Chile is a challenging country as it is long and narrow with rough terrain. Despite that, the airports and ports are some of the most sophisticated in the world.
International Airports in Chile
Chacalluta International Airport
This airport is near the Peruvian border in the North of Chile. It services the city of Arica, which is popular amongst tourists. The region is also home to an important port and transportation hub of Chile.
Diego Aracena (Iquique) International Airport
This airport is in the far North of the country. Diego Aracena is closer to the Bolivian border than the Peruvian border. This airport has all the modern conveniences you could want or need from a VIP salon to shopping and dining.
Andres Sabella Galvez
Located in the Northern half of the country near the Bolivian and Argentine border. This airport is a slightly older model, however you will be able to find what you need to get you to your hotel or connecting flight.
Mataveri (Isla de Pascua) International Airport
Mataveri is the international airport on Easter Island. You should have reasonable expectations when traveling through this single-runway airport. This is one of the most remote airports in the world.
Comodoro Auturo Merino Benitez (Santiago International Airport)
Santiago International is roughly as close as you can get to being at the center of the country. This is the largest airport in Chile featuring all amenities of a modern international airport.
El Tepual is only one of two international airports in Patagonia. It is near the popular tourist destination of Monte Verde. This airport received a makeover in 2010 resulting in increased traveler capacity.
Presidente Carlos Ibanez del Campo International Airport
Presidente Carlos Ibanez is only one of two international airports in the Patagonia. It is near los Torres del Paines or rather the Southernmost part of South America. This small and remote airport is home to a few gates, dining and shopping options, and a cyber cafe.
Ports in Chile
90% of goods imported and exported to and from Chile are done by sea. This is why seaports and harbors are important for the long-term success of the Chilean economy. Chilean ports face greater challenges than other Latin American ports because they are more difficult to reach. Both private and state-operated ports focus on keeping costs down but many changes are needed to modernize most ports to allow access for larger vessels traveling through the Panama Canal.
Selecting the correct port will depend on many aspects such as the type of container, the commodity, your final destination, and much more. Ports are unique and each has its own set of limitations and advantages. Some are operated privately; whereas, other ports are operated by state governments. Keep in mind that few ports in Latin America are able to receive the large Panamax ocean vessels at. The following are a few of the primary ports of Chile:
Puerto Angamos is in Antofagasta in Northern Chile. This port has been focusing on long-term sustainability through environmental actions, updating the port to accept Post Panamax vessels alongside greater efficiencies through technology. A few of their services include cargo storage, in-transit shipments, logistics services, container loading and unloading, and ship maintenance.
This multipurpose terminal operator is in Lirquen in Central Chile. This centralized port has received USD $50 million to upgrade the port. More docks will allow for breakbulk cargo, greater efficiency and volume, and more cargo storage areas. This port is the primary traffic source of agricultural, salmon, and forestry commodities moving in and out of the country.
The San Antonio port is one of the busiest in Latin America as well as one of the most efficient. The port is able to handle four vessels at one time with capabilities to receive Post Panamax vessels. San Antonio accepts containers, grain, bulk, cars, and liquid bulk. The port is connected to both highway and rail infrastructure and a mere 1.5 hours from both Santiago and Valparaiso.
San Vicente port is connected to the Pan American Highway and rail infrastructure in the Bio Bio region of Southern Chile. The port services breakbulk, reefer, bulk, and heavy-lift cargo. Many of the commodities handled in the port include salt, timber, containers, and consolidations.
This Central Chilean port is near Santiago and accepts both commodity and passenger ships. As one of the largest ports, it is always undergoing expansion as a way to remain competitive in the West Coast market. Unfortunately, the current berth expansion is causing delays in service and the port is losing traffic. It is the port’s belief that once the expansion is complete, the volume will resume and increase in the coming years. Several terminals are expanding to increase capacity both from a commercial and tourism standpoint. It will also accept Post-Panamax vessels.