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The lacerating Andean peak of San Cristóbal rises to 860m (2,820 ft.) and affords unrivalled views of the city (on a clear day), rendering this attraction one of the best in the city. To get here, head to the Plaza Caupolican at the end of Calle Pío Nono, where you'll encounter a 1925 funicular (not for the faint of heart) that lifts visitors up to a lookout point watched over by a 22m-high (72-ft.) statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción. If you prefer a challenge, the rewarding ascent on foot takes about 90 minutes. Along the way, the funicular stops at the disappointing Jardín Zoológico. Below the statue is the Tupahue teleférico (cable car) that connects the two sections of the park -- Cumbre and Tupahue, both of which are accessed by car, cable car, funicular, or on foot. The teleférico is a lot of fun, especially for kids, but it can be sweltering in the summer heat.

At Tupahue, which means "place of God" in the native Mapuche language, you'll find the Piscina Tupahue and Piscina Antilén. A far cry from your run-of-the-mill YMCA pools, these beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained pools are an ideal place to cool off on a hot summer day and watch the Santiaguinos at play. In the case of Piscina Antilén, which sits atop the peak of Cerro Chacarillas, you can take in panoramic views of the city while you swim. You'll need a cab to Antilén, or you can walk northeast past the Camino Real to get here, about a 10-minute walk. From Tupahue, you can either head back on the tram to Cumbre and the funicular or take the Valdivia teleférico down, which will drop you off at the end of Avenida Pedro de Valdivia. It's about an 8-block walk down to Avenida Providencia. It's possible to take a taxi up Cerro San Cristóbal, but you'll need to pay the park entrance fee as well as the fare.