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Article updated October 2015

As good as Santiago’s public transport system is, there is one major flaw. There is no simple public transport option to the airport. I know, it’s crazy, but we are here to help!

Getting to the airport is easy enough if you know what you’re doing. Most of these options will require you to book around 24 hours in advance – check the websites for more details. Keep in mind that the Santiago Metro does not run 24 hours a day, so you may need to adjust your travel plans accordingly. Here are your options.

 

Taxis

Going to the airport by taxi is perfectly straightforward. However, it is not the cheapest option, unless you have several passengers to split the cost with. You can expect to pay between $12,000 CLP and $30,000 CLP for a taxi ride to the airport, depending on your starting location, time of day and traffic, which can be a nightmare. If you prefer, ask the staff at your accommodation if they can call a taxi for you, rather than hailing one off the street, calling is also a good idea if you’re not staying in a high traffic area.

If you would prefer a booked/ private taxi, you can usually reserve online, call or email the company to organise your pick-up time. They should be able to give you a fixed price when you reserve your taxi. They usually accept cash and credit cards, but it’s good to check.

Taxis from the airport are well structured. Just visit one of the taxi company counters just after you exit Customs, but before you exit into the main airport lobby, several also have counters in the main lobby. Follow the yellow and black signs and purchase a flat-rate ticket for your destination. You can shop around but the often have similar rates. They will direct you to the main lobby, often someone holding a sign of the company you have purchased with, who will take you to your taxi driver.

This method, though it sounds a little complicated, is done to ensure that you are driven by a legitimate driver and company, and that you are paying correct prices. Most companies will take credit card payments at the counter so you don’t have to deal with exchanging money if you don’t have local currency.

I normally use TaxiOficial. They should display a list of how much it will be to each comuna (sector) in the Santiago area – check it out for a haggle-free transaction. In my experience, these drivers are all helpful and friendly, so if you’re not sure about where you’re going, keep the address handy and the driver should be able to figure it out.

Of course, there are usually other taxis waiting at the airport. If you’re confident with your Spanish, you can negotiate a price – but for first time visitors, I would strongly recommend reserving at one of the counters.

 

Buses and Shuttlebuses

Centropuerto

Centropuerto offers a budget rate service from the airport into the city. Stops (both ways) are located at street level near the following Metro stations Los Héroes, Estación Central, Universidad de Santiago, San Alberto Hurtado, Las Rejas, and Pajaritos. Additionally coming from the airport the bus also stops near Metros Barrancas, Unión Latino Americana, and Republica (after 9pm). Buses run every 10 minutes to the airport from 5:55am until 10:30pm and from the airport from 6am until 11:30pm, so if your arriving or leaving outside these times you’ll need to choose another option (note they may run every hour during the early morning hours now, but only from the airport). Transfers cost $1.500 CLP one way and $2.900 CLP for round trip and can be paid in cash to the driver.

If you’re traveling with a lot of luggage this may not be the best option for you as the getting to the bus terminals from the Metro stations, and the Metro in general, can be difficult to navigate with bags.

 

Delfos

Delfos also has a counter at the airport and offers shared or private transport services. Additionally you can submit your request online through their English webpage and what looks like a very easy-to-use request form. Unfortunately it does not list current prices, but they are usually all competitive.

 

TransVip

TransVip is a shuttle service, offering private cars, taxis (carrying 3 passengers) and shuttle buses (up to 7 passengers). You can book online, call them, or (probably the best option) ask your accommodation staff to call them. Prices depend on your choice of vehicle, whether you’re travelling privately or not, and where your starting point is.

If you are travelling alone, shuttle buses could mean a longer trip, as they may stop to pick up or drop off passengers at multiple locations.

 

TurBus

TurBus, difficult as their website is to negotiate, offer 45-minute long transfers to the airport. If TurBus is your choice, visit your nearest TurBus outlet to purchase there are offices at the airport and at the three stations in addition to other locations. Visit the website for locations.

Stops (both to and from the airport) are located at Terminal Alameda (Metro Universidad de Santiago), andenes (platforms) 22 & 23, Terminal San Borja (Metro Estación Central) andenes 9 & 10, and Pajaritos Metro station (Buses are directly upstairs from the trains). Transfers cost $1.600 CLP each way and $2.400 CLP for a round trip.

Buses run from the airport every 20 minutes from 5am until 12am and hourly from 1am until 4am, however going to the airport varies based on the station and none run 24 hours so keep that in mind if you have a very early or very late flight.

If you’re traveling with a lot of luggage this may not be the best option for you as the getting to the bus terminals from the Metro stations, and the Metro in general, can be difficult to navigate with bags.

 

Turistik

Turistik shuttle buses run 24 hours between the airport and over 100 local hotels, for $7.000 CLP per passenger. See the website for a full list of participating hotels and further information.

 

Airport parking

If you choose to drive yourself, there is airport parking available. As you drive towards the terminals, you will see different coloured flags directing you where to go, depending on the length of your stay and your desired physical proximity to the terminal. The airport website has prices listed under three headings: Expreso (express parking) for $1.100 CLP every 30 minutes, Techado (short term parking) for $800 CLP every 30 minutes, and Económico Custodia (long term parking) for $350 CLP every 30 minutes. The daily rate for all parking lots is equal to 10 hours parking.

 

Renting a Car

As always, there is the option of renting a carrental agencies have counters alongside the taxi and shuttle bus companies.

Luggage

If you have a connecting flight you can often check your luggage through to your final destination but, in some cases or if you’re changing your form of transportation, you’ll need to take it with you through customs. If you want to spend a short period of time in Santiago and are looking to travel light, with the exception of January 1, May 1, September 18 and 19 and December 25, you can store your luggage at the airport while you explore the city.

Note: This story was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question before planning your trip.

Originally written by Kat Gilbert, updated by Beth Delthony, October, 2015.