It may be an unusual tourist attraction, but this cemetery in the northern part of the city reveals a lot about traditional Chilean society. After passing through the lofty stone arches of the main entrance, you'll find well-tended paths lined with marble mausoleums, squat mansions belonging to Chile's wealthy families. The 8- or 10-story "niches" farther along—concrete shelves housing thousands of coffins—resemble middle-class apartment buildings. Their inhabitants lie here until the rent runs out and they're evicted. Look for former President Salvador Allende's final resting spot. A map at the main entrance to the cemetery can help you find it. Two-hour guided tours, in Spanish, start at 9:30, 11:30, and 3:30 weekdays, and there's also a 9:30 pm tour on weekends; all tours are 2,500 pesos. Reservations are required.
Nov 17, 2003