Air travel

Everything you need to know about flying to Chile

On arrival in Chile, you can expect to find a world class airport and a broad range of convenient ground transport options.

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Aeropuerto Aeropuerto Santiago,Chile (Photo: ProChile)

Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago is widely recognized as the most advanced airport in Latin America. It has a steady flow of air traffic with regular flights to the Chilean capital from more than 20 European, North American and South American airlines.

International passengers arrive at the airport on Level 1 while international departures leave from Level 3. All domestic arrivals and departures are processed through a specialist terminal located on Level 3. There are 13 other airports located throughout the country, including one on Easter Island.

Chile's biggest airline, LAN, is a member of the international Oneworld Alliance and has regular flights to several other Latin American countries, North America, the Caribbean, Oceania and Europe. Another significant commercial airplane operator in Chile is Sky Airline which flies throughout Chile and neighboring countries, including Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

Plant and animal products
Chilean legislation prohibits tourists from bringing plant and animal products into the country. These restrictions are enforced by the Livestock and Agricultural Service (SAG) and passengers are required to declare all plant or animal products in their luggage before entering Chile. Tourists who fail to declare these products will be fined.

Santiago airport transfers
Taxis depart from the airport to downtown Santiago 24 hours a day for a cost of around US$20-25 (CLP 10,000-12,000). There is also a door-to-door shuttle service called Transvip that can be booked in advance. Prices for this service vary according to the length of the trip.

For a cheaper alternative, two major bus companies have regular services departing from the Level 1 entrance to the terminal. The Turbus services go to the Alameda and Pajaritos bus terminals in Santiago, where passengers can connect for buses to several popular destinations throughout the country. Both terminals also connect to Line 1 of Metro Santiago, the city's smooth and efficient subway network.

The Centropuerto bus services connect with the Los Héroes Metro station (Line 1) in downtown Santiago and the Maipú district in the city's southwest. These buses depart every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on the weekend.

Bus trips to downtown Santiago take between 15 and 25 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, and cost around US$3.

There is also a broad selection of money exchange services and car rental companies operating out of Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport.