Photo by magoexperto.
If you’re a skateboarder yourself, or just looking for a place to see some (mostly young) locals doing what locals do, the people watching could not be better than at a skate park. It’s a reasonably small community, and most of the skaters at each particular location know each other well, but if you do skate, just respect people’s lines (no crossing, dropping in out of turn, etc), and you should do just fine, even with the language barrier.
There are two main free terrain parks (with bowls), one large flat area where people skate, and one mall with built ramps for skateboarders that charges admission. So hop on the bus or metro (or both), or skate over to see what’s happening on a real locals-only level in Santiago.
At Parque O’Higgins, the newest terrain park, with a 360 loop that almost no one ever nails. There’s shade and places to hang out and to buy food and drink near by. Come into the park from the metro and head through the “pueblito” (fake village) over to the terrain park.
Near the Parque de Los Reyes, antiques center, in the park of the same name (nearest metro Cumming, then walk down Avda. Cumming or Brasil to the park), there’s a large bowl, a small bowl and a street skate area with some obstacles, a hydrant, some grind rails and other assorted ramps.
Behind the Café Literario, about a block further south is a large “pool” where people skate. Newly they have added some ramps, but it’s mainly a flat space with a slanted drop in from most sides. People also rollerblade, bike and practice BMX here, so it can get crowded.
At Mall Sport, up in the upper reaches of Las Condes, there’s a pay terrain park made of mostly wooden ramps. Skills and ages vary, and it’s not super convenient, but it is a slightly more controlled environment.
So bring your board or your camera, and check out these top spots for (controlled) terrain in Santiago.