To get to the hill of Cerro Pochoco we took the red line metro to the Manquehue stop and from there we took the C01 bus to Plaza San Enrique. From Plaza San Enrique we walked to the foot of the hill. I do not recommend people to walk to the hill from the Plaza as this takes a long time and it’s not a very pretty route to walk. There are no proper pedestrian sidewalks, so you end up walking in the road a lot; luckily it wasn’t a busy day for traffic when we did this. Apparently there are taxis and collectives that will take you to the hill for a small charge.
Unfortunately for us, this was the hottest day we have experienced in Santiago so far. It took us a long time to get to the foot of the hill (there’s also an observatory at the foot of the hill that is open during the week) and we didn’t take enough water with us.
For anyone planning on climbing the hill, remember to take sunscreen, a hat and lots of water with you! The route has little or no shade and you can feel the heat rise up from the dry ground beneath your feet.
Don’t be fooled by other websites telling you that it takes about half an hour to get to the top of the hill; they are lying! It took us two and a half hours to get to the top of Cerro Pochoco! We were also fooled by the difficulty level of the hill; it’s not that easy to walk up or down, because the ground is loose and dry and it’s very easy to slide and fall. The hill has a steep ascent, so you get tired very quickly. We met various hikers with walking sticks and I wish we had some with us; you really need something to get a proper grip on the ground. The route is easy to follow – you just keep going up!
The view from the top of the hill makes it worth the tough walk. To the one side you can see the Santiago city center – it seems so far away and so big! On the other side you have a great view of the snowcapped Andes mountains.