The best places to live in Chile

Santiago’s Vitacura and the Lakes District city of Puerto Varas were highlighted in a recent study about quality of life in Chilean neighborhoods.


Do you know the best places to live in Chile? You may be surprised by the results of the latest Quality of Urban Life Index (ICVU), which determined the best places to live in Santiago and throughout the regions.

Six Santiago neighborhoods, known locally as comunas, took the first six spots in the national ranking, but among metropolitan regions as a whole, greater Santiago came only fourth. And the picturesque lake-side town of Puerto Varas in the southern heartland received special kudos for quality of life.

The investigation was carried out at one of Chile’s leading universities, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The study follows on the heels of a report compiled by Chilean daily El Mercurio last month, and is considered to be a more thorough assessment of quality of life in Chile, since it takes into account 18 variables within six spheres: work environment; business environment; society and culture; connectivity and mobility; health and environment; and housing.

The best comuna in Chile, according to this study, is the eastern Santiago district of Vitacura, which scored a 80.56. Following Vitacura are the neighboring Santiago comunas of Las Condes (69.87), Providencia (66.35), Lo Barnechea (59.53), La Reina (57.84) and downtown Santiago (55.62). These same high-end Santiago communities similarly placed well in El Mercurio’s study in April.

In the regions outside Santiago, the best-ranked comunas are in Puerto Varas (54.67), the coastal resort Concón (53.67), mining center Copiapó (51.02), northern port Iquique (49.45) and the gateway to the Antarctica, Punta Arenas (48.60).

Among metropolitan cities, Antofagasta scored the highest ICVU at 48.38, followed by the metropolitan areas of Puerto Montt-Puerto Varas (46.19), Iquique-Alto Hospicio (422.12), Coquimbo-La Serena (44.09), Greater Santiago (43.26), and Rancagua-Machalí (43.16).

“The importance of using the Quality of Urban Life Indicator and of the analysis that it uncovers is that it allows authorities and the population in general to evaluate the importance of public and private investment, so as to better focus resources in those areas of the cities and neighborhoods where they are most needed, as a way of increasing the quality of life for its inhabitants,” said the president of the Urban Committee of the Chilean Construction Congress, Fernando Herrera.