Transports in Chile

Getting around Chile
Updated 2020-02-27 06:16

Chile has many options for public transportation as the price of gasoline can be quite high and thus, many people don't own cars. Gas prices as of early 2020 were averaging 800-850 CLP per litre or about $4.50 USD per gallon.

Metro in Chile

Behind Mexico City, Santiago has the second most extensive metro system in South America. It is safe, reliable, fast and cheap. It has seven lines and 136 stations and runs from 5 AM to 12 AM. You must purchase a bip card at a minimum of 1,500 CLP and fill it up to 20,000 CLP. Ticket offices are located at all of the stations. Fares run from 670 CLP for low hours and 800 CLP for busy hours. Students and seniors fares are 230 CLP. 

In the "useful links" section below is the website of the bus and metro services of Santiago. It also has maps of the lines and fares and a page to charge up your bip card.

Buses in Chile

Buses, or micros, are also very common. Even those who own cars take buses sometimes because it's just easier and cheaper, especially if you are headed towards Santiago from the far reaches of the country. There are two types of buses in Chile. The first is local buses that go between the towns. All towns have bus stations where schedules and fares are listed. Buses are very reliable and go almost everywhere.

The second type is the cross-country buses. Most cities have overnight buses that leave for Santiago in the evening and arrive in the morning. The sleeper buses have cama and semi-cama seats. The cama seats are bigger and lean back further, more like a bed. The premium 180 recline entirely, and they even offer pillows and blankets. 

Buses have bathrooms and often sell snacks. You can catch a bus from one of the main terminals or walk out to Ruta 5, the main highway that runs from the north to the south with several bus stops along the way. 

In the "useful links" section below is a website that sells tickets for all the cross country bus lines so you can compare fares.

Taxis in Chile

In towns and cities, taxis are very common. In Santiago, very few are regulated, and like in big cities everywhere, there are some drivers looking for tourists to take advantage of so make sure you know the route and approximate fare before getting in one. Taxi rates start at 300 CLP and then 654 CLP every kilometre. Collectivos are taxis that may take more than one passenger going to different places and have a fixed amount, typically 500 CLP.

Uber and similar services, such as Beat and Cabify, are available almost everywhere, but they are not technically legal yet. Even so, these tend to be a preferred mode of transportation. You can pay with a card attached to your account or with cash. 

Whether you take a cab or an Uber, it is wise to have small bills or change to pay the fare. 

Trains in Chile

There is a train service between Santiago and Rancagua, and there is another one that goes from Santiago to Talca before ending in Constitucion or Chillan. 

Renting or buying a car in Chile

Car rentals are another possibility. Major Chilean cities and airports have many rental options. You must be 22 years of age, have an international driver's license if you don't have your Chilean driver's license yet, and you must have a credit card.

The final transportation option while in Chile would be to buy a car. Below are some websites so that you can see the types and prices of vehicles available in Chile. Cars hold their value well here as there are no car manufacturers in Chile, and you are not permitted to import used cars.

 Useful links:

Santiago metro & bus
The Train
Hertz Rentacar
Chile Autos

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.