Chillan’s artisan markets, museums and modern architecture reveal the city’s rich culture and heritage, while the encircling Costa and Andes mountains invite skiers, hikers and horse riders. The historic town boasts South America’s longest ski trail and mountaintop hot springs.
Things to do in Chillán
Experience the bustling atmosphere of Feria de Chillan, one of Chile’s most colourful craft markets, where you can pick up traditional weaved baskets, pottery, blankets, knitwear and huaso clothing. Wander across Maipon Street Food Market to buy locally-produced fruits and vegetables and taste Chillan’s famous “longaniza” sausage.
Marvel at the modernist Chillan Cathedral overlooking Plaza de Armas. A national monument and symbol of the city, the cathedral was built in 1941 with a towering 36-metre-high cross in memory of the 1939 Earthquake. The futuristic temple features 10 arches, which symbolise interlaced fingers in the prayer position.
Ski the slopes of Nevados de Chillan, the city’s mountaintop ski resort offering 10,000 hectares of skiable terrain. Tackle South America’s longest ski trail, Las Tres Marias, which is 13 kilometres long. Test out your snowboarding skills on the half-pipe, enjoy the thrill of a dog-sledge ride and recover in the mineral-rich hot springs at Termas de Chillan Ski Center.
Hike or ride horseback through the lush Las Trancas Valley and climb the summit of Chillan Volcano. The 2.5-hour trek ascends through volcanic rock and steaming fumaroles before rewarding climbers with spectacular mountain scenery from 3,089 metres high.
Getting around Chillán
Chillan is a 15-minute drive or taxi ride from General Bernardo O'Higgins Airport. The city is connected to Santiago by a five-hour train. A rental car is the best way to get around Chillan.