Spending two years in Santiago, Chile left me with quite a few Instagrams of this gorgeous capital in the valley of the Andes mountains. Now that my time in Chile is over (for now), I’m counting down my favorite Instagram-worthy locations. If you’re planning a trip to Santiago, these popular (and some not as well-known) spots for photographers should be included in your itinerary.
1. Sky Costanera
It’s no secret that in any metropolitan city, the best Instagram spots are typically high up. When it comes to Santiago, you can’t get much higher up than the 62nd floor of Sky Costanera. After paying the entrance fee, ride the elevator to the top of this new attraction. There, you’ll have a 360-degree view of the city. My best advice is to arrive about 45 minutes before sunset. Be aware that the last elevator ride to the top is at 9 P.M., and the attraction closes at 10 P.M. Also note that the price is much lower during the week than the weekend (by 3,000 pesos!).
2. Cerro San Cristóbal
San Cristóbal Hill, one of the main tourist attractions in Santiago, can be recognized by the giant statue of Mary located at the summit. If you want to take pictures during the day, go immediately after a bit of rain. Especially in the winter, Santiago has a layer of smog over the sky that disappears for a few hours after rainfall. If unable to go on a clear day, take the opportunity to explore San Cristóbal in the twilight. An especially exciting spot is the Mirador Pablo Neruda.
3. Plaza de Armas
As in most cities founded by Spaniards, the Plaza de Armas originally formed the center of Santiago. Many critical historical buildings surround this plaza, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago. I find this cathedral to be one of the most beautiful in the city. This is the perfect photography location due to the contrast in different forms of architecture throughout the plaza.
4. Cerro Santa Lucía
Santa Lucía Hill marks the founding spot for the city of Santiago. As such, it has been decorated with beautiful fountains and a viewing point at the top of the hill. I particularly enjoy taking photos of the Fuente de Neptuno. This fountain is located after the first set of stairs. Entrance to this attraction is free, so why not check it out?
5. Museo a Cielo Abierto
If you have been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know I tend to advertise this place as a must-see. If you’re a lover of street art like myself, then Museo a Cielo Abierto should be as much on your bucket list as the Wynwood Walls in Miami!
6. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Santiago has a quite stunning Fine Arts museum. Due to its ever-changing exhibits and free entrance, this is the perfect destination for a day of photography.
7. Cerro Manquehue
If you want to take pictures at this Instagram spot, you’ll have to do a bit of hiking. Cerro Manquehue is the highest peak in the valley surrounding Santiago. Just as in the case of the other Instagram spots, the best days to go will always be bright days, especially after a bit of rain. The hike to the summit takes a little over an hour, and it takes another hour to descend. As far as difficulty level, Manquehue is considered relatively tricky. However, if you find yourself to be in good physical shape, you should have no problem making it to the top.
8. Parque Araucano/Parque Juan Pablo II
I mention these parks together because they are right next to each other and
I don’t understand where one starts and the other begins they’re both beautiful places to spend a sunny afternoon. There are various bridges in the parks that provide the perfect photo op!
9. City Rooftops
This may seem a bit general. However, as I’ve mentioned before, the best viewing spots in Santiago are as high up as possible. This makes rooftops (of bars, restaurants, apartment buildings) all great spots to photograph. One place I especially recommend is the roof to the W Santiago Hotel. You don’t have to be staying at the hotel to go to the rooftop and have a drink!
Bonus: Cajón del Maipo
I’ve added Cajón del Maipo as a bonus photo location due to its proximity to Santiago. While it is not actually within the limits of the city, it is within the Region Metropolitana, making it an easy day trip. This destination is not to be missed for those who consider themselves adventure travelers. Hiking, camping, rafting, Cajón has it all when it comes to adventure! It is also absolutely beautiful, making it worthy of an Instagram photo.