When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Santiago Chile?
If you’re looking for some cheap flights to Santiago, you should consider travelling in the shoulder season, from May to June and from September to October. Airfares on return flights tend to drop on either side of the busy summer season. So, if you’re working to a budget, this is the ideal time. Plus, you’ll still get great weather, just with fewer tourists.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Santiago Chile?
For a long-haul journey like this, it’s best to book your flights to Santiago well in advance. Although deals on last-minute flights can become available, savings are never guaranteed. Consider booking three to four months prior to departure and compare prices across several weeks to ensure the best rates. Being flexible with your travel dates it essential for getting the best offer.
Flying to Santiago Airport (SCL)
Santiago Airport, also known as Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL), is Chile’s main international airport, serving the capital and surrounding locales. It is located 15 kilometres from downtown Santiago. Currently, the only direct flights are from London Heathrow with British Airways. They run three times per week, on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Direct flights are the fastest option for travelling to Chile, clocking in at between 11.5 and 13.5 hours, but they can be considerably more expensive than choosing an indirect service. Indirect flights to Santiago run from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. However, departing from London will give you much more flexibility with dates for your return flights. You can expect to have a wide range of airlines to choose from, with routes being operating by carriers like Iberia, KLM, Air France, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Santiago Airport (SCL) is a single terminal airport spread over four levels and can handle over 17 million passengers each year. With the numbers of passengers increasing each year, plans are in motion to build a new terminal that will open in 2020. Arrivals, baggage reclaim and transport services are on the ground floor. Check-in, security and departures are on the second floor. The airport benefits from many services, such a selection of duty-free shopping, restaurants and cafes. VIP lounges are located on the first floor.
Getting to the City from Santiago Airport (SCL)
Once disembarked from your Santiago flights, head to the Arrivals Hall, where you’ll find many different transport services. TurBus Aeropuerto and Centropuerto are the two bus companies serving the airport. They run to many different areas around the city. Alternatively, you can get a taxi to your accommodation. Black and yellow cabs are the regular, metered taxis and the blue ones are the special, prepaid ‘tourist’ taxis with set prices. You can also pre-book your taxi if needed.
Why visit Santiago Chile?
A good starting point on any trip to the Chilean capital is the Plaza de Armas. Lined with palm trees, this is the historical centre of the city and is surrounded by beautiful buildings, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, with its neoclassical design and intricately designed frescos (a type of mural painting). Wandering the Cerro San Cristobal is a must for any visitor to Santiago. This park features a charming walk up to its summit, a Japanese-style garden and even a couple of outdoor swimming pools.
Given that Santiago is surrounded by the stunning Andes Mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to explore these iconic peaks. There are plenty of ski resorts for those of you wanting to hit the slopes, and you can reach the snow-capped mountains in around an hour from the city, making it ideal for slotting in as a day trip or an overnight experience. Or, book a tour or hike and get ready for some amazing scenery.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
For visits lasting up to 90 days for the purposes of tourism, you do not need a visa to enter Chile, which is a perfect situation for finding last-minute flights. You will be given a Tourist Card that you must retain for your departure. Your passport only has to be valid for the duration of your visit, and no further period of validity is necessary. It may be better to withdraw funds from local ATMs or banks while there.