New Intern Advice

What YOU need to know when you get to Santiago for your internship @ La Bicicleta Verde!

You’ve applied, you’ve got accepted, you’re on your way!! SWEET! Here are some ways to help get you settled into your new home in Santiago (& at La Bicicleta Verde ~ your awesome new internship)!

How is Santiago split up?

They’re separated by barrios (neighbourhoods) – HERE is a map of all the main neighbourhoods in Santiago.
A few close by neighbourhoods to the LBV office:

  • Barrio Bellas Artes is the most centrally located neighbourhood in Santiago and you can find most of the museums, markets and high end shops/ restaurants here.
  • Barrio Providencia is known for its bustling nightlife! If you are vegan/vegetarian, this is the place for you.
  • Barrio Patronato is the multicultural hub of Santiago. Here you will find immigrants from countries like South Korea, Israel, Peru and much more. This neighbourhood is also the home of the largest food market in Santiago, La Vega.

*All costs are in USD (The current rate is about $1,000 Chilean Pesos = $1.50 USD)

How do I get around?

  • By Metro – It doesn’t matter where you get on/off the metro, the only thing that determines your price is the hour (more expensive when most people are going/ leaving work). You can buy single tickets OR buy a rechargeable metro card (BIP!) which is highly recommended – Here is a map of where the metro goes
  • By Bus – The bus goes everywhere in Santiago. You can pay by using your BIP! card
  • By Foot – I say if it’s close enough (within 45 minutes), WALK! You get exercise, get to know locals on your commute and you’re able to see the city up close and personal
  • By Bike – Bike rentals from La Bicicleta Verde OR buy a bike depending on the length of your stay (YAY for sustainability)

Where can I stay/live?

Apartments (on average, $300-$400/month however it’s very dependent on location)

  • Roommate & Flat Finder Santiago is a group on Facebook that Chileans post their rooms/ apartments to rent and foreigners/students/ other locals can find a place to stay
  • Finding Shared Apartments (compartodepto.cl) is another page to find roommates & apartments in Santiago
  • Get to the city & explore! Visit apartments with for rent signs (alquilar/arrendar), meet people and see if they have a spare room & discover which neighbourhood is your favourite!
  • Garage Sale Santiago is a Facebook page where people can post items (as well as apartments) that they don’t use anymore

AirBnB ($600/month & up!)

  • If you want a typically centrally located private place however, it might cost you quite a bit of money to do this

For a more detailed blog on where to finding housing in Santiago, click HERE!  

How can I meet people?

Join some of the following Facebook groups (the more pages/events you like in Santiago, the more group & event recommendations you will get):

How do I get from the airport to the city?

TransVip is a shareable bus service (about $12) that takes you directly to your destination in Santiago. They have a stand directly after you exit the Santiago airport. This is the most affordable option otherwise, you can take an Uber or taxi.

Where should I exchange/ get money?

  • To exchange money, go to Calle Agustinas. On this street you can find many stores to exchange with good rates!
  • To get money, go to an ATM. Depending on what country you’re from and what card you have, will determine the fee the ATM will charge you. Do some research beforehand & test out different ATM’s to see which will give you the best deal.

Note: It is very difficult to find an ATM here that doesn’t charge you any fees. Instead, look for the ones with the lowest fee (2.500CLP or less is the best rate that I can find). The banks BBVA & Scotiabank are the ones with the lowest/no fees if you have an international cash card.

What kind of stuff do I need to get settled in?

**How SIM Cards work: If your phone is unlocked (meaning you’re able to take your SIM card out), you can buy a SIM card to replace your native country’s. This will allow you to text, call and use data for much cheaper than using your original SIM card. Ask to add credit on your card and recharge your SIM card when it runs out of credit.

Where can I shop for food?

Grocery Stores

  • Lider – lots of different options & they have a few locations in the Bellas Artes neighbourhood
  • Ekono – limited options however located about a block away from LBV office

Food Markets

  • Tirso de Molina – a mini Vega market located conveniently in front of La Vega which sells fruits, vegetables, cheese and grains. It is small and less overwhelming than La Vega with the same prices
  • La Vega – very large food market selling meat, produce, grains and anything you can think of! It is located in the Patronato neighbourhood – it is hard to miss!
  • Mercado Central – fish market located on the other side of the river from La Vega which has a ton of seafood options for cheap – it was also rated the 5th best market in the world by Nat Geo!

Don’t speak Spanish (or Chilean)? Know these words/phrases!

  • Cachay → Do you understand?
  • No entiendo → I don’t understand
  • No hablo español → I don’t speak Spanish
  • Bacán → Awesome / super cool
  • Dónde está … → Where is … ?
  • Cuánto cuesta → How much does it cost?
  • Claro → Of course

If you’re not confident with your Spanish, we recommend taking classes with Natalislang for 160.000CLP a month. This includes three classes per week. If you’re interested, let a Green Team member know or contact Natalislang directly.

Etiquette in Chile

  • Leave a 10% tip at restaurants (sometimes this is already included in your bill)
  • Tip grocery store baggers (100-500 CLP is good)
  • For women, kiss them on the right cheek when greeting and saying goodbye
  • For men, hugging or a handshake is the equivalent

Get to know Santiago by looking at our map!

Check out our guide to coming to Chile for tips on what to bring and what to expect! Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.