One of the perks of living in Santiago is the proximity of many beautiful hiking (or trekking as people call it here) trails for all levels of fitness and endurance. This past Sunday Dirk and I, together with our French flatmate, Marion, decided to try out one of the easier hiking routes.
Parque Aguas de Ramon is situated in La Reina, and even though we unfortunately got completely lost on our way there from the bus stop, (I’m never trusting Google maps again) if you follow the directions on the park’s webpage http://www.asociacionparquecordillera.cl/parque/parque-aguas-de-ramon/ you should find it quite easy. For the record, the entrance to the park is on the corner of the streets Alvaro Casanova and Onofre Jarpa Parcelas. The park gets it’s name from Estero de Ramón, the river that flows through it.
We chose a good day to do the hike; the sun didn’t shine too hot and the smog wasn’t as bad as it usually is, so we had a great view of Santiago. As we climbed higher we could see more of Santiago being revealed behind the trees. I was surprised at how big the city is; the buildings cover so much land!
There are three routes that you can choose from inside the park (Entrance fee 1,500 pesos):
1. El Canto del Agua, a 25 minute walk, is suitable for children and elderly people or those who just want to take it easy.
2. El Paso Los Peumos, the route we took (the green route on the map), takes three to four hours and offers breathtaking views of Santiago. The route leads you to a waterfall where you can rest in the shadow of trees. The suspension bridges are damaged at the moment, so we couldn’t cross over to the North side of the waterfall and had to return with the same route we hiked to the waterfall. This is not a negative aspect at all; you get to admire the view again on your way back!
3. Salto de Apoquindo is the most challenging route and takes about seven hours. It leads to a spectacular waterfall that drops 30 meters. Hopefully we’ll be fit enough to take on this route soon!
It was fantastic to be surrounded by nature and to look at the city from a distance; it seems so peaceful when you can’t hear the traffic or see the full metro stations.