Travel to Chile and Argentina

From the USA, the most convenient way to travel to Argentina and Chile is by aircraft. Flights to Chile and Argentina range in price with a minimum of $350. The cheapest flights are purchased well in advance and usually have many stopovers. For example, Lacsa will probably stop four or five times with short layovers before reaching either Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. These flights can be the best deal if you want to travel in another Central American or South American country somewhere along the flight path. Instead of the cheapest flight, one might prefer spending a little more money and having a four or five hour savings on travel time. Expect to have at least one stopover with a plane change if your departure city is not an international hub for South America. The most common international flights that travel to Chile and Argentina leave from Los Angeles, California; Dallas, Texas; and Miami, Florida. Some of the common carriers to Chile are LanChile, American and Lacsa.

All international flights that travel to Chile and Argentina land in Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile. For a Manso Multisport tour, it is necessary to either take another flight or bus to Bariloche, Argentina. (The bus can take 20+ hours) Our recommendation is to get an international flight into Buenos Aires, Argentina and out of Santiago, Chile. The benefits are that you get to see both capitals and you won't have to pay the Chilean reciprocity tax for entering Santiago International (US$ 100 in 2003). We have also been able to get good deals on these two country flights. Because the ATAC tour ends in Puerto Varas, Chile, it is best to take the returning flight from Puerto Montt, Chile to Santiago, Chile. Flights leave at least twice daily.

For our ski tours, we recommend flying into Santiago, Chile with a round-trip ticket. From there, it is easy to take a same day flight to either Osorno, Chile or Temuco, Chile.

An example of a flight schedule for a Manso Multisport Andean Crossing tour:

Los Angeles, CA to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina to Bariloche, Argentina
ATAC Adventure Tour
Puerto Montt, Chile to Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile to Los Angeles, CA

We can help you with flight arrangements or you can make them yourself. For more information contact us.

Airport taxes for  Chile And Argentina
Upon arrival in Santiago, Chile, there is a reciprocity tax for USA passport carriers at customs in the airport. Each year this tax rises. Because they only accept exact change, it is best to carry US currency in small denominations. In 2003, the tax amounted to US$100. There is also an airport tax of US$18 upon leaving Santiago, Chile. For those who travel to Argentina, there is an airport departure tax that is currently US$23.50, though it is likely to fluctuate due to Argentina's current economy.

Check your passport before going to Chile and Argentina
Months before you travel, make sure your passport is up to date and will not expire while you are traveling. Allow for a minimum of two months for a passport renewal prior to your trip, though it is possible (and expensive) to renew at the last minute. Keep at least one copy of your airplane tickets, passport, and driver's license in a separate place from your real ones while traveling.

Travel to Chile And Argentina
Though water quality in both Chile and Argentina is generally good, it is recommended that you drink bottled water. Check with your doctor to see which vaccinations you might want before traveling. There is no risk of malaria in Chile or Argentina. For more health information check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Money in Argentina and Chile
The currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso and the currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso. In Chile, there are automatic bank tellers (ATMs) in almost every city and they provide a good exchange rate. Along the Carretera Austral of Southern Chile, it is unlikely to find an ATM. ATMs are available in major cities in Argentina. It is also possible to travel with dollars and exchange them at exchange houses. If you don't exchange money in either country and choose to pay for something in dollars, you typically get an unfavorable deal in a transaction. If you travel with Travelers Checks, you can lose up to 5% while exchanging them for local currency. A debit card used at an ATM avoids the interest payments of a credit card used at an ATM. A credit card can be used at most stores, restaurants and hotels in well-populated or touristic places in both Chile and Argentina.

Other Travel Tips for Chile And Argentina
We recommend traveling with a money pouch hidden under your clothing. Pack as lightly as possible. If in doubt, leave it out. Remember that clothing is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased en route and space might be needed for purchases that you bring back. Avoid hardback books - paperback is always more convenient.

Student Travel
Identity cards from schools won't necessarily work abroad. To take advantage of student, youth (under 26) and teacher discounts, you need to get an International Student Identity Card or Go25 International Youth Travel Card. Check STA for more information.

Buses / Rental Cars in Chile and Argentina
Buses are comfortable, convenient and inexpensive in both Argentina and Chile. It is easy to travel with any amount of luggage (and kayaks) without the hassle of driving. Between towns there are usually options of direct buses with no stops and others that stop everywhere imaginable. Ask when each bus arrives if you are unsure. If you choose to travel overnight on a bus in Chile, there are usually at least three options from the most comfortable/ most expensive to the least comfortable/ least expensive. The most comfortable buses have seats that lie almost perfectly flat. Turbus and JAC are the biggest southbound bus companies in Santiago, Chile. There are a multitude of other bus companies of varying sizes. It is a crazy phenomenon that all buses leave and arrive on time in Chile and Argentina.

It is possible to rent a car in any town of significant size in both Chile and Argentina. Prices are comparable to those of the US.

Adventure Tours Argentina Chile