Most cities have domestic airports with commercial air service,
except for some larger cities near Santiago and towns near other
major cities. Major domestic airports are in Arica, Iquique, Calama,
Copiapó, La Serena, Temuco, Valdivia, Puerto Montt, Balmaceda
(Coyhaique) and Punta Arenas.
Airlines in Chile are:
Lan airlines: with several daily northbound as
well as southbound. They also fly two or three times weekly
to Easter Island. Lan Chile is a frequent-flyer partner of American
Sky Airlines: with several flight to north and
Aerolíneas del Sur: with several itineraries
to the south of Chile only.
DAP: Airlines that serves the southern Chilean
Patagonia (Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego), including Antarctica
and Ushuaia in Argentina.-
Minor regional airlines include Lassa, which flies
to the Juan Fernandez Archipelago; and several air taxi companies
that connect isolated settlements in the Aisen region, south
of Puerto Montt.
AIRLINE FREQUENCIES TO CHILE
From the USA, the principal gateways to South
America are Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.
American Airlines Airlines, LAN and United Airlines all fly
daily from Miami direct. Lan Peru flies from Miami via Lima.
LAN also has daily flights from New York and Los Angeles (via
Mexico City and Lima) with onward connections to Boston, Chicago,
Dallas, San Francisco and Washington. Delta flies from Dallas
to Santiago three times a week. From Canada, LAN offers connections
from Vancouver to Los Angeles and thence to Santiago, or from
Toronto to New York and on to Santiago. Also from Canada, Air
Canada flies weekly to Chile.
OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
TRAVELING BY BUS
Bus is by far the most popular form of long-distance
transport in Chile, with several companies competing with each
other for domestic as well as marathon transcontinental routes
to cities as far away as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
There are dozens of companies with domestic services,
but among the best known are Tur Bus (tel: (2) 270 7500; website:
www.turbus.cl), Pullman Bus (tel: (2) 779 4134; website: www.pullman.cl),
Buses Evans (tel: (2) 778 7361) and Expreso Norte (tel: (2)
778 7570). There are four main bus terminals in Santiago, all
on or around Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins (Alameda), with
several companies competing out of each one. Perhaps the most
useful is Alameda, Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins (Alameda)
3750 (tel: (2) 270 7500), near Metro Los Héroes, where
Tur Bus, Pullman Bus and a few smaller companies share a modern
terminal serving many internal and international destinations.
San Borja, Calle San Borja 184 (tel: (2) 776 0645), near Metro
Estacion Central, is for some international and northern destinations,
as well as the coast and mountains near Santiago. Santiago,
Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins (Alameda) 3848 (tel: (2) 376
1750/1755), near Metro Universidad de Santiago, serves international
destinations, as well as towns in the south and along the coast.
Los Héroes, Calle Tucapel Jimenez 21 (tel: (2) 420 0099),
near Metro Los Héroes, serves the north and south of
the country. For buses from Chile to Argentina, go to: http://www.pluma.com.br/english/indexeng.html
TRAVELING BY TRAIN
Santiago is serviced by two train lines from the south (from
Temuco and Chillán), both of which leave from the giant
Estación Central at Alameda 3170. Trains to Chillán
leave five times a day; the fare is $11 and the trip is about
4 1/2 hours. For Temuco, there is one train, which leaves nightly
at 9:30pm and arrives at 9:30am. Fares are $11 for tourist class,
or $14 for salon class, with reclining seats. For schedules
and train information, check out www.efe.cl
RENT A CAR
Major international rental agencies like Hertz, Avis and Budget
have offices in Santiago as well as in major cities and other
tourist areas. The Automóvil Club also rents cars at
some of its offices. To avoid confusion and ensure a rental,
you’d better have a valid driver’s international
license (though not required if you present a US driver’s
license), be at least 25 years of age and present either a major
credit card or a large cash deposit.
Puerto Montt is both the gateway to Chile's lake district and
the departure point for cruises to the Chilean Fjords Cruise/Tour.
Lago Todos los Santos is one of South America's
most popular water crossings. Visitors and residents make the
crossing to and from Argentina via boats and catamarans and
by bus portaging through the spectacular scenery of the Chilean/Argentine