Due to berthing conflicts and threatened labor disruptions in Valparaiso most cruise lines now use San Antonio as port for Santiago.
As this is also a port of disembarkation or embarkation, a taxi ride to the airport of Santiago will cost at the very least $100. Therefore try to prearrange your transfers.
Busses also run between port and Santiago about every 20 minutes and take about a relaxing 1.5 hours. USD 7 one way. You will have to use Paypal to buy your tickets in advance. The bus station in San Antonio is a 10 minute walk away, often little mini busses will shuttle you there. Both the bus station and the cruise terminal are very basic, but are staffed with very helpful, mostly English speaking tourist information people.
Santiago Almeda bus terminal is a very busy place but well organized.
Hotels in Santiago
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It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Santiago de Chile is the capital and economic center of Chile. With its many museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is also the political and cultural center of the country. Its central location in the country makes it a great base for visiting other areas, and it is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and later be on the beach, all in the same day.
Just 140 kilometers west of Santiago on the Pacific coast, neighboring Vina del Mar (Vina) and Valparaiso (Valpo) are like opposite sides of the same coin. Vina del Mar, the 'Garden City,' is one of Chile's premier beach resorts, with excellent hotels and shopping. Valparaiso, a world heritage site and immortalized in the words of Pablo Neruda, is one of Chile's if not South America's most charismatic and historic ports, with its charming "ascensores" (funiculars) and colorful hillside houses. In recent years both cities, together with some of its neighbors have combined their efforts to provide a new year fireworks spectacle ranging several miles of coastline and challenged only by the biggest international events.
The main tourist attraction is La Sebastiana, the hilltop home of Chile's late Nobel-prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. The house is a maze of quirky rooms, each with a prize city view. The grandest square is Sotomayor, the gateway to the town pier, and is lined with statues and fine official buildings including the Chilean navy headquarters. The tourist information office here offers free maps with walking tours.
Credit Card acceptance is considerably reduced in small towns and communities, for which reason when visiting these it is recommended you take with you cash in local currency: the Chilean peso. 1 USD = 712 CLP. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises.
Spanish is Chile's official language
Chile has so-called cyber-cafes, stores offering Internet access. The cost of accessing the world info network varies from town to town. In Santiago, an hour online costs 4 dollars.
Ambulance service: 131 Fire Brigade: 132 Carabineros (Chilean police): 133 Drug Enforcement: 135 Andean Mountain Rescue Squad: 136 Sea Rescue: 137
Business and trade establishments in Chile are generally open to the public from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a 60 minute lunch break at 1 p.m. Saturday timetable is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In malls, the timetable is Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Holidays in Chile
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