Protected by the towering peaks of the Andes, Santiago is a sprawling capital city rich in history, culture and national pride. The city is now a thriving cultural haven that is one of the most visited sites in Latin America. With museums boasting walls of priceless artwork, nightclubs blasting the best dance music until the wee hours of the morning and restaurants serving up heaping portions of humitas (sweet corn cakes) it’s no wonder that Santiago flights are filling up fast with visitors looking to get the most out of their vacation.
Santiago is ideal as a jumping off point for further travel within Chile and throughout South America as well. Visit Santiago for a vacation in this urban oasis complete with the majestic sight of the Andes in the distance or venture off to the nearby port town of Valparaíso for a dream-like seaside stay. Santiago is a metropolis that embraces its rich history as well as the youthful energy of its inhabitants. Colonial buildings and magnificent churches are just as prevalent as bungalows covered in sprawling graffiti murals and street fairs, and it’s this mix of pride and ingenuity that keeps visitors entertained all year round.
Summers (December to February) in Santiago are sweltering. The city’s location in the middle of a valley means that pollution and humidity tend to settle over Santiago and temperatures can reach as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Though the sun can be brutal in the summer time, this is still the busiest time of year to book flights to Santiago. Winter months (June through September) are mild with some precipitation and average temperatures hovering around 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
Best Time to Fly to Santiago
Whether you’re eagerly anticipating a snowy ski holiday in the Andes or a sultry night of salsa dancing at a club in Bella Vista, there’s no wrong time to visit Santiago.
Santiago flights tend to fill up between the months of December and March, when visitors are flocking to Santiago for the holidays, and Santiago natives are heading out of the city to nearby Valparaíso in hopes of avoiding the scalding summer heat. Santiago is the capital of a predominantly Catholic country, so booking flights to Santiago during Holy Week and the Easter holidays should be made months in advance.
The transitional seasons of fall and spring are the best times for finding cheap flights to Santiago. Given that Santiago is located in the Southern Hemisphere, spring falls between the months of September and November, while fall takes place from April until mid-June. Those who find cheap flights to Santiago for a September trip are in luck, as the Semana de la Chilenidad – a festival celebrating all things Chilean with parades and performances – takes place in mid-September.
Getting around Santiago
International buses from Argentina and Bolivia arrive regularly at the Terminal de Buses Santiago and Terminal los Heroes. More than a million people ride Santiago’s metro, one of the best and cleanest in South America, each day. If you’re planning on staying in town for more than a day, get a travel pass to get discounted fares.
Santiago Travel Information
- Pablo Neruda, the beloved Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet who passed away at home in Santiago in 1973, is one of the most celebrated poets in Latin American literature. Neruda’s three houses in Chile are some of the most sought after attractions in the country. One house remains in the hills of Santiago, while the other two are within two hours of the Chilean capital. La Chascona, Neruda’s residence in Santiago, is a must-see for literature buffs booking flights to Santiago. Neruda was a collector of several eccentricities, including shoes of all sizes, seashells, and the figureheads of boats, and fragments of his colorful collections are scattered throughout his homes.
- Those with an affinity and appreciation for street art should head to Bella Vista. Bella vista, meaning “beautiful view” in Spanish, is an apt name for this neighborhood whose walls are covered in vibrantly colored murals. Bella Vista is also home to some of the most popular restaurants and bars in Santiago. Be sure to stroll by the vendors selling jewelry and crafts on the sidewalks during weekend afternoons to pick up some funky souvenirs before your return Santiago flight.
- The Andes Mountains are the longest exposed mountain range in the world and lie to the east of Santiago. Chances are you’ll fly directly over their snowy peaks so grab a window seat on your flight for the aerial views of the mountains. With the Andes so close by, plenty of ski bunnies and outdoor sports enthusiasts visit Santiago to take advantage of the excellent snow conditions the mountain range has to offer at El Colorado, La Parva and Valle Nevado, three of the most popular Andean ski resorts.
- History buffs shouldn’t miss the Plaza de Armas, located downtown. Home to the city’s 18th century cathedral and the former governor’s residence, which today serves as the main post office of the city, Plaza de Armas is a great place to start any walking tour of downtown Santiago and a lively spot to visit at night.
- Palacio La Moneda is Chile’s presidential palace. The building was damaged significantly during the military coup orchestrated by Augusto Pinochet Ugarte in 1973. When Pinochet died in 2006, the population of Santiago spilled into the streets in conflicting mix of protest and mourning and the raucous, joyous crowd that gathered behind La Moneda is testament to the turmoil caused by Chile’s former dictator. For another look at Chile’s tumultuous political past, head to Cementerio General. Salvador Allende, Chile’s first socialist-elect president, is buried there, as are several other political figures and diplomats.
- If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, hop on a bus and head to Valparaíso. Known locally as simply “Valpo”, Valparaíso is a surreal coastal town that tumbles into the Pacific Ocean, and is made up of thousands of tiny, Technicolor clapboard houses built on top of each other. The beaches of nearby Viña del Mar are accessible by train, so regardless of where you’re standing in Valpo you’re met with breathtaking views of the bay and a reviving sea breeze.
Flight deals to Santiago
USA departure airports for flights to Santiago
Select the airport or region closest to you to compare the prices of cheap flights to Santiago
- Miami (MIA)
- New York (NYC)
- Chicago (CHI)
- Houston (IAH)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Santo Domingo (SDQ)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
- Washington (WAS)
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Newark (EWR)
- Dallas (DFW)
- Mexico City (MEX)
- Boston (BOS)
- Port-au-Prince (PAP)
- Seattle (SEA)
- Orlando (MCO)
- Tampa (TPA)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Philadelphia (PHL)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- San Diego (SAN)
- Detroit (DTT)
- Cleveland (CLE)
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Denver (DEN)
- Baltimore (BWI)
- Austin (AUS)
- Guadalajara (GDL)
This is useful information about Santiago
More useful information about Santiago
- With much of the country possessed of a desert climate, pack clothes for a variety of temperatures.
- The country has become a producer of first-rate wine.
- One way flights to Chile can be inexpensive, but you need to book a return or onward ticket before entry.
- June to October is usually Chile’s off season due to high rainfall and cold temperatures.
- It’s easy to book last minute flights to Chile from certain cities that have direct flights to the country.
- Direct flights to Chile are available from Miami, Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles.
- Santiago is Chile’s bustling capital city.
- Chile’s major cities are usually in season year-round.