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5 Things I Learned From My 12 Hour Layover in Santiago Chile


Earlier this year, I spent three nights and four days in Santiago, Chile and wrote a whole trip report here. As part of my Mexico City and Santiago mileage run vacation, I had 12 hours to spend in Santiago, Chile. Since I already had the $160 Chilean visa which is good until the life of my passport, I didn’t need to waste additional time at Customs.

1) Take the CentroPuerto Bus from Santiago Airport (arrivals level) for 2,600 Chilean Pesos ~ ($5.01 USD) round-trip.

Previously, I’ve taken the TransVIP shared van service which is basically like a SuperShuttle and it’s very slow since they cram as many people in the van and the driver drops off each person in different areas of Santiago. The CentroPuerto Bus is much faster and goes to the Los Heroes metro station (final stop) which is basically the center of the city.

The journey takes 35 minutes. From Los Heroes, you can take the metro subway for as low as 450 pesos (off-peak) with unlimited transfers.

2) Mote con huesillo is the most refreshing drink in Santiago, Chile. It was a great spring day to enjoy this sweet nectar like beverage.

3) The metro is insanely busy during rush hour. Not only is the price of the metro higher during rush hour (650 pesos), it’s one of the busiest I’ve ever seen. Every square footage of the metro subway train is taken up and you will be crammed like sardines.

4) When in Santiago, drink Cristal. It’s an amazing cold alcoholic beverage and popular with the locals. I’ve done an extensive blog post about the Various Eats in Santiago, Chile that includes food and drink pictures.

5) Don’t arrive at the airport too early. I left for the airport from Los Heroes to catch the bus at 7:10pm. I arrived at the airport at 7:45pm and had to wait until 8:30pm when the Aeromexico airport counter opened. Thankfully, I didn’t need to stand in line since I was able to use the priority line due to my Skyteam Elite status. For reference, my flight departed at 11:30pm. I usually don’t arrive super early to the airport, but I will know next time that international airport counters won’t open for check-in until 3 hours prior.


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