From Santiago in the north of Chile, it's 1,877 miles (3,000 km) to the Punta Arenas in the south. The fastest and best way you can get to Punta Arenas is to travel by plane, catching a flight from Santiago Airport (SCL). The travel time is approximately six hours and lands you just 20 minutes away from Punta Arenas city. When arriving in Punta Arenas, you can rent a car, hire a private transfer, or catch a bus to get downtown.
Many travelers choose to rent a car and drive the distance because you get to see so much more of the beautiful country. If you decide to drive you can expect 35 hours of driving and divide the journey into three parts. The journey starts on Route 5 and then continues on Route 7—there are opportunities for sightseeing in Puerto Varas and Temuco, hiking in Puerto Montt, and paying a visit to the Osorno Volcano.
Buses are available, though they take around 38 hours with a transfer in Osorno. You can expect a few minor stops along the way to stretch your legs and get some air, but you'll want to bring food and drinks with you.
Duration: 6 hours
The easiest and fastest way you can travel from Santiago to Punta Arenas is by plane. The journey takes six hours and you'll land at the Punta Arenas Airport—only 14 miles (20 km) from the city center. From here it takes about 20 minutes to the city center with a private transfer. You can also rent a car or take a bus from the airport.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2-3 days (35 hours of driving)
You'll begin your journey with a car on Route 5 towards Puerto Varas, with a stop in Temuco (about ten hours into the drive). Temuco is only one hour away from the famous Osorno Volcano, a worthwhile detour. From Osorno, you can hop on Route 7 and drive approximately nine hours towards Pumalín Park and continue to Coyhaique, El Calafate, and lastly to Punta Arenas.
Duration: 38 hours
You can take a bus from the Terminal Alameda in Santiago with one transfer in Osorno to reach Punta Arenas which is done in 38 hours. You should bring food with you and spend some time in Osorno if you're not in a rush. It's nice to even spend the night in the city and go for a hike in the area as well as visit the Osorno Volcano.