Flights to Santiago, Chile are available from most major carriers in the U.S. and Europe. It is approximately a 10-hour flight from Dallas/Fort Worth. Most flights will arrive in Santiago early in the morning. From Santiago you will need a connecting flight to Puerto Montt, Chile. While there are a few airlines offering this flight, we highly recommend LAN Chile. They have excellent connections from Santiago and offer many flights per day. Most US carriers will issue tickets connecting to the Lan flights and you will arrive in Puerto Montt in the early afternoon. If arriving from overseas, we suggest spending a night at one of the many comfortable hotels in Puerto Montt.
From Puerto Montt, we will book your morning flight to Chaiten once we confirm your international travel schedule. This spectacular flight lasts under an hour and the planes take 8-10 passengers. We will meet you in Chaiten and from there drive 3 hours to our lodge. For larger groups or people wanting to get to Futaleufú the most directly, we can book a private airplane that will take you from Puerto Montt directly to Futaleufú.
You may also access this part of Patagonia through Argentina with good air connections. You can fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina and connect by taxi to the domestic airport. Allow 4 hours for the transfer and connection. Or spend a night and enjoy the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. From there you can fly to Esquel, Argentina on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on a commercial flight. Esquel is just over an hour from the Valle Bonito and central to our fishing itineraries in Argentina.
It is possible also to fly from Buenos AIres to Bariloche, Argentina where we can meet you. There are more weekly flights to Bariloche than Esquel and it is a fun town to visit. Bariloche is a 5 plus hour drive from the Valle Bonito. For a $200 per person charge we will pick you up and drop you back off in Bariloche. U.S. and European citizens do not need a visa to enter either country and will automatically be issued a 90 day tourist visa.
Regardless of how you decide to come to Patagonia it is very important to book your airfares as soon as possible as fare rates generally increase dramatically after September first. These flights also fill quickly, so it is to your benefit to book as early as possible.
You do not need a visa to visit Chile or Argentina. A ninety day tourist visa is issued when you enter either country with a current passport. It is very important to bring cash with you to Chile. ATM’s can be hard to find especially ones compatible with your credit card. In Futaleufú, there is one ATM which will currently take master cards but not visa cards. You can also exchange Euros and Dollars at the local bank but only if your bills have no rips or tears. It can be difficult or impossible to exchange torn currency in Chile. There are more choices in Puerto Montt and Santiago where there are Banks and Casas de Cambia(money exchangers). Generally the rates are similar but the banks are often crowded and close early.
We highly recommend purchasing trip travel insurance through your local travel agent or insurance company.