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How to get from Santiago Airport to Santiago city

If you ever come to Chile, you will most likely arrive at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, better known as Santiago Airport or Pudahuel. Here I explain in detail how to get from Santiago Airport to Santiago city, to the downtown.

Update: 25 October 2020

Arrival at Santiago Airport itself

Inside the airport, the boarding sector is located on the 3rd floor and the domestic and international flight departures sector is on the 1st floor. Depending on the mode of transport you prefer, the following instructions are available.

Transfer trip to the city

Just before you go out to the area where people are waiting for you from your accommodation, family, friends and acquaintances (in addition to hordes of taxi drivers), there are some counters where you can hire the shuttle service. The transfer is basically a van where you can pay to be taken alone to you or you can pay for a shared service with other passengers that is usually cheaper.

Peugeot Expert of the company TransVip, shared service

There are 2 companies: TransVip and Transfer Delfos. Both are relatively similar and are the only ones that officially operate from the airport (that does not mean that there are many other private transport companies operating this type of services, but for the purposes of contracting at the same airport only these two can be allowed).

In case you want to travel in the executive taxis they have (they also offer that service), there are some Hyundai Sonata hybrid car units and other electric vehicles.

Bus trip to the city of Santiago

If you don’t want to pay for a transfer or taxi and are looking for a cheaper option. You must continue after those counters at the airport. You cross the area where the people waiting for passengers arriving from a flight are, you walk a little outward (on the same 1st floor) and there you will find two bus stops when crossing the roadway.

It seems to me that buses only accept cash or debit/credit cards. You’d better take cash just in case.

Bus Centroport taking passengers at the airport (1st floor) Mascarello Gran Midi – M. Benz / DRZH22

One option is the Centropuerto bus. These buses have padded seats, air conditioning and can store the bags both inside (in a space intended for it) and in bus compartments (cellars).

  • Price: $1,900 one way (2.5 USD) / $3,400 round trip (4.4 USD)
  • Frequency every 10 minutes between 06:00 – 23:00 (with the pandemic may be different*)
  • Nightly hours frequently reduced

This bus performs a service between Santiago Airport and Los Héroes Metro Station, in the heart of the city (red line; the blue line is the way to the airport). There are some intermediate stops such as Metro Pajaritos (the most common both to take the bus and to get off and access the metro).

Tur Bus Aeropuerto
Tur Bus Airport Bus departing from Alameda Terminal King Long XMQ6110 GS2 / FPDW13

Tur Bus has a service to Santiago Airport with one-story buses and double-decker buses (you can touch either), both urban buses (such as this double-decker bus with plastic seats) and intercity buses that have been used in long distance journeys. Outside of that, all buses have space for suitcases and air conditioning.

  • Price: $1,900 one way (2.5 USD) / $3,400 round trip (4.4 USD)
  • Frequency every 10 minutes between 05:00 – 00:00 (in pandemic may be different*)
  • Nightly hours frequently reduced

The Tur Bus service arrives at the terminal that has the company in the sector of Metro Universidad de Santiago, the well-known Alameda Terminal. It also has Metro Pajaritos as an intermediate stop, among others.

What is the difference between them?

In price and frequency are similar. For practical purposes, the differences are:

  • Centropuerto serves you to get to the center of Santiago (because it leaves you in Los Héroes)
  • Tur Bus serves you better in case you want to take metro (from the Alameda Terminal you have direct access to this one) or take another bus to another city
  • In the case of Tur Bus, you can purchase your Airport service tickets at much of the country’s terminals (and eventually you could buy other bus tickets at the airport).

Both buses take between 35 and 50 minutes to make the trip. The fastest way to get there is to connect to Pajaritos Station on Line 1 (especially useful when you’re heading to the airport).

Travel from the airport to other cities

Except for a couple of one-off exceptions, there are no services from the same airport to other cities. Chances are you’ll need to use a Centropuerto or Tur Bus Aeropuerto service to get to the terminal where you need to take the bus you need.

Between the airport and the most common bus terminals (Terminal San Borja, Terminal Sur, Alameda Terminal) you should consider at least 1 hour, a little more seems reasonable to me. While the bus takes less time, it should be considered the waiting time and also whatever it takes to move to get to the terminal. In the case of Terminal Los Héroes, use the Centropuerto because it leaves you about 3 blocks walk away. For boarding points in Las Condes, consider more than 2 hours and try to see the option of having a private transfer service.

Exceptions? Are there exceptions?

Since 2019, Tur Bus has provided some direct services for the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. There was another service from Rancagua, in addition to other cities also such as Quillota… but because of the pandemic only those I mentioned before have been maintained.

Other considerations with transport to the city

Final Words

We hope that this article on how to get from Santiago Airport to the city of Santiago will be useful. We try to provide the best information in the most summarized and easy-to-read way as possible.

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