For a lot of people, travelling brings wonderful opportunities that they simply don’t have at home. Commonly, these wondrous sights include enormous shopping malls, restaurants on every corner and markets to be scoured in search of hidden treasure. While Santiago has these sights aplenty, it also has several other gems secreted away… Green gems. In these gigantic metropolises, often some of the most beautiful treasures are the natural ones.
Take Parque Bicentenario: if you visit during the week, you’ll find that you have the park almost to yourself, save for several industrious gardeners. While this is what you might need after some time in the busy city, the weekends bring the real delight.
Every Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting), Parque Bicentenario becomes the city’s most popular playground, bicycle path and dog park. The park is big enough that it never feels crowded, despite there being an abundance of people. The grass is green, the trees provide convenient shady spots, you get great mountain views from everywhere (there’s even a lookout point), and most importantly, lots of space. Families take their children to learn how to ride a bike; dogs socialise just as much as their owners and newcomers are taken aback by the trees – which are wearing knitted garments…
It’s true! Most trees in the park have their very own, very colourful winter knitwear, lovingly created and maintained. Bring a book, a picnic, your bicycle or your dog, this is the place to take a breather from the crowded streets and appreciate nature and beauty right in the centre of one of South America’s largest cities.
Parque Bicentenario is located in the north east of the main Centro area, sneakily snuggled into the crook of the Costanera Norte motorway that separates the city and Parque Metropolitano from the suburbs. It stretches several blocks from north to south, becoming the western book-end for comuna Vitacura. This worthwhile relaxation point is easily reached by bus (take the 425 from Escuela Militar and it will drop you at the northern end) or en pie from nearby Metro stations, the closest being Tobalaba. To the south end of the park is the Municipalidad de Vitacura; to the north is Restaurant Mestizo, suitably classy for the Vitacurian neighbours.
So when you need some time out, head out to Parque Bicentenario for a restful afternoon in the sun. You’ll be glad you did!
This map shows the Vitacura Municipal Center (address: Avenida Bicentenario 3800) which resides within Parque Bicentario.
Note: This story was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question.