Like is several countries Santiago decided to build there airport in the country side in the middle if nowhere !!!! As soon as you exist the customs area directly in front of it... there are shuttle bus service into the city. Taxi's usually run about $35-$40 US into the city and the shuttle bus about $8 US....most drop you off at your hotel or busy intersection throughout the city where various forms of transportation are available !!!!
A really cheap way to get to town is to use a combination of the Centropuerto buses (2,500 CLP for the round trip, purchased on board) and various metro stops between Pajaritos and Heores (Line 1, I believe). It only takes about 15-20 minutes to get to Pajaritos, where we caught the metro to get to our hotel. Pajaritos is also the stop where you can catch the long distance buses (such as Pullman or Turbus).
The metro is also quite convenient and very economical. The fare (assuming you don't have the card) depends on the hour of travel and cost roughly 500 clp per trip. We would have used this more, unfortunately, there was a general strike when we were in town so the trains were running on a holiday schedule with reduced services.
One advice is that if you are catching the bus back to the airport, try to get on at Heores so you can secure a luggage spot (about a 45 minute ride). The stop is actually sort of hard to find - for us anyway. We mistakenly thought that the centropuerto bus actually stops where the city buses were and ended up walking around for 20 minutes looking for it. We finally found the bus stop (a nondescript post in the island (?) right across from the metro station. I am including a picture of the "station" just in case.
The airport buses are run by Centropuerto or Tur Bus. The Centropuerto bus costs 1200 pesos one way. They leave from in front of the arrivals area of the airport terminal and stop at the Pajaritos metro station where you can transfer to the metro or a taxi to take you to your final destination.
From Santiago the best place is to take a metro to Pajaritos station on the number 1 line and catch the Centropuerto bus from there. You can buy your ticket on the bus.
TAX! 2010 FEB ; the costs to the centre of Santiago are around 16,000p to 20,000p which at £1=800p $1=500 adds up. We had a trip from the airport which was 15,000p but our return journey was 20,000p. There are better options related to costs but with heavy bags taxis may be the better choice.
I had booked a trip organised by the Dutch Travel agency Djoser (www.djoser.nl), so the flight was in the package.
At first it was a 4 weeks trip but I extended the trip by one week, as I also wanted to visit Easter Island while I was in Santiago.
My flight schedule :
July 12th : Schiphol Amsterdam - Ch De Gaulle Paris (dep 20.50, arr 22.05)
July 13th : Ch. De Gaulle Paris - Santiago (dep 23.15, arr 7.25)
The return flight was also with Air France, but from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Service on board was excellent and very friendly, with Champagne as aperitif and a good meal.
Flight time from Paris to Santiago was indeed 14 hours (quiet long)
I arranged for transportation to the hotel by calling the hotel and requesting a car. I am glad I did. It is a long trip into Santiago, and my Spanish is very poor. I was greeted by a driver in a suit with my name on a sign. He assisted me in getting my luggage into the car, and we drove to Santiago in comfort. They nearly all drive late-model Saabs in gray. Every one I used was professional and courteous.
Transfer with transfer - it is convenient and affordable, USD8 per person, to a location of your choice. I find the drivers a bit too forward though demanding their tip: "Thank you for the tip" before the tip has been on offer. You've gotta do what you've gotta do and time passes so quickly, anyway...
There are a few ways to get to the airport.
None take very long and are not expensive.
A taxi from Santiago Centro (downtown) will cost between 7500 and 10,000 pesos ($15 US) You should not have to pay more than 10000!! for a taxi.
There are also buses that run form Santiago Centro to the airport. The cost is 1200 pesos ($2.00 US)
The trip takes about 45 minutes.
By car on the expressway the trip is about 30 minutes.
Excellent choose for going to the airport to the city, you will find the counter on the pick up baggage, will cost 7000 Chilean pesos. It is like a pool car, they live each one on the direction asked.
Excelente opción para ir del aeropuerto a la ciudad, usted encontrará el mostrador en el área de las maletas, costará 7000 Pesos chilenos.
When we first arrived at the airport, we looked for shuttles run by Transfer, TransVip or Trans City. Unfortunately, we didn't look hard enough and ended up paying $25 for a taxi to take us to Providencia.
On our next trip to Santiago, we found an open TransVip counter. For 7400 pesos/$12, we were shuttled to our B&B in Providencia. A much better deal.
When returning to the airport from Providencia, the owner of our B&B called a RadioTaxi for us. It arrived at the appointed time and delivered us to the airport for 6000 pesos. I dont know if you can call RadioTaxi from the airport to take you into town.
Air: Both international and domestics flights are serviced by Aeropuerto Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez, about 30 minutes from down- town (Taxi 22USD). Major carriers include: Aeroflot, Avinaca, Aerolineas Argentinas, Cubana de Aviacion, Aeroperu, Iberia, SAS, American Airlines, Anvant, British Airways, Lufthansa, Ecuatoriana, Pluna, Alta, Lan Chile, Ladeco, Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, Vasp, National Airlines, Alitalia, Lapsa, Tame, United, Varig, Air France, KLM, Swissair.
Taxis: Taxis are black with a yellow top. Note: it is not customary to tip cab drivers, although there's nothing to stop you if you wish.
Collectivo: Another kind of taxi (black) is a 'collectivo.' It is a car you share with other passengers, but like a bus, a collectivo will follow a set route indicated on the sign on the roof.
Buses: An extensive bus service covers all parts of greater Santiago, but is only useful with a good knowledge of local geography.
Rail: All trains departing from Santiago's Central Station head south. The carriages are old and European, offering the traveler something different. It is also possible to store your car on the train and take a sleeper compartment.
Subway: Santiago's metro is efficient, clean, and inexpensive. There are three lines. Line 1 crosses from east to west. Line 2 crosses the city from north to south, and the last line heads further south from Baquedano Station.
By Airplane or Bus.
Airplane - If arriving by plane, you can get downtown by one of three ways:-
1) Taxi: You may be charged $20 for this. It is rather expensive I think.
2) Shuttle vans: Will drop you off at any address. Price depends on location within the city. Relatively well priced. Recommendable.
3) Bus: The cheapest way is via the large bus that goes downtown. Price is about $1,500 pesos. It only goes downtown.
Bus - If arriving by bus, you may arrive at one of 4 bus terminals. All are located within or very close to the downtown area. All are close or at a metro station.
There are 4 ways to move around Santiago:-
1) Metro: By far the cheapest,easiest and fastest method. The only limitation is that the routes are fixed. It costs between $200 and $300 pesos,depending on time of day, as of 7/Sep/2001.
2) Micro(bus): More interesting than the metro, but much more difficult to figure out. There is a plaque on the front of every micro stating the names of the main roads of points of reference where it will pass. It costs $300 pesos as of 7/Sep/2001.
3) Taxi: Like anywhere, some taxi drivers will take longer routes to get to your destination. Pay with as close tothe exact change as possible to avoid any problems.
4) Colectivo: This is a mix between a micro and a taxi. i.e. They are cars (like a taxi) that go along a fixed route (like a micro), yet can pick up and drop off passengers anywhere along the way (max.4/pass.). The price is fixed depending on how far you go. They are much cheaper than taxis anda little more expensive than micros.
4) Foot: Let's not forget the marvellous things at the end of your legs. Besides you might just need the exercise.
Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez, en el barrio de Pudahuel, el más moderno terminal aéreo del continente. Todas las líneas aéreas del mundo más importantes llegan a Santiago. Usa Lan Chile, entre las mejores del mundo.
Santiago está bien comunicada, un completo sistema de autopistas urbano, muchas avenidas grandes, carreteras y autopistas suburbanas a Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, San Antonio, Rancagua, Melipilla, Cajón del Maipo, Los Andes, La Ligua.
El metro tiene 3 líneas, es moderno, seguro, limpio y se está ampliando al doble para el 2005.
Línea 1 (Pudahuel-Las Condes)
Línea 2 (Centro-Santiago Sur)
Línea 5 (Centro-La Florida)
en el nuevo metro, cubrirá muchas comunas y zonas.
Hay trenes hacia la costa y hacia el sur.
From abroad of the country, a lot of airlines are arriving and departuring from our airport:
LAN Chile (www.lanchile.cl)
The airport is like 30- 45 minutes from downtown. It depends of the hour. There are official buses from the airport to the center of the town, you can find taxis which are a little expensive but not much if you need to get your place soon (about 20 US$)
To go the areas close to Santiago I think renting a car is a good idea.
Inside Santiago, metro is the king in transportation
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