Location of Santiago commune in Greater Santiago
|Region||Santiago Metropolitan Region|
|Foundation||February 12, 1541|
|- Mayor||Pablo Zalaquett Said (UDI)|
|- Urban||641.4 km2 (247.6 sq mi)|
|- Metro||15,403.2 km2 (5,947.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||520 m (1,706 ft)|
|- Density||8,964/km2 (23,216/sq mi)|
|- Metro||7.2 Million|
|Time zone||Chile Time (CLT) (UTC-4)|
|- Summer (DST)||Chile Summer Time (CLST) (UTC-3)|
Santiago, (Spanish: Santiago de Chile (help·info)), is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation (Greater Santiago). It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706.04 ft) AMSL. Although Santiago is the capital, legislative bodies meet in nearby Valparaíso.
Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America's most modern metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping malls, and impressive high-rise architecture. It is an Alpha World City and has some of Latin America's most modern transport infrastructure, such as the growing Santiago Metro (underground train system) and the new Costanera Norte, a toll-based highway system that passes underneath downtown and connects the Eastern and Western extremes of the city in a 25-minute drive. Santiago is the regional headquarters to many multinationals, and a regional financial centre.
Throughout this article the term Santiago will normally refer to the metropolis (Greater Santiago) area; however, there are several other entities which bear the name of Santiago and need to be explained: The commune (comuna) of Santiago (sometimes referred to as Santiago Centro), is a subdivision of the Santiago Province, which is itself a subdivision of the Santiago Metropolitan Region. Greater Santiago includes the majority of the Santiago Province, and some areas of neighboring provinces (see Political divisions). The Great Santiago inhabitants are called Santiaguinos/as. The commune of Santiago is administered by the Santiago municipality (Municipalidad de Santiago), a separate legal entity with an elected mayor and council. It encompasses the oldest part of Greater Santiago, enclosed by old rail lines, including downtown, historical neighborhoods and all major government infrastructure, including the government palace La Moneda. It has an area of 22.4 km2 (8.6 sq mi) and a population of 200,792 (2002 census).
Santiago was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541 with the name Santiago del Nuevo Extremo, as a homage to Saint James and Extremadura, Valdivia's birth place in Spain. The founding ceremony was held on Huelén Hill (later renamed Cerro Santa Lucía). Valdivia chose the location of Santiago because of its climate, abundant vegetation and the ease with which it could be defended—the Mapocho River then split into two branches and rejoined further downstream, forming an island. The Inca ruler Manco Cápac II warned the new rulers that his Indigenous people would be hostile to the occupiers. The Spanish invaders had to battle against hunger caused by this resistance. Pedro de Valdivia ultimately succeeded in stabilizing the food supply and other resources needed for Santiago to thrive.
The floor of the new town consisted of straight roads of 12 Varas (14.35 m) width, in equal intervals of 138 Varas (165.08 m) or perpendicular to each other were. With nine roads in the east-west direction and 15 in the north-south direction, there were 126 Blocks that formed the so-called "Manzanas" or square cut.
The continued resistance of the indigenous population resulted in a series of further conflicts. On September 11, 1541 an organized uprising of Picunche and Michimalongo, led to an attack on Santiago, beginning a three yearlong war. At the time, the Conquistadores were in a very precarious situation, suffering persistent food shortages in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world.
In January of 1542, Pedro de Valdivia sent an emissary, Alonso de Monroy, to Peru to request help. The Conquistadors suffered 20 harsh months until De Monroy returned from Peru with reinforcements, ending the isolation and demoralizing situation of the soldiers in Santiago. The uprising ultimately failed. The indigenous population moved South and the city remained relatively safe.
While Santiago was on the verge of extinction by the Indian attack, an earthquake and a series of floods, the city began to settle rapidly. Of the 126 blocks designed by Gamboa, in 1558 40 had been occupied by 1580, while the land near hosted tens of thousands of head of livestock. In the architectural field, they begin to build the first important buildings in the city, highlighting the start of construction in stone of the first Cathedral in 1561 and the Church of San Francisco in 1572, both being built mainly in Adobe and stone.
In 1780, Governor Agustín de Jáuregui hired the Italian architect Toesca Joaquin, who designed, among other important works, the facade of the Cathedral, La Moneda.  The government of Bernardo O'Higgins also opened the road to Valparaíso in 1791.
On 12 February 1817 the Battle of Chacabuco was fought in Colina, a short distance north of Santiago, where Argentine and Chilean independence armies, led by José de San Martín and Bernardo O'Higgins, fought the Spanish royalists. That day, Chile proclaimed its independence.
During the authoritarian era of the so-called Republic (from 1830 to 1891) the school system was introduced and cultural life started to flourish. In 1843 the Universidad de Chile was founded. In 1888 another university Universidad Pontificia Católica was also founded. By 1885, 189,322 people were living in Santiago.
During the years of the Republican era, institutions were created primarily for educational use and they became planning examples of the period, as the University of Chile (Universidad de Chile), the Normal School of preceptors, the School of Arts and Crafts and the Quinta Normal, which included the Museum of Fine Arts (now Museum of Science and Technology) and the National Museum of Natural History. In 1851, the first telegraph system connecting the capital with the Port of Valparaiso was inaugurated.
A new momentum in the urban development of the capital took place during the so-called "Liberal Republic" and the administration of the city's mayor, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna. Among the main works during this period are the remodeling of the Cerro Santa Lucia which despite its central location was in very poor shape.
In an effort to transform Santiago, Vicuña Mackenna began construction of the "Camino de Cintura" that surrounded the whole city, which until then had an extension similar to the current commune of Santiago. A new redevelopment of Alameda Ave. finally enshrined the central artery of the city.
With the work of European landscapes in 1873, O'Higgins Park opened. The park, with a public access, became an point of interest in Santiago due to the large gardens, lakes and carriages. Similarly, other important buildings were opened during this era, such as the Teatro Municipal which had many operas, and the Riding Club. At the same time, James received the International Exposition, held in 1875 in the grounds of the Quinta Normal. 
In terms of transport, the city became the main hub of the national railway system. The first railroad reached the city on September 14, 1857 in an emerging Central Station of Santiago, which would be opened permanently in 1884. During those years, the city was connected by rail to Valparaiso and rail crossing much of the country from north to south. With regards to urban transport, the streets of Santiago were paved and there were 1,107 cars in 1875. While 45,000 people used tram services on a daily basis.
The 1930s saw the beginning of a transformation of the city into a modern, industrialized one. Surrounding the Presidential Palace (La Moneda) was the administrative district Barrio Cívico with many ministries and other public facilities. The population increased due to migration from northern and southern Chile and by the 1940s it had exceeded the milestone of a million inhabitants. Migration continued and by the year of 1960 Santiago's population had doubled to two million inhabitants. This fast increase in population led, especially in the poor neighborhoods of the city, to even worse social conditions than experienced before. Numerous children were considered malnourished, many families were left homeless and unemployment soared.
After the victory of Salvador Allende in 1970 the wages of workers and employees increased 35 to 60 percent. Rents and the cost of important basic needs were frozen. Education and health care were provided free of charge. Every child received shoes and a daily liter of free milk. The birth rate in the capital region fell by 20 percent. The focus of the policy was in the expropriation of foreign enterprises and banks.
In the following decades, Santiago flourished and continued to grow with high rise. In 1940, the city accumulated 952,075 inhabitants, in 1952 this figure reached 1,350,409 inhabitants, the census of 1960 totaled 1,907,378 Santiago. This growth was reflected in the urbanization of rural areas on the periphery, where they settled middle-class families with low and stable housing: in 1930, the urban area had an area of 6,500 hectares, which in 1960 came to 20,900 and 1980 came to 38,296. Although most of the communities continued to grow, it is mainly concentrated in outlying communities such as Canyon to the west, north and Conchalí the tank and the Farm to the south. In the case of the upper class, it began to approach the sector of the pre-Las Condes and La Reina. The centre, by contrast, has lost population, leaving more space for the development of trade, banking and government activities.
The growth took place without any regulation and started only to be implemented during the 1960s with the creation of various development plans of the Greater Santiago, which reflect the new reality of a city much larger . In 1958 the Plan was launched in Santiago and inter proposing the organization of urban territory, setting a limit of 38,600 hectares and semi-urban, for a maximum population of 3,260,000 inhabitants, the construction of new roads (such as Avenida Américo Vespucio Circunvalación and the Pan American highway), the widening of the existing and the establishment of "industrial cordons. The celebration of the World Cup in 1962 gave new impetus to the improvement works of the city. In 1966 he established the Metropolitan Park of Santiago in the Cerro San Cristóbal and MINVU began eradicating callampas populations and construction of new homes and remodeling San Borja, which was built near the Diego Portales Building.
The new International Airport Pudahuel opened in 1967 , and after years of discussion, in 1969 it would begin construction of the Metro de Santiago, the first phase would run under the western section of the Alameda and would be inaugurated in 1975. Metro became one of the most prestigious of the city and in subsequent years to expand, reaching two perpendicular lines at the end of 1978. Telecommunications have an important development, as reflected by the construction of the Torre Entel, which since its construction in 1975 would be one of the symbols of the capital to be the tallest structure in the country for two decades.
After the coup of 1973 and the establishment of the military regime, urban planning had no major changes until the start of 1980, when the government adopted a neoliberal economic model and the role of organizer of the state going to market. In 1979 the master plan is amended, extending the urban radio to more than 62,000 hectares for housing development, causing a further expansion of the city, arriving at 40,619 has extended the early 1990s, especially in the area Florida in the 1992 census became the country's most populous municipality with 328,881 inhabitants. Meanwhile, a strong earthquake struck the city on March 3, 1985, which caused few casualties but left many homeless and destroyed many old buildings. Another one strucked on February 27, 2010 leaving dozens dead.
Starting in 1981, Santiago (and Chile as a whole), went into a deep economic and financial crisis. The Chilean solution to the crisis was heterodox in the sense that many policies appeared to have been arbitrary, and policy mistakes were made and corrected along the way. However, the economy recovered relatively quickly, and since has built a strong financial sector that allowed the country to avoid the financial turmoil observed during 1995 and 1997-98 in other emerging market economies. On Saturday, February 27, 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the south of Chile, causing massive destruction in many places, however because of good quality buildings not much damage was recorded in Santiago.
The city lies in the centre of the Santiago Basin, a large bowl-shaped valley consisting of a broad and fertile plain surrounded by mountains. It is flanked by the main chain of the Andes on the east and the Chilean Coastal Range on the west. On the north, it is bound by the Cordón de Chacabuco, a transverse mountain range of the Andes, whereas at the southern border lies Angostura de Paine, where an elongated spur of the Andes almost reaches the Coastal Range. Santiago Basin is part of the Intermediate Depression and is remarkably flat, interrupted only by a few hills. Among those are Cerro Renca, Cerro Blanco and Cerro Santa Lucía.
The Andes mountains around Santiago are quite tall, culminating in Tupungato volcano at 6,570 m (21,555 ft). Other volcanoes include Tupungatito, San José and Maipo. Cerro El Plomo is the highest mountain visible from Santiago's urban area.
Santiago is situated mainly on a plain known as the Santiago basin. This basin is part of the Intermediate Depression and is clearly delimited by the string of Chacabuco in the north, the Andes Mountains in the east, the narrowness of Paine in the south and the Cordillera de la Costa. It is approximately 80 km in a north-south direction and 35 km from east to west.
For hundreds of millions of years, the current territory of the city was covered by the ocean and marine sediment, the only land mass near the existing Coastal Cordillera. The morphology of the region begin to take its present form since the late Paleozoic, when it begins the subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American plate, then belonging to the continent of Gondwana. This subduction generated foldings of the crust from the Triassic, lifting the rocks that give rise to the Andes. Subsequently, new activities generate tectonic subsidence of the great rock mass forming the depression lifted.
At present, Santiago lies mainly in the plain of the basin, with an altitude between 400 in the western areas and reaching the 540 on the Plaza Baquedano, presented some hills in the area of Cerrillos. The metropolitan area has surrounded some of these islands, mountains, as in the case of Cerro Santa Lucia, Cerro Blanco, the Renca Calán and that 800 meters is the highest point of the city. Southwest of the city there is a string of rocky hills several islands within the highlighting Cerro Chena. To the west are also presented some of the main stage of the Cordillera de la Costa, the Oak Hill High with 2185 meters of altitude, and the Maipo River area alone in the mountain range loses height.
During recent decades, urban growth has expanded the boundaries of the city to the east closer to the Andean Precordillera. Even in areas such as La Dehesa, Lo Curro and El Arrayan has been reached to overcome the barrier of 1000 meters of altitude. Some low-lying foothills of the Andes emerge and goes into the basin, as is the If the mountain range of The Pyramid and the hill Cerro San Cristobal, in the northeastern sector of Santiago.
To the east, stands the massive call Ramon Sierra, a mountain chain formed in the foothills of the Precordillera due to the action of the fault Ramon, reaching 3296 meters at the Cerro de Ramon. 20 km further east is the Cordillera of the Andes with its mountain ranges and volcanoes, many of which exceed 6,000 m (19,685.04 ft) and in which some glaciers are maintained. The higher the Tupungato volcano with 6570 meters,  located near the volcano Tupungatito of 5913 meters of altitude. To the northeast lie Lead Hill (5,424 meters) and Nevado El Plomo 6070 meters in altitude.  To the southeast of the capital, meanwhile, are located on the Nevado Piuquenes (6,019 meters) volcano San Jose (5,856 m) and the volcano Maipo (5,323 m). From these peaks, the Tupungatito as San José and Maipo are active volcanoes.
Santiago has a somewhat cooler Mediterranean climate: relatively hot dry summers (November to March) with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on the hottest days; winters (June to August) are more humid with cold mornings, typical maximum daily temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius (56 degrees Fahrenheit), and minimums of a few degrees above freezing. Occasional snowfall occurs in the city, and may extend throughout the city, though this happens infrequently (about every 8–10 years). Mean rainfall is 360 mm per year and is heavily concentrated in the cooler months.
|Average high °C (°F)||29.7
|Average low °C (°F)||13.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||0.4
|Source: The World Meteorological Organization Feb 2010|
The climate of Santiago is a warm-temperate climate with winter rainfall and prolonged dry season, better known as continental Mediterranean climate.
Within the main climatic characteristics of Santiago is the concentration of about 80% of rainfall during the austral winter months (May to September), varying between 50 and 80 mm of rain fall during these months. That amount contrasts with figures for the months corresponding to a very dry season, caused by an anticyclonic dominance continued for about seven or eight months, mainly during the summer months between December and March. This season, the water drop does not exceed 4 mm on average. These rains are usually composed only of rain, as the snowfall and hail is produced mainly in the sectors of the Precordillera about 1500 meters, in some cases, nevazones affect the city but only on its eastern sectors, where in very rare opportunity extended to the rest of the city.
The temperatures vary throughout the year from an average of 20 °C (68 °F) in January to 8 °C (46 °F) in June and July. In the summer, January is hot, easily reaching over 30 °C (86 °F) and a record high close to 37 °C (99 °F), while nights are generally pleasant and slightly cooler without lowering of 15 °C (59 °F). For his part, during autumn and winter the temperature drops and is slightly lower than the 10 °C (50 °F), the temperature may even drop slightly from 0 °C (32 °F), especially during the morning, and its historic low of −6.8 °C (20 °F) in 1976.
Santiago's location within a watershed is one of the most important factors in the climate of the city. The coastal mountain range serves as a "screen climate" to oppose the spread of marine influence, contributing to the increase in annual and daily thermal oscillation (the difference between the maximum and minimum daily temperatures can reach 14°C) and maintaining low relative humidity close to an annual average of 70%. It also prevents the entry of air masses with the exception of some coastal low clouds that penetrate to the basin through the river valleys.
Prevailing winds are from the southwest direction, with an average of 15 km / h, especially during the summer as in winter calm prevail.
Thermal inversion (a meteorological phenomenon whereby a stable layer of warm air holds down colder air close to the ground) causes high levels of smog and air pollution to be trapped and concentrate within the Central Valley during winter months. In the 1990s air pollution fell by about one-third, but there has been little progress since 2000.
As of March 2007, only 61% of the wastewater in Santiago was treated, which increased up to 71% by the end of the same year. However, the Mapocho river, which crosses the city from the north-east to the south-west of the Central Valley, remains contaminated by household, agricultural and industrial sewage, and by upstream copper-mining waste (there are a number of copper mines in the Andes east of Santiago), which is dumped unfiltered into the river. Laws force industry and local governments to process all their wastewater, but are loosely enforced. There are now a number of large wastewater processing and recycling plants under construction. There are ongoing plans to decontaminate the river and make it navigable.
Noise levels on the main streets are high, mostly because of noisy diesel buses. Diesel trucks and buses are also major contributors to winter smog. A lengthy replacement process of the bus system began in 2005 and will last until 2010 (see Transportation section below). However, a major source of Santiago air pollution year-round is the smelter of El Teniente copper mine. Nevertheless, the government does not usually report it as being a local pollution source as it is just outside the reporting area of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, being 110 km. (70 miles) from downtown.,
According to data collected in the 2002 census by the National Institute of statistics, the Santiago metropolitan area population reached 5.428.590 inhabitants, equivalent to 35,91% of the national total and 89,56 % of total regional inhabitants. This figure reflects broad growth in the population of the city during the 20th century: in 1907 had 383.587 inhabitants, 1.010.102 in 1940, 2.009.118 in 1960, 3.899.619 in 1982 and 4.729.118 in 1992.(percentage of total population, 2007)
The growth of Santiago has undergone several changes over the course of its history. In its early years, the city had a rate of growth 2,68% annually until the 17th century, then down to less than 2% per year until the early 20th century figures. The middle of this century was a demographic explosion explaining as, in its capacity as capital, absorbed on migration from mining camps in northern Chile during the crisis of the 1930s and from population from rural sectors between 1940 and 1960, mainly. Lots of migration coupled with the high fertility rate at that time were reflected in figures annual growth reached 4.92% between 1952 and 1960. However, since the end of this century, growth figures been reduced again, reaching the early 2000s % 1,35. of Similarly, the size of the city expanded constantly. The 20,000 hectares covering Santiago in 1960, doubled by 1980 and in 2002 reached 64.140 hectares. Thus the density of population in Santiago is 8.463,7 inhabitants/Km².
The population of Santiago has been booming over the years. For 2007, it is estimated that 32.89 per cent of men and 30.73% of women were less than 20 years, while 10.23 per cent and 13.43 % had on the 60 years, respectively. In contrast, in 1990 the figure under 20 years in total era 38,04 % and 60, a 8.86 %, higher and for the year 2020 is estimated that both figures will be 26.69% and 16.79%.
4,313,719 people in Chile say they were born in one of the communes of Grand Santiago according to the 2002 census what amounts to 28,54% of the national total. Of the current inhabitants of Santiago, 67.6% were born in the communes of the metropolitan area. 2.11% of the inhabitants are illegal immigrants.
Santiago is the industrial and financial centre of Chile, and generates 45% of the country's GDP. Some international institutions, such as ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), have their offices in Santiago.
In recent years, due to the strong growth and stability of the Chilean economy, many multinational companies have chosen Santiago as the place for their headquarters in the region (Southern Cone), such as HP, Reuters, Procter & Gamble, Intel, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kodak, BHP Billiton, IBM, Motorola, Microsoft, Ford, Yahoo!, and many more.
The construction sector is booming in Santiago. Several large apartment complexes are being built throughout the city and construction cranes are a common sight. Currently under construction is the Costanera Center, a mega project in Santiago's Financial District. This includes a 280,000-square-metre (3,000,000 sq ft) mall, a 300-metre (980 ft) tower, two office towers of 170 metres (558 ft) each, and a hotel 105 metres (344 ft) tall. When completed in 2010 it will be the tallest building in South America. In January 2009 the retailer in charge, Cencosud, has said in a statement that the construction of the mega-mall would gradually be reduced until financial uncertainty is cleared. Near Costanera Center another skyscraper is being built, Titanium La Portada, and this will be 190 metres (623 ft) tall. Although these are the two biggest projects, there are many other office buildings under construction in Santiago, as well as hundreds of high rise residential buildings.
Santiago is Chile’s major industrial and agricultural region. The bulk of Chile’s industrial and commercial activity is concentrated in the national and regional capital of Santiago, but there are important farm-supply, marketing, and processing activities at San Bernardo (location of major railroad shops), Puente Alto (a paper- and gypsum-processing centre), Melipilla, Talagante, and Buin. Dairying and beef production are significant; the main crops are grains, grapes, potatoes, and beans. Copper, gypsum, and limestone are mined. Marketing is facilitated by the proximity of urban centres, by main-line railroad communications, and by the best-developed regional road system in Chile.
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport is Santiago's national and international airport. 15 minutes from downtown through the urban highways (Costanera Norte-Vespucio Norte).
Trains operated by Chile's national railway, Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado, connect Santiago to Chillan, in the central-southern part of the country. All such trains arrive and depart from the Estación Central ("Central Station") which can be accessed by bus or subway.
The routes and coverage are from:
Bus companies provide passenger transportation from Santiago to most areas of the country, while some also provide parcel-shipping and delivery services. There are several bus terminals in Santiago:
Toll road, inter-urban free flow highways connect the city's extremes, including the Vespucio Highway (which surrounds the city describing a semicircle), Autopista Central (which crosses the city in a North-South direction), and the Costanera Norte (which runs from the eastern edge, in Las Condes to the international airport and the highways to Valparaíso on the western side of the city).
Santiago has 37.32% of Chile's vehicles, with a total of 991,838 vehicles, 979,346 of which are motorized. 805,220 cars pass through the city, which is equivalent to 37.63% of the national and at a rate of one car for every 7 people. To support this huge number of cars there is an extensive network of streets and avenues stretching across Santiago to facilitate travel between the different communities that make up the metropolitan area.
As regards public transport, from the early 1990s various governmental efforts have attempted to resolve the chaotic system in the city. There were tendered in 1994 for the first time for the routes of the yellow buses (minibuses identified with the colour). Despite this, the system had serious problems and therefore a new transport system, called Transantiago was devised. This project began operations on February 10, 2007, combining core services across the city with a local feeder routes, which have a unified system of payment through the contactless Smartcard beep!. Transantiago, however, has had a series of errors in design and implementation which have not yet been resolved which have made it less successful than it otherwise would be.
Every day, over 2 million people pass through its five lines (1, 2, 4, 4A and 5), extending over 84 km and 89 stations. By 2010, new extensions to the communes of Maipú and Las Condes, mean the Metro will expand to more than 105 km in length.
Other local transport systems include 25 thousand taxis, identified by black colour cars and yellow roof. With regard to cycling, in recent years the city has tried to promote the use of bicycles with the construction of bicycle paths but so far the number built is limited.
Currently with 107 operating stations and 16 under construction, Santiago Metro is South America's most extensive metro system. The metro system serves the city of Santiago, Chile. The system carries around 2,400,000 passengers per day. The Santiago Metro has five operating lines. Two underground lines (Line 4 and 4A) and an extension of Line 2 was inaugurated during late 2005 and beginning of 2006. The system is under expansion, and extensions are going to be built on Lines 1 and 5 throughout 2009 and 2010. An announcement was made by President Bachelet stating the construction for a new line, South Express Line, which is numbered "6", to be finished by 2014, adding approx. 15 km to the network and 12 stations.
The company Trenes Metropolitanos S.A. provides suburban rail service under the brandname of Metrotren. There is only one southbound route, serving 18 stations between the Central Station of Santiago at Alameda and San Fernando, via Paine and Graneros. The electrified service expands over 138 kms. About 10 daily trains operate the full distance in each direction, with up to 30 trains between Santiago and Graneros. 
Transantiago is the name for the city's public transport system. It works by combining local (feeder) bus lines, main bus lines and the Metro network. It includes an integrated fare system, which allows passengers to make bus-to-bus or bus-to-metro transfers for the price of one ticket, using a single contactless smartcard. One disadvantage of this system is the inability to pay cash fares - even at a significantly higher price than is charged with the smartcard.
Taxicabs are common in Santiago and are painted black with yellow roofs and have orange license plates. So-called radiotaxis may be called up by telephone and can be any make, model, or color but should always have the orange plates. Colectivos are shared taxicabs that carry passengers along a specific route for a fixed fee. Santiago also has some illegal taxis without the orange plates indicating proper licensing. These are especially common near the airport and should generally be avoided for safety.
Santiago lacks a metropolitan government for its administration, which is currently distributed between various authorities, complicating the operation of the city as a single entity. The country is divided into three levels, regions, provinces and communes, but Santiago does not fit perfectly with any of them. Santiago Metropolitan Region was established in 1976 and encompasses locations away from the main city.
Greater Santiago extends throughout 37 municipalities and covered 64,140 ha in 2002. The majority of the conurbation lies within Santiago Province, with some peripheral areas contained in the provinces of Cordillera, Maipo and Talagante. Specifically, Santiago Province is joined by the whole of Cordillera Province; and the comunas of San Bernardo in Maipo; and Padre Hurtado in Talagante, to form the Greater Santiago conurbation.
The province of Santiago is divided into 32 municipalities (comunas in Spanish). Each municipality in Chile is headed by a mayor (alcalde) elected by voters every four years. The members of the municipal council (concejales) are elected in the same election on a separate ballot.
|Communes in Santiago Province|
|Communes in other provinces|
Despite the long history, there are only a few historical buildings from the Spanish colonial period in the city, because Santiago - as the rest of the country - was regularly hit by earthquakes. The buildings from this period include the Casa Colorada (1769), the Church San Francisco (1586) and Posada del Corregidor (1750). Another reason that it lacks old buildings from this time is the new richness of Chile. At the time of the Spanish colony, the city had economically only a low impact, the upswing was only after independence. This explains the low age of many buildings built mainly in neoclassic style. The Cathedral on the central square (Plaza de Armas), 1745 according to plans by Joaquim Toesca built, ranks as the sights as Palacio de La Moneda, the Classicist Presidential Palace until 1981 showed even the Einschüsse, General Pinochet troops by the coup against the democratically elected President Salvador Allende 1973 had left. The original building was between 1784 and 1805 of the architect Joaquín Toesca. Since 1846, the Presidential Palace is home to the Government of's.
Other buildings at the Plaza de Armas are finished on 1882 and between 1804 and 1807 built Palacio de la real Audjencia, of 18. September 1810 - today date of Nationalfeiertages - met the first Government of the country. The Centre houses the historical museum with 12,000 exhibits. In the South-East of the square is the built in 1893 blue Eisenkontruktion of Edwards Kaufhauses (Edificio commercial Edwards) and the 1769 finished colonial building the "Casa Colorada", the historical city museum Close is the (Teatro Municipal) Theatre. In 1906 by an earthquake destroyed building was built of the French architect Brunet of Edward Baines 1857. Not far from the theatre the Mansión Subercaseaux (today seat Banco Edwards) and the National Library (one of the largest libraries of South America). "" In opposite group the previous National Convention, the law courts and the Royal custom's House (Palacio real Casa de Aduana) with the Museum of pre-Columbian art.
A fire destroyed the building in 1895. It was then rebuilt and reopened 1901 in neoclassic style. The first Chilean National Congress was 4. July 1811 decision (1810) the Government junta in Santiago formed by. The Congress was deposed under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1989) and after the dictatorship in Valparaíso on 11. Newly constituted March 1990. The Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribun Musicales). The building was between 1907 and 1926 of the architect Emilio Doyére. It is home to the Supreme Court (Corte comparison de Justicia). The Kollegialgericht with 21 judges is the highest judiciary in Chile. The judges be proposed by the judges of the Supreme Court and appointed by the President on lifetime. The building is also home of the Supreme Court of appeal.
At the Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribunales). The building was created from 1907 to 1926 after plans by the architect Emilio Doyére. It is the seat of the Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia). The panel of 21 judges is the highest judicial power in Chile. The judges are appointed by the judges of the Supreme Court and proposed by the President appointed for life. The building is also headquarters of the Supreme Court of the country.
Calle Bandera leads to 1917 completed the building of the Merchants' Exchange (Bolsa de Comercio), opened the 1925 "Club de la Unión", to the Universidad de Chile (1872) and the oldest church in the city, the Iglesia de San Francisco (1586 to 1628 built ) with the Mary statue "La Virgen del Socorro" by Pedro de Valdivia. North of the Plaza de Armas, the Paseo Puente to Santo Domingo Church (1771) and Market (Mercado Central), a powerful iron construction. In the centre of Santiago is the Torre Entel, a 127.4 meter high TV tower with observation deck. The tower, completed in 1974. He is one of the telephone company, ENTEL Chile and serves as a communications centre.
With the Costanera Center, a commercial and architectural landmark of the capital. When completed in 2009 is a combination of jobs, housing, shopping and entertainment venues have been achieved. The project with a total area of 600,000 square meters, includes the 300-meter high "Gran Torre Costanera" (South America's tallest building) and three other commercial buildings with shopping malls, shops, cinemas, an amusement centre, restaurants, hotels, offices and luxury apartments. The four office towers extensive building complex is replaced by a highway and subway connections.
There are two symphonic orchestras:
There are a number of jazz establishments, some of them, including "El Perseguidor", "Thelonious" and "Le Fournil Jazz Club" are placed in Bellavista, one of Santiago's most hip neighborhoods, though "Club de Jazz de Santiago", the oldest and most traditional one is set in Ñuñoa.
Some of the most popular newspapers available in Santiago are:
Santiago is home of Chile's most successful football clubs. The most successful of them is Colo Colo. It was founded on April 19, 1925. It has a long tradition and plays since the establishment of the first Chilean league in 1933 continuously in the highest league. 28 national titles, 10 Copa Chile successes and in 1991 champions of Copa Libertadores, Chile's only team that ever won the tournament. The club hosts its home games in the Estadio Monumental, in the commune of Macul.
Another great club is CF Universidad de Chile. The club is considered one of the best known and most successful with 13 national titles and 3 Copa Chile successes. It was founded on May 24, 1927 under the name Club Deportivo Universitario as a union of Club Náutico and Federación Universitaria. The founders were students of the Universidad de Chile. 1980, the organization separated from the University of Chile and the club is now completely independent. The team plays its home games in the Estadio Nacional de Chile, in the commune of Ñuñoa.
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica was founded on April 21, 1937 and is also often referred to briefly as UC. It consists of fourteen different departments responsible for the students of the same university are excluded. Far beyond the borders of Chile is known mainly for his club soccer team. This team plays its home games in Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo. Universidad Católica has 9 national titles, making it the third most successful football club in the country. It has played the Copa Libertadores more than 20 times, reaching the final in 1993, loosing to São Paulo FC.
In addition to playing football in particular tennis and horse riding (here especially the Chilean Rodeo) plays an important role. In the entire metropolitan area are distributed Wettstuben in which mainly the male population of Santiago, the horse racing track at screens. Completed the 1904 "Hipódromo Chile is located in the south of the city.
There is an extensive network of bicycle trails in the city, especially in the Providencia comuna. The longest section is the Americo Vespuccio road, which contains a very wide dirt path with many trees through the center of a street used by motorists on both sides. The next longest path is along the Mapocho River along avenida Andrés Bello.
The city's main parks are:
Cultural places to visit include:
Most of Chile's population is Catholic and Santiago is no exception. According to the National Census, carried out in 2002 by the National Statistics Bureau (INE), in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, 3,129,249 people 15 and older identified themselves as Catholics, equivalent to 68.7% of the total population, while 595,173 (13.1%) described themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Around 1.2% of the population declared themselves as being Jehovah's Witnesses, while 0.9% identified themselves as Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 0.25% as Jewish, 0.11% as Orthodox and 0.03% as Muslim. Approximately 10.4% of the population of the Metropolitan Region stated that they were atheist or agnostic, while 5.4% declared that they followed other religions.
The city is home to numerous universities, colleges and universities, research institutions and libraries. The Universidad de Chile is Chile's largest university and one of the oldest on the American continent. The roots of the University date back to the year 1622, as on 19 August the first university in Chile under the name of Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded. On 28 July 1738, it was named the Real Universidad de San Felipe in honor of King Philip V of Spain. In the vernacular, it is also known as Casa de Bello (Spanish: Bellos house - after their first Rector, Andrés Bello) known. On 17 April 1839, after Chile from the mother country, the Kingdom of Spain, became independent, was officially to the University Universidad de Chile, and opened on 17 September 1843.
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) was signed on 21 Founded in June 1888. On 11 February 1930 was the university by a decree by Pope Pius XI. to an appointed Pontifical University, 1931, the full recognition by the Chilean government. Joaquín Larrain Gandarillas (1822-1897), Archbishop of Anazarba, was the founder and first rector of the PUC. The PUC is a modern university; the campus of San Joaquin has a number of contemporary buildings and offers many parks and sports facilities.
Santiago is twinned with:
Club de La Unión
Bolsa de Comercio
Santiago de Chile is the capital and economic center of Chile. With its many museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is also the political and cultural center of the country. Its central location in the country makes it a great base for visiting other areas, and it is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and later be on the beach, all in the same day.
Santiago is a fast growing city located in the central valley of Chile between the Andes mountain range to the east and the Cordillera of the Coast to the west. Its metropolitan area has more than six million inhabitants.
The climate is cold and rainy in the winter, with snow only up in the Andes, which are an hour and a half from the city. It rarely snows in Santiago. Temperatures at night fall to around 0ºC. It gets progressively hotter towards the summer. Summers are fairly dry although you may experience some humidity at times. The temperature can reach as high as 35ºC.
Santiago Airport (IATA: SCL) (ICAO: SCEL) is the main Chilean gateway for international flights. The travel time to the city centre has been drastically reduced recently, with the construction of a new tollway, the Costanera Norte. Private taxis will charge about $15000 for a trip to downtown or Providencia. Tur-bus is a nice alternative, you´ll find them in a kiosk right after customs. They charge $4800 for door-to-door mini-van service, leaving every 15 minutes, or $1300 for a bus to the Tur-Bus station, which connects directly to the Metro. Another alternative are the Centropuerto buses, which connect you with the Metro Line 1 (red line) and charge $1400.
From the US, American Airlines and LAN operate flights from Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Dallas. Some flights have layovers in Guayaquil or Lima. Delta Air Lines operates direct flights from Atlanta. Many of these flights are overnight, and most use widebody aircraft such as the Boeing 767.
Air Canada operates a daily flight from Toronto.
From Europe, Air France, Iberia, LAN and Lufthansa (code-sharing with SWISS) operate daily flights into Santiago from their hubs. Some flights stop in Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires. Please note that flight times from Europe vary between 18 hours from Frankfurt (due to stop-over in Sao Paulo) to 12 hours from Madrid and is considerably tiring! Most routes to Europe are operated with Airbus A340s.
From Oceania, Qantas and LAN operate a daily code-sharing flight from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland, New Zealand. It's at least 12 hours each way. LAN also operates a Tahiti-Easter Island-Santiago route.
Entering Santiago by car, you'll probably find yourself on the Autopista Central. To use this freeway you need a device called "TAG", or a day pass which you can buy from service stations. One day passes are Ch$4400. With a bit of planning and consulting your map before you head into the capital, you can avoid using the freeway altogether. This is best done by not entering from Ruta 5.
There are bus connections to all major destinations on the continent.
From Mendoza in Argentina it's a beautiful eight hour bus ride crossing the Andes. The border crossing is at about 3200m. Be aware that it is not allowed to bring fruit, vegetables or animal products into Chile, and all luggage will get checked at the border.
The Principals Bus Terminals are located at:
Bus travel times to/from Santiago de Chile:
If you are staying in town more than a few days get a bip!-card at any subway station (Ch$1200, minimum recharge Ch$800). This card is good for both subway and bus, and allows you free transfers between the two (you still have to swipe your card, but there is no deduction) in a 2 hour period.
In order to work in Chile, a working permit needs to be obtained, which can be accomplished with the sponsorship of an employer. However, numerous people work illegaly, but it is obviously best to obtain a permit.
Santiago has a lot of Malls. The main ones are:
In the malls you can find small stores and Falabella, Paris and Ripley, the most famous department stores in Chile.
Alonso de Córdoba Street and Nueva Costanera Avenue are very exclusive areas where you can find high fashion and luxury stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermés or local designers. In this area you find great restaurants and art galleries.
If you prefer buying handcrafts, the ones in the Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia are good and relatively cheap compared with other handcrafts stores. Other handcrafts centes are in Bellavista (though a bit more expensive).
Plaza Nuñoa has some small shops in the plaza where you can buy books from Latin America (Neruda, Allende, Cortazar) and also handcrafts.
Nightlife choices vary widely across the city and their location usually reflects their price and style.
Santiago is notoriously infamous for the smog and it's worse during the winter (May-September). The locals welcome the rain which falls during winters as it cleans the air. Be sure to carry bottled water with you during the summer and avoid food or drink from street-vendors. Be prepared for sauna-heat on the metro during summer.
By South American standards Santiago is a safe city, but visitors should be aware of pickpocketing and other petty crimes. If you compare Santiago to other cities in South America, it is still one of the safest. Avoid parks at night and don't wear expensive looking jewelry or watches even during the day. Avoid large crowds of people.
If you happen to have bad luck and get robbed, do as you're told by the criminal and if you don't understand Spanish, give away the wallet. Not doing so can provoke an attack until you give away your wallet. Criminals don't have mercy for their victims, don't try to stand up to them and once again: do as you're told.
Don't flash your camera, take a photo and hide it while not using it. If you're getting robbed and the criminal has spotted the camera expect to give it away too if you want to stay out of trouble.
If you are going to see a football match, be careful with the "bravas" who are the most fanatic but also dangerous fans. They are often involved in troubles with the police both inside the stadium and outside. Avoid buying tickets in the sections where the bravas dominate which is often does behind the goals. The middle section is the safest but if you have a friend who wants to support Colo-Colo and another Universidad de Chile for example, avoid showing it. Even if the middle section is safe, showing different shirts can cause you trouble. Either go with the same shirts or dress neutral. Other football matches not being the "Superclásico" between Universidad de Chile against Colo-Colo should be pretty safe.
Walking to the stadium you will find people begging for some pesos so they can see the match. Avoid giving them if you want to stay out of trouble.
The barrio where the Estadio Nacional is located is a place where you have to walk with precaution and keep your eyes on other people when it's crowded. It's better to take a taxi to the arena, or a rental car if you can find a place to park it.
There are some neighbourhoods/barrios that should be avoided. Even if few carabineros and locals speak English, they are the ones who know which areas are to be avoided since some of them can actually be accessed by metro. If you see fewer tall buildings and more houses with locked windows and entrances, then turn back. Avoid especially La Legüa which is famed in Chile for it's high crime rates and single police cars won't even enter the area.
The metro is regarded as safer for travelling amongst the locals, even though security has increased in the buses after the introduction of TransSantiago. But some locals still prefer using the metro especially when it gets darker since the stations have guards in almost every station. Don't expect the staff to speak much English. except a selected a few may be speaking French.
If you wish to mail a letter or postcard, the biggest one is Correo Central on the North Side of Plaza de Armas, a neoclassical building with French influences.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|