There are many benefits that come with touring a city on two wheels: it promotes a healthier lifestyle and allows better access to the different corners of the city, from close markets and bohemian neighborhoods to the public parks and vineyards near the capital.
If what you wish to do is freely ride through the city, following your own schedule and without a guide, then what you need to do is rent a bike designed for your street adventures. Among the companies that rent bikes of certified quality, Bike Santiago really stands out. This is a perfect initiative for those looking to move quickly and conveniently around the city.
Once you have paid your membership with Bike Santiago, you can use any of their bicycles parked in the busiest areas of the capital. These rides, known for their avid orange bikes, will allow you to scroll through the main streets of Santiago according to your personal schedule.
There is another option for those seeking to learn more about Chilean history, culture and the architectural heritage present in Santiago. We talk about La Bicicleta Verde, a company that offers city tours in order to deliver a dynamic cultural experience for explorers on two wheels.
La Bicicleta Verde was created in 2007 “as a way of offering a more intimate tour of Santiago to tourists, where they can take a city tour or visit vineyards in an entertaining and more familiar way”, says Joel Martínez, partner of the company. Today they rent different models of bicycles, including tandems that are ideal for couples, and also offer guided daytime and nighttime circuits from US$ 30 a time. In turn, renting a bike for 4 hours costs 10 or 18 USD, depending if you want a normal or mountain bike, respectively.
The city tours begin at 9:30 a.m, focusing on the neighborhoods of «popular culture» of the city: the bohemian Bellavista, Patronato (famous business sector of Arab and Korean immigrants) and the Vega Central (fruit and vegetables market). Finally, you will arrive to Parque Forestal, where you can enjoy the beautiful green areas of the Bellas Artes neighborhood.
After enjoying a delicious traditional Chilean lunch in one of these classic neighborhoods of Santiago, another tour begins at 2:30 p.m. This tour includes the following neighborhoods: Providencia, the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center and Palacio La Moneda. «The themes are the parks and the recent political history of Chile,» says Martinez.
Being wine one of the most recognized Chilean products, the company also offers a tour through Cousino Macul Vineyard, known for its fine wine production. In this city tour the traveler can enjoy 4 wine tastings and try the delicious wines from the barrels of this prestigious city vineyard.
It is very important to mention that all the tours include the necessary security implements required for responsible bike tour, from the bike lights to the helmet.
Also, there is a place that we strongly recommend you to visit and tour with your bicycle: The Metropolitan Park of Santiago. With a total surface of 1,821 acres, this urban park is the largest in Latin America and fourth in the world, so it is almost mandatory to include it in your list of city routes through Santiago. This park is located at the top of Cerro San Cristobal, i.e, in the middle of the heart of Santiago, and is full of tourist attractions such as the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, the old Funiculars, the Pablo Neruda Amphitheatre Lookout, the Tupahue and Antilén public pools, the Botanical and Japanese gardens, restaurants, trails and more.
If you’re lucky, you can participate in the cultural bicycle rides organized by Bicipaseos Patrimoniales, which are free and open to all enthusiasts who want to explore the city on two wheels. We also recommend reviewing the monthly activities agenda in their Twitter account.
Finally, here is the link to Ciclo Recreo Via, a project that encourages families to go on bicycle rides day and night. During the weekends, different typical city streets become exclusive bikeways and you can carelessly enjoy a ride through the best heritage routes of Santiago de Chile.
For more information on the various circuits by Ciclo Recreo Via in Santiago, check out the following link.
For information regarding Chilean Bikeways: wikipedia.org/Ciclovías_en_Chile