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Chile’s dynamic capital is serviced by Santiago International Airport, one of Latin America’s largest and busiest travel hubs. Each year more than 12 million passengers fly into Santiago from all over the Americas, Europe, Oceania and the Caribbean. Just 11 miles from downtown Santiago, the airport is right off the six-lane Costanera Norte Expressway for easy access all over the capital to those renting a car. Taxis, shared shuttles and buses are other transport options.
Who to Book With
Santiago International Airport is home to seven major car rental firms, including Alamo, Europcar and Hertz. Travellers can find their kiosks on the first level of the Central International Hall’s Arrivals between 06:30 and 22:30 365 days a year.
Need to Know Essentials
To collect your rental car at the airport you need to show the following:,
- A valid driving licence or International Driving Permit
- A valid credit card used for the rental reservation
- A second form of picture ID
- A printed rental confirmation sheet if possible
Driving in the centre of Santiago can be challenging due to one-way streets and major roads that change their flow of traffic during certain hours. But the toll-system expressways are easy to navigate, using an electronic TAG device to pay tolls. Most car rental companies include one with their vehicles. Much of the parking in downtown Santiago is free, but there are official and unofficial parking assistants who will help you find a space and then watch your car for around £1. It’s impossible to avoid these helpers, so just accept their assistance and pay the minor fee. Pay parking garages are also readily available around the capital. Petrol stations are easy to find, and fuel is relatively cheap in Chile. Attendants will pump your petrol and wipe the windscreen then take your credit card or cash for payment.
There are no public transport connections to Santiago International Airport, but travellers have the choice of taxis, shared shuttles and airport buses. Large airport buses are the cheapest option, stopping at several useful spots in the city. Most of the taxis and shuttles are official, so it’s advised to stick with transport that is licensed to work at the airport. Car hire is another popular mode of transport from the airport. Most destinations in the capital can be reached in less than 30 minutes unless rush hour traffic slows things down.
Though there is no direct train service to the airport, CentroPuerto buses run from the terminal to the Los Heroes metro and several other metro stations. From there it’s possible to jump on Santiago’s useful metro system where fares cost around £1 to most destinations.
There are only three official taxi companies licensed to work out of the airport, and it’s advised that travellers use them. Each company has a kiosk in the baggage claim area, where staff will arrange a taxi 24 hours.
Santiago Airport to Santiago city centre is about £20
Santiago Airport to Providencia is about £20
There are two airport express bus companies to choose from. CentroPuerto stops at Estacion Central metro, Los Heroes metro station, Universidad de Santiago metro, Pajaritos and Las Rejas metro between 06:00 and 23:30 daily. The fare is just £2 and buses depart the airport every 10 minutes. TurBus stops at the Universidad de Santiago, Las Rejas, and Pajaritos metro stations between 06:00 and midnight daily. Fares are also around £2 but buses depart the airport every 30 minutes. Transvip is the shuttle company here, offering door-to-door service 24 hours (with reservations) to most hotels for around £10. Bus and shuttle tickets can be arranged in the Arrivals area.
The terminal at Santiago’s airport has four levels. The ground floor handles arrivals, baggage claim and transport services, the second floor is where VIP lounges are located, the third floor is for check-in, departures and amenities while the fourth floor has several restaurants. There is also a Holiday Inn hotel directly connected to the terminal. Over 12 million people pass through the airport each year, mainly from the Americas, Europe and Oceania.
There are three parking categories at the airport’s parking garage that is directly connected to the terminals. The orange Express area is for brief stays, with every 30 minutes costing about £1 and a full day about £14. The covered yellow Techado area is about £1 every 30 minutes and £10 for a full day. The green Economica area is the cheapest, designed for long stays. Rates are about £1 for the first two hours and £9 for 12 to 24 hours and each day thereafter. All parking areas are open 24 hours a day and monitored by CCTV cameras.
Wi-Fi internet access is available inside Santiago’s airport but only from hot spots within the restaurants on the fourth floor. The Wi-Fi is usually free to use.
Two public information desks can be found on the ground floor and third floor of the terminal.
Help desk: +56 2 690 1752
Call centre: +56 2 690 1700
Santiago Airport is equipped to handle the needs of all travellers with reduced mobility. There are designated parking spaces, ramps into the terminal, lifts to all four floors and specially lowered rest room facilities and drinking fountains. Additional assistance can be arranged by contacting the airport help desks upon arrival.
Restaurants and Bars
Travellers have 21 options for eating and drinking in Santiago Airport. Restaurants, snack bars and cocktail bars can be found on both sides of security with a number of sit-down restaurants on the fourth floor like Gatsby, Fritz and La Sebastiana. Gatsby is open 24 hours, offering free Wi-Fi for its customers. Other eateries are typically open from 06:00 to 23:30, daily.
Salon Pacific Club
Salon Pacific VIP Club
Money and ATMs
Afex currency exchange kiosks can be found in the Arrivals and Departures areas of the terminal. There are also banking services available at the same locations.
With more than 70 stores to choose from, travellers can find everything from Chilean products and gifts to reading material and travel sundries. Other shops sell fashion accessories, clothing, music and snacks from both international and Chilean companies. Four duty-free outlets run by Aldeasa can be found in the Departures area near the gates and next to Baggage Claim. Shops are typically open from 06:00 to 23:30, daily.