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)
Línea 3 of the Santiago Metro opened in January of 2019, its northern terminus Los Libertadores being just west of where Avenida Independencia becomes Ruta 57, which heads north to Los Andes and the border. It had previously been recommended that hitchers bus to this point to hitch here.
Even then, that was not the best option, as the interchange of the peripheral ring road Ruta 70 and Avenida Independencia/Ruta 57 is busy and complicated, with traffic moving fast and there being few spots for it to stop. The arrangement of the interchange from Ruta 70 to Ruta 57 is such that there is no spot to stand where that traffic will pass you. Ruta 57 begins there as limited access, with traffic from Ruta 70 entering in two lanes to the left of lanes entering north from Avenida Independencia and west from the parallel access road of Ruta 70 and nearby neighbourhoods. That traffic is much lighter than the traffic entering from Ruta 57, but if you do feel called to hitch at this point there is a small, wanting spot where Calle Real Audiencia and the very end of Avenida Independencia intersect, a small strip of striped pavement giving space for a car to stop.
The better option is to get a bus going to the northern exurb of Colina. They previously left from the northern terminus of the Metro's Línea 2, Vespucio Norte Station; this may no longer be the case with Línea 3 opening and Los Libertadores Station being better located as a hub for such departures [please confirm!]. You could also previously flag down some buses at the junction of Independencia and Ruta 57 noted above. On the way to Colina the bus will pass a COPEC gas station to your left (it sprouts up between the north- and southbound lanes) and then a couple of hundred meters ahead of that a tollbooth (Peaje Las Canteras).
Neither is ideal: there is nowhere to pull over at the tollbooth (as of November 2018 the Googlemaps Streetview appearing to show such a space is out of date) while the traffic at the COPEC is relatively light, the station sees limited numbers of truck stopping, and the traffic on Ruta 57 itself is flying past and the further lane will have difficulty getting to you standing at the station. That said, you will get a ride at either before long. Bus fare to Colina is approximately 1000 pesos (November 2018), but explain where you're going and you may well get taken for free.
If from there you're offered a ride to San Felipe or Los Andes, beware! Neither are particularly good spots to be when heading to Mendoza. From San Felipe you'll need to pass through Los Andes, which spreads out over a wide area, and both are some distance west of the customs facility for trucks going to Argentina. The split in the highway to the south of Los Andes, where it heads northwest to San Felipe and northeast to the customs facility and Mendoza, is isolated and with fast-moving traffic. Instead, ask to be dropped at the next tollbooth (Peaje Chacabuco on Googlemaps, though locals I rode with had another name for it). It's about 10km south of where Ruta 57 splits south of Los Andes, away from any local Santiago traffic and with ample space for cars to pull over; a much better spot than Peaje Las Canteras or the COPEC station.
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.