Buses for public transportation in urban centres are known as 'micros', and come in various shapes, ages, noise levels and sizes depending on the city! Bus transportation in Santiago has overgone a major overhaul with Transantiago, but this has not yet spread to other regions where fleets are older and in need of renewal, and micros stop wherever passengers want to get on. As they are all privately run, some drivers see each journey as a race making it a memorable (if not frightening) experience for the unitiated. Most drivers will stop at the place you are headed if you tell them when you get on.
Buses in Chile are modern, and even luxurious if you are willing to pay a bit more. For Chileans this is the most common way to travel between different regions, as prices are still significantly lower than air tickets. Bus terminals are a hive of activity, but don’t dordle too much as services are very punctual.
There are frequent services between major cities, and you don’t need advance reservations during most of the year. Plan ahead on public holidays as Chileans travel en-masse to visit family and friends all over the country. At these times, prices usually rise.
Most cities have only one major inter-regional terminal (see below), although in some cities such as Santiago and Concepion, some of the larger bus lines have a separate terminal.
There are also frequent services to nearby countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. Be prepared for a long trip and many stops, but it’s still cheaper than an airfare.
|Arica (Terminal Rodoviario & Terminal Internacional)||Av. Diego Portales near corner of Santa María||South, International|
|Iquique (Many companies leave from near the market)||Patricio Lynch||Arica, South, International|
|Antofagasta||Pedro Aguirre Cerda & Paihuano||North, South|
|Copiapo (Many companies leave from their offices)||Chañarcillo||North, South|
|La Serena||Ruta 5 Norte next to Mall Plaza La Serena||North, South|
|Valparaiso||Guillermo Rawson - Zona Almendral||North, South|
|Santiago (Terminal Santiago)||Avda. B. O'Higgins 3848||South, International|
|Santiago (Terminal Los Heroes)||Tucapel Jiménez 21||North, South, International|
|Santiago (Terminal Alameda)||Avda. B. O'Higgins 3750||North, South, Coast|
|Santiago (Terminal San Borja)||San Borja 200||North, Valaparaiso|
|Chillan||O'Higgins 10||North, South|
|Concepción (Terminal Collao)||Tegualda, next to stadium||North, South|
|Concepción (Terminal Camilo Henriquez)||Chillancito||North, South|
|Temuco||Pérez Rosales 1609 (northern approach to the city)||North, South, Argentina|
|Villarrica||Av Pedro de Valdivia 621 (main terminal)||North, South, Argentina|
|Valdivia||Anfión Muñoz 360||North, South, Argentina|
|Osorno||Av Errázuriz 1400||North, South, Argentina|
|Puerto Montt||Corner Av Diego Portales & Lillo||North, South, Argentina|
|Punta Arenas||No central terminal (most within 1 block of Colon Street)||North, South, Argentina|