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The Southern Coast Travel Guide

Getting Here and Around

By Air. LAN has flights to the region from Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. They arrive at the Southern Coast's only major airport, 55 km (34 mi) south of Coyhaique, in the town of Balmaceda. Other carriers serving southern Chile include Aerolineas del Sur, Empresa CieloMarAustral, and Empresa Aero Taxi.

By Boat and Ferry. Be warned that ferries in southern Chile are slow and not always scenic, particularly if skies are the least bit clouded, but they are reliable. If you're touring the region by car, the ferry is a good choice. The main companies serving this area are Navimag, Naviera Austral and Transmarchilay.

By Bus. Service between Puerto Montt and Cochrane is by private operators such as Tur-Bus. Travel along the Carretera Austral is often agonizingly and inexplicably slow, so don't plan on getting anywhere on schedule.

By Car. You can drive the northern part of the Southern Coast without the aid of a ferry, but you'll need to spend some time in Argentina along the way, eventually crossing back into Chile near FutaleufĂș. The best route takes you to Bariloche, crossing the Argentina border near Osorno and Puyehue, just north of Puerto Montt.

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