Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile is the capital of Chile and one of the biggest cities of South America.
This review of Santiago will be a more personal, because when we were there the riots against the government began. When we arrived in Santiago it was late at night and we shared a taxi from the airport with a German guy whom we had met at immigration. Even though we told the driver 3 times were to go, it still took the taxi driver a lot of driving around to find our hostel.
When trying to get into our hostel they didn’t want to open the front door and they told us they were fully booked over the intercom. Even after insisting that we had a reservation we were not let in. It took quite some persistence to finally get in and retrieve our booking from their computer.
The next day we walked around in the city center and went to the bus station to book our bus for the next day. When we got back the staff of the hostel told us we couldn’t go outside any more because the riots started. If we would go out, the police probably questions us and send us back to the hostel anyway, so we stayed inside and chatted and drank wine with the others from the hostel.
When we woke up the next day and saw the news on the television we realized this was serious. Three people had died in the riots and almost all metro stations got destroyed. The metro and local buses were all out of service, but we had to get to the main station for our long distance bus to Pucon. Luckily the hostel staff suggested Uber and soon a guy picked us up and drove us to the bus station. What was supposed to be a 20 minute drive turned out to be an 50 minute drive because of the mess in the streets. The streets were full with rocks and glass. The metro stations were barred up and there were only a few people out on the streets. Luckily we managed to take the bus. Later we found out that buses bound for Santiago were all cancelled, because getting in the city was not easy at that point.
Tip: Take an official taxi from the airport to get to the city after dark. They charge between 15 en 20.000 peso but they are safe and you don’t need to tip them. You pay for the trip at a desk at the airport in peso or US dollars. When you come from the exit turn left and just before the exit there will be a booth with yellow labels for the official taxi. During the day you can take a cheap bus to the metro station and from there you can travel further.
Where to sleep in Santiago de Chile
A hostel in the barrio Bellavista, very safe area. When we arrived they told us that they were fully booked, but after some talking they found the booking. It’s a cheap place to stay but the dorms are cramped and they didn’t have enough lockers. The shower is very small but with hot water. The staff is great and trying to help you how they can. You get bread with butter for breakfast.
You can’t pay by credit or debit card so you’ll need to pay the 19% IVA.
13.000 Chilean peso per night/ 2 persons. We stayed 2 nights.