Santiago de Chile

Read our Santiago travel guide and learn about the most populated city in Chile and the jumping point to explore Chilean Patagonia, the lake district and the Atacama Desert in the North.

 

Santiago is the capital of Chile and the largest city in the country. It’s located in the Central Valley and it features an amazing mixture of art deco and neo-gothic architecture with fantastic views of the Andes Mountain Range. It was founded in 1541 by the Spanish crown, and today is a must stop-over if you’re planning to visit Chile. Art collections of pre-Columbian and contemporary art, local markets, beautiful parks like Cerro Santa Lucía and the Mapocho River that flows through the city, are some of the attractions of Santiago. Located just one hour away from vineyards and the Pacific Ocean, there are other attractions you can visit near the city like Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, where most locals prefer to spend their summer vacation. 

Attractions
Attractions

Attractions

Eating & Drinking
Eating & Drinking

Eating & Drinking

Tours You Might Like

Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice

How many days should I stay in Santiago?

We recommend at least 3 nights to get to know the city, some vineyards and Valparaiso.

When is the best time to visit

Santiago is a city that offers Spring in  September to November and Fall from March to May. The city experiences a moderate climate with mild temperatures year-round, but spring and fall are especially attractive with plenty of sunshine. From December to February (summertime in the Southern Hemisphere),the locals leave town, and it is also a pleasant time to head to Chile’s capital city.

What is the weather like in Santiago de Chile?

Santiago has a semi-arid climate with mild winter and dry summers. Throughout the year, the temperatures can slide through a big range which is typical to the region.

Summer: December to March with an average temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius or cooler. However, the temperature can touch as high as around 36 degrees Celsius! The night is usually much colder.

Autumn: April to May (sometimes autumn can pre-set in March) with an average temperature of around 20-22 degrees Celsius and it can get cooler- touching to around 10 degrees Celsius.

Winter: June to August with temperatures that can go well below  10 degrees Celsius. However, winters do give rise to a lot of smog effect due to temperature inversion.

Spring: September to November is the spring season with pleasant weather which can range from a slow as 6 to as high as 23 degrees Celsius.

Rain: Rainy season intermingles partly with autumn and partly with winter with a peak season during June-July.

How to get to Santiago de Chile?

Flight: Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, commonly called Santiago International Airport and Pudahuel Airport is Chile’s main airport, located northwest of the city of Santiago. International flights arrive there and to the most important cities in the country. 

Bus: Buses from different parts of the country arrive in the city. It is very common to connect by bus from Santiago de Chile to the city of Mendoza in Argentina. 

Self-drive: Santiago is a capital city, with a lot of vehicular traffic and good public transport service. We recommend you to visit it with public transport, walking or by bicycle. If you want to visit the surroundings you can rent a car, but if you want to visit a winery we recommend you to do it with a tour, so you can taste all the wines you want.

Can I find ATMs in Santiago?

In Chile, there is a wide network of ATMs, divided into three sub-networks: Redf, Redbanc and BancoEstado. The last two are now connected. 

Typically, the maximum withdrawal at a Chilean ATM will be around 200,000 Chilean Pesos. If you need to withdraw more than that in one day, you may need to visit multiple ATMs and take out a few different withdrawals.

What is the proper tipping?

In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose. 

For tour guides , estimate around USD 10/15 per person, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver. In hotels, you should tip porters for handling bags:USD1.00 for every two bags.

Same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases, the housekeeping (between USD0.50 – 1.00 per night), and the concierge staff if the have helped you to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities. In Chile we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.

How much money can I spend per day in Santiago?

Around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.

Exchange money and using CC

The most popular international credit cards are widely accepted in Chile, especially in cities, but ask when travelling into remote areas (like Torres del Paine for example or other National parks).

For money exchange, Santiago is probably the best place for it. Exchange shops are everywhere and sometimes one next to each other, often offering  better rates than banks. AFEX is a good option. They exchange any currency, although a registration is required the first time for exchanging cheques and cash amounts higher than US$3,000. For smaller amounts, an ID card or passport will be required.

Pick ups

Pick up at airports will be upon arrival of your flight, that’s why it is so important to have the most accurate and updated flight information and inform your contact numbers if there is a last minute change of schedule or flight. If you booked a transfer, your  guide or driver will be waiting for you with a sign and your name , outside baggage claim area.  If you want to take a taxi on your own, we strongly recommend to use the official counters in the airport. Please take care if people posing as airport workers offer to help you when you can’t find your appointed driver and of taking just any taxi in the airport, several scams have been reported.

Medical attention

Any foreign consulate can provide a list of area doctors who speak English. If you get sick, consider asking your hotel concierge to recommend a local doctor — even his or her own. Get in contact with your travel / medical insurance.

Travel insurance

We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance. Travel insurance helps protect against unforeseen emergencies which can occur at any time. It also helps protect you against other circumstances like travel delay, lost or stolen baggage and personal items, missed connections and so much more.

What to include in your luggage

Everything will depend on the time of year in which you visit the city. 

If you come in the fall or spring, the ideal is to pack fresh clothes and the multiuse jacket Besides that, packing comfortable shoes is vital, since Santiago is a city where you walk a lot. 

If you visit in the winter months, remember to bring a warmer coat, some scarves and gloves. Finally, if you choose the summer months, it will be very important that you bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.  

A daily pack to wander the city will be really useful during your trip!

Sustainability

Sustainability

Santiago de Chile

Local Businesses

 

Eco Mercado Yungay: 

Ecological and organic alternatives in the heart of Santiago

The first Sunday of each month you will be able to find organic fruits and vegetables, products for vegans, coeliacs, diabetics, healthy pastries, cosmetics and natural medicine, recycling, home-grown plants and much more, in addition to different talks and workshops related to sustainability.

Libertad 455-499, Santiago de Chile. 

 

Organic Market – Plaza Perú

Wednesdays and Saturdays

Food, cosmetics, toys and many more natural products.

Isidora Goyenechea 3051, Las Condes, Santiago de Chile. 

 

Ecological Market of Santiago 1

A space for small producers and food health.

Santo Domingo 1240-1300, Santiago de Chile.

 

Ecological Market of Santiago 2

Santo Domingo 1240-1300, Santiago de Chile.

Healthy food, mainly organic and natural products, in bulk. They do not use plastic and we reuse the containers. – cereals – grains – legumes – spices foods – candies – chocolates – pastries – bakery – juices. 

 

Green Fair in Chile

Itinerant dates. 

It dedicates the exhibition to ecological products for the house and a wide variety in natural biocosmetics, special to make a different, alternative and more natural gift to the mothers in their day. Organic seaweed creams, aloe vera, donkey milk, cannabis sativa, snail slime, nettle, rosemary, grapes, honey, bath salts and virgin milks. In addition to finding aromatherapy, natural wools, portable vegetable gardens for apartments, reusable diapers and biodegradable cleaning products.

You can also find organic wines, artisan beers, goat cheeses, chutneys, honeys, infusions, candies, chocolates, organic Colombian coffee, quiches and vegetarian empanadas.

How to Help

 

The Sustainable Chile Program is an initiative of environmental organizations, activists, academics, professionals and citizens committed to changing the current development paradigm in Chile. It was created in 1997 with the aim of promoting the development of a citizen proposal for the social, political and economic transformation of Chile from the current model towards a development based on sustainability criteria.

 

We love Cities

Santiago has an energy strategy that aims to reduce GHG emissions 30% by 2030. To meet it, the city is focusing on integrated waste management and carefully monitoring municipal and communal carbon footprints.

Santiago is also making citizen participation a top priority. By 2030, the city plans to involve its citizens in local energy management – and will invite them, as well as all relevant parties, to participate in shaping energy projects, plans and programs. All together now!

 

HuellaChile is an initiative that seeks to promote the quantification, reporting and management of corporate GHG emissions in the public and private sectors.

This initiative has its origin in the Ministry of the Environment and has the support and funding of the European Commission, the Government of Germany and the Government of Australia. This program gives recognition to the participating organizations, which are divided into 4 levels, ranging from the quantification of carbon footprint to the declaration of excellence.

Green Solutions delivers all its experience to organizations so that they can successfully participate in the Chile Footprint Program 

 

Sustainability tips

 

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.