Muse of poets and prize of conquistadors, the skinny strip of land that falls between the saw-toothed peaks of the Andes and the vast Pacific Ocean has long been the gateway to the big South American trip. Stop in to discover the dramatic landscapes of the Andes and Atacama Desert through to the everyday pleasures of the Casablanca Valley and ramshackle artists' enclave of Valparaíso. Book your flight to Santiago, Chile, direct from Australia with Qantas.
Flights to Santiago, Chile
Weather conditions differ across Chile. It remains cooler in the north but generally speaking temperatures reach approximately 30°C during summer and remain mild in winter with temperatures hovering around 15°C.
Starts first Sunday of October or after 9 October to first Sunday of March or after 9 March
The ever-looming Andes chain runs like a crooked, bony spine just back from its western edge, and includes the towering peaks and famous W trek of Torres del Paine National Park. The Andes is the largest continental mountain range in the world – running the length of the South American continent, its jagged peaks are quintessential to the character of Chile.
To the north of Santiago is the driest place on earth, the dramatic Atacama Desert with vast night skies studded with brilliant stars. To the south there are the wilds of Patagonia, made up of vast ice fields and breathtaking fjords. Travel further still to the extreme south and ‘the end of the world’ where Punta Arenas, the Straits of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego form a gateway to the pristine wilderness of the Antarctic archipelago.
And of course there’s cosmopolitan Santiago on the banks of the Mapocho River in Central Chile, a capital city since colonial times, with an idiosyncratic mix of modern skyscrapers and 19th century neoclassical architecture and a perfect base from which to explore.
Norte Grande and El Norte Chico includes the chi-chi beach town Iquique at the foot of the 800km coastal cordillera (where you can also see nitrate mines and follow a ghost town train to former saltpetre mining towns Humbastino and Santa Lauro), the pretty coastal colonial city La Sirena, the adobe oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, the extraordinary Atacama Desert (with its salt flats, volcanic landscapes, geysers, pink flamingos and Incan geoglyphs ) and the lush highlands (Altiplano) of the Andes where llamas are herded.
The central region has the dynamic capital city Santiago (with its juxtaposition of modern architecture and historic European-style buildings) and historic port-city Valparaíso (a UNESCO World heritage site), the wine valleys of Acongagua, San Antonio and Colchagua, and the ski resorts of El Colorado, Portillo, La Parva and Valle Nevado.
Southern Chile includes the fertile Central Valley with orchards and vineyards, stately haciendas and rodeos; Chile’s Lake District; and the important manufacturing town and university city of Concepcíon, the country’s second-largest city, and the island of Chiloé, a charming rural backwater off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean known for its picturesque whitewashed churches.
Patagonia is a vast and varied plain that encompasses the cattle ranches of the steppes, immense ice fields, glaciers and fjords and the granite Torres del Paine massif popular with hikers and climbers. At the extreme southern end of the country in Western Patagonia, the gold frontier town city of Punta Arenas (one of the southernmost cities) and the island Tierra del Fuego (across the Magellan Strait and shared with Argentina), serve as a gateway to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean 3526km from the continental mainland – it’s famous for its unique ancient Polynesian culture and 887 giant stone moais.
Once you’ve ticked off the sprawling city of Santiago and the charming port city of Valparaíso and taken a wine tour through the Casablanca Valley, it’s time to see more of this idiosyncratic country. Try the following:
- Take an urban art tour in Santiago to see the 35 giant murals that form an outdoor museum.in the revitalized barrio of Brasil
- Visit the culturally unique island of Chiloé with indigenous middens and beautiful churches built by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century
- Explore the striking desert landscape of salt-flats, geysers and volcanoes in the Valley of the
- Moon, the Valley of Death and the Salt Mountains in the Atacama Desert
- Snorkel the turquoise waters off rocky beaches in the Reserva Nacional Pan de Azúcar, the national park in northern Chile where desert meets sea
- Take the wine route from Rosario through the Bío Bío and Maupo valleys where vines were planted by conquistadors in the mid-16th century
- Go shopping for antiques in the ferrias (markets) of Santiago and Valparaíso
- Surf South America’s number one surf spot, on the Pacific Coast at Punta de Lobos, Pichilemu
- See the stunning llama caravan geogylphs signposting the way to the coast, artworks created in the landscape by the Incans of Tiliviche
- Take four hours to climb up the snow-covered volcano in Púcon then slide down in 30 minutes in a special snow suit
- Camp out in the Andes at Parque Nacional Conguillío with a landscape of alpine lakes, canyons, and native forests with araucaria (monkey puzzle trees) made famous in Walking with Dinosaurs and the active volcano, Volcán Llaima
- While away some time in the layback beach-town Iquique with its gorgeous Georgian-style architecture and wooden beachfront promenades
- Rise early from San Pedro de Atacama for a sunrise visit to see the salt lake Laguna Chaxa dotted with pink flamingoes in the San Pedro Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos
- Go trekking high on the Altiplano in the Parque Nacional Lauca past white-washed villages, pastures with llamas, steaming geysers and staggering views of white-capped volcanoes
- Go back-country skiing or snowboarding in the valleys of El Arpa and La Honda to the west of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Andes
- Stay with modern-day cowboys at a homestay in Villa O’Higgins at the end of the 1240km highway Carretera Austral, in Patagonia and step over the border to Argentina
- Catch some sun on the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar
- Visit the quirky, nautical-themed house of poet Pablo Neruda overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Isla Negra
- Explore the Valle del Elqui from the pretty Andes village Pisco Elqui where pisco (grape brandy) has been distilled for hundreds of years
- Take the unique Southern Patagonian W trek in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine through a landscape of glaciers at the end of the world
- Watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks explode carnation-like over the Valparaíso Harbour
- See the Huanchaca ruins, the rust-red remains of an expansive mineral refinery built in 1888 on the coast at Antofagasta at the very north of the country
- Go white-water rafting on the clear blue, fast-flowing and glacier till waters of Futaleufú River that start in Argentina, cross the Andes and flow into Chile
Bestselling in tours in Chile at qantas.com right now…
- 4-Day Atacama Desert Tour: Moon Valley, Geysers del Tatio and the Chilean Salt Flats
- Private Tour: Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso Day Trip from Santiago
- Santiago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
- Cousino Macul and Concha y Toro Wineries Day Trip from Santiago
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Flights to Santiago arrive at Santiago International Airport. If you are staying in Santiago, you’ll need to take an official taxi (be careful of touts) or an organised private transfer. Buses are not an easy option.
Otherwise, there are plenty of internal flight options in Chile if you’re travelling between cities. Qantas offer onward connections to cities across South America with oneworld® partners LAN and TAM, the choice is yours. Buses also run on the main routes between key destinations. Train travel is possible although can be slow.
Taxis are readily available and the recommended form of transport for night travel. They can be hailed from the street or caught at designated stands – the two types are the yellow-blue stripe public taxis and the blue, green and white radio taxis.
Four flights to Santiago from Sydney per week from February 2015 with onward flights on our codeshare partners LAN and TAM.
World's Best Inflight Wine Cellar 2013
Awarded Best First, Business and Overall Wine Cellar at Business Traveller 'Cellars in the Sky Awards' 2013
Upgraded B747 aircraft
Enjoy a state of the art cabin experience on our upgraded B747-400 aircraft on flights to Santiago
Relax in a lounge
Let us look after you in our Associated Lounge in Santiago
Note that all flights are subject to aircraft changes. Seating configurations and product features may vary between aircraft, including aircraft of the same type.
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FLIGHTS TO SANTIAGO, CHILE
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