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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Santiago

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Santiago each year. The main ones are listed below.

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January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

March/April: Easter Monday (celebrated nationwide)

The Resurrection of Christ gives rise to many processions, and baptisms are celebrated on Easter Weekend, the most important moment of the Christian calendar.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

September 18: Independence Day and Armed Forces Day (Fiestas Patrias, national holiday)

Commemoration of the Independence of Chile in 1810, with military parades followed by a huaso rodeo, a Chilean manifestation during which two horsemen compete to catch a young calf.

October 12: Día de la Raza (national holiday)

In recent years, this day has evolved into a celebration of the cultural richness engendered by the mixing of peoples. Parades are held through the streets, as well as singing and dancing.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Santiago

Santiago enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. Winters (from June to September) are relatively mild, occasionally visited by violent rainstorms. Summers (from December to March) tend to be hot and dry.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 12/54 31/88 1/0.04 Not the best period to go
February 12/54 30/86 2/0.08 Not the best period to go
March 10/50 28/82 4/0.16 Not the best period to go
April 7/45 24/75 14/0.55 Good period to go Good period to go
May 5/41 20/68 58/2.28 Good period to go Good period to go
June 4/39 17/63 78/3.07 Good period to go Good period to go
July 2/36 16/61 75/2.95 Not the best period to go
August 4/39 18/64 54/2.13 Not the best period to go
September 5/41 20/68 27/1/06 Not the best period to go
October 7/45 24/75 14/0.55 Good period to go Good period to go
November 9/48 27/81 6/0.24 Good period to go Good period to go
December 11/52 29/84 4/0.16 Good period to go Good period to go
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Arturo-Merino-Benítez International Airport

The International Airport is located about 17 kilometres (11 miles) north-west of the city centre, in Pudahuel.

  • Two terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2

Getting from the airport to Santiago and back: 
  • By car
    • Accessible via Ruta 68 and the Alameda.
    • Short-term parking lot (about CLP 1,148 per ½ hour) and long-term parking lot (CLP 23,000 per day) available at the airport.
    • Several car rental companies have counters on the first floor of the arrivals halls, next to baggage claim.
  • By bus
    • Several private companies offer bus services connecting the airport with the city's residential districts and its historic centre. The trip takes about 45 minutes and fares are about CLP 2,500 each way.
  • By taxi
    •  Official taxis are located at the ranks just outside the airport. The trip to central Santiago costs around CLP 13,000.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: : +56 2 2690 1752
  • Website: http://www.aeropuertosantiago.cl

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GETTING AROUND Santiago

Santiago is a very large city and distances between points of interest are considerable. However, the city has a well-developed, efficient and reliable public transport system. You will never have any difficulty getting around.

By rail

Santiago's Metro is one of the most modern systems of Latin America. At present, there are five lines in operation (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. except on Sunday and holidays (until 10:30 p.m.) Tickets may be purchased from station counters and cost CLP 740 (rush hour) and CLP 610 (off-peak).

By bus

Buses are a convenient and inexpensive solution for getting around Santiago. Santiago's network of city buses (Micros) is of two types: the troncales run only along broad avenues, whereas the smaller alimentadores mainly ply the city's narrower streets. Fares may only be paid by swiping a rechargeable Tarjeta Bip! card on the bus. These cards, priced at CLP 1,500, may be purchased at any Metro station or at the Bip centres located throughout the city, and can also be used on Santiago's Metro. Unlike the Metro, the travel credit needed for a single bus fare is between CLP 500-700. It is worth noting that one Tarjeta Bip! card may be used by several people in succession.

By taxi

Taxis are a convenient mode of transport in Santiago. Metered taxis are black with yellow roofs and have orange plates. The initial charge is about CLP 250, then CLP 90 for every 200 yards.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Santiago, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Servicio Nacional de Turismo

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

Oficinas de Información Turística (OITs)

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • OIT Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez: Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (International arrivals hall, open daily 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Santiago has an excellent health care system, but costs are high. It is therefore recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Chile.
However, the following vaccines are recommended:

  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio
  • typhoid, hepatitis A and B
  • For longer stays, it is recommended to get vaccinated against rabies.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

It is recommended to:

avoid eating uncooked food,

avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables on markets.

Water

It is recommended to drink bottled water in Santiago.

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Administrative formalities

With the exception of Peruvian and Bolivian citizens, who need only be in possession of a national identity card to enter Chile, travellers from all other countries intending to stay in Chile for more than three months must obtain a visa and their passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival.

For further information, visit the website of Chile’s Aliens and Migration Department: http://www.extranjeria.gob.cl

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Santiago, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Spanish phrases that will make your stay in Santiago a little easier:

Good day / Good morning: ¡Buenos días!

Good afternoon / Good evening: ¡Buenas tardes!

Good evening / Good night: Buenas noches

Good-bye: Adiós. See you (later): ¡Hasta luego!

Yes:

No: No

No, thank you: No, gracias

Thank you very much: Muchas gracias

I don't understand: No entiendo

Could you repeat that?: ¿Puede repetir?

Please: Por favor

What time is it?: ¿Que hora es?

Excuse me: Disculpe (to say sorry) / Con permiso (to get past) / ¡Por favor! (to get attention).

Airport: Aeropuerto

Train station: Estación de trenes

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Banco

Telephone: Teléfono

I'm (…): Yo soy (…).

I'm looking for (…): Estoy buscando (…).

How much is it?: ¿Cuánto es?

Do you have (…)?: ¿Tiene (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: ¿Dónde puedo encontrar (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: ¿Dónde puedo comprar (…)?

I'd like (…): Quisiera (…).

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Good to know

00 56
+ phone number
-4 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Santiago, it is customary to leave a 10% tip in restaurants, unless a service charge is included in the bill. Although US dollars are commonly seen in Chile, it is preferable to offer the tip in Chilean pesos.