Boarding a flight to Chile offers more than interesting blend of cultures. Chile introduces travelers to excellent wines and seafood, unique handicrafts and shopping, and whole lot of history. Together with the 16 million people who call Chile home, this country and its artifacts make it one of the most ideal places to visit.
Travelers booking Chile flights can find direct service to Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez airport from Miami, Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Most international flights to Chile are red-eyes, so visitors have a relaxing first day in Chile before hitting the Andes Mountains or going all out on a shop-til-you-drop escapade in one of Chile's fashionable cities.
Book a flight to Chile to revel in its lively atmosphere.
Much of Chile is covered with mountains and snow. The deserts in the north are warm in the day and cool in the night. The center of the country has a more Mediterranean climate, with rains from May to August. The south is very cold, especially in the winter, and rainy.
Best Time to Fly to Chile
Chile's location between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean creates a varied climate for this South American country. Before booking flights to Chile, travelers should be aware of the specific climate and seasonal changes that are common with various Chilean cities.
The major cities are year-round destinations, with plenty to do regardless of weather. For activity holidays such as hiking, biking or trekking, or if visiting areas such as Patagonia, the peak season is November through April when there is less rain. June to October is the season for skiing.
Chile's major celebrations are Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and Chile's Independence and Armed Forces days (September 18 and 19, respectively). Visitors heading to Chile during Independence and Armed Forces Day should book Chile flights and accommodations months in advance. The parties can carry on for days and many hotels book up fast.
June to October is when there is the largest rainfall across the country and the coldest temperatures, but when many U.S. travelers can find cheap flights to Chili.
Getting around Chile
Domestic flights to Chile are available throughout the country with airline LAN. If you’re planning on making lots of Chile flights, get the LAN “Visit South America Air Pass” which will give discounted tickets within Chile and also to Peru and Ecuador. There are other regional airlines flying to different destinations.
The bus system in Chile is very good. The network covers much of the country and service is cheap and efficient. In comparison, trains are poor; many lines are used only for freight.
The following chart gives approximate journey times fromSantiago
(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Chile.
Chile Travel Information
- Santiago, the country’s capital is a bustling metropolis. With the snow-topped Andes as a backdrop, the city can serve as a starting point to a skiing holiday in the mountains. However, there is also much to see in the city itself. The square in the middle of the city, Plaza de Armas is a good place to start a sightseeing tour. Almost all tourists find their way to the lively plaza, which contains many artists and their painters and is surrounded by popular tourist destinations such as the National Museum and the 18th-century cathedral.
- Easter Island, located off the Chilean coast, is a popular destination in its own right, and definitely worth visiting when traveling in Chile. The symbol of the islands is its huge stone heads, called moai. There are lots of different spots to see the moai. For 15 lined up together, with a backdrop of the sea, head to Ahu Tongariki.
- Pucon is a popular tourist spot for its lake and volcano. There are also innumerable sports to take part in from horse riding to water-skiing. For a more relaxed time you could just spend the day at one of the beaches around Lake Villarrica. The sand on these beaches is black, formed from old lava flow from the volcano. The beaches are well-developed, with bars, restaurants and places to change.
- A UNESCO World Heritage site, Valparaiso has been named the country’s “cultural capital” and after a few days in the city it’s not hard to see why. Overlooking the bay is one of the most popular cultural buildings, the house and gardens of poet Pablo Neruda’s, open Tuesday to Sunday. First opened to the public in 1992, the house has been restored to its condition when Neruda lived and worked in it.
- Sampling the local cuisine is a must. Try empanadas, turnovers filled with meat or cheese, seafood, especially from coastal towns and asados, barbecued meat.