Tourist Trap #2 – Transport
Here is our 2nd blog of the ‘Tourist Traps to Avoid in Santiago’ addition. Discussing the most touristic destinations and offering up an alternative.
Santiago Metro is Latin America’s second largest, which we have to be thankful for when we need to use it. We are for the large part VERY thankful for this godsend. We just want to let you know the downlow of how to use it. Stay away from the metro during peak hours (4:00pm – 7:30pm) but during the middle of the day it’s good to get around. You WILL cross ‘personal space boundaries’ even for Latin American Standards. If you are from a city like New York you’ll find it hard to adapt to the organization of pedestrians around the station, or lack of it. There is no ‘everyone stick to the left side silent rule’. Tickets cost a modest $1 which makes it a cheap and cheerful mode of transport. In summer it can be pretty hot and stuffy but in winter it actually makes a nice break from the cold as you warm up to the local Chileans like little Penguinos. Be sure to keep an eye on your belongings. There is always the possibility of being pickpocketed, although it occurs much less often than many people would think for a Latin American country. Some of the Metro stations are worth visiting because of the art pieces that you can find in stations like la Moneda and Universidad de Chile. Also keep an eye out for what train you’re taking in relation to where it stops. They sometimes have just red and green stops called Ruta Express. Check the metro map and see if you train is green or red and where it stops. SO don’t not take it, just don’t take it in peak times!
Rent yourself a bike. Santiago is Latin America’s most bike friendly city. What is the point in being a tourist and staying underground? You will find great bicycle paths along the Mapocho river for a scenic route. Or head into town on the bike path through the street ‘Martinez de Rozas.’ Or if you’re more of an adventurer get yourself a mountain bike and speed around Cerro San Cristobal. If you are here on a Sunday don’t miss Santiago’s Ciclo Vias. This is when they shut off the main roads of Santiago to cars and the road is given to the bikers (Bladers, skaters + runners). It goes from the depths of Providencia to the other side of town in Yungay. Going through 6 communes in the city covering 33km and holding 30,000 people every Sunday. An experience not to be missed between 9am and 2pm.
Check out our map of Santiago’s cycle paths here.