Getting Around in Chile

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When visiting the southernmost Chilean city of Punta Arenas, transportation options are many. Punta Arenas is a prominent stop along the  Strait of Magellan, a the point of departure for Antarctic expeditions. It is also a major fueling station between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, a thus many cruise ships stop at Punta Arenas harbor.

Take the Bus

Taking the bus can be a bit confusing as Punta Arenas has many different bus companies and no central bus station. You will need to go to a bus office to buy your ticket and catch a bus. Most of the offices are found near the Av Colon. The closest thing to a central bus office is the Central de Pasajeros. It is best to pick up your ticket a few hours early, though a full day is even better. Some of the local bus companies include Buses Pacheco, Buses Fernandez, Buses Poiinguino, Queilen Bus, Buses Ghisoni, techni Austral and Bus Sur.

Ride on a Boat

Punta Arenas is a natural location for boat travel. You can visit Tierra del Fuego and Porvenir by boat as they regularly depart from the ferry terminal. It is best to make reservations at least a day in advance as the boat schedule will change depending on the weather and its season. You can catch a ferry to the Isla Navarino though the ferry only runs twice a week. There are some great scenic cruises available during the winter season.

Rent a Car

Renting a car is an affordable option and the best car rental companies are those found in town. Try Adel Rent a Car, Lubar, Budget and the Automovil Club de Chile. Bear in mind that hiring a car in Chile and then driving to Argentina is not a good idea. It is quite expensive and requires international insurance. If you are interested in seeing areas outside of the town, it is best to rent a car. There is no train service to the city and you can reach most of the surrounding area on a car.


Taxis are only a little bit more expensive than taking the bus and are easily identifiable by their bright yellow color. You'll find the  drivers polite and helpful. If you are using one for a long journey, negotiate the fare before you start the trip. You are not expected to tip. Official taxis will have a meter and registration number in plain sight.

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