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Southward from Santiago

Perth, Australia
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Southward from Santiago

Hi All,

I am heading to Santiago with my wife in Late march and after a couple days in Santiago plan on heading southward to explore the coast and the lake district over a 2 week period.

I want to head towards Valparaiso first and hit the coastal road to Conception to catch some of the surf in the area before heading inland to see the lakes and the volcanoes and hopefully some of the fjord lands around Puerto Montt/Varas.

I had originally been thinking of renting a small car to do the journey but as we are on a pretty tight budget (US$50each/day) i was starting to think it might be better to just catch buses/trains between major locations and just rent a car when we get to Puerto Varas to explore some of the more off the beaten track locations. Can anyone comment on how easy it is to get around south Chili without a rental car? To get to out of the way spots. ie. national parks, surf spots, etc...

Are there smaller buses running from the southern towns/cities to get you out to sight seeing spots without having to book expensive tours?

Any advice on this area would be greatly appreciated,

Many thanks

Santiago, Chile
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for Chile, Santiago
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1. Re: Southward from Santiago

Without assuring you about specific buses, I can say that you can get everywhere by bus in Chile. It might sometimes be slow and less than direct, but you will arrive. I would advise that US$50 a day for two people is cutting things very fine. Chile is not cheap. There is no highways along the coast from Valparaiso to Concepcion. The highways run through the Valle Central.

Santiago, Chile
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for Chile
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2. Re: Southward from Santiago

All over Chile there are small bus companies with no website which go from place to place. In the south JAC covers most destinations with small buses and they do have a website. The only major train line is between Santiago and Chillan. People travel by bus. You can also find "colectivos", shared taxis on fixed routes in some places.

Transport will often take you to near a national park but often there is a secondary road in with no public transport. It varies. You can always hire a taxi to drop you and pick you up or there are lots of small local companies which will do day tours.

Puerto Varas, Chile
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474 posts
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3. Re: Southward from Santiago

in the Puerto Varas area, there are some very tiny buses, (I can't stand up properly, but they normally have seats available except when it's very busy), and they go to a lot places, just not very frequently. for instance

if you are used to hiking on your own, you can take one of these to Petrohue, and see the falls, then hike the trails that surround the Osorno volcano.

you can choose short, medium, or very long trails

the llanquihue map is very helpful

link: trekkingchile.com/EN/bm-maps-chile-lake-dist…

Puerto Varas, Chile
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4. Re: Southward from Santiago

ah, and the trekking into Cochamo (you can also get regularly scheduled buses from Puerto Varas to Ralun/Cochamo area),

is stunning

5. Re: Southward from Santiago

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