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Help with tour Santiago to Valparaiso

Help with tour Santiago to Valparaiso

Old Dec 15, 16, 3:42 pm
  #1  
ned
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Help with tour Santiago to Valparaiso

We will be in Chile in early March next year (2017). After spending some time in the Lakes area we will go to Santiago and on to Valparaiso. We would like to take the day we transfer from Santiago to Valparaiso to see some of the country outside the two cities. Touring wineries and tasting are not something we want to do. We live in Santa Barbara, California and drink wine every day. We would like to see the vineyards and country side.

On another site the following was suggested to someone else.

“I know you said no wine country but the area around Santa Cruz in the Colchagua valley (about 2.5 hrs south of Santiago) is also a pleasure to visit for the rolling hills - wildflowers in October - small villages and nice hotels with good food. I don't drink but always enjoy visiting the area. The museum in Santa Cruz is well worth a visit. If you can set up a private car and driver to take you around, the small towns between there and Rancagua in the Cachopoal valley have some wonderful adobe structures, the weavers of the traditional "chamanto" poncho worn by Chilean horsemen in Doñihue and a view of traditional central Chile.”

This sounds like a day trip we would like to do with a slight change. We would depart from our hotel in Santiago and end the day at our hotel in Valparaiso. Can anyone recommend a driver or company that would be appropriate for this outing? Additionally any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Jan 9, 17, 8:06 am
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The Points Guy's site recommended Upscape Tours for seeing the environs of Santiago and the Chilean wine country. Looks like they have a few options. You might try taking a look at what they have to offer:

http://upscapetravel.com/our-destinations/chile/
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Old Jan 10, 17, 7:12 am
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How long do you plan to stay in Valparaiso?
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Old Jan 10, 17, 11:56 am
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I recommend VisitChile.com. I have used them for groups many times and I am always satisfied.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 1:53 pm
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Have you found any good options? My wife and I need to get from Santiago airport to Valparaiso on Saturday March 4th and are considering a little tour along the way.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 3:10 pm
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ned
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
How long do you plan to stay in Valparaiso?
Two nights.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ned View Post
Two nights.
In that case, you might ask your driver to include a quick look at Viña del Mar.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 1:56 pm
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I am highjacking this thread for a related question : I will need to travel in may between SCL and Valparaiso (and return). What are the options available either by coach, minibus or train? Preferably from SCL airport, but ready to consider downtown options if needed. I am not interested by any tour en-route, but just the transportation (I will be by myself, so cost is of course a factor to consider).
SCL airport website is clueless. I have heard about Turbus, but there is no English page on their website...
Any help will be appreciated

Last edited by Goldorak; Jan 15, 17 at 2:10 pm
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Old Jan 15, 17, 6:00 pm
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I've taken Turbus from Santiago to Vina Del Mar. Bus was clean and it was a pleasant enough journey. IIRC, it cost me about $18 USD round trip. I took the Santiago metro to the bus station from my hotel. Worked fine, and about $282 USD cheaper than the driver the hotel wanted to set me up with. Valparaiso will be similar in price. 90 minutes or so to Vina, Valpo will be similar transit time.

One problem will be that there is no metro station at SCL. You will need to use a cab or shuttle to get to the airport from Santiago. But there are always cabs at a hotel. You can always walk or take the metro from the bus station to a convenient hotel.

My Spanish is less than stellar these days so I used google translate to read the bus company's website. And I studied both the Santiago metro map and Google maps. There are two bus stations, both easily accessible by metro once you get away from the airport. I scoped them both out and decided to use the smaller one, less confusion. Only 12 or so berths. Less crowded too. Alameda terminal was a real zoo the day I stopped by. The terminal I used was at the Pajaritos metro station. When you get off the train you will see big signs pointing you to the autobuses. Very easy. And the bus will have the destination on the front.

I was traveling by myself and had no problems. The buses are standard motor coaches with two seats on either side of the aisle. No bathrooms on board. Comfy enough for two hours or less. Not much overhead space (my backpack barely fit) so pack light or prepare to have your bags put under the bus. Seats are assigned when you get your ticket. You will need to keep your stub for the return journey and present it at the ticket window for your return ticket. If you are trying to catch a flight, I'd leave plenty of time as you may have to wait for the next bus on a busy day.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by 466SHH View Post
I've taken Turbus from Santiago to Vina Del Mar. Bus was clean and it was a pleasant enough journey. IIRC, it cost me about $18 USD round trip. I took the Santiago metro to the bus station from my hotel. Worked fine, and about $282 USD cheaper than the driver the hotel wanted to set me up with. Valparaiso will be similar in price. 90 minutes or so to Vina, Valpo will be similar transit time.

One problem will be that there is no metro station at SCL. You will need to use a cab or shuttle to get to the airport from Santiago. But there are always cabs at a hotel. You can always walk or take the metro from the bus station to a convenient hotel.

My Spanish is less than stellar these days so I used google translate to read the bus company's website. And I studied both the Santiago metro map and Google maps. There are two bus stations, both easily accessible by metro once you get away from the airport. I scoped them both out and decided to use the smaller one, less confusion. Only 12 or so berths. Less crowded too. Alameda terminal was a real zoo the day I stopped by. The terminal I used was at the Pajaritos metro station. When you get off the train you will see big signs pointing you to the autobuses. Very easy. And the bus will have the destination on the front.

I was traveling by myself and had no problems. The buses are standard motor coaches with two seats on either side of the aisle. No bathrooms on board. Comfy enough for two hours or less. Not much overhead space (my backpack barely fit) so pack light or prepare to have your bags put under the bus. Seats are assigned when you get your ticket. You will need to keep your stub for the return journey and present it at the ticket window for your return ticket. If you are trying to catch a flight, I'd leave plenty of time as you may have to wait for the next bus on a busy day.
thnak you very much for your detailed post. Much appreciated
is there any need to book in advance or do you just show up at the station and take the 1st service available ?
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Old Jan 16, 17, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
... is there any need to book in advance or do you just show up at the station and take the 1st service available ?
I have just shown up at the station and bought a ticket on the next bus. However, since tickets are sold for assigned seats, I suppose it's possible for that one to be full. Don't know how often that happens. If it does, I suppose they sell you a ticket for the first bus that has an open seat. (Kind of like airplanes that way.)
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Old Jan 16, 17, 11:26 am
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I think I had to wait for the next bus one direction, but I can't recall which. They run fairly frequently, and I wasn't in a hurry since I was not trying to catch a plane or anything. Pretty sure I only waited an hour or less, but that is entirely dependent on the route frequency. You can check the time tables on line and get an idea how far apart the buses are on your planned travel date.

And I just showed up at the terminal to buy my ticket. Did not purchase it in advance. My Spanish is good enough to ask one for ticket, by the window, please. And the word for return ticket is "ida y vuelta" e.g. coming and going. You can write it and the destination city on a piece of paper and give it to the clerk if you are unsure of your Spanish. My experience was that there was usually someone that spoke some English at most service establishments in Santiago. A little more challenging in Valpo and Vina but I managed with my half forgotten high school Spanish just fine.

Google translate is your friend.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:12 pm
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The exception of buying when you get there are during the beginning or end of a long holiday weekend; special events like NYE and the day after Valpo/Viña; peak travel periods like the beginning and end of summer travel crush times - January for Argentinians, February for Chileans, and around the middle of each of those months.

I see the Tur-Bus website supposedly now takes PayPal which may mean foreigners without a valid local ID number can now buy online in advance. Anyone want to experiment and report back?

Ida and Vuelta tickets are slightly discounted from separate one-ways and the return comes without a time or seat number which means you checkin at the counter to get a bus time and seat number. If you will be coming back during a travel crush day, you can get a bus time and seat number first thing when you arrive at your destination.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:21 pm
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Also, do not put anything valuable above your seat. That is where most people get stuff stolen. People have also gotten things stolen from bags stored at their feet or not secured properly. The bus company is not responsible for anything stolen in the passenger cabin.

For stuff checked below, you receive a ticket for that item and need it to retrieve your luggage at your destination.

And always be alert at bus stations and keep anything you do not want going missing literally attached to you. Do not become distracted.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Viajero Perpetuo View Post
Also, do not put anything valuable above your seat. That is where most people get stuff stolen. People have also gotten things stolen from bags stored at their feet or not secured properly. The bus company is not responsible for anything stolen in the passenger cabin.

For stuff checked below, you receive a ticket for that item and need it to retrieve your luggage at your destination.

And always be alert at bus stations and keep anything you do not want going missing literally attached to you. Do not become distracted.
Excellent advice. One reason why I much preferred using the smaller station.
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