How to get to Chile

By | May 4, 2022


The elongated, narrow Chile, which has its natural border in the east in the Andes, is not only exceptional geographically due to its shape, but also due to its terrain. Thousands of miles long, the land is shaped by arid, parched desert in the north and frigid glaciers in the south. The Andes are almost always in sight. The breathtaking natural scenery of Chile is the ideal starting point for countless outdoor sports. Active vacationers can, for example, choose between skiing, hiking, horseback riding or white water rafting and enjoy pure adrenaline. The capital of Chile, Santiago, lies in the central valley between the Andes and a mountain range near the coast. The cosmopolitan city has several museums, Spanish colonial buildings and parks that are best explored on foot. Compared to South America, Chile is a success story. Many Latin American companies now have their headquarters in Santiago. Although copper mining was the engine of the economy for a long time, today agriculture and viticulture are also important sources of income. Chile has been politically stable since the end of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship in 1990. See other countries in South America on commit4fitness.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

LATAM Airlines (LA), Chile’s national airline, flies daily from Frankfurt/aM to Santiago de Chile via Madrid. LATAM Airlines (LA) flies direct from Frankfurt/aM to Santiago de Chile. Feeder flights to the LATAM long-haul flights to Madrid are offered by Lufthansa (LH) from Germany and Austria, Swiss (LX) from Switzerland and Iberia (IB) from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, among others. Lufthansa (LH) flies from Frankfurt/M. in cooperation with LATAM Airlines (LA) and Avianca (AV) via Bogotá to Santiago de Chile; Swiss (LX) with Avianca Brazil (O6) from Zurich via Sao Paulo and Austrian Airlines (OS) with Air France (AF) from Vienna via Paris. Iberia (IB) flies via Madrid,

Departure fee

There is no airport fee on arrival or departure.

Arrival by car

The Chilean section of the Pan American Highway begins in Arica and extends to Puerto Montt. The Andean Road connects Peru, Chile and Bolivia and runs from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile through Bolivia to Arequipa in Peru. Buses run between Chile and the neighboring countries of Bolivia, Argentina and Peru, as well as to Brazil. Bus tickets from different bus companies that offer international journeys from Chile can be compared and booked at Recorrido. Tolls: Almost all Chilean main roads are subject to tolls. The toll can be paid electronically, with a day ticket or in cash. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient; nevertheless it is recommended

Arrival by train

There is a rail link between Bolivia and Chile operated by Ferrocarril de Arica a La Paz SA. From La Paz (Bolivia) you first take the bus to Viacha (Bolivia), 25 km away, from where you take the train to Arica (Chile). Ferrocarril Tacna-Arica trains run from Tacna (Peru) to Arica.

Arrival by ship

The main Chilean ports are Arica, Valparaíso, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.

Cruise ships

Cruise lines such as AIDA, Cunard, Phoenix and Transocean call at Chile on their world voyages that start in Hamburg.


Traveling by plane

Regular domestic flights are operated by airlines such as LATAM Airlines (LA), Sky Airline (H2) and JetSMART (JA). LATAM Airlines (LA) and American Airlines (AA) also connect Santiago de Chile with Easter Island (flight time: 5 hrs 20 mins). Aerocardal and Ata fly to the Juan Fernández Islands from Santiago de Chile from October to April.

Traveling by car/bus

The entire road network covers around 80,000 km. The Panamericana (Ruta CH-5), is the most important north-south connection; Developed as a motorway, it runs from the Peruvian border in the north near Arica via Santiago de Chile and Puerto Montt to Chiloé. The Carretera Austral (Ruta CH-7) connects Puerto Montt with Villa O’Higgins in the south; it is only partially paved. Tolls: A large part of Chile’s main roads are subject to tolls. The toll can be paid electronically, with a day ticket or in cash. Gas stations are usually sufficiently available. In more remote areas, however, you should use every fuel opportunity.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

The main roads are mostly well developed and asphalted; Side roads often only gravel roads.

Car rental

Car hire is available at airports and in major cities from both internationally renowned and local providers. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (may vary by vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least one year. A young driver fee may be charged under the age of 25. Some providers only rent up to an age of 75 years.


Most taxis have meters. For longer journeys, however, the fare should be agreed in advance. Taxis in Santiago de Chile are black with a yellow roof.


In larger towns there are numerous providers who rent motorbikes, scooters and bicycles. Motorbikes can also be rented at the various airports.


The Chilean bus network is extensive; smaller towns are also served regularly. The buses are inexpensive, reliable and mostly very comfortable. Night buses are available for longer distances. The largest Chilean bus companies are Turbus and Pullman Bus.


Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.3 ‰; – Telephoning is only permitted with a hands-free system; – Ban on smoking at the wheel; – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists; – Outside built-up areas, the light must be switched on during the day as well; – Children under the age of 12 may only be transported in the back seat; Children under 9 years only in a child seat. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – country roads: 100 km/h; – Motorways: 120 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The Chilean ADAC partner club is the Automovil Club de Chile (ACCHI) in Santiago de Chile, Tel. +56 ( 2) 24 31 10 00.


The national driving license is sufficient; however, it is recommended that you also carry either a Spanish translation or your international driving licence.

Traveling in the city

Santiago de Chile: The Metro de Santiago has 6 subway lines. The underground trains run daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Furthermore, modern buses serve the entire city area; on the main lines around the clock. The easiest way to pay is with a Bip card from Transantiago, which can also be purchased and loaded online in advance at Recorrido with PayPal payment. There are also the so-called yellow “micro” buses, taxis and shared taxis that operate on fixed routes but without a fixed schedule. The subway and buses have standard fares, shared taxis are more expensive. Buses and taxis can also be found in most other cities.

Locally on the way by train

Due to the topography and the distribution of the population, there are relatively few routes with passenger traffic. From Santiago de Chile there are train connections to Temuco, Puerto Montt, Concepción, Talcahuano, San Fernando, Talca and Chillán, among others; in regional traffic, routes such as Talca-Constitución (narrow-gauge railway) and Talcahuano-Concepción are served. Grupo EFE tourist trains run on the Arica-Poncochile, Los Andes-Río Blanco, Santiago de Chile-San Antonio, Santiago de Chile-San Fernando, Santiago de Chile-Molina, Talachuano-San Rosendo and Antilhue-Valdivia routes. Tickets for all trains as well as information on prices, timetables and routes are available from Reccorido.

Traveling by ship

Passenger ships along the coast are relatively rare. However, various companies also offer regular boat trips. – Cruceros Australis offer round trips from Punta Arenas via Ushuaia; – Naviera Magallanes NAVIMAG connect Puerto Montt with Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Natales respectively; – Transmarchilay offer regular ferry services between Pargua and Chacao (Chiloé Island).

How to get to Chile