The view from the zoo, Santiago, Chile

As far as zoos go, it’s not spectacular, but it’s popular and they sell ice-cream on hot days…

The whole place looks as though it could use more shade, more grass, more water and a serious injection of cash, but don’t let that put you off. There are some impressive animals at Chilean National Zoo, and it does make for a fun afternoon. The zoo’s website, found at Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, seems to want to reinforce that the zoo is conscientious about education, and the welfare of the animals.

The Zoo is built into the side of Cerro San Cristobal. To get there, you can hike up the stairs or take the funicular from the base of the hill (at the end of Pia Nono street, nearest Metro is Baquedano) – the zoo is about halfway up. The walk isn’t hard but for wheelchair and stroller access you should take the funicular.

The Chilean National Zoo is open from 10am, until 6pm in winter and 7pm in summer. Entry costs no more than $3000 CLP.