Bus, Metro, Taxi
So that you arrive all in one piece
Beware of pickpockets on the urban buses (micros) and in the metro. Many times they are well-dressed and practice their art in pairs (one distracts while the other takes your wallet).
For travel on longer bus rides, leave your valuable belongings in your carry-on bag and don’t let it out of your sight. It’s best not to leave your backpack or handbag in the overhead compartment, but stow it under your seat instead. If you leave luggage in the exterior storage, make sure you get a receipt. Only with a receipt can you make a claim in the case of loss, although the transport companies will only reimburse a small amount.
¡Watch out! Sometimes foreigners pay more
Check to see that the taxi meter is working and is within sight. In Santiago, there is a base price of 250 pesos (USD $0.50) plus around 130 pesos for every 200 meters of distance (or per minute while standing). That means that a kilometer is approximately 700 pesos (USD $1.25), while evening/nighttime rates can be double.
For longer distances it’s recommended to first negotiate a fixed price with the driver.
Don’t count on the taxi driver’s sense of direction. Quite often they don’t know how to get to the requested destination. The more instructions you have for getting to the desired place, the better. If the taxi driver seems lost insist that he pause the meter while he finds the way.
When paying, be sure to count the change and don´t leave any valuables in the vehicle.
It’s always safer, especially at night, to call a radio taxi instead of waiting for any taxi on the street corner. Radio taxis are just a little more expensive than „normal taxis“, arrive within 10 minutes and offer more comfortable and modern cars. In case of problems, you can make a claim with the company responsible. See the Yellow Pages under "Taxis".