The main access by plane is through the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez Airport in Santiago but there are another six international airports located in the cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Easter Island, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.
If you are staying in Santiago more than a few days then it is worth getting a Bip! card at any subway station. This radio-frequency card works for both subway and bus. With this card, you pay the first use and allows free-charge for a total of 3 times including the first use, for a 2-hour period if you take up to 3 different buses without the subway.
Santiago has a metro system with five lines and 94 stations, with many holding rotating art exhibitions. Trains run between roughly 6.00am and 11.00pm, with each station posting the exact hours for the first and last trains. Buses run parallel to subway lines after hours. During peak hours, the trains are usually very packed with passengers, so that new passengers have to wait for the next train or try getting on the train with a little more insistence. Traveling with a lot of luggage during peak hours on public transports is generally not recommended.
Buses are mostly modern and run around the clock on the main lines. The only way to pay your fare is by Bip!-card. You can buy this card and charge it in any metro station or in some stores.
Renting a car is also a good option if you want to get around Santiago and its surroundings.
Travelling around Chile is easy, comfortable and, compared with Europe or North America, inexpensive. Most Chileans travel by bus, and it’s such a reliable, affordable option that you’ll probably do likewise. However, internal flights are handy for covering long distances in a hurry. The country has a good road network, and driving is a quick, relatively stress-free way of getting around. Chile’s rail network has fallen into decline and only limited services are available. South of Puerto Montt, ferry services provide a slow but scenic way of travelling as far as Puerto Natales.
You must have a valid passport to enter Chile. It must be in good condition and valid for six months beyond your stay.
Nationals from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, and most European Union nations DO NOT REQUIRE a visa to enter Chile and can stay up to 90 days. Australians are required to pay a reciprocity fee (US$117, paid at the airport). It is your responsibility to check if you require a visa. Please check with your local embassy/consulate if you are unsure.
You can download a visa letter of invitation when you register. You will need to provide your passport number and country of issue. Please note you must be registered and have paid in full for the event before you can download the letter.
Santiago de Chile is a beautiful city and a safe place to visit. Just like in every other major city in the world, you must look after your bags and suitcases to avoid theft and have a safe experience in Chile.
Emergency phone numbers:
- Police: 133
- Ambulance: 131
- Fire fighters: 132
The Chilean currency is the Peso, with coins equal to 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos and notes of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos.
In the many cities of the country it is relatively easy to find ATMs that provide local currency. At the same time, most of the established stores allow paying with international bank cards. Although some shops in Chile accept Dollars and Euros, it’s better to get Chilean Pesos always in official currency exchange offices as the exchange rate will be better.
Calculate your currency conversion here.
Plug and sockets
Chile uses a voltage of 220 Volt 50Hz, plug type L (three pins) or C (two pins). You may require an adaptor depending on the country you are coming from.
Taxi services from Santiago International Airport
A pre-booked service will normally include your name board displayed just outside the baggage claim area with the logo of the event. The cost of this service is approximately USD 50-55 for a one-way journey into the Vitacura area where Casa Piedra (the conference venue) is located.
If you have not pre-booked a transfer, the two recommended (and official) taxi service companies located at the airport are:
A one way journey to a single address: USD 45-47 per Van (up to 7 passengers)
A one way shared journey to multiple addresses: USD 12-14 per passenger (up to 7 passengers)
The time zone in Santiago is GMT minus 3 hours in summer, GMT minus 4 hours in winter.