Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile’s largest and most densely populated conurbation, the Santiago Metropolitan Region, whose total population is 7 million. The city is entirely located in the Chile’s central valley. Most of the city lies between 500m and 650m above mean sea level. Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia. Santiago wheelchair access is superior to elsewhere in Chile. Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago’s cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within an hour of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Attractions and Opportunities
Santiago’s Metro (subway) is in the process of making subway lines more accessible. Public bus company Transantiago has access ramps and spaces for wheelchairs on new buses. Some street lights have noise-indicated crossings for the blind. Those in wheelchairs will find Chile’s narrow and poorly maintained sidewalks awkward to negotiate. Crossing streets is also tricky, but most Chilean drivers are courteous toward pedestrians – especially those with obvious handicaps.