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Getting Around in Chile

By Air

Chile has a rather good airport infrastructure. The main hub for flights in Chile is the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, from where several airlines serve even the remotest corners of the country. Domestic routes are serviced by LAN Airlines, Sky Airline and Principal Airlines. Although LAN is by far the largest companies, Sky and PAL offer good services to the main cities.

The only airline flying to Easter Island is LAN Airlines from Santiago. Other remote locations are served by regional airlines. In the Extreme South, Aerovías DAP offer daily routes from Punta Arenas to Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego and Puerto Williams. Between November and March, DAP offers very limited and expensive flights to Villa Las Estrellas in Antarctica. To Robinson Crusoe Island, there are weekly flights from Santiago and Valparaíso.

By Water

The main area for getting around by boat is Chile’s far south, where a network of privately run ferries operates through the fjords, inlets and channels of the archipelago. The two main operators are Navimag and CTP. The scenic ferry trip between Puerto Montt and Chacabuco is popular, as is the route from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales.

By Rail

The state railway runs between Santiago and Temuco. Services are limited by the geography of the country, but there is one daily train each way at 8 pm, with sleeping and restaurant cars, and some air conditioned accommodation. Principal trains also carry vehicles.

By Road

Chile has has a well-developed road network. The Pan American Highway crosses the country from north to south (a total of 3455 km or 2147 miles) from the Peruvian border to Puerto Montt. It is advisable in remoter areas to carry spare petrol and an additional spare tyre. Tyres should be hard-wearing. Traffic drives on the right. You may consider a four wheel drive for driving in the countryside.


The bus system is pretty sophisticated providing a great way to get from town to town. Take in mind that for the most part going from one city to the next will take longer than expected because they stop at many bus stations along the way. Some company's that travel all the country are Turbus and Pullman Bus. In Santiago, you can find both terminal's and more company on Universidad de Santiago subway station.

Intercity buses are cheap and reliable. There is a luxury north-south service running most of the length of the country. Most long-distance coaches have toilets and serve food and drink. Sometimes a lower fare can be negotiated.

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