Pomaire is a short hop away from Santiago (about an hour by bus from the Estación Central metro station). The touristy town is located about a kilometer from the highway and features shop after shop overflowing with simple pottery cookware and other miscellaneous things (pots for plants, three-legged pigs for good luck, and fire hydrant statues). The shops are concentrated on one of the two main streets of the town, and there is also a selection of restaurants selling tasty dishes like giant 1kg empanadas and pastel de choclo (like shepherd’s pie, but with a corn topping).
Like much of the rest of Chile that we saw, Pomaire had a selection of stray neighborhood dogs. One of them here seemed especially friendly, and leaned himself against our legs in search of attention.
The largest city close to Pomaire is Melipilla, and online travel blogs recommended taking a bus from Santiago to Melipilla and a taxi from Melipilla to Pomaire. However, our bus happened to make a stop on the side of the highway at the turnoff for Pomaire. We followed the other (Spanish-speaking) tourists who got off the bus, and we figured that they probably knew where they were going. The mile walk into town was along green fields and orchards, and for the most part, we were pretty sure we were going in the right direction.
To return to Santiago, we stood for awhile on the side of the highway directly across from the unmarked spot where we had disembarked the bus. We saw many busses with window signs reading “SANTIAGO” zooming by, but none seemed to be stopping where we were waiting. I spoke with a toll booth attendant nearby, and with my limited understanding of her rapid Spanish, deduced that yes, we were waiting in the correct area. It took us a little longer to realize that the busses to Santiago needed to be flagged down if we wanted them to stop. We ended up taking and paying a different bus company to get back to Santiago, although the original round trip ticket only cost $1500 CLP (~$2.5 USD).