Step by Step Guide of Santiago to Valparaiso or Viña Del Mar
How to get from Santiago to Valparaiso or Vina del Mar?
If you are spending some time in Santiago and want to escape the big city life for a day or two then your best bet is the UNESCO world heritage city of Valparaiso. If you have enjoyed wandering the barrio of Bellavista eyes fixated on the thought provoking and beautiful street art then you’ll love Valparaiso.
So I present to you a step by step guide of how to get from Santiago to Valparaiso the cheapest, fastest and most importantly the local way! You should take a metro to the more manageable bus terminal called Pajaritos – just make sure you take the ‘SAN PABLO’ direction. Try to avoid the metro at rush hour (7:30-9am/ 5:30-7pm). Single tickets can be purchased at booths open in all the metro stations, you only need to purchase 1 (between 600-700 pesos) because you can change metros without having to buy another.
Pajaritos is the 2nd last stop on the red line, each stop is clearly announced and there are maps located within the metro, so if you’re like me and constantly feel lost and clueless… this metro system really does make it easy for you ! The bus terminal is found easily just when you leave the Metro station. You can then purchase a bus ticket at one of the counters. Ticket prices can vary but expect to pay between 5,0000/7,0000 peso’s for a single.
There are a choice of different bus companies to take. The major ones being Tur Bus and Pullman Bus. There is not a huge difference in comfort or price, in fact both companies have exceptionally comfy buses because they are designed to be slept in for long trips . Buses tend to be very regular, running at least every 20 minutes so you wont have to plan ahead to much. During summer, long weekends or holidays it is recommended that you purchase your ticket in advance. Most hotels can organise this for you or you can call ahead.
Once you have arrived in Valparaiso’s bus terminal you can take a historic Trolley Bus (called Trole’s by the locals) for only 270 clp. The electric buses run on a loop around the flat section of the city and are the best way to the meeting point of Tours 4 Tipsin Plaza Sotomayor. If you prefer to walk from the bus terminal the trip to Plaza Sotmayor should only take around 30 minutes.
If you are venturing out to Viña Del Mar then the bus makes it’s way here after Valparaiso or you can grab a local bus for no more than 700 pesos. Although Viña Del Mar is only a short distance from Valparaiso the towns couldn’t be more different. Viña Del Mar boasts organised gardens and parks as opposed to a mass jumble of colour and art. The bus terminal is a little distance from the beaches however you can walk along the river making navigation straightforward.
There is a lot to see in Valparaiso making it easy to get lost in the maze of churches, lanes and colourful buildings. Tours 4 Tips offer free tours daily (one at 10am and one at 3pm) giving you an introduction to the city. This is a good way to start you trip offering up some fascinating history, a local perspective and an understanding of the bohemian town. Tours congregate at plaza Sotomayor, in front the large monument. Spot the ‘where’s wally’ tour guide sporting a red and white striped T-shirt and an oh so handsome/ beautiful face!