some institutions, such as the National Institute and the
National Library, were installed in the Patria Vieja, they were closed
after the patriot defeat at the
Battle of Rancagua
Battle of Rancagua in 1814. The royal
government lasted until 1817, when the Army of the
victory in battle of Chacabuco, reinstating the patriot government in
Santiago. Independence, however, was not assured. The Spanish army
gained new victories in 1818 and headed for Santiago, but their march
was definitively halted on the plains of the Maipo River, during the
Battle of Maipú
Battle of Maipú on 5 April 1818.
Santiago in 1860
With the end of the war,
Bernardo O'Higgins was accepted as Supreme
Director and, like his father, began a number of important works for
the city. During the call Patria Nueva, closed institutions reopened.
The General Cemetery opened, work on the canal San Carlos was
completed, and, in the south arm of the
Mapocho River, known as La
Cañada, the drying riverbed, used for sometime as a landfill, was
turned into an avenue, now known as the Alameda de las Delicias.
Two new earthquakes hit the city, one on 19 November 1822, and another
on 20 February 1835. These two events, however, did not prevent the
city's rapid, continued growth. In 1820, the city reported 46,000
inhabitants, while in 1854, the population reached 69,018. In 1865,
the census reported 115,337 inhabitants. This significant increase was
the result of suburban growth to the south and west of the capital,
and in part to La Chimba, a vibrant district growing from the division
of old properties that existed in the area. This new peripheral
development led to the end of the traditional checkerboard structure
that previously governed the city center.
Santiago in 1895.
During the years of the Republican era, institutions such as the
Chile (Universidad de Chile), the Normal School of
Preceptors, the School of Arts and Crafts, and the Quinta Normal,
which included the
Museum of Fine Arts (now
Museum of Science and
Technology) and the National
Museum of Natural History, were founded.
Created primarily for educational use, they also became examples of
public planning during that period. In 1851, the first telegraph
system connecting the capital with the Port of
A new momentum in the urban development of the capital took place
during the so-called "Liberal Republic" and the administration of
Mayor Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna. Among the main works during this
period are the remodeling of the
Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro Santa Lucía which, despite its
central location, had been in a state of poor repair. In an effort
to transform Santiago, Vicuña Mackenna began construction of the
Camino de Cintura, a road surrounding the entire city. A new
redevelopment of the
Alameda Avenue turned it into the main road of
The Neptune Terrace, in the Santa Lucía Hill.
Also during this time and with the work of European landscapers in
O'Higgins Park came into existence. The park, open to the
public, became a landmark in
Santiago due to its large gardens, lakes,
and carriage trails. Other important buildings were opened during this
era, such as the Teatro Municipal opera house, and the Club Hípico de
Santiago. At the same time, the 1875 International Exposition was held
in the grounds of the Quinta Normal.
The city became the main hub of the national railway system. The first
railroad reached the city on 14 September 1857, at the Santiago
Estación Central railway station. Under construction at the time, the
station would be opened permanently in 1884. During those years,
railways connected the city to
Valparaíso as well as regions in the
north and south of Chile. The streets of
Santiago were paved and by
1875 and there were 1,107 railway cars in the city, while 45,000
people used tram services on a daily basis.
The centennial Santiago
The Plaza de Armas in 1906.
With the arrival of the new century, the city began to experience
various changes related to the strong development of industry.
Valparaíso, which had hitherto been the economic center of the
country slowly lost prominence at the expense of the capital. By 1895,
75% of the national manufacturing industry was in the capital and only
28% in the harbor city, and by 1910, major banks and shops were set up
in the streets of the city center, leaving Valparaíso.
The enactment of the Autonomous Municipalities' act allowed
municipalities to create various administrative divisions around the
Santiago departamento, with the aim of improving local ruling.
Maipú, Ñuñoa, Renca, Lampa and Colina were to be created in 1891,
Providencia and Barrancas in 1897, and
Las Condes in 1901. The La
Victoria departamento was split with the creation of Lo Cañas in
1891, which would be split into La Granja and
Puente Alto in 1892, La
Florida in 1899, and
La Cisterna in 1925.
San Cristobal Hill
San Cristobal Hill in this period began a long process of
development. In 1903 an astronomical observatory was installed and the
following year the first stone was placed for its 14-meter Virgin Mary
statue, nowadays visible from various points of city. However, the
shrine would not be completed until some decades later.
With the 1910
Chile Centennial celebrations, many urban projects were
undertaken. The railway network was extended allowing connection of
the city with its nascent suburbs by a new rail ring and route to the
Cajón del Maipo, while a new railway station was built in the north
of the city: the
Mapocho Station. At the
Mapocho river's southern
Parque Forestal was created and new buildings such as the
Museum of Fine Arts, the Barros Arana public boarding school and the
Library were opened. In addition, the work would include a
sewer system, covering about 85% of the urban population.
View of Ahumada, in the city center, in the late 1920s.
The 1920 census estimated the population of
Santiago to be 507,296
inhabitants, equivalent to 13.6% of the population of Chile. This
represented an increase of 52.47% from the census of 1907, i.e. an
annual growth of 3.3%, almost three times the national figure. This
growth was mainly due to the arrival of farmers from the south who
came to work in factories and railroads which were under construction.
However, this growth was experienced on the outskirts and not in the
Women prepare soup kitchens in 1932.
During this time, the downtown district was consolidated into a
commercial, financial and administrative center, with the
establishment of various portals and locales around Ahumada Street and
a Civic District in the immediate surroundings of the Palace of La
Moneda. The latter project involved the construction of various
modernist buildings for the establishment of the offices of ministries
and other public services, as well as commencing the construction of
medium-rise buildings. On the other hand, the traditional inhabitants
of the center began to migrate out of the city to more rural areas
like Providencia and Ñuñoa, which hosted the oligarchy and the
European immigrant professionals, and San Miguel for middle-class
families. Furthermore, in the periphery villas were built various
partners from various organizations of the time. Modernity expanded in
the city, with the appearance of the first theaters, the extension of
the telephone network and the opening of the Airport Los Cerrillos in
1928, among other advances.
View of Alameda in 1930.
The feeling that the early 20th century was an era of economic growth
due to technological advances contrasted dramatically with the
standard of living of lower social classes. The growth of the previous
decades led to an unprecedented population explosion starting in 1929.
Great Depression caused the collapse of the nitrate industry in
the north, leaving 60,000 unemployed, which added to the decline in
agricultural exports, resulting in a total number for the unemployed
to be about 300,000 nationwide. These unemployed workers saw Santiago
and its booming industry as the only chance to survive. Many migrants
Santiago with nothing and thousands had to survive on the
streets due to the great difficulty in finding a place they could
rent. Widespread disease, including tuberculosis, claimed the lives of
hundreds of the homeless. Unemployment and living costs increased
dramatically whilst the salaries of the population of
The situation would change only several years later with a new
industrial boom fostered by
CORFO and the expansion of the state
apparatus from the late 1930s. At this time, the aristocracy lost much
of its power and the middle class, composed of merchants, bureaucrats
and professionals, acquired the role of setting national policy. In
Santiago began to develop a substantial middle- and
lower-class population, while the upper classes sought refuge in the
districts of the capital. Thus, the old moneyed class trips to Cousino
and Alameda Park, lost hegemony over popular entertainment venues such
as the National Stadium emerged in 1938.
Relative growth of Santiago, by communes
In the following decades,
Santiago continued to grow unabated. In
1940, the city accumulated 952,075 inhabitants, in 1952 this figure
rose to 1,350,409 residents and the census of 1960 totaled 1,907,378
santiaguinos. This growth was reflected in the urbanization of rural
areas on the periphery, where families of middle and lower class with
stable housing were established: in 1930 the urban area had an area of
6500 hectares, which in 1960 reached 20,900 and in 1980 to 38,296.
Although most of the communities continued to grow, it is mainly
concentrated in outlying communities such as Canyon to the west,
Conchalí northern and
La Cisterna and La Granja to the south. For the
upper class, it began to approach the foothills of
Las Condes and La
Reina sector. The center, however, lost people leaving more space for
the development of trade, banking and government.
Extension of Greater Santiago, in 1965.
Regulation of the growth only began to be implemented during the 1960s
with the creation of various development plans for Greater Santiago, a
concept that reflected the new reality of a much larger city. In 1958
the Intercommunal Plan of
Santiago was released. The proposed scheme
set a limit of 38 600 urban and semi hectares for a maximum population
of 3,260,000 inhabitants, included plans for the construction of new
avenues, like the
Américo Vespucio Avenue
Américo Vespucio Avenue and Panamericana route 5,
and the expansion of 'industrial belts'. The celebration of the World
Cup in 1962 gave new impetus to implement plans for city improvement.
In 1966 the
Santiago Metropolitan Park
Santiago Metropolitan Park was established in the Cerro
San Cristóbal, MINVU began eradicating shanty towns and building new
homes. Finally, the Edificio Diego Portales was constructed in 1972.
In 1967 the new International Airport
Pudahuel was opened, and, after
years of discussion, in 1969 construction began on the
The first phase ran beneath the western section of the Alameda and was
opened in 1975. The Metro would become one of the most prestigious
buildings in the city. In the following years it continued to expand,
with two perpendicular lines in place by the end of 1978. Building
telecommunications infrastructure was also an important development of
this period, as reflected in the construction of the Torre Entel,
which since its construction in 1975 has become one of the symbols of
the capital and the tallest structure in the country for two decades.
After the coup of 1973 and the establishment of the military regime,
major changes in urban planning did not take place until the 1980s,
when the government adopted a neoliberal economic model. In 1979, the
master plan was amended. The urban area was extended to more than 62
000 ha for real estate development. This created urban sprawl,
especially in La Florida, with the city reaching 40 619 ha in size in
the early 1990s. The 1992 census showed that
Santiago had become the
country's most populous municipality with 328,881 inhabitants.
Meanwhile, a strong earthquake struck the city on 3 March 1985.
Although it caused few casualties, it left many people homeless and
destroyed many old buildings.
The metropolis in the early twenty-first century
The financial district in
Santiago de Chile
Gran Torre Santiago
Gran Torre Santiago tower.
Financial center of
Las Condes commune
With the start of the transition to democracy in 1990, the city of
Santiago had surpassed the three million inhabitants, with the
majority living in the south: La Florida was the most populous area,
Puente Alto and Maipú. The real estate development in
these municipalities and others like
came from the construction of housing projects for middle-class
families. Meanwhile, high-income families moved into the foothills,
now called Barrio Alto, increasing the population of
Las Condes and
giving rise to new communes like
Vitacura and Lo Barnechea. The
Providencia Avenue area became an important commercial hub in the
eastern sector. This development was extended to Barrio Alto, which
became an attractive location for the construction of high-rise
buildings. Major companies and financial corporations were established
in the area, which gave rise to a thriving modern business center
known as Sanhattan. The departure of these companies to Barrio Alto
and the construction of shopping centers all around the city created a
crisis in the city center. To reinvent the area, the main shopping
streets were turned into pedestrian walkways, such as the Paseo
Ahumada, and the government instituted tax benefits for the
construction of residential buildings, which attracted young adults.
The expansion to the periphery forced the
Santiago metro extension to
the commune of Maipú and Puente Alto. here an Alstom NS 74 (centre)
begins to leave a metro station, while an Alstom
NS 93 (far lower
right) is nearing the same metro station.
The city began to face a series of problems generated by disorganized
Air pollution reached critical levels during the winter months
and a layer of smog settled over the city. The authorities adopted
legislative measures to reduce industrial pollution and placed
restrictions on vehicle use. The Metro was expanded considerably,
current lines were extended and three new lines were built between
1997 and 2006 in the southeastern sector. A new extension to Maipú
was inaugurated in 2011, at which point the metropolitan railway had a
total length of 105 km. In the case of buses, the system underwent a
major reform in the early 1990s. In 2007 master plan known as
Transantiago was established. It has faced a number of problems since
Entering the twenty-first century, rapid development persisted in
Santiago. The Civic District was renewed with the creation of the
Plaza de la Ciudadanía
Plaza de la Ciudadanía and construction of the Ciudad Parque
Bicentenario to commemorate the bicentenary of the Republic. The
development of tall buildings continues in the eastern sector, which
culminated in the opening of the skyscrapers
Titanium La Portada
Titanium La Portada and
Gran Torre Santiago
Gran Torre Santiago in the
Costanera Center complex. However,
socioeconomic inequality and geosocial fragmentation remain two of the
most important problems in both the city and the country.
On 27 February 2010, a strong earthquake was felt in the capital,
causing some damage to old buildings. However, some modern buildings
were also rendered uninhabitable. This generated much debate about the
actual implementation of mandatory earthquake standards in the modern
architecture of Santiago.
Quartermaster Metropolitan, seat of government of Santiago
Night view of the financial sector of Santiago. At the center, the
Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest building in Latin America. At the
upper back, the lights of the three ski resorts of the central Andes.
Night view of the center of Santiago
Satellite image of
Santiago taken by
Landsat 8 on 24 October 2014.
The city lies in the center of the
Santiago Basin, a large bowl-shaped
valley consisting of broad and fertile lands surrounded by mountains.
The city has a varying elevation, gradually increasing from 400 m
(1,312 ft) in the western areas to more than 700 m
(2,297 ft) in the eastern areas. Santiago's international
airport, in the west, lies at an altitude of 460 m
(1,509 ft). Plaza Baquedano, near the center, lies at 570 m
(1,870 ft). Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo, at the eastern edge
of the city, has an elevation of 960 m (3,150 ft).
Santiago Basin is part of the
Intermediate Depression and is
remarkably flat, interrupted only by a few "island hills"; among them
are Cerro Renca, Cerro Blanco, and Cerro Santa Lucía. The basin is
approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) in a north–south direction
and 35 km (22 mi) from east to west. The
Mapocho River flows
through the city.
The city is flanked by the main chain of the
Andes to the east and the
Chilean Coastal Range
Chilean Coastal Range to the west. On the north, it is bordered by the
Cordón de Chacabuco, a mountain range of the Andes. At the southern
border lies the Angostura de Paine, an elongated spur of the Andes
that almost reaches the coast.
The mountain range immediately bordering the city on the east is known
as the Sierra de Ramón, which was formed due to tectonic activity of
the San Ramón Fault. This range reaches 3296 metres at Cerro de
Ramón. The Sierra de Ramón represents the "Precordillera" of the
Andes. 20 km (12 mi) further east is the even larger
Cordillera of the Andes, which has mountains and volcanoes that exceed
6,000 m (19,690 ft) and on which some glaciers are present.
The tallest is the
Tupungato mountain at 6,570 m
(21,555 ft). Other mountains include Tupungatito, San José, and
Cerro El Plomo
Cerro El Plomo is the highest mountain visible from Santiago's
During recent decades, urban growth has outgrown the boundaries of the
city, expanding to the east up the slopes of the Andean Precordillera.
In areas such as La Dehesa, Lo Curro, and El Arrayan, urban
development is present at over 1,000 metres of altitude.
Ski Center El Colorado
Cerro San Cristobal
Santiago in winter
Santiago in summer
Santiago, in the airport area of Pudahuel, has a cool semi-arid
climate (BSk according to the Köppen climate classification), with
Mediterranean (Csb) patterns: warm dry summers (November to March)
with temperatures reaching up to 35 °C (95 °F) on the
hottest days; winters (June to August) are cool and humid, with cool
to cold mornings; typical daily maximum temperatures of 14 °C
(57 °F), and low temperatures near 0 °C (32 °F). In
climate station of
Quinta Normal (near downtown) the precipitation
average is 312 mm, and in climate station of Tobalaba (in higher
Andes Mountains) the precipitation average is
347 mm. In both the climate observed is "warm temperate with long
dry season", that is a Mediterranean (Csb) climate.
In the airport area of Pudahuel, mean rainfall is 282 mm
(11.10 in) per year, about 80% of which occurs during the winter
months (May to September), varying between 50 and 80 mm (1.97 and
3.15 in) of rainfall during these months. That amount contrasts
with a very dry season during the summer months between December and
March, when rainfall does not exceed 4 mm (0.16 in) on
average, caused by an anticyclonic dominance continued for about seven
or eight months. There is significant variation within the city, with
rainfall at the lower-elevation
Pudahuel site near the airport being
about 20 percent lower than at the older
Quinta Normal site near the
Santiago’s rainfall is highly variable and heavily influenced by the
El Niño Southern Oscillation
El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle, with rainy years coinciding with
El Niño events and dry years with La Niña events. The wettest
year since records began in 1866 was 1900 with 819.7 millimetres
(32.27 in) – part of a “pluvial” from 1898 to 1905 that
saw an average of 559.3 millimetres (22.02 in) over eight
years incorporating the second wettest year in 1899 with 773.3
millimetres (30.44 in) – and the driest 1924 with 66.1
millimetres (2.60 in). Typically there are lengthy dry spells
even in the rainiest of winters, intercepted with similarly lengthy
periods of heavy rainfall. For instance, in 1987, the fourth wettest
year on record with 712.1 millimetres (28.04 in), there was only
1.7 millimetres (0.07 in) in the 36 days between 3 June and 8
July, followed by 537.2 millimetres (21.15 in) in the 38
days between 9 July and 15 August.
Precipitation is usually only rain, as snowfall only occurs in the
Andes and Precordillera, being rare in eastern districts, and
extremely rare in most of the city. In winter, the snow line is
about 2,100 metres (6,890 ft), and it ranges from 1500 metres
(4900 feet) up to 2900 metres (9500 feet). The city is
affected only occasionally by snowfall. The period between 2000 and
2017 has been registered 9 snowfalls and only two have been measured
in the central sector (2007 and 2017). The amount of snow registered
Santiago on July 15, 2017 ranged between 3.0 cm in Quinta
Normal and 10.0 cm in
La Reina (Tobalaba).
Climate data for Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International
Santiago (1970–2000, extremes 1966–present)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: Dirección Meteorológica de Chile
Source #2: Universidad de
Chile (sunshine hours only)
Temperatures vary throughout the year from an average of 20 °C
(68 °F) in January to 8 °C (46 °F) in June and July.
In the summer days are very warm to hot, often reaching over
30 °C (86 °F) and a record high close to 37 °C
(99 °F), while nights are very pleasant and cool, at 11 °C
(52 °F). During autumn and winter the temperature drops, and is
slightly lower than 10 °C (50 °F). The temperature may
even drop to 0 °C (32 °F), especially during the morning.
The historic low of −6.8 °C (20 °F) was in July
Santiago’s location within a watershed is one of the most important
factors determining the climate of the city. The coastal mountain
range serves as a screen that stops the spread of maritime influence,
contributing to the increase in annual and daily thermal oscillation
(the difference between the maximum and minimum daily temperatures can
reach 14 °C) and maintaining low relative humidity, close to an
annual average of 70%. It also prevents the entry of air masses, with
the exception of some coastal low clouds that penetrate to the basin
through the river valleys.
Prevailing winds are from the southwest, with an average of
15 km/h (9 mph), especially during the summer; the winter is
Due to Santiago's location on the
Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire at the boundary
of the Nazca and South American plates, it experiences a significant
amount of tectonic activity. The first earthquake on record to
Santiago occurred in 1575, 34 years after the official founding
of Santiago. The
1647 Santiago earthquake
1647 Santiago earthquake devastated the city, and
inspired Heinrich von Kleist's novel, The Earthquake In Chile.
1960 Valdivia earthquake
1960 Valdivia earthquake and the
1985 Algarrobo earthquake
1985 Algarrobo earthquake both
caused damage in Santiago, and led to the development of strict
building codes with a view to minimising future earthquake damage. In
Chile was struck by the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded,
reaching 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale. 525 people died, of whom
13 were in Santiago, and the damage was estimated at 15–30 billion
US dollars. 370,000 homes were damaged, but the building codes
implemented after the earlier earthquakes meant that despite the size
of the earthquake, damage was far less than that caused a few weeks
earlier by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, in which at least 100,000 people
Santiago's air is the most polluted air in Chile. In the 1990s air
pollution fell by about one-third, but there has been little progress
since 2000. A study by a Chilean university found in 2010 that
Santiago pollution had doubled. Particulate matter air pollution
is a serious public health concern in Santiago, with atmospheric
concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 regularly exceeding standards
established by the
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Environmental Protection Agency and World Health
A final major source of
Santiago air pollution, one that continues
year-round, is the smelter of the
El Teniente copper mine. The
government does not usually report it as being a local pollution
source, as it is just outside the reporting area of the Santiago
Metropolitan Region, being 110 kilometres (68 mi) from
During winter months,
Thermal inversion (a meteorological phenomenon
whereby a stable layer of warm air holds down colder air close to the
ground) causes high levels of smog and air pollution to be trapped and
concentrated within the Central Valley.
As of March 2007, only 61% of the wastewater in
treated, which increased up to 71% by the end of the same year.
However, in March 2012, the
Mapocho Wastewater Treatment Plant began
operations, increasing the wastewater treatment capacity of the city
to 100%, making
Santiago the first capital city in
Latin America to
treat all of its municipal sewage.
Mapocho River, which crosses the city from the northeast to the
southwest of the Central Valley, remains contaminated by household,
agricultural, and industrial sewage, and by upstream copper-mining
waste (there are a number of copper mines in the
Andes east of
Santiago), which is dumped untreated into the river. Laws exist
which require industries and local governments to treat all wastewater
discharges, but these regulations are often loosely enforced.
There are now a number of large wastewater processing and recycling
plants under construction, and ongoing plans to decontaminate the
river and make it navigable.
Panoramic view of northeastern Santiago, as seen from the hills of
Parque Metropolitano in Providencia. Visible in the background are
Apoquindo and Sierra de Ramón.
According to data collected in the 2002 census by the National
Institute of Statistics, the
Santiago metropolitan area population
reached 5,428,590 inhabitants, equivalent to 35.91 per cent of the
national total and 89.56 per cent of total regional inhabitants. This
figure reflects broad growth in the population of the city during the
20th century: it had 383,587 inhabitants in 1907; 1,010,102 in 1940;
2,009,118 in 1960; 3,899,619 in 1982; and 4,729,118 in 1992.
(percentage of total population, 2007)
Santiago from 1820 to 2020 (projected).
The growth of
Santiago has undergone several changes over the course
of its history. In its early years, the city had a rate of growth
2.68% annually until the 17th century, then down to less than 2% per
year until the early 20th century figures. During the 20th century,
Santiago experienced a demographic explosion as it absorbed migration
from mining camps in northern
Chile during the economic crisis of the
1930s. The population surged again via migration from rural sectors
between 1940 and 1960. This migration was coupled with high fertility
rates, and annual growth reached 4.92% between 1952 and 1960. Growth
has declined, reaching 1.35% in the early 2000s. The size of the city
expanded constantly; The 20,000 hectares
Santiago covered in 1960
doubled by 1980, reaching 64,140 hectares in 2002. The population
Santiago is 8,464 inhabitants/km2.
The population of Santiago has seen a steady increase in recent
years. In 1990 the total population under 20 years was 38.04% and
8.86% were over 60. Estimates in 2007 show that 32.89% of men and
30.73% of women were less than 20 years old, while 10.23% of men and
13.43% of women were over 60 years. For the year 2020, it is estimated
that the figures will be 26.69% and 16.79%.
4,313,719 people in
Chile say they were born in one of the communes of
Santiago Metropolitan Region, which, according to the 2002
census, amounts to 28.54% of the national total. 67.6% of the current
Santiago claim to have been born in one of the communes
of the metropolitan area. 2.11% of the inhabitants are immigrants,
mainly from other Latin American countries such as
Argentina and Peru.
Gran Torre Santiago
Gran Torre Santiago (Great
Santiago Tower), part of the Costanera
Center complex, is the tallest building in Ibero-America
Santiago financial center
Santiago is the industrial and financial center of Chile, and
generates 45% of the country's GDP. Some international
institutions, such as
ECLAC (Economic Commission for
Latin America and
the Caribbean), have their offices in Santiago. The strong economy and
low government debt is attracting migrants from Europe and the United
Santiago's steady economic growth over the past few decades has
transformed it into a modern metropolis. The city is now home to a
growing theater and restaurant scene, extensive suburban development,
dozens of shopping centers, and a rising skyline, including the
tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago. It
includes several major universities, and has developed a modern
transportation infrastructure, including a free flow toll-based,
partly underground urban freeway system and the Metro de Santiago,
South America's most extensive subway system.
The Costanera Center, a mega project in Santiago's Financial District,
includes a 280,000-square-metre (3,000,000 sq ft) mall, a
300-meter (980 ft) tower, two office towers of 170 meters
(558 ft) each, and a hotel 105 meters (344 ft) tall. In
January 2009 the retailer in charge, Cencosud, said in a statement
that the construction of the mega-mall would gradually be reduced
until financial uncertainty is cleared. In January 2010, Cencosud
announced the restart of the project, and this was taken generally as
a symbol of the country's success over the global financial crisis.
Costanera Center another skyscraper is already in use,
Titanium La Portada, 190 meters (623 ft) tall. Although these are
the two biggest projects, there are many other office buildings under
construction in Santiago, as well as hundreds of high rise residential
buildings. In February 2011, Gran Torre Santiago, part of the
Costanera Center project, located in the called
reached the 300-meter mark, officially becoming the tallest structure
in Latin America.
Santiago is Chile's retail capital. Falabella, Paris, Johnson, Ripley,
La Polar, and several other department stores dot the mall landscape
of Chile. The east side neighborhoods like Vitacura, La Dehesa, and
Las Condes are home to Santiago's Alonso de Cordova street, and malls
like Parque Arauco, Alto Las Condes,
Mall Plaza (a chain of malls
Chile and other Latin American countries) and Costanera
Center are known for their luxurious shopping. Alonso de Cordova,
Santiago's equivalent to Rodeo Drive or Rua Oscar Freire in São
Paulo, has exclusive stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Emporio
Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Swarovski, MaxMara,
Longchamp, and others. Alonso de Cordova also houses some of
Santiago's most famous restaurants, art galleries, wine showrooms and
furniture stores. The
Costanera Center has stores like Armani
Exchange, Banana Republic, Façonnable, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, and
Zara. There are plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Santiago. Several
mercados in the city such as the
Mercado Central de Santiago
Mercado Central de Santiago sell
Barrio Bellavista and
Barrio Lastarria have some of the
most exclusive night clubs, chic cafés and restaurants.
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA: SCL) is
Santiago's national and international airport and the principal hub of
LATAM Airlines, Sky Airline,
Aerocardal and JetSmart. The airport is
located in the western commune of Pudahuel. The largest airport in
Chile, it is ranked sixth in passenger traffic among Latin American
airports, with 14,168,282 passengers served in 2012—a 17.04%
increase over 2011. It is located 15 km from the city centre.
Santiago is also served by
Eulogio Sánchez Airport
Eulogio Sánchez Airport (ICAO: SCTB), a
small, privately owned general aviation airport in the commune of La
Reina. Peldehue airport in Colina is currently under construction and
set to start operations in January 2019.
Central Station, with three X'Trapolis Modular trains
Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado
Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE)
Trains operated by Chile's national railway company, Empresa de los
Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE), connect
Santiago to several cities in
the south-central part of the country: Rancagua, San Fernando, Talca
(connected to the coastal city of Constitución by a different train
service), Linares and Chillán. All such trains arrive and depart from
Estación Central railway station
Estación Central railway station (Central Station), which can be
accessed by bus or subway.
Bus companies provide passenger transportation from
Santiago to most
areas of the country as well as to foreign destinations, while some
also provide parcel shipping and delivery services.
There are several bus terminals in Santiago:
Terminal San Borja: located in Metro station "Estación Central."
Provides buses to all destinations in
Chile and to some towns around
Terminal Alameda: located in Metro station "Universidad de Santiago."
Provides buses to all destinations in Chile.
Terminal Santiago: located one block west of Terminal Alameda.
Provides buses to all destinations in
Chile as well as to destinations
in most countries in South America, except Bolivia.
Terrapuerto Los Héroes: located two blocks east of Metro station "Los
Héroes." Provides buses to south of
Chile and some northern cities,
as well as
Argentina (Mendoza and Buenos Aires) and Paraguay
Terminal Pajaritos: located in Metro station "Pajaritos." Provides
buses to the international airport, inter-regional services to
Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar and several other coastal cities and towns.
Terminal La Cisterna: located in Metro station "La Cisterna." Provides
buses to towns around southern Santiago, Viña del Mar,
Terminal La Paz: located about two blocks away from the fresh fruit
and vegetables market "Vega Central;" the closest Metro station is
"Puente Cal y Canto." It connects the rural areas north of Santiago.
Costanera Norte Expressway
A network of free flow toll highways connects the various areas of the
city. They include the Vespucio Norte and Vespucio Sur highways, which
surround the city completing a nearly full circle; Autopista Central,
the section of the Pan American highway crossing the city from north
to south, divided in two highways 3 km (2 mi) apart; and the
Costanera Norte, running next to the
Mapocho River and connecting the
international airport with the downtown and with the wealthier areas
of the city to the east, where it divides into two highways.
Other non-free flow toll roads connecting
Santiago to other cities,
include: Rutas del Pacífico (Ruta 68), the continuation of the
Alameda Libertador General
Bernardo O'Higgins Avenue to the west,
provides direct access to
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar; Autopista del
Sol (Ruta 78), connects
Melipilla and the port of San Antonio with the
capital; Autopista Ruta del Maipo (a.k.a. "Acceso Sur") is an
alternative to the Pan American highway to access the various
localities south of Santiago; Autopista Los Libertadores provides
access to the main border crossing to Argentina, via Colina and Los
Andes; and Autopista Nororiente, which provides access to the suburban
development known as Chicureo, north of the capital.
Baquedano Metro station
Santiago has 37% of Chile's vehicles, with a total of 991,838
vehicles, 979,346 of which are motorized. 805,220 cars pass through
the city, which is equivalent to 38% of the national total, and at a
rate of one car for every seven people. An extensive
network of streets and avenues stretching across
travel between the different communities that make up the metropolitan
In the 1990s the government attempted to reorganize the public
transport system. New routes were introduced in 1994 and the buses
were painted yellow. The system, however, had serious issues with
routes overlapping, high levels of air and noise pollution, and safety
problems for both riders and drivers. To tackle these issues a new
transport system, called Transantiago, was devised. The system was
launched in earnest on 10 February 2007, combining core services
across the city with the subway and with local feeder routes, under a
unified system of payment through a contactless smartcard called
"Tarjeta bip!". The change was not well received by users, who
complained of lack of buses, too many bus-to-bus transfers, and
diminished coverage. Some of these problems were resolved, but the
system earned a bad reputation which it hasn't been able to shake off.
As of 2011[update], the fare evasion rate is stubbornly high.
Metro de Santiago
Metro de Santiago subway carries over two million passengers daily
through its five lines (1, 2, 4, 4A, and 5), extending over 84 km
(52 mi) and 108 stations. In 2011 a new extension to the commune
of Maipú expanded the Metro to more than 105 km (65 mi) in
length. Construction of two new lines (3 and 6) was confirmed recently
by president Sebastián Piñera, and are expected to be operating in
2017 and 2018.
In recent years many cycle paths have been constructed, but so far the
number is limited and with little connections between the routes. Most
cyclists ride on the street, and the use of helmets and lights is not
widespread, even though it is mandatory.
Vicente Valdés station
Santiago Metro map
Los Leones station
With 100 stations currently in operation and 40 other planned or under
Santiago Metro is South America's most extensive
metro system. The system has five operating lines and carries around
2,400,000 passengers per day. Two underground lines (Line 4 and 4A)
and an extension of Line 2 were inaugurated in 2005 and 2006, and line
5 in 2011. The South Express Line, Line 6, will be finished by
2017, adding 10 stations to the network and approximately 15 km
(9 mi) of track, and line 3 will be finished by 2018.
EFE provides suburban rail service under the brandname of Metrotren.
There is only one southbound route, serving 18 stations between
Santiago's Central Station and San Fernando, via Rancagua. The
electrified service expands over 138 km (86 mi). About 10
daily trains operate the full distance in each direction, with up to
30 trains between
Santiago and Graneros.
Transantiago bus, with original color scheme (2005-2012)
Transantiago bus, with new color scheme (2012-Present)
Transantiago is the name for the city's public transport system. It
works by combining local (feeder) bus lines, main bus lines, commuter
trains, and the Metro network. It includes an integrated fare system,
which allows passengers to make bus-to-bus, bus-to-metro or
bus-to-train transfers for the price of one ticket, using a
contactless smartcard (bip!).
Taxicabs are common in
Santiago and are painted black with yellow
roofs and have orange license plates. So-called radiotaxis may be
called up by telephone and can be any make, model, or color but should
always have the orange plates. Colectivos are shared taxicabs that
carry passengers along a specific route for a fixed fee.
Uber operates in
Santiago and is a safe and reliable option.[citation
Santiago Public Transportation Statistics
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit
in Santiago, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 84 min. 23%
of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The
average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public
transit is 15 min, while 21% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on
average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a
single trip with public transit is 7.4 km, while 15% travel for
over 12 km in a single direction.
Santiago depicting main streets and airport.
As of 2006,
Santiago was home to 992,000 vehicles, 979,000 of which
were motorized. This made up 37.3% of Chile's total vehicle count.
805,000 cars passed through the city, which is 37.6% of the national
total[clarification needed] or one car for every seven people.
The main road is the Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins,
better known as Alameda Avenue, which runs northeast and southwest.
From north to south, it is crossed by
Autopista Central and the
Independencia, Gran Avenida, Recoleta, Santa Rosa, Vicuña Mackenna
and Tobalaba avenues. Other major roads include the Avenida Los
Pajaritos to the west and
Providencia Avenue and
Apoquindo Avenue to
the east. Finally, the
Américo Vespucio Avenue
Américo Vespucio Avenue acts as a ring road.
During the 2000s, several urban highways were built through Santiago
in order to improve the situation for vehicles. The road General
Velásquez and sections of the
Pan-American Highway in
converted into the Autopista Central, while Amerigo Vespucci became
variously the highways Vespucio Norte Express and Vespucio Sur, as
well as Vespucio Oriente in the future. Following the edge of the
Costanera Norte was built to link the northeast of the
capital to the airport and the downtown area. All these highways,
totaling 210 km in length, have a free flow toll system.
Santiago lacks a metropolitan government for its
administration, which is currently distributed between various
authorities, complicating the operation of the city as a single
entity. The highest authority in
Santiago is considered to be the
intendant of the
Santiago Metropolitan Region, an unelected delegate
of the president.
The whole of Greater
Santiago does not fit perfectly into any
administrative division, as it extends into four different provinces
and 37 communes. The majority of its 641.4 km2
(247.65 sq mi) (as of 2002) lie within Santiago
Province, with some peripheral areas contained in the provinces of
Cordillera, Maipo, and Talagante.
Note: Communes in the peripheries are not shown to their full extent.
Pedro Aguirre Cerda
Communes in other provinces
San José de Maipo
Only a few historical buildings from the Spanish colonial period
remain in the city, because
Santiago – like the rest of the country
– is regularly hit by earthquakes. Extant buildings include the Casa
Colorada (1769), the San Francisco Church (1586), and Posada del
The Cathedral on the central square (Plaza de Armas) is a sight that
ranks as high as the Palacio de La Moneda, the Presidential Palace.
The original building was built between 1784 and 1805, and architect
Joaquín Toesca was in charge of its construction. Other buildings
surrounding the Plaza de Armas are the Central Post Office Building,
which was finished in 1882, and the Palacio de la Real Audiencia de
Santiago, built between 1804 and 1807. It houses the Chilean National
History Museum, with 12,000 objects that can be exhibited. On the
southeast corner of the square stands the green cast-iron Commercial
Edwards building, which was built in 1893. East of that is the
colonial building of the
Casa Colorada (1769), which houses the Museum
of Santiago. Close by is the Municipal Theatre of Santiago, which was
built in 1857 by the French architect Brunet of Edward Baines. It was
badly damaged by an earthquake in 1906. Not far from the theatre is
the Subercaseaux Mansion and the National Library, one of the largest
libraries of South America.
The Former National Congress Building, the Justice Palace, and the
Royal Customs Palace (Palacio de la Real Aduana de Santiago) are
located close to each other. The latter houses the
pre-Columbian art. A fire destroyed the building of the Congress in
1895, which was then rebuilt in a neoclassical style and reopened in
1901. The Congress was deposed under the military dictatorship of
Augusto Pinochet (1973–1989), and after the dictatorship was newly
constituted on 11 March 1990, in Valparaíso.
The building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribunales) is located
on the south side of the Montt Square. It was designed by the
architect Emilio Doyére and built between 1907 and 1926. The building
is home to the Supreme Court of Chile. The panel of 21 judges is the
highest judicial power in Chile. The building is also headquarters of
the Court of Appeals of Santiago.
Bandera street leads toward the building of the
Exchange (the Bolsa de Comercio), completed in 1917, the Club de la
Unión (opened in 1925), the Universidad de
Chile (1872), and toward
the oldest churchhouse in the city, the San Francisco Church
(constructed between 1586 and 1628), with its Marian statue of the
Virgen del Socorro ("Our Lady of Help"), which was brought to
Pedro de Valdivia. North of the Plaza de Armas ("Square of Arms",
where the colonial militia was mustered) are the Paseo Puente, the
Santo Domingo Church (1771), and the Central Market (Mercado Central),
an ornamental iron building. Also in downtown
Santiago is the Torre
Entel, a 127.4-meter-high television tower with observation deck
completed in 1974; the tower serves as a communication center for the
communications company, ENTEL Chile.
Costanera Center was completed in 2009, and includes housing,
shopping, and entertainment venues. The project, with a total area of
600,000 square meters, includes the 300-meter high Gran Torre Santiago
(South America's tallest building) and other commercial buildings. The
four office towers are served by highway and subway connections.
Municipal Theatre of Santiago
Palacio de La Moneda
Museum of Santiago
Fine Arts Museum
Biblioteca Nacional de Chile
Former Congress Building
Heritage and monuments
The Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most representative buildings
of colonial architecture.
The statue of the
Virgin Mary at
San Cristobal Hill
San Cristobal Hill is one of the main
symbols of the city.
Within the metropolitan area of Santiago, there are 174 heritage sites
in the custody of the National Monuments Council, among which are
archaeological, architectural and historical monuments, neighborhoods
and typical areas. Of these, 93 are located within the commune of
Santiago, considered the historic center of the city. Although no
santiaguino monument has been declared a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site by Unesco
three have already been proposed by the Chilean government: the Incan
sanctuary of El Plomo, the church and convent of San Francisco and the
palace of La Moneda.
In the center of
Santiago are several buildings built during the
Spanish domination and that mostly correspond to, as the Metropolitan
Cathedral and the aforementioned church of San Francisco Catholic
churches. Buildings of the period are those located on the sides of
Plaza de Armas, as the seat of Real Audiencia, the Post Office or the
During the nineteenth century and the advent of independence, new
architectural works began to be erected in the capital of the young
republic. The aristocracy built small palaces for residential use,
mainly around the neighborhood Republica and preserved until today. To
this other structures adopted artistic trends from Europe, as the
Equestrian Club of Santiago, the head offices of the University of
Chile and the Catholic University, Central Station and the Mapocho
Station, Mercado Central, join the National Library,
Museum of Fine
Arts and the Barrio París-Londres, among others.
Various green areas in the city contain within and around various
sites of heritage character. Among the most important are the
fortifications of Santa Lucia hill, the shrine of the
Virgin Mary on
the summit of San Cristobal hill, the lavish crypt of the General
Cemetery, Parque Forestal, the
O'Higgins Park and the Quinta Normal
Cultural activities and entertainment
Municipal Theatre of Santiago.
Interior from Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center.
In Santiago's major theater companies are located, hosting several
national and international projects, with the highest expression
during the International Theatre Festival known as
Santiago a Mil,
which takes place every summer since 1994 and has gathered more than
one million spectators. Also is the Planetarium at the University of
Santiago de Chile.
To carry out various cultural, artistic and musical events, there are
several precincts within which highlight the
Mapocho Cultural Center,
100 Matucana Cultural Center, the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center,
Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda, the
Movistar Arena and the
Caupolican Theater. On the other hand, the opera and ballet
performances are permanently accepted by the Municipal Theatre of
Santiago, located in the heart of the city and which has a capacity of
There are 18 cinemas in the capital with a total of 144 rooms and over
32,000 seats, the projection centers than 5 arthouse add.
For children and teenagers there are several entertainment venues,
such as amusement park Fantasilandia, the National Zoo or the Buin Zoo
on the outskirts of the city. The Bellavista, Brasil, Manuel Montt,
Ñuñoa and Suecia account for most of the nightclubs,
restaurants and bars in the city, the main evening entertainment
centers in the capital. In order to promote the economic development
of other regions, the law prohibits the construction of a casino in
the metropolitan region, but Nearby are the casino from the coastal
city of Vina del Mar, 120 km from distance from Santiago, and
Monticello Grand Casino in Mostazal, 56 kilometers south of Santiago,
opened in 2008.
Museums and libraries
Santiago has a wealth of museums of different kinds, among which are
three of 'National' class administered by the Directorate of
Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM): the National History Museum,
Museum of Fine Arts and the National
Museum of Natural
Most of the museums are located in the historic city center, occupying
the old buildings of colonial origin, such as with the National
History Museum, which is located in the Palacio de la Real Audiencia.
Casa Colorada houses the
Museum of Santiago, while the Colonial
Museum is housed in a wing of the Church of San Francisco and the
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art occupies part of the old Palacio de la
Museum of Fine Arts, though it is located in the city
center, was built in the early twentieth century, especially for
housing the museum and in the back of the building was laid in 1947,
Museum of Contemporary Art, under the Faculty of Arts of the
University of Chile.
Quinta Normal Park
Quinta Normal Park also has several museums, among which are the
already mentioned of Natural History, Artequin Museum, the
Science and Technology and the Museo Ferroviario. In other parts of
the city there are some museums such as the Aeronautical
Museum of Tajamares in Providence and the Museo Interactivo
Mirador in La Granja. The latter opened in 2000 and designed mainly
for children and youth has been visited by more than 2.8 million
visitors, making it the busiest museum in the country.
As for public libraries, the most important is the National Library
located in downtown Santiago. Its origins date back to 1813, when it
was created by the nascent Republic and was moved to its current
premises a century later, also home to the headquarters of the
National Archives. In order to provide more closeness to the
population, incorporating new technologies and complement the services
provided by public libraries and the National
Library was opened in
Santiago at Barrio Matucana.
The National Historical Museum, located in the Plaza de Armas in
Museum of Fine Arts, located next to Parque Forestal.
Museum of Natural History, located in the Quinta Normal.
Library from La Alameda.
Santiago has two symphony orchestras:
Orquesta Filarmónica de
Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra"),
which performs in the Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre of Santiago)
Orquesta Sinfónica de
Chile Symphony Orchestra"), part of the
Universidad de Chile, performs in its theater.
There are a number of jazz establishments, some of them, including "El
Perseguidor", "Thelonious", and "Le Fournil Jazz Club", are located in
Bellavista, one of Santiago's "hippest" neighborhoods, though "Club de
Jazz de Santiago", the oldest and most traditional one, is in
Ñuñoa. Annual festivals featured in
Lollapalooza and the Maquinaria festival.
The most widely circulated newspapers in
Chile are published by El
Copesa and have earned more than the 91% of revenues
generated in printed advertising in Chile.
Some newspapers available in
Las Últimas Noticias
Santiago is home to some of Chile's most successful football clubs.
Colo-Colo, founded on 19 April 1925, has a long tradition, and has
played continuously in the highest league since the establishment of
the first Chilean league in 1933. The club's wins include 30 national
titles, 10 Copa
Chile successes, and champions of the Copa
Libertadores tournament in 1991, the only Chilean team to have won
this tournament. The club hosts its home games in the Estadio
Monumental in the commune of Macul.
Estadio Nacional de Chile
Chile has 17 national titles and 4 Copa
Chile wins. In
2011 they were champions of Copa Sudamericana, the only Chilean team
to have won this tournament. The club was founded on 24 May 1927,
under the name Club Deportivo Universitario as a union of Club
Náutico and Federación Universitaria. The founders were students of
the University of Chile. In 1980, the organization separated from the
Chile and the club is now completely independent. The
team plays its home games in the Estadio Nacional de
Chile in the
commune of Ñuñoa.
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica (UC) was founded on 21 April
1937. It consists of fourteen different departments. This team plays
its home games in Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo. Universidad
Católica has 12 national titles, making it the third most successful
football club in the country. It has played the
Copa Libertadores more
than 20 times, reaching the final in 1993, losing to São Paulo FC.
Several other football clubs are based in Santiago, including Unión
Española, Audax Italiano, Palestino,
Santiago Morning, Magallanes and
Barnechea. In addition to football, several sports are played in the
city, tennis and basketball being the main ones. The Club Hípico de
Santiago and the Hipódromo
Chile are the two horseracing tracks in
The city will hold a round of the all-electric FIA Formula E
Championship in February 2018, on a temporary street circuit
Plaza Baquedano and Parque Forestal. It will be
the first FIA sanctioned race in the country.
2023 Pan American Games will be held in Santiago.
There is an extensive network of bicycle trails in the city,
especially in the Providencia commune. The longest section is the
Americo Vespuccio road, which contains a very wide dirt path with many
trees through the center of a street used by motorists on both sides.
The next longest path is along the
Mapocho River along Andrés Bello
Avenue. Many people use folding bicycles to commute to work.
The city's main parks are:
Cerro San Cristóbal
Cerro San Cristóbal – San Cristóbal Hill, which includes the
Chilean National Zoo
Parque O'Higgins – O'Higgins Park
Parque Forestal – Forestal Park, park located at the city center
Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro Santa Lucía – Santa Lucía Hill
Parque Araucano in
Las Condes adjacent to the
Parque Arauco shopping
mall contains 30 hectares of gardens. It is closed for maintenance on
Parque Inés de Suarez, Providencia
Padre Hurtado (a.k.a. Parque Intercomunal)
There are ski resorts to the east of the city (Valle Nevado, La Parva,
El Colorado) and wineries in the plains west of the city.
Cultural venues include:
Museo de Bellas Artes – Fine Arts Museum
Barrio Bellavista, cultural and bohemian neighborhood
Central Station, railway station designed by Gustave Eiffel
Víctor Jara Stadium
Ex National Congress
Plaza de Armas, central square
Palacio de La Moneda, government palace
Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre of Santiago), the principal opera
house of the country. The main sport venues are Estadio Nacional (site
of the 1962 World Cup final), Estadio Monumental David Arellano,
Estadio Santa Laura, and Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo.
Santiago's Metropolitan Cathedral
See also: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Santiago de Chile
As in most of Chile, the majority of the population of
Catholic. According to the National Census, carried out in 2002 by the
National Statistics Bureau (INE), in the
Santiago Metropolitan Region,
3,129,249 people 15 and older identified themselves as Catholics,
equivalent to 68.7% of the total population, while 595,173 (13.1%)
described themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Around 1.2% of the
population declared themselves as being Jehovah's Witnesses, while
2.00% identified themselves as
Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 0.25% as
Jewish, 0.11% as Orthodox and 0.03% as Muslim. Approximately 10.4% of
the population of the Metropolitan Region stated that they were
atheist or agnostic, while 5.4% declared that they followed other
religions. In 2010 construction was initiated on the continental
Bahá'í House of Worship for
South America in the commune of
Peñalolen. Construction at the site nears completion and a
dedication is planned for October, 2016.
The city is home to numerous universities, colleges, research
institutions, and libraries.
The largest university and one of the oldest in the
Universidad de Chile. The roots of the University date back to the
year 1622, as on 19 August the first university in
Chile under the
name of Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded. On 28 July 1738, it was
named the Real Universidad de San Felipe in honor of King Philip V of
Spain. In the vernacular, it is also known as Casa de Bello (Spanish:
House of Bello – after their first Rector, Andrés Bello). On 17
April 1839, after Chile's independence from the Kingdom of Spain, it
was renamed the Universidad de Chile, and reopened on 17 September
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de
Chile (PUC) was founded in
June 1888 and was ranked as the best school in
Latin America in
2014. On 11 February 1930 it was declared a university by a decree
Pope Pius XI. It received recognition by the Chilean government as
an appointed Pontifical University in 1931. Joaquín Larraín
Gandarillas (1822–1897), Archbishop of Anazarba, was the founder and
first rector of the PUC. The PUC is a modern university; the campus of
San Joaquin has a number of contemporary buildings and offers many
parks and sports facilities. Several courses are conducted in English.
Ex-president, Sebastián Piñera, minister Ricardo Raineri, and
minister Hernán de Solminihac all attended PUC as students and worked
in PUC as professors. In the 2010 admission process, approximately 48%
of the students who achieved the best score in the Prueba de
Selección Universitaria matriculated in the UC.
Private High Schools
Chile Campus (Global Programs)
International School Nido de Aguilas
Saint George's College
Colegio San Ignacio
Colegio del Verbo Divino
Colegio Cordillera de Las Condes
Colegio Villa Maria Academy
The Grange School
Universidad de Chile
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Chile (U or UCH)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de
Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación
Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE)
Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana
Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana (UTEM)
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM)
Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI)
Universidad del Desarrollo
Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD)
Universidad Diego Portales
Universidad Diego Portales (UDP)
Universidad Alberto Hurtado (UAH)
Universidad Central de
Andrés Bello (Unab)
Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano (UAHC)
Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática (UCINF)
Universidad Mayor (UM)
Universidad Finis Terrae
Universidad de Los Andes
Universidad Gabriela Mistral (UGM)
Universidad del Pacífico
Universidad de las Américas
Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación
Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación (UNIACC)
Universidad San Sebastián (USS)
Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg's Postgraduierten- und
Weiterbildungszentrum der Universität Heidelberg in Santiago
David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) Regional
Office in Santiago
Stanford Faculty in Santiago
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Chile
Twin towns and sister cities
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Santiago is twinned with:
Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities
Santiago is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities
from 12 October 1982 establishing brotherly relations with the
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guatemala City, Guatemala
La Paz, Bolivia
Mexico City, Mexico
Panama City, Panama
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Salvador, El Salvador
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
France (1997, "Friendship Pact")
Club de La Unión
Façade of the
Santiago Stock Exchange
Basílica del Salvador
Paseo Bulnes, downtown Santiago
Paseo Ahumada, downtown Santiago
A street in Santiago
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See also: Bibliography of the history of
Santiago de Chile
Media related to
Chile at Wikimedia Commons
Chile travel guide from Wikivoyage
Santiago de Chile". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.).
Capitals of South America
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
Buenos Aires, Argentina
French Guiana (France)
King Edward Point,
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (UK)
La Paz (de facto)
Sucre (de jure), Bolivia
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley, Falkland Islands (UK)
< Communes and municipalities in
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region >
Pedro Aguirre Cerda
San José de Maipo
Calera de Tango
Isla de Maipo
Chilean cities with a population of over 150,000 (2002 census)
Viña del Mar
Greater La Serena
Padre Las Casas
American Capitals of Culture