Have you booked a cruise leaving from Santiago, Chile? Here is how to get from Santiago to San Antonio cruise port.
I cruised from San Antonio on a Holland America Line South America/Antarctica cruise. You can read my review of the cruise here if you are interested.
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Where Do Cruise Ships Leave From in Santiago, Chile
Before you book your transfer from Santiago to San Antonio, you first need to be SURE that your cruise is leaving from that port.
Traditionally, cruises leave from the larger city of Valparaiso, around an hour to the north of San Antonio.
In recent years, Valparaiso port has become busier, and there is no longer room for all of the cruise ships, so they have also started to stop in San Antonio.
A few people on my cruise assumed they were leaving from Valparaiso and had booked the wrong accommodation or transfers, so check your details carefully to be sure you are at the correct port.
How to Get From Santiago to San Antonio Cruise Port
There are a number of ways to get to San Antonio. They all have their pros and cons and won’t suit everyone.
It’s more than 100km between San Antonio and Santiago and will take between one and two hours, depending on the chosen method.
Book a Transfer with Your Cruise Company
Pros: Organised by the cruise company so any changes in the ship's schedule are automatically taken care of; leaves from the airport or hotel recommended by the cruise line Cons: Not convenient if you are staying elsewhere in Santiago; a more expensive option. Best for: People booking their cruise as a package through the cruise line, including flights, accommodation, transfers and cruise.
Most cruise lines will organise everything for you – your flights, accommodation and transfers, as well as the cruise.
This is great if you want no hassles, everything to be taken care of, and guarantees if things go wrong.
We had an issue with our cruise ship arriving in port on the first day, and those who had booked everything through HAL had them sorting out all the details rather than doing it themselves.
Really, it was a bigger issue for those disembarking who were going to miss their flights home rather than our group who were getting on.
There is a price to pay for this convenience though, and this is probably the most expensive of the options available.
Private Transfer from Santiago to San Antonio
Pros: Will pick up and drop off exactly when and where you want them to. No manhandling luggage to meet a tour or from a bus stop to the port, you can be dropped right there. Cons: You pay for the privilege of that convenience. Best for: Those just wanting to be picked up from their hotel/airport on their schedule and dropped off directly at the port.
This is a good option if you are arriving at the Santiago Airport on the day or your embarkation and want to get to the cruise terminal without too much fuss.
Book a transfer in advance and you will have a person waiting for you at Arrivals with your name on a sign. You will be taken straight to your own car to start the 90-minute drive to San Antonio.
This may be a slightly more expensive option, but if you are tight on time, paying for peace of mind is often worth it.
Private transfers are also good if you are just getting off a long international flight and do not want to deal with navigating a new country with little sleep.
Transfer from Santiago with Sightseeing
Pros: You get to see a little of Chile along the way Cons: Tend to be group tours (although there are private options) that run to a set schedule Best for: Those with a little extra time for the transfer
I looked at this option closely for my own transfer, but we chose to make our way straight to San Antonio as soon as we flew into Chile rather than stay overnight in Santiago.
We could have done this on the day of our embarkation though if we had stayed in Santiago, as we were not scheduled to check in until 3:40pm.
There are a whole range of tours that will pick you up in Santiago, take you to various attractions along the way and then drop you off directly at the cruise terminal.
Your luggage will be safely stored while you get to enjoy some wine tasting or a Santiago or Valparaiso city tour.
Taxi from Santiago to San Antonio
Pros: The fastest way to get to San Antonio from Santiago; will pick you up from wherever you are; does not need to be pre-booked. Cheaper than private transfers Cons: You need to find a taxi; price is not set Best for: Those with a mid-range budget
It is possible to get a taxi from Santiago to San Antonio. I did not try this option and did not use taxis while I was in Santiago, so I cannot comment much other than to say it is possible.
I’ve looked at some of the taxi websites and have not been able to get a quote, but Rome2Rio suggests that a taxi between the two cities costs around $90-110 USD ($140-170AUD)
Uber from Santiago to San Antonio
Pros: Prepaid and booked on the app so you know how much you are paying in advance, cheaper than a transfer; payment is made through the app Cons: The risk of surge-pricing Best for: Those with a mid-range budget; those wanting price certainty; regular Uber users.
Instead of taxis, I used Uber to get around in Santiago when we returned here after our cruise. I found them to be easy to use, reliable, and I could pay through the app (unlike in Argentina where we still had to pay cash).
Uber gives me an estimate of around 60,000CLP which works out to be around $65USD or $105AUD.
As usual, you will need to watch out for surge pricing, but this could be a very good middle-of-the-range option.
Bus from Santiago to San Antonio Chile
Pros: Very cheap Cons: Will need to navigate Spanish speakers; slower than other methods; will need to manoeuvre your own luggage Best for: Budget travellers, those prepared for a little inconvenience, those who enjoy travelling the local way
As a budget traveller, this is the way we got from Santiago Airport to San Antonio.
We arrived in Santiago around 2 pm and had the rest of the day to make our way to San Antonio. I had researched beforehand so knew basically what we needed to do.
The first step was to get cash to pay for the bus tickets. We took Chilean pesos out of the ATM at the airport (I don’t usually get local currency before arrival).
Bus from Santiago Airport to Santiago Alameda Bus Station
The video below will give you an idea of the type of bus to look out for.
I’ll include this first leg of the trip, even though some people won’t need it.
This bus is very easy to find as it is almost directly outside of the airport doors. There are two companies that run the buses, we used Turbus.
The bright green coaches are hard to miss. There will be a staff member nearby who will sell you a ticket. Do not expect a lot of English to be spoken, but you will soon discover that is standard here.
There are different prices for different stops on the route, just say you are going to Alameda. You will need to pay for your ticket in cash, which costs 1800CLP ($2USD or $3AUD, last checked Nov 2023).
Your suitcase will be stored under the bus for the trip, so no need to lug it onto the bus with you.
The bus runs every 10-15 minutes from 5:30 am until midnight every day and takes about 25 minutes to get to Alameda.
There is also an option on the site to book tickets, but I have not used this myself. Let me know if you try it and it all works okay.
You can book your ticket for a certain date and use it for any bus on that day. That’s a great option when you don’t know if your flight will be delayed or if customs will take a long time.
Bus from Santiago Alameda Bus Station to San Antonio
Find Alameda Bus Station by searching for “Terminal Alameda Santiago” on Google Maps. The full address is: Av Alameda Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 3750, 9170234 Santiago
Jump off the Turbus and make your way into the chaos of one of Santiago’s main bus stations. You are looking for the ticket windows for the Pullman buses.
If it’s anything like the day we were there, look for the big long line out the back door – that’s the one you will have to join.
When you get to the window, ask for tickets on the next bus to San Antonio. The buses run every twenty minutes or so. Again, do not expect any English here. The staff were very helpful though.
The next bus was full, so we got tickets for the one after that. It was around a thirty-minute wait.
You will be given set seats for the bus, so make sure you take note of them and sit in the right spot. Again, your luggage will be stored underneath the bus.
The seats are large and comfy, so sit back and enjoy the ride, which should take around 1 hr 40 minutes.
You can book these tickets online in advance if you would like to, but you run the risk of missing the bus if your plane is late, or spending a long time waiting in a place with very limited seating.
If you are not coming from the airport, then this is a good option as you will be able to get a taxi/Uber to Alameda in time for your set bus ticket.
The tickets are 5980CLP ($7USD or $10AUD) as of November 2023.
Arriving in San Antonio
The bus arrives at the Barracas station located at Angamos 1464, San Antonio, Región de Valparaíso, Chile (search on Google Maps for “Bus Terminal San Antonio”).
If you are making your way straight to the cruise ship, it is a short 5-10 minute walk to the entrance. (You then walk almost the same distance back to get to the cruise building 😂)
Note: this area of San Antonio is industrial and a little sketchy. I didn’t have an issue walking around but do stay aware of your surroundings.
Accommodation in San Antonio
If you would like to arrive in San Antonio before your cruise embarkation day like I did, then there really is only one place in town to stay, and that’s at the Hotel Casino San Antonio by Enjoy.
It’s not five-star, but it is comfortable. Breakfast is included and the best part is there is a view over the port from the rooms so you can see your boat arrive.
It’s about a 15-minute walk from the hotel to the terminal for embarkation, but the hotel had a shuttle doing the trips back and forth. There were also taxis available.
Staying in Santiago? Try one of these tours
Before you go….
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