Flights to Patagonia: key information

  • For travel to Chilean Patagonia your international flight must fly into Santiago International Airport (SCL) in Santiago, officially known as Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport. Onward domestic flights to Patagonia also depart from this airport.
  • For travel to Argentinian Patagonia, your international flight must fly into Ezeiza International Airport (EZEin Buenos Aires, officially known as Ministro Pistarini International Airport. If you're arriving from elsewhere in Latin America, a small number of flights also land at Aeroparque Internacional Jorge Newbery (AEP), also in Buenos Aires.
  • Baggage allowances on domestic flights are usually smaller than on international flights: check your booking carefully before you pack. 

How to get to Patagonia

Travel to Patagonia

Getting to Chilean Patagonia

How to get to Patagonia

Chile's hub airport for both international and domestic flights is Santiago's Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL).

Chile's national airline is LATAM, who operate an extensive domestic network. SKY and JetSmart also offer domestic flights, although the reliability of the latter can vary. Aerocord and Aerovías DAP both operate small planes used to get around destinations like Aysen and Tierre del Fuego.

For flights to Torres del Paine, the main flight route is to Puerto Natales (PNT, three hours 25mins) a two-hour drive from the national park. Unfortunately, demand far outstrips supply for the low number of flights operating this route, meaning that seats are often unavailable or very expensive. In practice, most travellers to Torres del Paine fly into Punta Arenas, from where it is a three-hour bus journey to Puerto Natales, then the additional transit time to the park. The two flight times are almost identical.

For the Chilean Lake District, flights go to Puerto Montt (PMC, one hour 50mins), close to Puerto Varas. For those basing themselves in Pucón, there is the alternative of flying to Temuco (ZCO, one hour 25 minutes).

For Chiloé Island, there are flights from Santiago to Castro (MHC, two hours).

For Aysen, there are flights to Coyhaique (Balmaceda, BBA, two hours 20 minutes). Coyhaique is also connected by air to Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas by DAP Airlines. Chaitén airport (WCH) is connected to Puerto Montt (15 minutes) by Aerocord.

For the Chilean Fjords and Tierra del Fuego, flights go to Punta Arenas (PUQ, three hours 30 minutes). As well as flights to Puerto Montt and Coyhaique, Punta Arenas also has small plane connections with DAP Airlines to Chilean Tierra del Fuego at Puerto Williams (WPU) and Pampa Guanaco (DPB, both 45 minutes.

Other useful domestic flight connections from Santiago include to Calama (Airport code CJC, two hours) for the Atacama Desert, and Easter Island (Airport code IPC, four hours 25 minutes).

For travel between Chile and Argentina, there are direct flights from Santiago to Buenos Aires and Bariloche.

Getting to Argentinian Patagonia

How to get to Patagonia

Buenos Aires has two airports. Argentina's international hub airport is Buenos Aire's Ezeiza International Airport (EZE). Domestic flights leave from the city's Aeroparque Internacional Jorge Newbery (AEP), close to the centre of Buenos Aires. We recommend allowing five hours to transfer between the two.

Argentina's national airline is Aerolíneas Argentinas, who operate an extensive domestic network, along with LATAM. The budget airlines JetSmart and Fly Bondi also offer domestic flights, but their schedules are sometimes prone to disruption.

To get to Los Glaciares National Park, flights go to El Calafate (FTE, three hours). El Calafate is also connected with seasonal flights to Ushuaia (75 minutes), Bariloche (one hour 45 minutes) and Trelew (one hour 35 minutes).

For the Argentinian Lake District there are multiple daily flights to Bariloche (BRC, two hours) and San Martín de los Andes (CPC, two hours).

For Peninsula Valdes and Welsh Patagonia, most flights go to Trelew (REL, one hour 55 minutes), with a smaller number connecting to Puerto Madryn (PMC, one hour 45 minutes).

For Tierra del Fuego, these are plentiful flights to Ushuaia (USH, three hours 30 minutes).

Other useful domestic flight connections from Buenos Aires include to Mendoza (MDZ, one hour 55 minutes ) for wine country, Iguazú (IGU, two hours) for the waterfalls, Córdoba (COR, one hour 15 minutes) for Argentina’s second city and Salta (SLA, two hours) for its colonial architecture.

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Travelling in Patagonia

Getting around Chilean Patagonia

How to get to Patagonia
  • Bus Chile is stitched together by a network of safe and comfortable long-distance buses. The main operators are TurBus and Pullman. Overnight services offer dinner, breakfast and drinks. There are several classes of seat. The simplest is clásico, which is like a traditional airline seat. Semi-cama seats recline more fully and are usually found on double-decker coaches. Cama and premium seats offer seats that either recline almost completely or fold down flat: these typically cost around 50% more than regular seats but can be worth it for long distances. Useful cross-border buses to Argentina include Puerto Varas to Bariloche, Puerto Natales to El Calafate and Punta Arenas to Ushuaia.
  • Car For self-drivers, the 1250km/760 mile Carretera Austral through Aysen from Puerto Montt to Villa O'Higgins offers one of South America's great road trips, taking you far off the beaten track. Many roads in Chilean Patagonia are unpaved with very long distances between and can offer challenging conditions for inexperienced drivers. 
  • Boat Travelling the length of Chile by ferry through the fjords is one of the country's scenic highlights. Navimag operates a ferry service between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales. The voyage takes four days/three nights. Naviera Austral offer ferry services from Puerto Montt on various routes through the fjords. Ferries also sail from Puerto Montt to Chiloé Island. For a real novelty, you can cross the Andes by the Cruce Andino combined ferry-bus service, crossing four lakes between Puerto Varas and Bariloche.
  • Private transfer Private transfers save a lot of time and take you to exactly where you want to be at the time you need to be there. Swoop can help best advise when the convenience outweighs the extra cost, to get the most out of your trip.

Getting around Argentinian Patagonia

View of FitRoy mountain skyline from the road to El Chalten
  • Bus Buses are the most popular long-distance transport option in Argentina, and make an excellent, safe and comfortable choice. Thankfully, the scenic vistas in Patagonia tend to make the vast distances pass a little easier.  As with Chile, there are four different seat options with increasing comfort and reclining seats: clásico, semi-cama, cama and premium. Useful cross-border buses to Chile include Bariloche to Puerto Varas, El Calafate to Puerto Natales and Ushuaia to Punta Arenas.
  • Car Private car hire offers the chance to explore some of Argentina's most scenic routes at your own leisure. One of our favourites is the Route of the Seven Lakes (Ruta Sieta Lagos) in the Argentinian Lake District. Further south where public transport can be more infrequent, such as along Patagonia's Ruta Nacional 40, a car offers plenty of scope for adventure but the remote gravel roads and long distances involved make this an option for experienced drivers only. 
  • Private transfer Where you need it, Swoop can arrange private transfers with our local partners to offer you the flexibility you may need to put together your prefect trip.

Getting to Patagonia FAQs

  • How do I fly to Patagonia from the UK?

    Flights to Chile from the UK

    British Airways fly direct from London Heathrow (LHR) to Santiago (SCL), taking 14 hours and 30 minutes. LATAM fly from London via Madrid or São Paolo, while Iberia fly via Madrid. 

    Flights to Argentina from the UK

    British Airways operate a direct flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Buenos Aires (EZE), which takes just over 13 hours. Indirect flights with good connections through European hubs include with Iberia through Madrid or with Air France via Paris. LATAM fly from Heathrow via São Paolo.

  • How do I fly to Patagonia from the USA?

    Flights to Chile from the US

    Santiago is well connected to the USA. LATAM flies direct to Santiago from New York (JFK, 10 hours 30 minutes) and Miami (MIA, eight hours 10 minutes) and from Los Angeles via Lima (LAX, 13 hours 50 minutes). American Airlines fly direct from Dallas (DFW, nine hours 30 minutes), Miami (MIA, eight hours 10 minutes). Delta fly direct to Santiago from Atlanta (ATL, nine hours 10 minutes). 

    Flights to Argentina from the US

    Both Aerolíneas Argentinas and American Airlines fly direct to Buenos Aires (EZE) from New York (JFK, 11 hours) and Miami (MIA, nine hours). American Airlines also fly direct from Dallas (DFW, 10 hours 30 minutes). Aerolíneas Argentinas and Delta Airlines fly direct from Atlanta (ATL) to Buenos Aires (10 hours). There are no direct flights to Buenos Aires from California, so you must connect through another US hub.

  • How do I fly to Patagonia from Canada?

    Flights to Chile from Canada

    Air Canada operate the only direct flights from Canada to Santiago, departing from Toronto (YYZ) with a flight time of around 10 hours 40 minutes. Wider connections are available through the US hub airports of New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Dallas (DFW) or Atlanta (ATL)

    Flights to Argentina from Canada

    Air Canada operate a service between Toronto (YYZ) and Buenos Aires, with a stop at either Bogota or São Paulo. 

  • How do I fly to Patagonia from Australia?

    Flights to Chile from Australia

    Qantas and LATAM both operate direct flights from Sydney (SYD) to Santiago. The flights take around 12 hours 40 minutes. An alternative route is to travel via Aukland in New Zealand, which also direct flights to Santiago. 

    Flights to Argentina from Australia

    There are no direct flights between Australia and Argentina. The quickest way to complete this journey is to fly to Santiago via Syndey or Aukland and then take a connecting flight to Buenos Aires (a travel time of around two hours). 

  • How do I fly to Patagonia from New Zealand?

    Flights to Chile from New Zealand

    LATAM have a direct flight from Aukland (AKL) to Santiago, taking just under 12 hours. 

    Flights to Argentina from New Zealand

    There are no direct flights from New Zealand to Argentina. The most efficient way to make this journey is to fly to Santiago and then take a connecting flight to Buenos Aires – a travel time of around two hours. 

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