It is normal to feel anxious when transporting to a new place. The rules and experience always differ from one location to the other. This post will help you learn the seven things you should know when taking a taxi in Chile.
Taxis Don’t Have Car Seats
Are you travelling with kids? If yes, know that taxis in Chile don’t have car seats. Expect that some drivers drive awfully fast. On the positive note, registered taxis can pass through taxi and bus lanes to avoid the traffic queues and resulting tantrums of your kids.
If you are booking, do it directly through the Uber App as Google Maps don’t guarantee to show updated availability. Beat a lot app is another option to use, however, not all drivers accept children most especially preschoolers.
As a newcomer, you might not have a local mobile plan and rely on the hotel or public hotspots. Expect that when booking for a ride, some will come within a minute, but later find your ride cancelled. There may come to a point where you will be booked automatically, but may not know the license plate because you lose connection. It’s messy and frustrating.
The thing here is to find a stable connection, do booking, and choose the option to pay in cash because currency conversion can get chaotic.
Use Beat instead of Uber to Avoid Ride Cancellation
With Uber, some drivers cancel your booking and still cause you fees. This happens usually at night when there are less drivers available. However, with Beat, the app will notify you if there is no drive available during your booking.
Enjoy the Ride
Ride on taxis that have driver share app drivers as they use GPS on their phones to navigate the pre-booked journey. This is very essential especially for those passengers who struggle to explain directions in Spanish.
For safety purposes, it is recommended to take a taxi or door to door ride rather than walking anywhere. Even upmarket areas such as El Golf, Vitacura, and Las Condes no go after dark.
Luggage Theft in Chile
Bag and luggage theft are a growing problem in Chile. The Villarrica and Pucon areas of the Lake District are seen to have high criminal activity, especially theft.
Travellers are advised to not leave their things unattended in taxis and other public transportation hubs. This is an important thing to remember when moving to other places to not let your bags out of your sight.
Mugging and Other Crime
Though violent crime doesn’t happen that much in Chile, there are some daylight muggings happening in Cerro Manquehue, Cerro San Cristobal Park, and Cerro Santa Lucia areas of Santiago. Muggings are often done by armed groups, which can result in violence.
If you plan on using a taxi service at night, book one in advance or ask your hotel staff to assist you. Don’t believe in scammers at Santiago airport who will tell you that your pre-booked taxi is not going to arrive and will take you instead of your accommodation.
Cost and Convenience
Booking via Beat is convenient. However, if you have any issues with speaking, it is better to hail a taxi. In areas of El Golf and Las Condes, there is a steady stream of taxi drivers.
In Chile, getting around by taxis is cheap. The cost of a cab will set you back perhaps times two of an Uber die, but you will rarely spend over USD 10 to get to the places you need. Most of the journeys to the shops, malls, hospitals, and admin offices will only cost you about USD 3.