How it works:
- Version 1:
- At airports, you see touts carrying cards with the word “Oficial” or “TAXI” posing as official employees of the airport with official looking taxis.
- One asks if you have transport, then claims that it has left and that it happens all the time. He then arranges an unofficial taxi for you, where you will be charged 3-4x the normal fare.
- Version 2:
- You can encounter these black market taxis elsewhere too, especially at night. If you are unlucky, you can be driven somewhere isolated and robbed.
Places to beware:
- Santiago: Santiago airport, Cerro Santa Lucia, Cerro San Cristobel Park, Cerro Manquehue
What to do:
- Situation: some may be fine and are even cheaper, but you have to accept the risks (overcharging, no insurance coverage, beaten down car, potentially being robbed).
- Photo: if you engage, take a photo of the car plate and the driver’s license.
- Official taxis: transvip, delfos, Taxi Oficial. Street taxis: yellow top, black body, black letters on orange car plate. Radio taxi: white letters on orange car plate. Fixed route taxi: yellow car plate.
- Alternatives: taxi booking apps (e.g. Beat, Safer Taxi, Easy Taxi, Uber) or day tour platforms like GetYourGuide (leading globally) with 10+ transport options.