Santiago (elevation 520 meters,
1,700 feet) is one of the most beautiful cities in South America.
Capital of Chile,
Santiago is home to nearly 40% of the nation's population.
The city is located in the country's central valley. The Mapocho
River crosses the city from the northeast to the southwest.
Santiago's largest park, Parque Metropolitano, boasts the Cerro
San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Hill) which provides
a beautiful view of the city and, on clear days, the Andes Mountain.
Other recreational areas include Parque Forestal, located along
the Mapocho River and Cerro Santa Lucía.
Although Santiago is the capital, legislative bodies meet in
City museums include the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino
and the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino.
Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541
with the name Santiago de Nueva Extremadura.
The city hosts an annual art fair in Parque Forestal in November.
City markets include the Mercado Central near the Mapocho River.