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12 Hours in Santiago

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Hello again everyone! Gerrod here to fill you in on how we spent our 12 hour “layover” in Santiago, Chile. If you have been keeping up with our posts you may recall that we had a stop over in Santiago between very long bus rides through Chile that I had mentioned. This post will give you an idea of some things to do in Santiago if you only have about 12 hours.

Arrival and Planning

We arrived to the terminal just before 7am, and the first thing we needed to do was buy tickets for our next bus. There were several “self-serve” machines to buy bus tickets, so we attempted to use one. As it turns out all of the machines were all partially broken, so we headed over to the ticket counter where there were several people in line. We purchased tickets for 9:50 pm that night, and looked for a place to store our bags.

After asking for directions and wandering through the basement of the terminal, we found the luggage storage desk where we were able to store our luggage for 10,000 pesos which was about 15 USD at the time.

Next we walked to Estación Central which was where Google Maps had listed an open Starbucks. We took some time to drink coffee, have a snack, and plan accommodations at Puerto Montt for our arrival the next day. After some time talking over what we would do for the rest of the day and some of the rest of our trip, we walked over to a breakfast looking place next door called Melba. It seemed like a chain from an English nation like New Zealand perhaps, but wherever it was from it was tasty and filling.

Lauren and our filling breakfast

Seeing Some Sights

In order to stretch our legs we decided to walk to Plaza de Armas. It was not the shortest walk, but after 22 hours on a bus it felt great. We walked by so many shops and street vendors who were all having Black Friday deals, so everywhere we walked was very busy.

Cafes in Plaza de Armas

After arriving in Plaza de Armas we took some time to take in the sights and take pictures. Some time passed and we decided to head back towards the station. Our walk near the plaza seemed like a very nice part of town, as the roads were mostly closed for pedestrians and there were cafes and shops everywhere. As we neared the station we decided to stock up on snacks and water for the upcoming bus ride.

Crazy head statue in Plaza de Armas

Killing Time

Once we got closer to the bus station, Terminal de Buses Sur - Santiago, we decided to stop in a shopping mall/movie theater that we had walked by earlier that morning. We went to the food court of Mallplaza Alameda. It took time to find the food in the mall because it was 5 stories and gigantic. After weighing our many food options, several of which were US chains, we decided to try a place called Pollo Box.

Ordering food here was very interesting for one particular reason - half of the words were in English. This actually happened at Starbucks as well. In both cases we just got stares after ordering the items like “pollo box” even though in Spanish it should be “pollo caja” or something of that nature. Not sure why you would list an item that way if your employees are not going to understand what the order is, but after some pointing and repetition we finally got some food.

As we still had a few hours to kill we decided to watch the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. I had to order the snacks and drinks with the ticket, and we got a nice Bohemian Rhapsody tumbler thanks to a promotion that was currently in effect.

At the movies watching Bohemian Rhapsody

After the movie we had only a little more time to kill, so we decided to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. Since I had just left my headphones on the last bus and Lauren’s most recent replacement pair sounded terrible, we stopped in a cell phone store and bought some very nice earbuds for ourselves.

After preparing ourselves with some more Starbucks we headed back to the bus station. Stay tuned for our time in Puerto Montt and our crazy adventure and mishaps trying to bus our way out of Chile.


Gerrod (and Lauren)