Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile
|<map lat='-33.5' lng='-70.7' zoom='9' view='0' />|
|State:||Santiago Metropolitan (RM)|
|Major roads:||Ruta 5|
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Santiago is the capital and by far the largest city of Chile.
West towards Valparaíso, Viña del Mar (Ruta 68)
Get to the metro station Pajaritos. From there take a bus J12 to Ciudad de los Valles (you need a Bip! card to use buses, no cash or single tickets). The bus stop is 100m to the left from the metro station. The bus goes along the motorway 68 and there are three service stations on the way not far from each other, first Petrobras, then COPEC and finally Shell. You can get off at Pasarela Pedro Jorquera which is a first bus stop and it's located just after the motorway junction with Vespucio (Santiago Ring). Petrobras is located 600m from the bus stop but it's better to walk for another 1km and get to COPEC. Even though there's not that many trucks there's much more movement of the cars and getting a lift is very easy.
Another option is to hitch just at the beginning of the motorway near the Pajaritos metro station. Walk out of the intermodal onto the Ruta 68, there is space to pull over right at the exit (where the buses pull out). Most traffic leaving Santiago this way goes direct to Valparaiso, a reliable and easy hitch!
South towards Rancagua (Ruta 5)
Go to "San Bernardo" - either by Microbus or by hitchhiking. I hitch hiked there but had to wait 1 hour to get to San Bernardo.
There you will find a bus station next to the Ruta 5. Don't go there. Also don't go to the Ramp. The cars are just locals who won't go far.
BUT: Go to the main road of the Ruta 5. There will be a good spot to wait. The cars go damn fast, but there is space to pull over the car. One hitchhiker waited almost 1 hour to get out. Switching from the ramp to the side and the main road until finally a truck stopped for me.
North, nortwest towards La Serena (Ruta 5)
Go to "Puente Cal y Canto" metro station (2nd line) and find Avenida La Paz, follow this street to La Paz Terminal and from there take a bus with the sign "Panamericana" (800 pesos, if youre lucky - for free). Take a seat in front and search for a spot you like or ask the driver for "lugar para hacer dedo", perhaps he knows. There is for example one on-ramp near big truck station, cars are going about 60 - 70 km/h so its possible to hitchhike, I waited less then 30 min there.
North, northeast towards Los Andes, San Felipe and Mendoza (AR) (Ruta 57)
Take metro linea 2 up to the last station - Vespucio Norte, from there bus B18. Ask the driver to leave you on the road (57) to Los Andes (bus stop: Independencia/Vespucio); most probably he will take you for free. You can hitch from there. Border crossing to Argentina is quite straightforward, however, at least when coming from Chile, many trucks do their paperwork really fast and may not want to wait you. Even though in the middle of nowhere in the mountains, the border is busy so you got good chances to get a ride to Mendoza, Buenos Aires or even Brasil once you get there.
It's a good idea to buy a Bip! card especially if you want to stay in the city for a few days. You don't need it to use the metro but there's no way to move around by buses without the card. You can buy it for example at the metro stations and it costs only 1350 pesos. The minimum top-up is 1000. Of course it works also with metro. The single bus ride costs 590 pesos, There is a possibility of two transfers with an additional cost of up to 80 pesos (depending on the hours). Check TranSantiago website for all the prices and transfers possible. You can use Google Maps as a public transport route planner.