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Santiago (or Santiago de Chile) is the capital of Chile, with a population of approximately 5.5 million people. Alongside Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, Santiago is one of the leading economic hubs of South America. But Santiago is also stunningly beautiful, its modern skyline set against the backdrop of the snow capped Andes mountains.
The warm days start from November and lasts well into March, with an average temperature from 25 °C to 35 °C during the day and around 15 °C to 22 °C From April to August the weather is relatively cold (still mild though) and unstable, mostly haze, cloudy, and sometimes rainy with temperatures from -2 °C on some nights to 15 °C or a little more on the warmer days. The sun starts to shine again in September and October, but be careful because some days looks like summer and the next day could be rainy.
Santiago International Airport, also called Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport or Pudahuel Airport, is the main airport in Chile and located in Pudahuel, west of the capital. It's the largest airport in the country with almost 10 million passengers a year.
LanChile is the national carrier of Chile, but many other major airlines fly into Chile as well, including Iberia, several South American airlines and airlines based in the USA.
Some travellers arriving by air are required to pay a "processing fee." This processing fee is in response to fee levied against Chileans travelling abroad, and will match the amount of the fee charged to the Chileans. Citizens from the USA pay $US 45, Citizens from Canada pay $US 55 and citizens of Australia pay $US 30. This fee can be paid in US dollars, Chilean Pesos or with travellers checks.
To/from the airport
More info at Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE).
Entering Santiago by car, you'll probably find yourself on the Autopista Central (Ruta 5), the Chilean leg of the Pan-American Highway. To use this freeway you need a device called "TAG", or a day pass which you can buy from service stations. One day passes are CLP$4400. You can also buy it after accidentally passing through it without one.
Buses are the main mode of transportation between cities, and most cities in Chile have a bus connection to the capital. For some close, large cities, like Valparaiso or Viña del Mar there may be a bus departing as frequently as every 15 minutes. Prices of bus tickets vary according to demand and type of seat (regular seat, semi-bed or bed). Buses are in general clean and comfortable, but this may not always be the case with the toilets on board. There are several bus terminals in the city, the biggest being Terminal Santiago.
The bus ride between Santiago and Mendoza in Argentina has beautiful views and takes about eight hours, depending on the time spent at the Cristo Redentor checkpoint. The border crossing is at about 2,800 metres in the Andes. Note that fruit, vegetables or animal products are not allowed in either direction; all luggage will get checked at the border. One-way fares are listed at around CLP$21.000 (semicama) CLP$25.000 (cama) in high season, but are often cheaper if booked in advance and in the off season. There are also buses to and from San Juan (one way fares listed at around CLP$19.500) and Neuquen, Argentina. One-way fares to Lima are listed at around CLP$85.000.
Try to avoid the rush hours during the week. In the morning, rush hours are between 8:00am and 10:00am, while in the evening between 6:00pm and 8:00pm.
Transantiago is the public transport system in Santiago. It operates buses and Metro systems across the different zones in the city. The minimum fare for a bus ride is 500 pesos. Use the journey planner (Spanish only) to find your way around the city.
Bip! is a pre-paid contactless smartcard used to pay for the bus and metro services in Santiago. You can get this card at all Metro stations and Bip! offices. The card is available for 1,200 pesos and can be topped up with more credit later.
There are two types of taxis:
Tourists are recommended to use Radio Taxis.
Central Santiago is navigable on foot, but you have to use public transport to combine it with more outlying places.
Bikesantiago is a bike sharing program with monthly and annual memberships. You must register to use the service.
In downtown and the east of the city you can find both global and domestic fast food chains. Why not opt for the latter and have a completo, the Chilean version of the hot dog with tomato, mayonnaise, sauerkraut or a italiano hot dog with tomato, avocado and mayonnaise. In addition there are small sandwich places known as "picadas" serving different kinds of sandwiches (some of them with huge steaks) and pies. There are also street food carts where you can find local specialties like sopaipillas (buns) stuffed with fried pumpkin and mote con huesillo, a soft drink with peaches and wheat.
The traditional cuisine of central Chile is centered around barbecued meat (beef or pork) with tomatoes, potatoes or corn. Local specialties include cazuela (a soup), porotos con riendas (beans with pasta), porotos granados (a vegetarian bean stew), charquicán (stew of beef and potatoes, topped with an egg), pastel de choclo (corn pie) and as we're in southern South America — asado (barbecued meat). Seafood is not as common in Santiago as you might expect, though if you want some, the restaurants at central market is the place to go.
Nightlife choices vary widely across the city and their location usually reflects their price and style.
All types of accommodation, from top class hotels to backpacker hostels are available. As a general rule, lodging gets more luxurious and expensive the further east you travel.
Classic, mid-range hotels can be found downtown, and in the nearby residential areas such as Barrio Brasil you'll find more affordable accommodation like youth hostels. Lastarria just east of downtown features small boutique hotels. In the eastern part of the city you can find hotels of international luxury chains and apartment hotels, catering to those who attend business meetings, conferences or trade shows. Still further east, outside the city and up the mountains there are the upscale ski resorts.
|Aconcagua Hostel||Roman Diaz 41||Hostel||80|
|Almirante Riveros Hostel||Almirante Riveros 025||Guesthouse||82|
|Andes Apartments||Monjitas 506||APARTMENT||80|
|San Cristobal Suites Providencia||Suecia 151, Providencia,||APARTMENT||-|
|Atacama Hostel||Roman Diaz 130||Hostel||-|
|Atacama Student House||Condell 857 - Providencia||Hostel||-|
|Bella Vida Apartment||Ismael Valdez Vergara 492 La Florida||Apartment||-|
|BH Bed & Breakfast||Capellan Abarzua No 143 Bellavista||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bellavista Hostel||Dardignac 0184 - Providencia Barrio Bellavista||Hostel||81|
|Apart Hotel Cambiaso||Av. Pedro de Valdivia 150 of. 1217, Providencia Santiago||Apartment||-|
|Casa Club La Reina||Axel Munthe 7710 La Reina||Guesthouse||-|
|Casaltura Hostel||San Antonio 811,||Guesthouse||80|
|Chilli Hostel Santiago||Triana 863||Hostel||85|
|Depacentro||Amunategui 471 Apto. F||guesthouse||-|
|Dominica Hostel Santiago||Dominica 24||Hostel||81|
|Don Santiago Hostel||Av. Ricardo Cumming 95||Hostel||87|
|Eco Hostel||General Jofr 349B||HOSTEL||84|
|Footsteps Backpackers||Almirante Simpson 50||Hostel||-|
|Green House||Marcoleta 537 metro Santa Lucia||Guesthouse||-|
|Happy House Hostel||Moneda 1829 Barrio Brasil||Hostel||81|
|B&B Rio Amazonas-Barrio Brasil||Rosas 2234 Santiago Centro||guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Americano||Compañia de Jesus 1906||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel de la Barra||Jose Miguel de la Barra 449||HOSTEL||81|
|Hostal Forestal||Coronel Santiago Bueras 122, Barrio Lastarria||Hostel||88|
|Hostal Providencia||Vicuña Mackena 92-A||Hostel||85|
|Hostal Romandia||Román Díaz 1403||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Lucia Suites||Av. Santa Lucia 168||HOSTEL||79|
|Hostal Santiago||Compañía 3023,Santiago Barrio Patrimonial Yungay||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Ayekantun||Catedral 2225||Hostel||-|
|Hostelling International Santiago de Chile||Cienfuegos 151||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Angamos||angamos 367||Hotel||83|
|Hotel Plaza Londres||Londres 77||Hotel||73|
|House Santiago||Barros Borgoo 199 - Providencia||HOSTEL||-|
|Juan Carlos Apartment||Manuel Montt esquina 11 de Septiembre||Apartment||-|
|Kasatobalaba||San Pio X 2441 Providencia||Hostel||-|
|La Casa Roja||Agustinos 2113 Barrio Brazil||Hostel||-|
|La Chimba Hostel||E. Pinto Lagarrigue 262 Barrio Bellavista||Hostel||85|
|Marilu´s Bed and Breakfast||246 Rafael Cañas Street 1st and 3rd Floor Providen||Guesthouse||-|
|Mela Blu Apartments||Villavicencio||apartment||-|
|Moai Viajero Hostel||Toesca 2335||Hostel||-|
|Newen Kara Hostel||Calle La Sierra 1441 a pasos del Metro Manuel Montt - Providencia||Hostel||69|
|Nuevo Horizonte Hostel||Avenida Brasil 723||Guesthouse||-|
|Plaza de Armas Hostel||Compaia 960 Dp. 607||HOSTEL||78|
|Residencial Plaza Italia||Av. Vicuña Mackenna 6, 6 Floor,1||Guesthouse||-|
|Santiago Private Apartments and Suites||casilla 51404||Guesthouse||-|
|Student Housing Horizonte||Maturana 557 Barrio Brasil||hostel||-|
|Terra Extremus Hostel||Vicuna Mackenna 38||Hostel||-|
|Urania's Bed and Breakfast||Bocaccio N°60 Street Las Condes Area||Guesthouse||-|
|Ventana Sur Hostal||Claudio Arrau 0340 Providencia||Hostel||87|
|Vita Aparthotel||Americo Vespucio Norte 22 Metro escuela Militar||apartment||-|
|Pure Lounge Hostel||Ernesto Pinto Lagarrigue 160 Recoleta||Hostel||-|
|Hostel So Be||Almirante Latorre 31 Santiago Centro||Hostel||-|
|Hostal el Raco||Santa Domingo N° 2816||Guesthouse||-|
|Intiwasi Hotel||Josue Smith Solar 380||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal del Barrio||General Ekdhal 159 Bellavista||Guesthouse||-|
|Che Lagarto Hostel Santiago||San Antonio 60||HOSTEL||-|
|Chile Hostales||Roman Diaz 140 Providencia||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Rio Amazonas - Plaza Italia||Vicuña Mackenna 47||Guesthouse||83|
|Kvtravelchile||francisco antonio encina 1781 departamentos,204,205,303,1703 1804,704,401,1809||Apartment||-|
|Hotel del Patio||Pío Nono 61||Hotel||-|
|The Princesa Insolente Hostel||Moneda #2350||Hostel||86|
|Hostal Casona Providencia||Av. Suecia 1860 Providencia||Guesthouse||-|
|Landay Barcelo Hostel||Erasmo Escala #2012||Hostel||81|
|Luz Azul Hostel||Moneda #2350 Barrio Brasil||Hostel||-|
|Hostel Caracol Santiago||General Ekdhal 151||Hostel||-|
|Santiago Backpackers||Mac Iver 661||Hostel||82|
|Elegebe Apartment||calle esmeralda 772 bandera 898||Apartment||-|
|Gato Verde Bed and Breakfast||carrera pinto 1905 Ñuñoa||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Luna Calypso||Manuel Antonio Prieto 0184||Hostel||-|
|Hostel Bella 269||Bellavista 269 Esquina Loreto||HOSTEL||82|
|Hostel El Castillo||Loreto 229||Hostel||-|
|Traveller's Place Hostel||Almirante Barroso, 457||Hostel||80|
|Departamentos Amoblados Nueva de lyon||Nueva de lyon 170 Providencia, Santiago||Apartment||-|
|MV Santiago||Dr Ramon Corvalan 8 Santa Rosa 25||Apartment||-|
|Casagrande Mini Hotel||Av Vicuña Mackenna 90||Hotel||-|
|Kcar Hostel Boutique||Arzobispo Larrain Gandarillas 99 Providencia Santiago||HOSTEL||-|
|H Rado Hostel||Pio Nono 5, Providencia Barrio Bellavista||Hostel||91|
|Personal Aparts Downtown||Monjitas 744||Apartment||-|
|Hostal Oveja Verde||Eliodoro Yañez 1336 Providencia Santiago||Guesthouse||83|
|Sweetapart||Barros Borgono 44 Providencia||Apartment||-|
|Castillo Surfista Hostel||Calle Maria Luisa Santander 0329||Hostel||87|
|Hotel Monte Leon||Rosas 1991 Comuna de Santiago Chile||GUESTHOUSE||75|
|HDS Chile - Hotel Don Santiago||Fernando Manterola #0550||Hotel||-|
|Alto Suite Providencia||Pedro de Valdivia 150||Apartment||-|
|Blend Hostel||Arzobispo Gonzalez ,425 Barrio Brazil||HOSTEL||-|
|Delparque||Av. Santa Maria 571A Departamento 2604 Recoleta||Apartment||-|
|Santiago Apartamentos||Merced no. 562 Depto 2017||APARTMENT||-|
|Providencia Bed and Breakfast||Alberto Magno 1398||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Allegro||Luis Beltran 1828||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Selknam Hostel||Sazie n° 1885||HOSTEL||-|
|L'Ambassade||Suiza 2084 Providencia||HOTEL||-|
|F&F Hostel||Antonia Lopez De Bello 0325||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Karukinka||Calle Europa 2176, Providencia Santiago||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostel El Arco de Iris||General Flores 217, Providencia||HOSTEL||-|
|Casa Ibarra Wine Hotel||Camino Lo Ermita Parcela 8 Calera de Tango||HOTEL||-|
|Casa Mosaico Hostel||Calle Loreto 111, Barrio Bellavista||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Casa De Triana||Viña del mar 015 Providencia||Hostel||-|
|Departamentos amoblados Global-cityzen||Miraflores 455||APARTMENT||-|
|Monarca Hoteles las Condes||Avenida America Vespucio 22||HOTEL||-|
|Nomades Hostel||Bellavista 0318||HOSTEL||79|
|Hostal Colonial||Manuel Montt 520, Providencia||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Apart Santa lucia||Santa Rosa 265||APARTMENT||-|
|AMS Apartments Monjitas||Monjitas 744||APARTMENT||-|
|Bed & Breakfast Casa Daroch||Toms Andrews 059-Providencia||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel RA||Lota 2476, Comuna de Providencia||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Hostal Sole||Virginia Subercaseaux 4000 - 22||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Wally Gator Catedral||Wally Gator Catedral Nº 1933, Departamento 603||APARTMENT||-|
|Wally Gator Libertad||Libertad 1270||APARTMENT||-|
|Apart-Santiago 801B||Calle Cóndor 773 Apartamento 801-B||APARTMENT||-|
|Apart-Santiago 403A||Calle Cóndor 793 Apartamento 403-A||APARTMENT||-|
|San Cristobal Suites Bellas Artes||Huerfanos 547 Santiago - Centro||APARTMENT||-|
|apART Altamira||Huérfanos 547 Of.2117 Torre B, Santiago||APARTMENT||-|
|El Magnolio Bed and Breakfast||Av Concha y Toro s/n, Pirque||HOTEL||-|
|Hostel Friendly||Pasaje Folo n743, Ñuñoa, Santiago||HOSTEL||-|
|Loreto Hotel||Loreto 170||HOTEL||-|
|Bellas Artes Suites||Mac Iver 551||APARTMENT||-|
|Apart Hotel El Mesón||Calle Encomenderos 200||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Baleares||Almirante Simpson 59||HOTEL||-|
|Heidelberg Haus Apart Hotel||Los Nogales 843||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Parque Bustamante||Av. Rancagua #0111 Ramon Carnicer #111||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Provi Bed and Breakfast||Carlos Antunez||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Boutique Paris Londres||Londres 54||HOTEL||-|
|Apoquindo Aparts||Coimbra 110 Oficina 701 La Gloria 34||APARTMENT||-|
|Urbano Uno||Pedro de Valdivia 263, Providencia.||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostal Ahin||Valenzuela Castillo 1646 Providencia||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Lago de Plata||Huerfanos 2460||HOTEL||-|
|Apart-Santiago 1009B||Calle Cóndor 773 Apartamento 1009B||APARTMENT||-|
|Apart-Santiago 804A||Calle Cóndor 793 Apartamento 804A||APARTMENT||-|
|Apartament Central||Portugal 38 Torre 5 dpto 45 Almirante Riveros 025||APARTMENT||-|
|SantiagoApart||Nataniel Cox 135, centro||APARTMENT||-|
|Conchita Flores B&B||Manuel Montt 526||HOTEL||-|
|Kv Travel Chile Ltd||Francisco Antonio Encina #1781- Providencia- Santi||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Santiago Downtown Apartments Lira||Lira 238||APARTMENT||-|
|Bellavista Rent Apart||Loreto 350||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostal Americano||Companía 1906||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Makus Hostel||Román Díaz 186, Providencia||HOSTEL||-|
|Poker Hostel||Padre Luis de Valdivia 361||HOSTEL||-|
Santiago has a good stable economy that has been powering on despite the current crisis. If you want to live and work in a South American country, Chile could not be easier for English teachers. Due to the government's attempts to open up its economy to the world and their current policy of 'English opens doors' the demand in Santiago for English classes is huge. Unlike Europe, a TEFL certificate is not even necessary (although I would recomend it) and you can find many private institutes that are willing to take on new-comers and give them some training. VISAs can be acquired in the country once you've found the institute you want to work with so no prior paperwork is needed before you arrive, many people even work on tourist VISAs and just leave for Argentina every 3 months.
Your wages will be around 500,000 pesos per month for around 22 hours teaching time, which is ok but no brilliant. Chile can be quite expensive in some areas such as food produce. It is however, enough to live well, enjoy life and save a little for further travel around the country.
There are cybercafes in every major and midsize city and at all tourist destinations. Some libraries are in a program called Biblioredes, with free computers and Internet. Wifi is getting more and more common. They're usually in metro stations, airports, malls, cafes, public buildings and several public spaces. Check for the ones that say gratis - for free. McDonald's and Starbucks are chains which almost always have free wifi.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Chile is: 56. To make an international call from Chile, the code is: 00. Emergency phone numbers include 131 (Ambulance), 132 (Fire) and 133 (Police).
Public phones located on streets are very likely to be tampered or vandalized, so it's better to use a phone located inside a commerce or a station. Prepaid cards for mobile phones and public phones are sold at most newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and phone dealers. Mobile GSM networks are ubiquitous in all major cities and most of the territory of central and southern Chile. A basic prepaid cellular phone usually costs about 15,000 pesos, most frequently charged with 10,000 pesos worth of prepaid minutes. No ID is required to buy a prepaid phone. GSM SIM cards from ENTEL, Movistar or Claro are usually available for 5,000 pesos, but without credit, so you'll need to buy some prepaid minutes to be able to call. Money can be charged into a cellphone from some pharmacies (Ahumada, Cruz Verde and Salco Brand) on the counter and in cash, or by using a credit card through an automated service operator, with directions in Spanish or English.
Correos de Chile is the national postal service, and although relatively slow it is reliable with post offices throughout the country. On the website you can find more information about prices to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. Post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday until 2:00pm, although there are sometimes longer opening hours in the bigger central post offices and shorter ones in small places. Ask around. If you want to send packages internationally, you might consider companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are fast, reliable and usually competitively priced as well.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Santiago (Chile) searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Santiago (Chile) and areas nearby.
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