New airplane access
For first time ever, air travel begins to Chiloé archipelago
A trip that used to take four hours by car or bus can now be done in just 35 minutes by plane from Puerto Montt, opening doors to visitors on a tight schedule.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Stilt houses, or palafitos, on the Isla Grande of Chiloé. Photo courtesy of This is Chile Facebook friend Daniel Alejandro Ortega Villa.
The Chiloé archipelago offers visitors a plethora of memorable sites and experiences, from historical architecture to unique cuisine and beautiful wildlife. But the remote island has been accessible only by vehicle - a four hour bus ride from the closest city, Puerto Montt.
This time commitment made visiting Chiloé difficult for travelers with only one or two weeks of vacation in Chile. The extra day of travel often forced visitors to cross the memorable destination off their itineraries.
But those days are now over. On November 6, 2012 LAN Airlines became the first carrier to offer commercial flights to Castro, Chiloé’s largest city in the center of the archipelago. The doors are now open for travelers who want to visit this incredible destination but don’t have time to explore the greater Los Lagos Region.
LAN is offering four flights per week from both Santiago and Puerto Montt to the Mocopulli Airport in Castro, departing every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The flight takes less than three hours from Santiago and about 35 minutes from Puerto Montt. Prices from Santiago start at US$90 (CLP$42,000) plus handling fees, and start at US$17 (CLP$8,000) plus handling fees from Puerto Montt.
Flights will be operated using the Airbus A320 aircraft, which has reduced noise levels and lower CO2 emissions thanks to their fuel efficiency, according to LAN.
At a ceremony marking the inaugural flight to Chiloé, LAN CEO for Chile Enrique Elsaca noted the new route’s potential to make a positive economic impact on the island.
"Today is a very special day for us, a solid step forward in our challenge of contributing toward the development of Chile and its regions, to connect the country and the world. We believe that our operation in Chile will help drive the economic and touristic development of Chiloé, which is our 16th route within Chile.”