How To Get There





Fly to Santiago, Chile (from the USA via Miami, Dallas, San Francisco, or Los Angeles) on various airlines including American, Delta, Continental, or Lan Chile.  From Santiago you fly to the Puerto Montt (the port city for cruises to Antarctica and the Strait of Magellan) about an hour and 45 minute flight.  Then via commuter airline service to Chaiten  (about a 45 minute flight) where we pick you up and transport you to PUMA II or to the lodge (about a 30-45 minute drive).  Therefore you can leave the USA in the evening and be fishing the next afternoon!  We are easier to get to than Alaska if you live in the eastern half of the USA. There is no significant jet lag from time zone change either. You may wish to break up your travel with a day in the lovely capital of Santiago or the coastal resort area of Vina Del Mar, or even Puerto Montt or go straight down and go fishing.  Chile and the USA have agreed that there no longer will be need for payment of a landing fee for residents of the USA.  Other country residents may have to pay a landing fee upon arrival in Santiago

We will make your flight reservations from Puerto Montt to Chaiten (the new airport that replaces the Santa Barbara airport, located on the coast, about 15 miles north of old Chaiten) so that they coordinate well with your arrival in Puerto Montt and your arrival in Chaiten.  You can pay this portion at Puerto Montt or we can pay and you can reimburse us.  The scheduled commuter airlines have a maximum baggage allowance of about 45 lbs.  If your baggage weighs more they charge an additional nominal fee.  The two airlines that fly back and forth between Puerto Montt and Chaiten are PEWEN which uses Grand Caravans  and AEROCORD  which flies its Twin Otters and a few Grand Caravans.  

  We have explained and explained to both airlines that people coming from the USA and Europe that want to fly directly down to Chaiten must have  flights in the afternoon.  It has been like talking to a wall.   Finally they have decided that they will fly scheduled flights on Mon. Wed. and Friday at 3:30 PM - it only took 5 years of complaining about their previous  schedule of only on Fri. there was a scheduled afternoon flight. Now their schedules are (if they don't change them) to fly at 9:30 AM.  and, 11:30 AM 6 days a week and fly at 3:30 PM on Mon., Wed. and Fri.  There are no flights on Sundays. These airlines operate out of the general aviation terminal, therefore a transfer between the international airport in Puerto Montt and the general aviation airport ( La Paloma) is necessary -about 30-45 minutes travel time.  We have people meet your flight from Santiago and transfer you to La Paloma - as well as the return transfers.  The cost for the RT flight including transfers has been about 350USD.  SEATS ON THESE COMMUTER PLANES ARE IN HIGH DEMAND DURING THE TOURIST SEASON SO THEY MUST BE BOOKED WELL IN ADVANCE.
GOOD NEWS FOR OUR RETURNING GUESTS -- THE ROAD IS NOW PAVED  BETEEN SANTA BARBARA AND CHAITEN  AND THEY ARE WORKING ON PAVING THE ROAD BETWEEN SANTA BARBARA AND THE NEW AIRPORT AT CHANA (NEW CHAITEN AIRPORT WHICH HAS BEEN IN OPERATION FOR 3 YEARS.   SINCE THIS AIRPORT IS CLOSE TO THE OCEAN WEATHER DELAYS WILL BE REDUCED DRAMATICALLY.



The most efficient travel down from the USA or Europe is to leave in the early evening (Sun., Tues., or Thur.)  so that you arrive in Santiago as early as possible in the morning and can transfer to one of the domestic flights to Puerto Montt with an arrival no later than about 10:30 AM if you want to make the 11:30 AM (this is a tight connection but okay if the plane to Puerto Montt is on time, however, to play it safe it is better to take the afternoon flight). We recommend that you allow for about 2 hours from the time that you land in Santiago until your flight departure for Puerto Montt to clear customs and check in for the flight to Puerto Montt.    Of course if you prefer to spend a day in Santiago or Puerto Montt you can make the AM flights (if you stay in Santiago you need to make one of the early morning flights to Puerto Montt to fly on one of the morning flights to Chaiten).
Return flights with connections back to the USA or Europe usually can be made easily with either commuter airline as most of the flights out of  Santiago are in the evenings.  We can also help you with the Santiago/Puerto Montt segment of your trip, often at a significant savings to you (these are use them or lose them tickets).  Just let us know if you want to take advantage of this offer.  We also have greeters to meet you in Santiago if necessary and can make hotel recommendations in Santiago and Puerto Montt if desired.

THIS MAY SEEM COMPLICATED TO YOU BUT WE HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS AND THE LAST THING WE WANT IS FOR YOU TO HAVE TRAVEL PROBLEMS AND ARRIVE AT THE LODGE IN A BAD MOOD.  WE WANT YOUR TRAVEL TO BE VERY SMOOTH SO BEFORE YOU FINALIZE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS PLEASE LET US LOOK AT THE ITINERARY SO YOUR TRAVEL IS PROBLEM FREE.