Nature lovers in Santiago will not need to leave the capital to enjoy a hike through forests full of wildlife and to view a majestic 30 meter high waterfall at the Parque Aguas de Ramón, a large park located in the foothills that border the municipalities of La Reina and Las Condes.
Twenty kilometers of pristine trails complete with suspension bridges, observatory platforms benches and signs have been opened just 30 minutes east of the city centre, after US$90,000 in upgrades.
“The main concept of this is to allow you to access, very close to your home, the kind of places where you would otherwise have to go very far away,” said Nicolás Blanco, sales and marketing manager at the Fundación Sendero de Chile (Paths of Chile Foundation).
Aside from the waterfall, at the end of a six-hour hike on the longest of three trails in the park, visitors may see foxes, lizards, eagles, owls and other species of birds, along with flowers and fauna. There are varying degrees of hiking difficulty to suit those looking for a casual stroll or a people looking for a little more of a challenge. The other two paths take 90 minutes and three hours, respectively.
Entrance to the park will cost US$3 (1,500 Chilean Pesos) for adults and US$1 (500 Chilean Pesos) for children and elders.
This news comes shortly after the foundation opened another 7-kilometer long hiking trail this week in Santiago, providing residents a traffic-free path for exercise. Starting east of the Cerro San Cristobal, a city landmark in the Bellavista neighbourhood, the Path of the Great Crossings features stairs, boardwalks and wonderful views of the city, passing through the Metropolitan Park, which is also home to the city’s zoo.
The paths opening are just part of a larger plan by the foundation to create a network of paths throughout Chile. It expects to manage 40 trails across the country in nine different territories, that can be covered on foot, horseback or bicycle.