Get your bus tickets from Santiago to Valparaiso

Reviewed

on: 2022-06-12

by: Lisa Gembrini

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    02 hours 00 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    art, culture, seafood, history

  • Best Price

    USD $ 5

  • Maximum comfort or class

    Good

  • Departures

    Multiple departures daily

  • Recommended by

    2129 travelers

Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

Taking the bus from Santiago to Valparaiso

Colorful houses and shops in Valparaiso, Chile.

If you are visiting Santiago, there is absolutely no excuse for you to not visit Valparaiso!  It is one of the shortest bus rides between major cities in Latin America and buses are filled with both travelers and commuters going to or coming from work. Besides, Valparaiso is colorful, cultural, and so deeply tied to the Chilean historical psyche, that not including it on your visit would be similar to visiting Germany but skipping Bavaria. 

We’re going to cover some incredible places to see in Valparaiso soon enough, but before that try to answer all the questions you have about getting there by bus.

What should I expect of the buses between Santiago and Valparaiso?

In one word, class.  Chile is one of the most developed countries in Latin America and has a high per capita income, so they have invested their wealth along the way into their public transportation system. This includes trains and ferries as well, but only buses operate between Santiago and Valparaiso – and it’s all you need.

Expect a cut above the rest in terms of quality if you’ve experienced buses in other parts of Latin America, although competing with Chile in terms of high-quality standards would be Argentina and Brazil, for sure.  The weather is pretty mild in central Chile, so you don’t really have to be concerned with air-conditioning, but they are temperature-controlled.  Windows are clean, electrical outlets work more often than not, loud music and action movies are not very common experiences, and onboard staff are courteous and professional.  Chilean buses also tend to be more direct.  They don’t make stops between the origin and destination, except in rare cases.  Bathrooms on board are functional, but the trip is so short you will still probably prefer to wait until you get to Valparaiso. Seats recline to 140 degrees and are cleaned before each trip, and on longer trips, there are almost always VIP cabins for higher-paying customers.

How long is the bus ride from Santiago to Valparaiso?

Just 90 minutes by car, but buses take a slower clip, so safer to bet on two hours.  Still, that’s amazingly close for two cities that are so very different from each other, one at the edge of the mountains and the other at the edge of the sea. Between them, you would think you would encounter a lot of urban sprawl, but that’s not the case at all.  You’ll instead see farms and vineyards and a natural reserve and before long, you’re arriving in Valparaiso.  Do make sure you listen to the driver carefully, as they may take a bypass road that first makes a stop in the posh sister city of Valparaiso, Vina del Mar (home to major festivals and international concerts), which is only fifteen minutes from Valparaiso and you can even walk or bicycle between them. Most buses from Santiago, however, will stop in Valparaiso first, and then on their way back go to Vina del Mar.  

How much does the bus cost from Santiago to Valparaiso?

As noted earlier, this is more like a commuter bus trip, so you can expect fares as low as USD $5 and as high as $7. But don’t expect for that fare these to be city buses with hard plastic seats and people standing in the aisles holding on to metal poles.  Not at all.  These are long-distance buses that are very serene and padded, just being used for a very popular shorter long-distance route.
Do be aware that if it’s a weekend or holiday, massive amounts of people will be demanding the seats to get away to Valparaiso for some rest and relaxation or to get some fresh saltwater breeze in their hair.  So do get your seats in advance by purchasing them online and take the worry away of seeing all the buses filled up that ruin your plans.

What are the bus schedules from Santiago to Valparaiso?

There are more than you can count, but that doesn’t mean seats are easily available. The supply for this route has a hard time keeping up with the demand, and in fact, bus companies enjoy the gain of just having enough seats and nothing empty in excess.  Unlike many other Latin American routes, departure times for the Santiago to Valparaiso service don’t offer overnight travel. Departures range from 6 am to only 9 at night, meaning you will not be getting dropped off in Valparaiso in the vampire hours!

Where can I book bus tickets from Santiago to Valparaiso?

You have two options for purchasing a ticket for your trip from Santiago to Valparaiso. 

In-person

Purchasing a ticket in person may take some time. Carry your bags down to the bus terminal and check the schedules and pricing at each ticket window. Unless seats have previously been reserved, you may be directed to another bus company to wait in their line. This could cost you an entire day of walking and waiting, and as a result, you will be grumpy. To be honest, you might get lucky and acquire one of the few available tickets right away (although probably not a very good seat).

Online

Buying your ticket online with AndesTransit is vastly more simple and gives you back time to do more enjoyable things with your trip. You can view the schedules from the comfort of your own home or hotel, select the day and time you want to go, and then pay for it using our secure payment platform via credit card or PayPal. There will be no "adventures" at the bus terminal, trying to figure out currency conversion rates, or getting on the bad end of a miscommunication mishap due to a lack of comprehension of the local Spanish accent that ends up putting you on the wrong type of bus or worse, going to the wrong city.

What to do and see in Valparaiso

Colorful houses and shops in Valparaiso, Chile.

Before you even get off the bus, realize the importance of this great city. Valparaiso is Chile’s second-largest metropolitan area, the home to the country’s naval fleet, and for two centuries has been a major port of call and strategic shipping port. This brought the city European immigration and enormous wealth, as well as Latin America’s first stock exchange, and a haven for artists who thrived on the fusion of domestic and international interaction.  Today, Valparaiso is a faded vestige of its golden age, but this actually adds to the city’s bohemian charm that travelers have come to adore.  In 2003, Valparaiso was officially declared by the Chilean government as Chile’s Cultural Capital!

#1 - La Sebastiana

The iconic home of one of history’s most recognized poets, Pablo Neruda, is perched on the side of one of Valparaiso’s many hills, overlooking Valparaiso bay. He wrote many of his greatest works here between 1959 and his death in 1973, and the home is left preserved in pretty much the state he left it without much embellishment.  You can even see up close his own writing room and get an understanding of his personal moments, as well as see how he entertained world leaders in his own humble style. La Sebastiana is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm.

#2 - Cerro Carcel

The beginning of the dreaded Pinochet regime began in 1973 when the dictator pointed naval guns at the city from the harbor. He continued to use Valparaiso as a location of detention and torture, centered upon its notorious prison. Upon this hill that has been transformed into a commemorative park and cultural center, you can walk around the grounds of the old prison and learn about the many stories of those who were incarcerated there. This gives an important context to understanding the more recent history of the entire city and its place of power and resistance during the Pinochet regime.

#3 - Baburizza Palace

Named after its second owner, a Croatian businessman, this elaborate house is a historical monument that not only houses the works of many of Chile’s greatest artists but also has dedicated itself to the collection and curation of Valparaiso’s history through photography going back to images from 1895. The Museo Baburizza is open Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm.

#4 - The Yugoslavian Walk and Cerro Alegre

The people of Valparaiso love their paseos, which are walkways or paths through the city. The most famous and beautiful of all of them that will overwhelm you with the vibrancy and spirit of the city is the Yugoslavian Walk, which winds its way through the Cerro Alegre part of the town where you encounter all kinds of other sights and activities.  Make sure you walk through Pasaje Bavestrello, an alley of spectacular graffiti murals.

Conclusion

There are so many more things to see and do than what we mentioned, like go to see the ghostly remains of Latin America’s first stock exchange, or learn about the golden naval era at the National Maritime Museum, more artist’s houses and galleries, and more walks and charming squares. You shouldn’t leave town without having some seafood, of course, and take a bicycle ride along the harbor edge to neighboring Viña del Mar.  You can get there easily from Santiago by bus!

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it true that Valparaiso is dangerous?
No, it is not true. There was a time in the 20th century when Valparaiso went into economic decline as people left the city to find jobs elsewhere, and that led to an increase in crime. But those days are long past and the city has come roaring back since it has been declared as Chile’s cultural capital.
Does Chile’s train system go to Valparaiso?
No, the magnificent train network goes south from Santiago toward Patagonia, and not west to Valparaiso. Buses are plentiful and classy and the highway is in good condition.
Are there international buses to or from Valparaiso?
Yes, direct buses between Valparaiso and Argentina are common but are not necessarily encountered year-round. You are more likely to get one in the summer months between December to February when tourism is at its peak.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

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