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Driving the Atacama Desert

Getting Around Chile

How you travel around Chile will depend much on the time you have available, your personal preferences and your budget. Chile is fast establishing itself as a popular self-drive destination, boasting some of the most spectacular roadside scenery in the world. Due to the elongated shape and long length of the country however, it is often necessary to fly between regions to make the most of your time. Escorted tour options ensure you always have an experienced guide on hand and do not waste time working out logistics or trying to find your way from A to B.

However you choose to travel, we’re here to ensure everything runs smoothly and you are free to simply relax and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

Domestic Flights

The long, extended shape of Chile makes flying one of the easier ways to get between popular sites. Domestic carriers offer routes between the key gateways, often at a very affordable price, from where transfers, excursions and car hire can be arranged to help you explore the areas that spark your interest.

Self Drive

If you are happy to self-drive, then Chile will reward you with some incredible sights and amazing adventures. Generally speaking, the main tourist routes are reasonably maintained, and you will likely encounter relatively few other cars, though this will depend on the region and time of year. Having your own vehicle allows for an independent approach, with greater freedom and flexibility to explore off the beaten track.

Expedition Cruises / Local Ferries

An extensive coastline and endless fjords, make exploring Chile from the water a popular option. While there are a handful of voyages each year that will travel further north, the main expedition cruises operate in the largely sheltered seas of Patagonia. Experience extraordinary scenery, glacial activity and wildlife including penguins and elephant seals.

There are also many local ferry transfers available in this region, particularly useful for those wishing to gain access to the notoriously remote route known as the Carretera Austral.

Independent Touring

Local transport in Chile is reasonably priced, but outside of the main cities of Santiago and Valparaiso, it can be unpredictable.

By far the easiest and most comfortable way to travel in each region on an independent basis (without hiring a car) is to book onto private or group transfers and excursions. The drivers and guides will also often be able to offer advice and local knowledge, enhancing your understanding of the regions and sites visited and ensuring you do not miss any secret hidden gems.

Escorted Touring

With all the logistics taken care of, escorted touring offers the chance to see top highlights in the company of like-minded people. Experienced guides share knowledge and offer insight not always found in guide books.

Speak to a specialist

The Ultimate Guide to Chile

We're delighted to introduce Chile − voted number one in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2018 list and 'Best Adventure Tourism Destination' in the World Travel Awards. Read on for your ultimate guide to key Chilean hotspots...
  • Destination Insiders

Friday, 12th January 2018

Destination Specialist