GUIDE FOR COMING TO CHILE 2017: PART 3

III. Upon arrival: 0 to go!

CHI-CHI-CHI-LE-LE-LE, Viva Chile! Awesome, you made it! All that preparation and planning is now over and it’s time to concentrate on the best part of it all; the destination. Well, after just one final thing: First, you will have to make through immigration, possibly pay a reciprocity tax ($US61 for Australians, $US23 for Mexicans), go through International Police (PDI), baggage claim, Chilean agricultural and food control (SAG) and customs. Upon your arrival, usually on board a plane, cruise ship or bus, you will be given two forms to fill in: one is for the Tourist Visa and is really important, the other is the customs declaration. Both forms have clear instructions in English and Spanish. In case you’re not sure whether you’re carrying declarable products, play it safe and declare them. Once you receive your tarjeta de turismo, or tourist card, at the PDI, make sure not to lose it as you will need it upon leaving Chile.

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From the airport to the city:

Next in line is arranging transportation to your accommodation.
Going to Valparaíso? If you want to save some bucks, the best way is to take a Centropuerto bus (CLP2000 or $US3-4) to Pajaritos, a bus and subway terminal in the west side of the city. The buses leave the airport every 10 minutes. Buses to Valparaíso leave several times an hour. Other options are taxi and Uber, of which the latter is our recommendation, as you have your driver’s and the vehicle’s information in addition to an estimation of cost.
Prefer private? We can arrange private transportation for you.
Staying in Santiago? The most affordable option is to take a Centropuerto bus to Pajaritos, where you can buy a single ticket to the subway (around $US1 or CLP650). The underground railway network covers a big part of the city, so the chances are, you will get pretty close to your hotel, hostel, AirBnB or wherever you’re staying. If you’d rather get a transportation directly to your accommodation, you can grab a cab or order an uber from the airport, which costs around CLP20.000 or $US30.
Prefer private? We recommend a company called TransVIP. You can choose from an executive taxi for 3 people, an exclusive transfer for groups bigger than 4 people or a shared transfer in a minibus. Prices vary between $US10 (CLP7.000) and $US40 (27.000) and the trip takes about 1h40min

Arriving at your accommodation:

If you’ve landed early in the morning and arrive at your hotel, hostel or AirBnb before check-in time (usually between 1PM and 2PM), you can ask for early check-in, which is sometimes possible if your room is ready. If it’s not, ask if you can leave your luggage in the baggage storage. Most hotels, hostels and apartment hotels have a safe place to store travellers’ belongings, just make sure only staff have access to the room.

If you’re coming straight for a Santiago or Valparaíso walking or biking tour, you can also leave your luggage at our office.

What to do in the meantime?

So it’s 8am and your check-in is at 2pm. What now? Enjoy an early morning coffee, get to know your new neighbourhood or join one of the morning tours. Or just pop by at our Santiago office to have a chat and get some recommendations.