Santiago On A Budget: The Ultimate Day Trip Guide

Experience Chilean culture without breaking the bank in Santiago.

21 June 2023

A trip to Santiago, Chile can be budget-friendly if you plan ahead. Start by exploring free attractions, such as Cerro San Cristobal or the Plaza de Armas. Save money on delicious Chilean cuisine by dining at local markets or street vendors, and opt for a budget-friendly hostel or Airbnb for accommodations.

Day trip plan

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Day

Exploring Santiago on a Budget

  • Start the day with a traditional Chilean breakfast at Café Haití, known for its flavorful coffee & empanadas.
  • Take a free walking tour to explore the city, passing by landmarks such as Plaza de Armas and La Moneda Palace.
  • Admire the breathtaking views of Santiago from Cerro San Cristóbal, accessed by climbing or taking a funicular for a small fee.
  • Stroll through Barrio Bellavista, known for its vibrant street art and affordable restaurants serving local cuisine.
  • Finish the day with a visit to Mercado Central, where you can sample fresh seafood at one of the many unassuming restaurants.
  • Note: Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as Santiago can get hot and there is a lot of walking involved.

How to get there

Plane

The best way to get to Santiago, Chile by plane is to fly into the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago. Many major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, United, and LATAM offer direct flights from various cities around the world.

Car

If traveling by car, the best way to get to Santiago, Chile is to take the Pan-American Highway that runs through Chile from north to south. Many rental car companies offer car rentals in Santiago or at airports in the city.

Train

There are no trains that go directly to Santiago, Chile as the country does not have an extensive rail network. The closest train station is located in Talca, about 250km south of Santiago.

Boat

There are no boats that go directly to Santiago, Chile as the city is landlocked. However, cruises that travel down the west coast of South America often stop in Valparaiso, a coastal city located 120km west of Santiago that has a major port.

Bus

One of the best ways to get to Santiago, Chile by bus is to take a long-distance bus from major cities in neighboring countries like Buenos Aires, Argentina or Lima, Peru. The bus terminal in Santiago is called Terminal de Buses Pajaritos and has many bus companies that offer routes throughout Chile as well.

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