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Getting To and Away From Punta Arenas

Air, bus and boat schedules are published in the local daily newspapers.

 

Bus

Punta Arenas has no central bus station. Several companies share terminals: Buses Ghisoni (Tel.: 61-3422), Tecni Austral (Tel.: 61-3423), Queilen Bus (Tel.: 22-2714) — Lautaro Navarro 975; Buses Fernández (Tel.: 622-1812), TuriBus (Tel.: 22-7970), El Pingüino — Sanhueza 745. Other companies have their own offices:

Bus Sur (Menéndez 552, Tel.: 61-4224), Pullman (Avenida Colón 568, Tel.: 22-3359), Buses Pacheco (Avenida Colón 900, Tel.: 22-3359). Central de Pasajeros sells tickets (with surcharge) for Tecni Austral, Ghisoni and TuriBus, and has a money exchange (Monday-Saturday 9:15 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Avenida Colón and Magallanes). During the high season, bus services are more frequent and destinations expanded.

 

To Puerto Natales: $8, 3-3.5 hours—Buses Fernández (daily 8 a.m., 9 a.m., five departures 1-8 p.m.), Bus Sur (9 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p..m.).

To Osorno / Puerto Montt / Castro, Chiloé: Same price charged to all three destinations, 27 hours / 28 hours / 33 hours—Bus Sur (Monday, Friday 9:30 a.m., $50), Queilen (Monday, Friday 9 a.m., $60), TuriBus (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 9:30 a.m., $40), Pullman (Monday, Friday 9 a.m., $50). This route passes through Argentina. Transfer in Osorno for Santiago and other northern destinations.

To Río Grande / Ushuaia, Argentina: $40 / $60, 8 hours / 13 hours – Tecni Austral (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8 a.m.), Pacheco (Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m.). Also Bus Sur in the high season. This bus boards the Punta Delgada-Bahía Azul ferry, connecting the Patagonia mainland with Tierra del Fuego island; the fare is included in the bus ticket.

To Río Gallegos: $14, 4 hours—Ghisoni (Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m.), Pacheco (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 11:30 a.m.), el Pingüino (daily 12:45 p.m.).

 

 

Air

Punta Arena’s Aeropuerto Presidente Ibáñez del Campo is on Ruta 9, 22 kilometers (13 miles) north of the city (Tel.: 21-9131). Buses Ghisoni charges $4 (from the bus station) and $6 (pick-up at your hotel), and taxis about $10 from the city to the airport ($14 from the airport to the city).

 

Lan has flights to Puerto Montt and Santiago direct thrice daily, $417 one way. An additional $16 is charged if bought in-office, no charge for on-line purchases (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Bories 884). Sky Airlines flies once daily Puerto Montt-Santiago ($105 / $160), with a stop Monday and Wednesday in Balmaceda, near Coyhaique ($80) (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Roca 935, Tel.: 71.0645). Aerovías DAP has flights Monday-Saturday to Porvenir 2-3 schedules daily, $76 round trip, 12 minutes) and to Puerto Williams (daily $211 round trip, 1.25 hours) (Monday-Friday 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., 2:30-6:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-6 p.m. O’Higgins 891, Tel.: 61-6100).

 

 

Boat

Tres Puentes, four kilometers (2.4 miles) north of downtown, is Punta Arenas’ passenger ship port.

 

Transbordadora Austral Broom is the major ferry company, providing service to various destinations in Chile’s Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Schedules change, so check the webpage (Monday-Friday 8:30-12:15 p.m., 2-6:15 p.m. Avenida Bulnes 05075, Tel.: 21-8100, Fax: 21-2186, E-mail: apalma@tabsa.cl, URL: www.tabsa.cl).

To Porvenir: Ferry Cruz Australis to Porvenir (all year long, Tuesday-Sunday, passenger $9.80, motorcycle $18, car $63).

To Isla Magdalena: Barcaza Melinca (December-February daily 4 p.m, return 9:30 p.m., adults $40, children $20, 1.5 hours one way).

To Puerto Williams: Ferry BahĂ­a Azul, Saturday, adult seat $175, adult bunk $210, children 2-10 years old 50% discount, 34 hours.

Punta Delgada-BahĂ­a Azul (connecting the highway between Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego): Several ferries daily between 8:30 a.m. and 11:45 p.m., passengers $3.20 (those traveling in bus do not pay), car $27.80.

 

Another way to travel from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams on Isla Navarino is with the Navy’s monthly boat. Check at the naval base for further details.

 

Navimag sails from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt once a week. It has an office in Punta Arenas where passage can be reserved (Magallanes 990, piso 2, Tel.: 24-4000, URL: www.navimag.cl).

 

Cruceros Australis (Santiago office: Avenida El Bosque Norte 0440, piso 11, URL: www.australis.com) offers luxury cruises From Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, Argentina, and Cabo de Hornos (October-March, 3 nights / tour days all-inclusive, average fare $1000).










By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

21 May 2009




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