Travel and Visa Information
Transportation Options from the Puerto Montt Airport to the Hotel in Puerto Varas
The distance between the airport and the hotel is 16-20 km (depending on the highway). Travel time by car is 25-30 min. There are several reasonable options for traveling from the Puerto Montt Airport to the Hotel in Puerto Varas. We have listed them below.
If enough people will be arriving on the same flights, we may be able to arrange for some special shuttles/vans just for our group. If you are interested, then to assist us in determining if this is possible, please complete this google form.
Vans: Can take groups of up to 15 people including standard baggage. The cost is 10.000 pesos (approx.16 USD) per one or two persons, i.e. if you travel alone, you will have to pay 10.000 pesos. If you travel with someone else, you can purchase a ticket for two persons for 10.000 pesos. Vans leave regularly during the day. They do not have time tables. The van leaves as soon as it is full or after some waiting time has completed, typically 20 min.
Taxis: Taxis outside the airport can charge between 18.000-22.000 pesos (30-35 USD). Locals say taxis charging more than 20.000 pesos for a ride from the airport to the hotel in Puerto Varas, should not be accepted. Be careful with some taxi drivers, some try to fool distracted passengers. Even if they have taximeters, some have been hacked to ramp up the fares during the trip. So it is advised that you ask how much would they charge before boarding the taxi.
Uber: Uber is in legal limbo, i.e. it is not legally accepted by transportation authorities of the country, but is is not prosecuted either. Many people prefer Uber because of the mentioned problems with cabs.
Car rentals: All major international companies exist in Chile. Avis/Budget has slightly better deals, but you should for special offers each company might have at different times of the year or for frequent clients. Compact cars, e.g., Peugeot 2008, Hyundai Accent, with mechanical transmission are rented for 37 USD/day including the local mandatory insurance.
Getting to Chile and Puerto Varas
To reach Puerto Varas from abroad you will need to fly to the capital city Santiago, then fly from Santiago to Puerto Montt (2 hrs flight, 1000 km), and finally drive, take a taxi or bus from Puerto Montt to Puerto Varas (20-30 min, 20 km).
Chile has direct connections with North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. International flights within South America are fairly expensive unless purchased as part of intercontinental travel. There are bargain round-trip fares between Buenos Aires or Lima and Santiago.
Most long-distance flights to Chile arrive at Santiago, landing at International Airport Arturo Merino Benítez in the suburb of Pudahuel. To reach Puerto Varas from,
Australia & New Zealand: Lan and Qantas fly from Sydney to Santiago, stopping in Auckland. Lan has offices in Australia.
Canada: Air Canada flies to Santiago from Toronto, or connect via US cities with other airlines.
Eastern Asia: Typical shortest routes to Chile from countries in Eastern Asia either have a stop in Dallas or Los Angeles, or have a stop in Paris or Madrid.
Europe: There are regular direct flights from Madrid to Santiago with Lan and Iberia, and from Paris Charles de Gaulle with Lan and Air France. Several airlines have flights from major European cities via Argentina or Brazil, including Lufthansa, Air France, KLM. Flights with connections via the USA are more expensive.
USA: From the USA, the principal gateways to South America are Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.
The map shows the existing direct flights (non-stop flights in red, all other flights have short stops or involve a connection). Most of the non-stop flights to Chile depart in the evening 8-10 pm (local time at departure) and arrive in the morning 8-10 AM Chile time (GMT-3 in the summer of the Southern Hemisphere). A summary of non-stop flights on departing on Saturday Dec. 9th (arriving Sunday Dec. 20th are summarized in the table below. More flight options can be found using Google Flights.
All international flights arrive to Santiago, one additional flight from the capital city Santiago to Puerto Montt will be necessary. Options for the connecting flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt are summarized in the table below. Consider two to three hours between your flights in order to clear immigration and customs. Compared to other airports, Santiago’s International airport is small and all gates are within walking distance and often two hours between flights is enough to clear passport control and customs. However, December is high summer season and with many people traveling, everything can be a bit slower than usual.
Summary of non-stop flights to Chile scheduled for Sat. December 9th, 2017.
|Auckland||18:00||13:25||11 h 05 min||LA800|
|Atlanta||22:30||09:55 +1d||9 h 25 min||DL147|
|Dallas||20:25||08:55 +1d||9 h 30 min||AA945|
|Houston||21:50||10:15 +1d||9 h 25 min||UA847|
|Los Angeles||15:15||07:00 +1d||10 h 45 min||LA603|
|Miami 21:30||21:30||07:50 +1d||8 h 20 min||LA501|
|Miami 22:55||22:25||09:15 +1d||8 h 20 min||AA957|
|New York||19:00||07:40 +1d||10 h 40 min||LA533|
|Toronto||23:45||12:05 +1d||10 h 20 min||AC92|
Summary of non-stop flights Santiago-Puerto Montt (1 h 45 min). December 10th, 2017.
Arriving to Chile
Once you arrive to Santiago’s airport, the typical steps are:
- Go through Immigration.
- Pick your luggage.
- Go through Customs.
- Find the lift to the third floor of the airport.
- Check-in/drop your luggage at the domestic flights counter.
- Go through the security check to the boarding zone for the flights to Puerto Montt.
The maps of the first and third floor of the airport illustrate the steps.
International travelers must go through Immigration and Customs before leaving the airport. Travelers are not allowed to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, unprocessed goods of animal origin, firearms, ammunition, explosives, and illegal drugs. Animal products and vegetables can only be allowed to enter the country with prior authorization from the Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile. If you are bringing processed food, such as chocolates, cookies, coffee, tea, etc. and you are not sure whether it can be classified as vegetables or food, it is better to declare it on the form. For example, cheese, tea leaves, tobacco or any other leaves that are not in an industrially sealed container will not be allowed.
More information about Santiago’s International Airport, officially called Arturo Merino Benitez (AMB) Airport, but often referred to as Pudahuel airport because of the suburb’s name can be found here.
Visitors to Chile coming from visa exempt countries shown in the map below only need a passport and filling the immigration form at the airport to be granted access for periods of up to 90 days. So it is important to check your passport has not expired and will not expire during your stay.
Visitors from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela only require their national identity card. Australia citizens can visit Chile with their passport. However, if they enter through Santiago International Airport, they must pay a "reciprocity fee" of $117 US Dollars. Chinese citizens in possession of a visa from Canada or the USA valid for 6-month or more (i.e. transit visas are excluded) can visit Chile without requiring a tourist visa. Visitors from countries that are not visa-free must obtain a visa from one of the Chilean diplomatic missions.
The list of embassies and consular offices in the different countries is available here.The latest visa information published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile is available here (Columns are: country, consulate/embassy, temporary resident fee, work permite fee, student visa fee, tourist visa requirement, simple tourist visa fee, maximum stay length for the simple tourist visa, multiple entry tourist visa fee, maximum stay length for the multiple entry tourist visa). A summary of the Chilean visa policy is found here.
IMPORTANT: If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please contact the local arrangments chair, Prof. Miguel Torres-Torriti (firstname.lastname@example.org).