|San Pedro de Atacama||£716|
The peak season in Chile lasts from around December to the end of February. This is when summer really kicks in and the weather is very hot. A lot of Brazilians and Argentines decide to take their vacations to Chile around then so expect very expensive hotel rates. Cheap flights to Chile are also incredibly difficult to find during the summer so make sure you secure your flight tickets well in advance to avoid overpaying. To avoid the intense crowds and extortionate pricing, book your flights to Chile around either late September to December or from March until June time. September to December is when spring begins to engulf the country and everything begins to bloom and March through to June is autumn so everything begins to go golden and crisp. The temperatures are more pleasant and cheap flights to Chile are easier to find during these seasons. Holy Week is the week before Easter Sunday and there is a huge influx of visitors to the country. The Vendimias take place from around late February through to early May and are big wine harvesting festivals that occur all across the country.
The off season can vary depending on where in Chile you’ll be for example Santiago sees reduced hotel rates and cheap flight tickets during the peak summer months. This is because a lot of locals take their holidays around January/February so parts of the city can seem very quiet and empty.
Regardless of when you are hoping to visit Chile, you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured your flight tickets at least four months in advance. If you’re visiting during the peak months then aim for five or even six months ahead of time. If you can be flexible with your dates and your overall destination then you’ll find the cheapest flights to Chile are relatively easy to come by. Being flexible allows you to avoid the major holiday months where school term has finished or when summer is at its peak. Deciding which side of the plane to sit on depends on the wind and the direction you’ll be landing. If you are approaching from the north then you’ll want to sit on the left hand side of the plane to view the Andes and the city, whereas landing from the south means you’ll want the right hand side.
Flights from London to Santiago, Chile: 16 hours 50 minutes.
Flights from Manchester to Easter Island, Chile: 1 day 21 minutes.
Flights from Birmingham to Santiago, Chile: 17 hours 15 minutes.
Flights from Glasgow to Easter Island, Chile: 1 day 7 hours.
The airlines that are available to you when you’re booking your flights to Chile will all depend on what airport you are departing from and where in Chile you want to go. Easter Island for example is only reachable from either Santiago or Tahiti, both offering just one flight a day. From Santiago the only airline that operates the route is LAN. To other areas of Chile you’ll be able to find flight tickets from British Airways, LAN, American, Air Europa and Air Canada to name a few. Due to the distance you’ll more than likely be combining a couple of airlines together to complete the journey, which isn’t always a bad thing. By comparing different airlines together you can figure out who provides you with the best value for money and will help you find the cheapest flights to Chile.
Getting from the airport in Santiago isn’t necessarily a difficult task although you are slightly limited on your options. The most convenient way to get into the city is via a taxi. Once you go through customs you’ll find some taxi counters. From here you’ll want to buy a flat-rate ticket. Generally all the pricing is competitive and rather similar although you might be able to barter down the price slightly. You can usually expect to pay between 13,000 CLP – 30,000 CLP (£15.00-£35.00) for the journey. Once you’ve paid for your ticket, the firm you are travelling with will usually escort you into the main lobby and help you find a designated driver. This is to prevent people from getting into cabs who aren’t legitimate so don’t worry. Another option is to go to one of the bus firm counters, there are a few available and they will be cheaper than the taxi. That said, it is worth pre-arranging bus transport at least 24 hours before your flights to Chile.
Easter Island is a very limited place to visit. It takes an incredible amount of time to get there and once you land you’re only option of transportation is a taxi. You can find them outside of the airport and the distance isn’t far at all. A lot of people tend to either hire a 4×4 so they can easily find their way around the island and all of its amazing ruins and monuments, although paying for a guided tour is recommended so that you don’t miss out on anything. You can rent a vehicle from the airport but this is best arranging in advance when you are booking your flights to Chile.
(prices quoted are from London)