24 Hours in Santiago
Our top tips for how best to spend 24 hours in Santiago de Chile
Now that you’ve booked your mountain bike tour in Chile with us you need to begin planning your travel to Santiago, and the start point of your South American adventure.
We always recommend that you arrive at least one day before your adventure begins to allow for any travel or luggage delays. It’s also good to acclimatise to local time and recover from your journey before you start turning the pedals.
To help you make the most of your extra time in the Chilean capital, we’ve pooled our collective local knowledge to create this handy city guide for how best to spend 24 hours in Santiago before you set off on your fantastic mountain bike tour in Chile + Patagonia.
To kick off your 24 hours in Santiago and get your blood flowing, from your base in Providencia, you should take a walk around the Parque Metropolitano, and its beautiful botanical gardens. There are hiking and biking trails up Cerro San Cristobal hill, but if you’re still working off the jet-lag you can take the funicular tramway (el teleférico) to the top of the hill, and admire the incredible views (smog allowing) across the city.
You can even enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the restaurants at the top of Cerro San Cristobal.
In the afternoon, as temperatures are rising, you can get your culture fix with a visit to the newly-restored Museum of Pre-Columbian Arts. Located in the heart of historic Santiago the museum is filled with indigenous artefacts, like Mapuche totems, Inca pottery and the Chinchorro mummies, which are 2,000 years older than the mummies of Egypt.
A quick stop back at your hotel and then it’s out on the town for food and some local nightlife.
The artistic district of Barrio Lastarria is a great place to explore in the evening, and for excellent Chilean food and wine pairing head to Santiago’s most beloved wine bar, Bocanáriz. If you still have the energy for more, you can try the famous Pisco Sour at Chipe Libre. But, be warned, these things are small but powerful!
5 Local Phrases
‘Cachai?’ ; Much-used Chilean slang, meaning ‘you know?”
‘Buenos días’; ‘Good morning’
‘Mucho gusto’; ‘Nice to meet you’
‘Buena onda’; ‘Very cool’, for example, ‘Cristián es bien buena onda, cachai?’
‘Muchas gracias’ ; ‘Thanks very much’
Like any large city, Santiago has a great mix of hotels dotted around the city centre.
Here are two great options;
Santiago Transport Links
The main international airport for Santiago de Chile is Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benitez, located around 40km northwest of downtown Santiago.
To get from the airport into the city there are two main bus services:
TurBus Aeropuerto, stopping at: Metro Las Rejas, Terminal Alameda – Metro Universidad de Santiago, Terminal Pajaritos, Terminal San Borja – Metro Estación Central.
Bus Centropuerto, stopping at: Metro Estación Los Héroes, Metro Estación Estación Central, Metro Estación Universidad de Santiago, Metro Estación Las Rejas, Metro Estación Pajaritos.
From these stops you can connect via metro to anywhere in the city.