The capital city of Santiago and Chiloé Island are 764 miles (1,230 km) apart. The best and fastest way to make this journey is by taking a flight to Puerto Montt and an additional bus ride to the island.
Another route is done solely by bus which is approximately a 13-hour journey. Although this option is longer it does have the least stops which make it comfortable. Alternatively booking a transfer is also a great choice with no transfers, comfortable, and stops on your own terms according to your arrangements. For the adventurer—renting a car is the number one choice.
For a short 5-day trip that takes you from the diverse Chilean capital to rafting along the Petrohué River, exploring the Puerto Varas National Park, and more on your way to Chiloé Island, consider this itinerary.
By Plane and Private Transfer or Bus
Duration: 5-6 hours
This route starts by taking one of the many direct flights offered each day from the Santiago International Airport (SCL) to El Tepual International Airport (PMC) in Puerto Montt.
You can book a private transfer from the airport directly to your hotel on Chiloé Island. This will save you the hassle of trying to coordinate your journey with the bus timetables, and the drive will take two hours.
You can also catch a bus at Terminal Municipal de Puerto Montt, where you'll hop on a bus to Ancud on Chiloé Island. Your bus ride to Ancud will take about two hours.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 14 hours, more with stops and overnights
If you'd like to do more sightseeing along the way to Chiloé Island, you can book a private transfer or rent a car, as this will allow you to take a couple of side trips. Some of the places worth visiting along Route 5 and Route 7 are Puerto Montt, the Osorno Volcano, and the Calbuco Volcano.
With a car rental, you have more freedom to make it a 2-day journey if you'd like, where you can stay the night in Temuco and Los Angeles. Don't forget to visit Salto del Laja (Laja Falls) located between Los Angeles and Chillán.
If you'd like a little more guidance, consider asking one of our local specialists for help in planning your itinerary. You can also see more of the wonders of Chile's Atacama desert and lake district with this 8-day tour that starts in Santiago and includes visits to the Atacama Salt Flats, the Valley of the Moon and more on your way to Chiloé Island.
Duration: 13 hours
Taking a bus from Santiago to Chiloé Island leaves you with two main options. The fastest one is to take a bus to Ancud—a 12-hour journey with some stops for stretching your legs, but none of those stops will be long enough for sightseeing. The second choice is to get on a direct bus to Castro, which will take 16 hours with some stops along the way.
As these rides are fairly long and don't stop in destinations that you might want to stay overnight in, it is not a recommended option.