Escape Santiago city life for a day, and hike El Morado, one of Cajón de Maipo’s most popular natural monuments. A serpentine trail leads you past the ice-blue San Francisco Glacier, way up high to a lookout. If you need to catch your breath, stop for coffee and German-style sweets while taking in the views of snow-capped peaks. The Basics
Trace your way along the trail in El Morado—hiking or snowshoeing through the Chilean Andes. Enjoy hassle-free round-trip transportation, and benefit from the expertise of a guide, on a full-day guided tour from Santiago. Some tours include a glacier hike. To fully immerse yourself in this region of natural beauty (and soothe sore muscles), choose a tour that follows an El Morado hike with a soak in nearby hot springs.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- El Morado Natural Monument is ideal for active travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- The El Morado hiking route includes several places to stop for food.
- The water in San Francisco Lagoon might look refreshing, but is near freezing.
- Dress appropriately, ideally in layers, as weather can change quickly in the mountains. Don’t forget the sunblock and sunglasses—the Chilean sun is strong and reflects off the snow.
- El Morado is a strenuous hike, and may be challenging for travelers with mobility issues.
- You can buy souvenir handicrafts in the plaza of San José del Maipo.
The safest and easiest way to experience El Morado is accompanied by a guide who knows the area well, typically as part of a tour that includes round-trip transport. El Morado is accessible by public transit from the Metrobus Terminal Bellavista de la Florida in Santiago. Take a bus headed for Baños Morales. When to Get There
The best time to visit El Morado and Cajón de Maipo is between December and March, when the weather is milder and there’s less snow on the trail and on San Francisco Glacier. El Morado is closed between May and September. Other Day Trips from Santiago
El Morado is one of the most popular full-day excursions from Santiago. Another day trip idea is a tour of local wineries, such as Undurraga Vineyard. Valparaíso, a bohemian coastal town covered in street art, is also within easy reach for Santiago-based travelers.