Car Hire from Santiago Airport
Located in the centre of Chile, Santiago is a great base from which to explore the beautiful region around the country’s capital. The country is full of extremes, from the cold glacial regions in the south to the tropical heat of the north. Around Santiago, the Andes dominate the eastern skyline and offer some great excursions. With car hire from Santiago Airport, you can find a number Chilean gems off the beaten track.
Where to hire a car at Santiago Airport
There is a good selection of car hire companies at Santiago Airport. Alamo, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Econorent and Rosselot all have offices on the first level of the central arrivals hall.
Petrol Stations near Santiago Airport
If you hire a car with a full to full fuel policy you will need to refuel the car before returning it.
For drivers heading towards the coast from Santiago Airport, there’s a Shell petrol station on route 68, around 15 minutes’ drive away. For those travelling to Santiago city or beyond, there are Shell garages both north and southbound on the route 70 ring road around the city. They’re both around 15 minutes away from the airport too.
Driving around Santiago Airport
Santiago Airport provides easy access to the route 70 ring road around Santiago city centre. From route 70 you can pick up route 68, heading east towards Valparaiso, route 57, heading north towards Los Andes and route 5 heading south towards Rancagua.
Roads in Chile are generally in good condition. However, if you’re planning on travelling in the countryside, it may be wise to hire a 4WD.
Getting to your destination
Here are just some of the places it’s easy to get to when you hire a car from Santiago Airport.
As Chile’s cosmopolitan capital, there is lots to see and do in Santiago. The Andes act as a backdrop to the bustling city, which is filled with world class museums, galleries, restaurants and nightlife. Visitors can visit hillside parks, wineries just out of town and some of Santiago’s famous jazz clubs.
It takes just 20 minutes to get from Santiago Airport to Santiago city centre. The most direct route takes you down the Costanera Norte road. The Autopista Central running north to south through the city is a toll road. You can buy a pass for the road from service stations prior to travelling or afterwards.
Rancagua, south of Santiago, is famous for its thermal springs. Visitors can head to Las Termas de Cauquenes for dip in the natural hot spring water. The small city also offers easy access to the Rio Los Cipreses national park, which has hiking trails and guided adventure experiences, and the old mining town of Sewell, the largest copper mine in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rancagua is just 90 minutes’ drive from Santiago Airport. Drivers should take route 70 south from the airport and then pick up route 5. There are two tolls along route 5 which cost a total of $2000 CLP, approximately £2. Once you get to Rancagua, be aware that the central Paseo Independencia is pedestrianised.
Valle Nevado is a winter skiing resort and a summer mountain retreat. It’s the largest ski resort in South America and has runs for both beginners and professionals. There are great après-ski activities and a snow park. During warmer months, hikers and picnickers can take the Mirador chairlift to the top of the peak to enjoy the spectacular views.
It takes around 95 minutes to get from Santiago Airport to Valle Nevado. Drivers can take route 70 north to avoid Santiago city centre. From the other side of the city, it’s winding roads all the way to the mountains. If you’re heading all the way to the ski resort, be aware that it’s a one-way road in places. At weekends, traffic is only open to uphill traffic between 8am and 1pm and to downhill traffic from 4pm to 8pm.