Sports are hardly sponsored in Chile. Therefore there are only a few public sport centers, while private sport clubs are often exclusive and very expensive. The national sport is soccer, every weekend you will see people playing on any suitable field. If you prefer other sports, it will be difficult for you to find a group to join. To keep in shape you should stick to running or swimming. Of course, right behind Santiago the Andes are inviting.
Gymnastics and Fitness center
Fitness centers with treadmills and all sorts of professional
weightlifting equipment, so-called "Gimnasios", can be found everywhere
in Santiago. In the city they all underbid each other with their month
or year contributions. Please visit the Yellow Pages at "gimnasios" or check our article Finding the perfect Sports Club in Santiago.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are in fashion in Santiago. In most of the districts of the city you find courses in the gym or in studios, like for example Yoga a Luka or Pilates Q, to name just two.
A lot has been done in recent years for recreational cyclists and bike commuters: cycle paths were created or are being built and there are guarded areas to lock up the bikes by some Metro stations and malls. In Providencia there is a reasonably priced rental service. The number of cyclists have significantly risen in Santiago in the past few years, due to the mostly dry and warm climate and the little inclinations. Every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm several streets in different districts of Santiago are closed to go cycling, jogging or inline skating. For more information visit CicloRecreoVía or check out our article Cycling in Santiago.
Public open-air swimming baths are rare, quite expensive and because of overcrowded pools in the summer not suitable for swimmers. The best tip for swimmers is the indoor swimming pool in Centro Deportivo Providencia (Santa Isabel 0830, Tel. 341 4790), where you can swim all you want for 50 USD per month plus a one-time membership contribution of 73 USD.
We further recommend the Stade Français at metro station Tobalaba (Sánchez Fontecilla, corner Errázuriz, Tel. 2337608), Club Spa Providencia (Jorge Matte 1650, Tel. 4692334) or Youtopia (Escrivá de Balaguer 5970, Vitacura, Tel. 4101400). Students can try to get access to the swimming pools of Universidad Católica and Universidad de Chile.
From Santiago it takes about 1.5 hours to reach the Ski resorts Farellones-El Colorado, Valle Nevado and La Parva, which are all well above the tree-line. Skiers can enjoy great ski slopes and tracks for all skiing levels from June to October (see Around Santiago) It is a lot of fun, but not cheap: Count with approx. 130 US$ for a day ticket, equipment rental and transport in addition to hotel costs in one of the expensive hotels, if you plan to stay overnight. Winter season busses of Skitotal start every morning at 8:00 a.m. leaving from Av. Apoquindo 4900 (Omnium mall; Escuela Militar subway station). For transport alternatives, see also skivan.cl. Don't forget: warm clothes, sunglasses and suntan.
Do you like indoor climbing? There are several climbing walls in Santiago:
Also in the mall Mall Sport (Av. Las Condes 13.451). There is a climbing wall.
Trekking and Mountaining climbing
Behind Santiago you can start with easy hiking tours in the foothills of the Andes mountains. East of Santiago over 6000 m high mountains challenge trekking and climbing enthusiasts. If you are looking for professional guides or just trip mates, you can contact:
- Club Alemán Andino, Arrayán 2735, Providencia, Tel. 2232 4338, www.dav.cl.
Usually Tuesdays and Thursdays the members meet at 8:00 p.m.to plan the next tours for the upcoming weekend.
- Federación de Andinismo, Almirante Simpson 77, Providencia, Tel. 2222 0888, www.feach.cl
Bigger universities have their own climbing associations. You can find a lot more information, descriptions of trails and other links in English at www.trekkingchile.com.