There are some big changes coming to the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, Airport code SCL, or as most people know as Santiago’s International Airport. One of the biggest changes that you will immediately notice is that it’s currently in phase 7 of its master plan of increasing the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers a year by 2020.
A couple of weeks back, Santiago Welcome Point was inaugurated as a space to learn more about visitors coming to Santiago, an interactive survey point as soon as you exit the airport that will be available 24/7. Make sure you check it out! This initiative in Chile is the first of it’s kind and it hopes to understand why visitors are coming to Chile and offer solutions to better guide the tourism industry.
As this welcome point is completely optional to participate in, it’s hope is give a warm welcome to the city before you start stressing about how you’re going to get to your hotel room. Since Santiago is such a metropolitan city, the options are endless. Before making a decision, remember that there is free wifi available around the entire airport.
Taxi is not your only option. Remember that there is free wifi all over the airport so you can plan accordingly. Here are your options:
There are several official taxis available in the airport that will either offer you a flat rate of anywhere between 15.000-22.000 CLP or Have them charge by the meter.
If you’re not in a rush to get to your room, this might provide a best of both world solution to your travel day, especially if your traveling solo. There are several companies at the airport wanting your business and basically offer the same amount anywhere between 7.000-9.000 CLP. Depending on which comuna you want to go to, they will round you up with other travelers headed towards the same direction as you. The driver will leave you at your destination, just 30-60 minutes later. You’re paying more than half the cost of an official taxi. Is that worth it to you?
These public buses run every 15 minutes, every day between 6:00 AM and 11:30 PM and will drop you off at the metro station “Pajaritos” on the Red Line 1 of the Metro of Santiago. Prices range from 1.700 CLP for one way to 3.000 round trip. From this point, you can choose to travel basically anywhere in the city (you must purchase a BIP! To ride the metro, read about that here) or you can choose to take a bus to the popular and beloved cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.
While rideshare apps such as Uber is still illegal in Chile, you may still request a ride from the airport to your final destination. A one-way trip from the airport to a hotel in downtown Santiago will run you approximately 13.000 CLP. Since there is free wifi at the airport, it’s easy to coordinate a pick up with them. Just a heads up, Uber drivers would prefer if you sat up front with them during the ride. It helps them out so the police or taxi drivers can spot them so easily.
This airport is filled with your favorite rental company. This is a great option if you’re immediately going to be starting your amazing road trip through Chile. Check out Skyscanner for the best rental deals.