Arriving in Santiago: From Main International Airport to the City
June 18, 2019
June 18, 2019
Congratulations! You have arrived at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, which is Santiago’s main international airport. I’m hoping your trip was great and you’re excited to explore Santiago! As you exit the terminal and see many people, you’re probably wondering: how do I get to the main city? Don’t worry, we've got you covered!
Once you leave the terminal, many taxi drivers will approach you, and that’s completely normal. Be careful though because like many Latin American countries, there are crooked drivers out there. A couple of things you should keep in mind: make sure the meter is running (should be set at 300 pesos once you get in), and that the taxi has proper identification. Also, if a driver asks you to take money out of the ATM, walk away. These friendly tips will ensure that you have a smooth ride.
A fare from Santiago Airport to downtown should cost about $7,500-10,000 Chilean pesos (approximately 15-20 Canadian dollars) during low traffic and $15,000-20,000 Chilean pesos during peak times (30-40 Canadian dollars). It is important to remember that you can only pay in pesos, and it is highly recommended that you carry cash with you when taking a taxi. When you carry cash, the taxi driver cannot shortchange you.
Right outside of customs, you’ll see many shuttle bus companies have their booths set up. Many groups of people will be driven to parts of Santiago. The main two shuttle bus companies are Transvip and Delfos. Both these companies offer the same features: private and shared. Shared costs are around $8,000 Chilean pesos ($16 Canadian). This is the best option for solo travellers! Although both companies are similar, Transvip is more recommended. You do not need to book one inside the airport. There are kiosks located outside of the airport and both companies accept credit cards.
Unfortunately, there are no local buses that stop near the airport. Fear not though, shuttle bus services are offered by Centropuerto and Turbus. Both will take you to the city for about $3,500 Chilean pesos ($7 Canadian). You will be dropped off at the Universidad de Santiago metro station, next to the central bus terminal. You may be able to travel to the next location by foot or you may have to take a metro. It is not recommended to take the bus, as the travel time is very long, and you won’t be saving that much money.
There is no metro connected to the airport, but there are many shuttle buses that stop at Pajaritos metro station. If you have big bags, it is not recommended to take the metro because of the lack of space in the trains. Not to mention that there are pickpockets and thieves out there that could steal your belongings. Even during peak travel times, having big bags is not ideal due to the trains being consistently packed and chaotic.
To use the metro in Santiago, you need two things: a single trip ticket or a smart card called a “Bip Card.” With a Bip card, you need to put money in the card to use on the train (starts at around $2,500 Chilean pesos). If you are staying for a long time in Santiago, getting a bip card is highly recommended. You will be saving lots of time and money (includes local buses, which only take bip cards).
The best mode of transportation to get around Santiago would be taking a private shuttle. A shared trip is affordable and is the best mode of transportation for solo travellers! For those travelling without cash, private shuttles accept credit cards, which is very convenient! Between Transvip and Delfos, Transvip is generally recommended. If you forgot to book one inside the airport, don’t forget that there are kiosks outside the airport.
Safe travels exploring the beautiful city of Santiago! 😊
June 18, 2019