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The Central Valley Travel Guide

Getting Here and Around

By Bus. The two big bus companies in the region, Pullman Bus and Tur-Bus, offer regular departures that leave precisely on time from Santiago's Alameda Terminal bound for Rancagua, Talca, Curicó, Chillán, and Concepción. One-way fare from Santiago to Chillán runs about 10,000 pesos.

By Car. Traveling by car is often the most convenient way to see the region. The Central Valley is sliced in half by Chile's major highway, the Pan-American Highway, also called Ruta 5, which passes through all of the major towns in the region. Be sure to have cash on hand for the frequent tolls, which are rather high and increase on weekends and holidays. Keep your receipt; some smaller exits have toll booths, and you can avoid the fare by showing your paid ticket. Do not be surprised to come across roadworks and minor diversions as many of the roads were damaged due to the February 2010 earthquake.

By Train. The train remains an excellent way to travel through the Central Valley. Express trains from Estación Central in Santiago to the cities of Rancagua, Curicó, Talca, Chillán, and Concepción are comfortable and faster than taking the bus or driving. Oenophiles should consider the wine train to visit different stops in the Central Valley.

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