Santiago - Geography

Geography

The city lies in the center of the Santiago Basin, a large bowl-shaped valley consisting of a broad and fertile lands surrounded by mountains. The city has a varying elevation, with 400 m (1,312 ft) in the western areas and 540 m (1,772 ft) at the Plaza Baquedano. It is flanked by the main chain of the Andes to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west. On the north, it is bounded by the Cordón de Chacabuco, a mountain range of the Andes. The Andes mountains around Santiago are quite tall; the tallest is the Tupungato volcano at 6,570 m (21,555 ft). Other volcanoes include Tupungatito, San José, and Maipo. Cerro El Plomo is the highest mountain visible from Santiago's urban area. At the southern border lies the Angostura de Paine, an elongated spur of the Andes that almost reaches the coast. The Santiago Basin is part of the Intermediate Depression and is remarkably flat, interrupted only by a few hills; among them are Cerro Renca, Cerro Blanco, and Cerro Santa Lucía. This basin is approximately 80 km in a north-south direction and 35 km from east to west.

To the east stands the massive Sierra de Ramón, a mountain chain formed in the foothills of the Precordillera due to the action of the San Ramón Fault, reaching 3296 metres at the Cerro de Ramón. 20 km further east is the Cordillera of the Andes with its mountain ranges and volcanoes, many of which exceed 6,000 m (19,685.04 ft) and in which some glaciers are present.

During recent decades, urban growth has expanded the boundaries of the city to the east closer to the Andean Precordillera. In areas such as La Dehesa, Lo Curro, and El Arrayan, urban development is present at over 1,000 metres of altitude.

  • Ski Center El Colorado

  • Cerro San Cristobal

  • Santiago in winter

  • Santiago in summer

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