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The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round


Andrew, age two, may not have much sense of place, but he was delighted to rely on city buses, local buses and long distance buses to travel around Southern Chile. As far as this young adventurer is concerned, the principal purpose of travel is to ride buses.

For older travelers, nothing could be finer than a lovely bus liner for traveling around from Chiloé to Santiago. Chilean buses beat renting a car or traveling by air. No cars to park. No turnoffs to find. More time to read, play Go-Fish, sleep and look at the scenery. With so much to see and do, travel-by-bus is almost an end in itself. It is a terrific way to see Chiloé and the Lake District of Chile.

You can start from any point in Chile, but Puerto Montt serves as an air, land and sea hub. There are dozens of travel options; trips to Puerto Varas, Chilo√©, and  Santiago to name just a few. Take a 15-seater from Puerto Montt to Puerto Varas and study the two huge volcanoes that grace the horizon. On arrival, ask the driver to drop you at his favorite restaurant along the lake shore, and chow down on curanto, a local version of New England‚Äôs clam bucket. After poking along the black sand beach, walk or take a bus to zip line rides high above the temperate rainforest canopy. The canopy and the lookout point provide a sweeping 360-degree view of the lake.

If you are not ready to hop aboard the bus and board a ferry to Bariloche, then flag down a mini bus and head back to Puerto Montt. A longer trip which takes two to four hours will bring you from Puerto Montt to Chiloé and its archipelagos. The bus drives right up on the ferry, which chugs on through to the middle and southern venues of the island. From the ferry deck, you can spot black necked swans paddling ferry-side. Once in Chiloé, stop in Ancud for the Humboldt and Magellanaic penguins, early Spanish colonial fort and an interesting modern art museum.

Use Ancud as a stepping-off point for the northern sector of the National Seashore park or keep riding the bus to Castro and beyond. Along the way there is kayaking, dozens of striking wooden churches, the second half of the national seashore, trekking, and local markets of all varieties. A bus may be your best option  to return from Southern Chile and catch a flight out through Santiago. It is a long ride, but then again, so is flying back. Travel by night and you can ride on a deluxe sleeper bus where the seats fold out to flat, sheet covered beds. Travel by day and you will see a string of volcanoes, wetlands, seaside, ranches, and vineyards.

Somewhere on route from southern Chile to Santiago our kids started singing the ‚ÄúGilligan‚Äôs Island‚ÄĚ theme song and changed the lyrics from a three-hour tour to a 10-hour trip. (Tiresome yes, but it was singing, not whining.)

Whether you choose to sing, sleep, or eat your way across the great stretch of country that is Chile, a bus is a great way to see the sights it has to offer.

Did you like this article? Then you'll like these: Coihaique, La Serena, Wine Tours Valparaiso, Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, Palestine in Chile, Easter Island, Chilling in Chiloé, Cruising From Scl To San Pedro De Atacama 2 Days, Middle Chile and Putre.

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