I’m a fan of big stuff. Longest span bridges, tallest dams, and tallest buildings. A mile or two from where we live is the Costanera Tower (or Gran Torre Santiago), the tallest skyscraper in Latin America. At 980 feet, It is a far cry from the 2700 of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but seems bigger because nothing near it is close to it’s size. It is almost completed, with construction going at snail’s pace. Financial problems are probable.

Next to it is the Titanium La Portada, Significantly smaller at 600 some feet tall. It is supported by a spring system that allows it to withstand a 9.0 earthquake, one of which will surely happen in the lifetime of the building.

In the evening, around 7:30 to 8, the sun reflects off the Costanera tower and creates second shadows on everything.

The Costanera tower, which has 63 floors, is connected to a huge mall called the Costanera Center, which has 5 floors. The Titanium has 55 floors. Looking at the picture, you can see that the latter has very generous ceiling heights.

This shot was taken from our 13th story apartment (of course, they call it floor 12). The area you see in the picture is looking straight north, toward the new, unofficial center of Santiago. The government center is south-west-west of us.

In general, people dislike living in high apartments because of earthquakes. At the top, the building rocks back and forth violently. A friend of mine here in the Jardines lives on the 12th floor and he says that a major earthquake back in 2010 actually knocked him down as he was trying to move around his apartment.

I think living on a super high floor would be great, because I have never been in an earthquake of any significance. The third week of our time here we spent in an apartment on the 24th floor. We told some friends where we were staying, and they very seriously said; “aren’t you worried about the earthquakes?”


Valparaiso, a city of 300,000 people on the pacific cost, about 100 miles from Santiago, used to be a very large, economically active city. What event in the last 100 years caused Valparaiso’s major downsizing and a surge to Santiago, with it’s warmer climate and no risk of tsunamis? I’ll tell you in my next blogpost.