From Santiago de Chile:
Travel by plane 1,670 kilometers from Santiago to Calama, the closest city to San Pedro de Atacama. It is the most convenient transportation option in terms of time and price compared to buses and rented cars.
LATAM and Sky Airlines offer five and three two-hours-daily flights from Monday to Friday. During the weekend, the frequency reduces to four (LATAM) and one (Sky Airlines). There are also direct connections to cities like La Serena and Antofagasta. As a reference, a flight to this city can last almost three hours.
From Santiago de Chile:
A trip to San Pedro de Atacama can last 24 hours either by bus or car (1,680 kilometers between the capital and the village).
If you choose to travel by car from Santiago, head north through Panamericana 5 North Highway to Cerro La Isla fork in Baquedano (Antofagasta). Then take highway 25 towards Calama. From this city prefer Highway 23 to get to San Pedro de Atacama.
Rent a Car
Due to the good roads conditions, you can also rent a car and drive to San Pedro and its attractions. Choose a vehicle with good traction (remember to take Highway 23).
If you choose to travel by bus, prefer Tur Bus Company. It is the only one that offers non-stop trips from Santiago and other Chilean cities to the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Its cheapest ticket (bussiness class seats) has an approximate price of $31,200 chilean pesos (August 2016).
Other bus companies only offer transport to Calama city, from where you must take another local bus to reach the village ( 100 kilometers).
Bus terminals in Santiago
Terminal Los Héroes: Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda, Los Héroes Subway Stop.
Terminal San Borja (ex Terminal Norte): San Borja and Alameda, Estación Central train station.
Santiago – Calama Buses
Calama – San Pedro de Atacama Buses
To get to Calama, the closest city to San Pedro de Atacama, we recommend Pullman Bus and Géminis which offer three-times-a-week departures from the Argentinian cities of Salta, San Salvador de Jujuy and from Purmamarca and Susques villages.
Is a ten-hour-trip, without considering the delay in customs formalities in Paso de Jama, the northernmost road border crossing between the two countries.
Upon arrival in Calama, take one of the local buses to San Pedro de Atacama ( an hour and a half trip).
Reach Ollagüe Chilean border crossing (Parque Eduardo Abaroa) by bus of Bolivian companies such as Centenario and 11 de Julio. From Ollagüe, connect with another bus to Calama of Frontera del Norte or Atacama 2000.
From the Bolivian town of Uyuni, famous for its salt flat, it is also possible to reach San Pedro de Atacama through Hito Cajón border pass, which is at a 50 kilometers distance from the chilean village.
How to get from Airport?
From Airport to San Pedro de Atacama
From Calama El Loa airport, various transportation alternatives are available for travelling the 100 kilometers that separate you from your accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama (an hour and a half trip). For those traveling in groups of 4 or 5 people, one of the cheapest options is taking a taxi. The price fluctuates between $25,000 and $30,000 chilean pesos.
Regarding transfer service to San Pedro de Atacama from the airport, the price per person is around $ 12,000 chilean pesos, which may include an additional fee for bicycles, wheelchairs and excess baggage.
For safety and proven track record, we recommend to book your space in advance with the following companies:
Finally, consider travelling by bus if you’re looking for the cheapest alternative.
To take the bus, go from the airport to Calama’s downtown and choose the company of your preference, always considering a waiting time of at least an hour. For more details, please visit our ground transportation section.