Getting Around Chile

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Chile is the longest and thinnest country in the world, from north to south, Chile extends 4,270 km yet is on average just 177 km east to west. While Chile is the world’s longest country, its list of incredible places to see and things to do is even longer. Continue reading and find out our suggestions of getting around Chile in a timely manner!

Traveling around Chile is easy, with a constant procession of flights and buses and ferries connecting regions and towns

How to Acces Chile

The main access to Chile is by plane through the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago de Chile. But there are another six international airports located in the cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Easter Island, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. Santiago de Chile is reached via easy overnight flights from US gateways like Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Miami, as well as from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Thanks to its geographical location you can arrive to Chile also by sea or land from its neighboring countries, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.

The best option for traveling between regions

getting around chile

LATAM Airlines Chile offers an extensive range of destinations in Chile

Given its size, travelers must fly if planning to visit several destinations in different regions of Chile. The journey from Santiago to Calama and San Pedro de Atacama (the major tourist town for northern Chile and the one everyone bases themselves in from for the Atacama Desert) takes by plane an hour and a half, compare to approximately 22 hours of traveling by bus.

Chile has several domestic airlines. LATAM has the most routes. Low-cost airlines are driving down flight costs in Chile:Sky Airlines, LAW and JetSmart are low cost options.

LATAM Pass offers miles on the One World alliance, with partners such as American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Qantas.

Getting Around Chile by Bus: A good option to connect between towns with short distances

If you’re hoping to journey between towns and cities in Patagonia, or cross border into the neighboring country, buses are the easiest method. Buses in Chile have a great reputation in terms of punctuality and comfort, so they are an excellent choice for traveling shorter distances. Taking a bus from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park or cross border to Argentina to see the Perito Moreno Glacier is a good option.

Getting Aroung Chile by Car: Explore in deep remote regions like Patagonia.

Renting a Car is another method of travel in Chile. International companies operate in Chile, as well as local rental companies. But be aware that Traveling in your own car, specially in remotes places in Patagonia is a challenge many times! Distances to be driven are very long ones, a few of the roads are paved and they can become muddy and even inaccessible following heavy rainfall.

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Getting Around Chile by ferry or Cruise: Get to untouched regions at the end of the world.

Another method of traveling in Chile is via a ferry or a cruise ship. One of the most exciting trips is the one- or two-day crossing from Bariloche, in southeastern Argentina, to Puerto Montt in south-central Chile. Expect to enjoy wonderful views of the volcanoes and parks along the cost!

getting around Chile

Australis Expedition Cruises connect Chile with Argentina while enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime navigation among the fjords of Tierra del Fuego

Expedition cruises depart from Punta Arenas in Chile to Ushuaia in Argentina and vice versa, traveling during 5 days through the untouched wilderness of the southernmost Chilean fjords. This also an excellent way to connect Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia.

Read More Why you Should take an Expedition cruise during your trip to Patagonia

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Clara Barciela ❣️⁠ Founding Partner & Director Across Argentina & South America Follow us on Instagram or facebook for more inspiration about Argentina & South America!

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We believe South America is one of the most unforgettable places on earth – and we want you to help you fall in love with the continent just like we have. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, we founded Across South-America to help guests experience the ‘real’ South America – without compromising on comfort. A decade later, and Across South-America is a well-known boutique travel agency crafting outstanding vacations for couples, friends and families from all over the world. Our main point of difference is that we’re local experts. South America is our backyard. The experiences and attention to detail we can offer is one of a kind.

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