Sunday, June 26, 2011

Turistik Hop-On Hop-Off City tour in Santiago, Chile

turistik-sales-guyTuristik is a leading city tour operator in Santiago. They have a fleet of double deck, partially open (open on the side in top floor) buses that ply on a pre-determined route every 30 minutes. When I went to one of their ticket counters in Santiago (at Mall Parque Arauco), the first bus of the day (at about 9AM) just left. I bought a ticket, roamed around in the mall and waited for the next bus to leave. By about 9.20 it was ready to leave. I was the sole passenger in the entire double-decker bus, along with the driver and a guide.

On your left is an outdoor promotional guy who was walking around at a park (one of the destinations on their route) trying to sell turistik tickets

They operate the fleet, even when there’re no passengers- this is because being a hop on hop off service, tourists may be waiting at subsequent stations to hop on.touristik-city-hopon-hop-off-santiago-chile
Touristik Hop On Hop Off city tour in Santiago De Chile covers about 13 destinations. You can board the bus from any destination. I boarded at Mall Parque Arauco (a shopping complex). Bus had a small TV which was non functional and an automated voice that gives brief description of the next destination, both in English and Spanish.Because of the open air gushing in, the audio wasn’t clear.
And I had a decision to make- I only had one day at my disposal. Should I spend that whole day roaming around the city? or Should I skip some destinations and spend half a day going outside the city? (Touristik offered half day tours to nearby Andes Mountains and few other places). It was a tough decision. Both options had their pros and cons- Visiting Andes Mountain would have given me an opportunity to check out the country side and hills, at an additional cost and having to miss some of the attractions in the city (about half of them on the list). Eventually I decided to cut short the city tour and opt for half day tour to Andes Mountains (details here). No regrets.

Our first two stops were Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepción and Edificio CEPAL. Don’t ask me what these were… I chose not to get down here- both because I couldn’t see anything special from outside and the guide suggested I can skip these. (Visited so far: 0/13)

Next place on the list was Sheraton Hotel. Saw the hotel from outside and chose to continue with the bus. (Visited so far: 1/13)

Next place was Patio Bellavista which is a centre for art, culture and cuisine-similar to Dakshina Chitra in Chennai or Shilparamam in Hyderabad. I wasn’t sure if this place will be at its best during early morning. Skipped it
Next was the city park. Got down here and explored the park. Details qualify for a separate post.(2/13)

Santiago-Metropolitan ParkNext was Museum of arts. I didn’t get down here, but subsequently while walking to Mercado Central I passed through this building again- had a quick look inside. (3/13)

Next stop is Plaza De Armas- a square where eventually Santiago mayor launched that toy train service that day. More details here. 4/13)

Next stop was Mercado Central. I saw it from the bus only as I had to come back to this place later to board the bus for Andes trip. Read about Mercado Central here (5/13)

Got down at the next stop: Plaza de la Constitución where some sunday celebrations were going on. Details here (6/13)

Other 4 places were Santa Lucía, Providencia, El Golf - Isidora Goyenechea and El Golf - Sanhattan which I had to sacrifice to spend second half of the day visiting Andes mountains
our-driver-and-guide all alone-on-board touristk 
What’s good about Turistik:
  • At 18$, it will be far far cheaper than renting a taxi to travel around in the city.
  • They operate buses even if there’re no customers
  • Explanation in Spanish and English
  • Tickets can be bought onboard or at the counter
What was not that good:
  • The video screen was not functioning
  • Automated voice speaking in both Spanish and English is not that clear, more so when external wind breezes in.
  • When I wanted to prioritize the destinations (so that I can use second half of the day to out of city tour), The flyer wasn’t much useful (our tour guide attempted to help though). Would have been nice if the flyer included some text info about the destination, their significance etc.
  • A half day ticket would have been even better
Other Chile posts * Turistik Chile website


Indrani said...

Lots of info. Thanks.

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Arti said...

Looks like a wonderful tour.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Well,it was pretty good

Turistik said...

Hello! Great blog and post! Thanks for the critics, and for sharing. Please, if any of you guys have any comments/doubts, contact us at

We are hard working on giving a better service every day!

Regards, Turistik Team

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Turistik... Best wishes

Trails of a Traveler said...

Nice post


Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Ram