Heading to Santiago for 2 nights

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Heading to Santiago for 2 nights

Santiago de Chile. We are almost at the end of our journey in Chile. Our trip through this fantastic country started in Bolivia, when we drove all the way down from Uyuni to Atacama by jeep.


After 2 nights in Atacama we are ready to hit the road again.



Almost missed our flight to Santiago de Chile

But of course there’s a story, and this time it was that we almost missed our flight. It wasn’t because we recklessly left our hostel late, but rather because the transfer company – Licancabur – almost screwed up our trip.

Our flight to Santiago de Chile was at 4pm meaning we should’ve been at the airport at 3:20pm at the latest, and the journey from San Pedro de Atacama to the airport in Calama (the nearest one) takes about 1 hour, or 1½ tops. So we thought: “let’s leave at 1pm”, to allow 2 hours …

1:15pm and nothing from the transfer company. Luckily, the agency where we purchased the tickets was located less than 50m from our hostel. I did not hesitate and went there to confirm the bus was coming. They called the transfer company and told me that there was a delay, but that even so, there would be plenty of time to get to the airport.


1:30 and nothing … 1:40 and nothing. The bus arrived at 1:45pm!!! That meant we had just over an hour before our flight. And worse, the driver still had 4 pickups before hitting the road to the airport. The math was failing us. I was even thinking about what to do next: book the same hostel for one more night or try to catch the next flight from Calama.

But the driver was fast with the other pickups, and at around 2pm we were on the road (San Pedro de Atacama is a small village, so everything is very close).


When we thought everything was ok, and after about 30 minutes’ travel, the bus’s engine (which was very old by the by …) was failing because it was overheating. The driver had to stop the bus and asked everyone to donate their water bottles so he could fix it.


It took some time until he could turn on the engine again (and he nearly burned his hand from the heat and vapour), but it worked. We were stopped for about 10 minutes, and every minute was crucial. Licancabur probably called the airport to inform them that there were about 10 passengers for the 4pm flight on the bus, and that we would be late. I say that because we reached the airport at 3:40pm and everyone had time to check in. The ladies at the check-in desk for our airline (Sky Airlines) were extremely efficient and everyone was ready to go in just few minutes.

It was a relief as we didn’t want to miss another day – our South American tour was almost at its end.

And at last, Santiago de Chile!

We arrived in Santiago and had about two nights (one full day, one evening and one morning) to enjoy this beautiful city. At least half a day was for Noah, as we took the funicular up the hill to see the Virgen, and stopped at the zoo on the way.

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We spent the other half day visiting the city, especially the city center, and a few hours chatting with our host and touring the facilities at our hotel – Castillo Rojo Boutique Hotel.






It was a short but valuable trip to Santiago de Chile, and just like in San Pedro de Atacama we need to come back again in the future and explore this beautiful capital some more.

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Next stop, Buenos Aires!


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