We were just in Santiago and I can't remember using US dollars for anything. We took about 500 CLP and that worked fine. In general, I found that most places preferred cash (CLP) and some refused credit card, so do carry cash. We had US$ as back up and did not use them much. Remember that you have to pay an entry fee of $132 (US$) when you fly in to Santiago if you are coming from Australia, US, Canada and some other countries. The airport accepts credit card. Buses (coach buses) are plentiful and of very good quality, so I'm not sure I would rent a car. Try Pullman, Cruz del Sur (Chile), Bus Norte, or others. On the road south (we went to the Lakes area) there are numerous road tolls. You pay at one, keep your receipt and show it over the next few tolls as you pass through communities. Not sure if that will be the case when you go to the coast. The speed limit is a range - no lower than say, 80 km/hr, and no higher than 100 km/hr. Thus you get vehicles travelling at quite a range of speeds on the road and therefore a lot of passing. I think you cannot turn right on red, but not sure. There are a lot of commuters that come into Santiago from the outlying towns, so find out when the rush hours are. We noticed a lot of buses leaving Santiago in the evening, between 8 and 9 pm (Santiaog follows the siesta style schedules of being open in the morning, quieter in the afternoon,and open again in the evening).
To go up the Cerro San Christobal, you can use the Funicular, you also can go up on foot, but this is just fun and easy.
Check the website for updated prices and entry schedule !
Round Trip Ticket Adult fee $ 1.200
Round Trip Ticket Children fee
(3 - 13 years old) $ 700
One way Tickett $ 700
Ticket to the Zoo:
Adult fee $ 500
Children Fee $ 500
Promotion Trolley car + Cable car Round Trip Ticket:
Adult fee $ 2.300
Children Fee $ 1.200
Monday 13:00 a 20:30 hours
Tuesday to Friday 10:00 a 20:30 hours
Saturday, sunday and holidays 10:00 a 21:00 hours
a couple different answers:
i went by bus and it took about an hour and a half. i don't remember how much it cost but it was not expensive.
This is pretty good value for tourists who are traveling to Chile on a One World Alliance flight. Since Chile is so long, you pretty much have to fly from one location to another to save time, and the plane ticket prices do add up, especially if you plan to go to Easter Island (easily cost US$650 - $1,000, depending on how early you book and when you are going).
The airpass basically work this way: you need to book your international flight with LAN or an alliance airline and you need to have at least 3 legs of domestic flights. Each leg is priced based on the zone (distance). You are flying class H or S and you can cancel or change the flights but will have to pay a charge.
I booked the Airpass by calling the reservation centre on Lan.com. The ticket was about half of what I priced out on Expedia. It was also cheaper than what I managed to get for the internal flights on Lan's Chilean website / Sky Airline (partly because the cheapest tickets are sold out). The process was pretty smooth - the agent was able to put us on most of our desired flights. I reserved the tickets first and have 2 days to make payment. The only thing is that I probably booked too early and did not get pre-assigned seats.
I talked to a friend who went to Chile just a month before us who actually made their travel arrangements at the LAN office while they were in Santiago. The flights are a bit cheaper that way, but since we were on a tight schedule, we have to make all the travel arrangements ahead of time.
I think there are some differences between the LAN Airpass and the One World Airpass, so it is worth pricing your trip out with both options if you can.
There are also taxis and collectivos available. However, please be aware of using taxis in Santiago as scams are frequent and the drivers are renowned for overcharging. You would need to be assertive and negotiate the fare before travelling! What would help is having the exact fare in change when paying. Radio taxis, however, are more reliable and safer if you're travelling alone at night. Collectivos are like taxis but go along fixed routes in the city and are somewhat cheaper.
Either if you only have a short time in Santiago, or you wanna get the overall idea of how the city looks like, TURISTIK hop-on hop-off bus might be the best way to jump around. My advise is to start at its main office in front of Parque Arauco (aka the biggest mall in South America), take the Metro to Escuela Militar then a bus (or taxi) ride to the Parque. Why? Well...although you can buy the ticket from some of the shops and tourist info kiosks, but most of the stops are not explicitly marked (except the one in front of Museum of Fine Arts, and Sheraton Hotel) so it might be a little frustrating when you can't locate one. The bus runs every 30 minutes, from 9:30a to 6p. The ticket costs 18.000 CLP ($35 bucks). The whole LOOP takes around 2 hrs;
01 - Plaza de Armas
02 - Mercado Central
03 - Plaza de la Constitucion
04 - Cerro Santa Lucia
05 - Providencia
06 - El Golf
07 - Parque Arauco***
08 - Alonso de Cordova
09 - Sheraton Hotel
10 - Barrio Bellavista
11 - Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
The route between the Pacific and South America is the route with least competition unfortunately making it one of the most expensive to fly on. I am a New Zealander who lives in Santiago and so fly the route frequently.
The two direct flights are either a codeshare flight run by LAN (www.lan.com)with Qantas as their partner that starts in Sydney, stops in Auckland and ends in Santiago. The other is Aerolineas Argentinas which also starts in Sydney, stops in Auckland and continues to Buenos Aires.
Of the two, the Aerolineas flight is usually the cheaper one however the quality of service etc is worse than LAN. Personally I would only take the LAN flight.
Recently Qantas introduced a flight direct between Sydney and Buenos Aires which sometimes has some deals worth considering.
If you are planning a trip around South America then it is worthwhile considering flying to South America with a One World carrier. LAN offers the South America Airpass to travellers reaching South America with LAN or another OneWorld airline. Check the conditions, because you may save a lot of money for domestic flights. Note: You must have an international ticket purchased in order to get your South America Airpass.
The South America Airpass must be purchased at least 14 days prior to the departure date. Check out http://plane.lan.com/promociones/data/norteamerica/us/todo_el_mundo/sudamerica_airpass/index-en-us.html
There is also an One World South American Air Pass, which sometimes has better deals than LAN. Check out:
One World carriers that fly to South America include British Airways, LAN, Qantas, American Airlines and Iberia.
The first things you see after going through customs at the Santiago airport are the "official transport" booths. As there were 5 of us with our luggage and karate equipment, taking a cab was out of the question so instead we decided to go with TransVip, who for a little less than US$10 per person drove us to our hotel located in the Las Condes area in a minivan. I thought this was one of the most convenient ways of travelling downtown from the airport - the minivans are quite comfortable, and as it's a reliable company, you don't have to worry about being taken for a ride (other than the one you've asked for, that is!). We hadn't made a reservation but as we landed very early, there was a van waiting for us. I'm guessing it might be a good idea to book ahead of time if you’re arriving in the middle of the day.
LAN Airlines is the main carrier in Chile and one of the largest in South America. They have partnerships with many different airline companies around the world – in our case, we booked our ticket with American Airlines and connected with LAN at JFK, and on the way back we transferred in Miami. The plane was quite modern and comfortable with a nice selection of onboard entertainment (lots of movies, CDs, video games, etc.), and the staff was friendly and efficient. The food was alright and our flights were on time, even the one that landed in Miami between two hurricanes! I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them again, the 12h flight went by surprisingly fast :o)
Taking the funicular is the best and easiest way to get up to Cerro San Cristobal. Mostly a lot of people are queuing up for the tickets there and at the ticket-counter you have to buy also the tickets for the cablecar between Cerro San Cristobal and Pedro de Valdivia Norte, at the other side of the hill.
The ride of the funicular takes about 15 minutes and includes a stop at the upper-entrance to the Zoo.
The funicular is operated daily
between 10.30am and 08.00pm
There is a cablecar between the top-station of Cerro San Cristobal and Pedro de Valdivia Norte, an area with lots of villas by rich people, it is a nice area to take a walk or simply enjoy the view from the cablecar. From the funicular you have to go about 5 minutes in order to get to the cablecar and it is best to buy the tickets already at the cashier of the funicular, so you dont have to queue up again. A gondola takes up to 4 persons, as long as they are slim enough, for 2 this size is just perfect.
Those gondolas are not all-time-fixed to the rope, but are able to stop untill they are loaded without stress (by elderly people or small children) and then they will be fixed again and start the journey.
For handicapped people in wheelchairs the problems will start already with the funicular !
There is this lift from the city of Santiago to Cerro Santa Lucia and the best about it is : It is totally free of charge !
I took the lift twice, because I wanted to walk down the 2 different paths : first the one that takes you to the national Library via the neptun-fountain and finally the path at the other side, where you will step down to The japanese garden and finally to Lastarria.
The lift is operated daily
between 10.00am and 02.00pm and then again
between 03.00pm - 06.00pm
The train service in Chile with the excption of local services around Santiago and Valparaiso is in dire financial circumstances and services have been reduced to close to zero. Do not think that you can travel by train in Chile.
I just took a taxi this morning from the airport to central Santiago. I was alone, the fare was USD 27. You need to check with the cab company prior to leaving the baggage claim area, prepay, and a driver is assigned. The guy who takes you to the cab and loads luggage will expect a tip and the driver also. It worked out perfectly
We stayed in Santiago last Nov, for our first night and our last night (before a morning departure)....more
The best hotel in all of Santiago! Very Cool place with unique architecture. The restaurants on the...more
Although small, this hotel is excelent and has everything you need to have a great visit to Santiago...more