All transport is heavily booked from late Dec through to Mar; advance booking is advised.
Flights arrive at Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Airport, 20 km north of town.
Aerovías DAP, O’Higgins 891, T061-616100, www. dap.cl, 0900-1230, 1430-1930; LanChile, Bories 884, T600-526 2000, http://www.lan.cl; Sky Airline, Roca 933, T600-600 2828, http://www.skyairline.cl.
To Balmaceda (for Coyhaique), with LanChile (LanExpress), daily in summer, and Sky Airline, 3 weekly all year, US$80. To Puerto Montt, with LanChile (LanExpress) and Sky Airline, 10 daily, from US$120 return. Cheapest one-way tickets with Sky. To Santiago, LanChile (LanExpress) and Sky Airline several daily, from US$200 return, via Puerto Montt (sit on the right for views). To Porvenir, Aerovías DAP, 2-3 daily Mon-Sat, US$34 one-way, plus other flights, with Twin-Otter and Cessna aircraft, 10 kg baggage allowance. To Puerto Williams, Aerovías DAP, daily in summer (book well in advance), US$95 one-way, 10 kg baggage allowance.
To Ushuaia (Argentina), Lan Chile, 3 weekly in summer, 1 hr, from US$200 one-way; reserve well in advance from mid-Dec to Feb. To Falkland Islands/ Islas Malvinas, LanChile, Sat, US$600 return. International Tours & Travel, T+500-22041, http://www.falklandstravel.com , serves as LanChile agents on the Falkland Islands.
Bicycle and motorbike
Bike parts from José Aguila Quezada, Arauco 2675, T061-265399. Motorbike parts from Violic, Sanhueza 285, T061-241606, also in the Zona Franca.
Buses depart from the company offices as follows: Bus Sur, Menéndez 552 T061-227145, http://www.bus-sur.cl; Cruz del Sur, Pingüino and Fernández, Sanhueza 745, T061-242313, http://www.busesfernandez.com; Gesell, Menéndez 556, T061-222896; Ghisoni, Queilen Bus and Tecniaustral, Lautaro Navarro 971, T061- 222078, www.ghisoni. terra.cl; Pacheco, Colón 900, T061-242174, http://www.busespacheco.com.
Services and frequencies change every year, so check on arrival at the helpful Sernatur office. Timetables are also printed daily in El Austral. The services detailed below are for high season only. There is a project to build a new bus terminal north of town by the Zona Franca to be shared by all bus companies.
Fernández, Buses Pacheco (best buses) and Bus Sur (cheapest), all run several services each day to Puerto Natales, 3 hrs, last departure 2000, US$9 one-way, US$16 return (although this means you have to return with the same company). Buses may pick up at the airport with advance booking and payment. To Coyhaique, 24 hrs, Bus Sur, 1 per week via Argentina, US$55, meals not included. Pacheco (semi cama and salon cama), Queilen Bus and Cruz del Sur have services through Argentina to Osorno, Puerto Montt and Castro, several weekly, 36 hrs to Castro, US$50-75.
To Río Gallegos, Pingüino, Ghisoni and Pacheco, 2 or 3 daily between them. All cost US$12 and take about 5 hrs. For services to Buenos Aires it is cheaper to go to Río Gallegos and buy an onward ticket from there. Pacheco and Tecni Austral have buses most days to Río Grande via Punta Delgada, 8 hrs, US$33, heavily booked. To Ushuaia via Punta Delgada, US$50, 12-14 hrs, book any return at same time, Tecni Austral and Pacheco, Mon-Sat between them.
Try looking in the local newspaper for special deals and bargain if you want to hire a car for several days. Budget, O’Higgins 964, T061-202720, www.budget patagonia.com; Econorent, Waldo Seguel 443, T600-200 0000, http://www.econorent.cl; EMSA, Roca 1044, and at the airport, T061-222 9049, http://www.emsarentacar.cl. Avis agents; Hertz, O’Higgins 931, T061-613087, http://www.autorentas.cl; Lubag, Colón 975, T061-242023, http://www.lubag.cl; Magallanes Rent a Car, O’Higgins 949, T061-220780, http://www.magallanesrentacar.cl; Payne Rent a Car, Menéndez 631, T061-240852, http://www.payne.cl, try bargaining, friendly.
For ferry services to Tierra del Fuego, see page . Transbordadores Austral Broom, Bulnes 05075, T061-218100, http://www.tabsa.cl, has a weekly ferry service to Puerto Williams, leaves Wed, 34 hrs, US$175 in a reclining seat, US$210 in a bunk.
Cruceros Australis operate a pair of luxury cruise ships, sailing twice weekly from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia via Cape Horn and Puerto Williams. The trip lasts 4 days with daily excursions and, weather permitting, fantastic views of glaciers and wildlife; details from Comapa in Punta Artenas or direct from Cruceros Australis SA, Miraflores 178, piso 12, Santiago, T02-6963211, www.aust ralis.com. Advance booking advised.
Government supply ships are only recommended for the young and hardy; take a sleeping bag, extra food and travel pills. For transport on navy supply ships to Cape Horn, ask at Tercera Zona Naval, Lautaro Navarro 1150, be prepared to be frustrated by irregular sailings (about 1 every 3 months) and inaccurate information. You will almost certainly need a letter of recommendation. During the voyage across the Drake Passage, albatrosses, petrels, cormorants, penguins, elephant seals, fur seals, whales and dolphins can all be sighted.
Most cruise ships to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia (Argentina). However, there are a few operators based in Punta Arenas, for example Antárctica XXI, Lautaro Navarro 987, piso 2, T061-228783, www.antarctica xxi.com who offer a flight/cruise package.
Ordinary taxis have yellow roofs. Reliable service is available from Radio Alce vip, T061-710999, and Taxi Austral, T061-247710/T244409. Colectivos (all black) run on fixed routes within the city, US$0.70 for anywhere on the route.