Santiago, Chile 1 day Travel Tips
Before leaving the airport grab your map of the metro. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to look for a map at the metro station and they are nowhere to be found.
Transportation: From the airport to the city center
From the airport take the Centropuerto bus to the end of the line. You will exit the bus at stop Los Heroes. The bus ride is roughly 1 hour and costs less than $3 USD. Please refer to the link for bus routes, prices and timetable. www.centropuerto.cl
Things to do:
Visit Cerro San Cristobal
Duration: 2-3 hours
Amenities: 2 snack bars, restrooms, & souvenir shop
How to get there:
There are 3 options: funicular train, teleferico (cable car) or walk.
For the funicular train or teleferico (cable car), after your bus ride into the city center you can connect to the metro, which is about a 5 min walk. Take the metro to Baquedano station for the funicular. From there it's a 15 minute walk in the direction of the big mountain.
If you choose to walk from the funicular station to the top of the mountain versus riding the funicular, there is a walking path to the top. This path is to the left of the funicular station and will take any where from 40-50 minutes.
For the teleferico, take the metro to Pedro de Valdivia Station. It's a bit of a walk to get to the teleferico (cable car) but there are plenty of sights to see along the way. For further information you can visit www.telefericosantiago.cl.
For my journey I chose the funicular and chose to walk back down the hill for the return, which was quite the experience. I overheard two ladies speaking to one another in Spanish and they said it was easy to go down the dirt trail. Had I looked at the walking map and saw the person with a walking stick I would have stuck to the paved road...lesson learned!
I highly suggest trying Mote con Huesillo, which is a traditional Chilean drink made from wheat and peaches. Very refreshing.
With the time I had remaining, after getting back down the mountain, I took the metro to the University,where they have several outdoor markets. I found a local street stall, had a pork sandwich and did some people watching. After about 2 hours of walking around the markets I took the Centropuerto back to the airport to complete my day in Santiago.