Airports in Chile: Navigate SCL & Chile Airports!

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Airports in Chile: Navigate SCL & Chile Airports!
Planning a trip to Chile soon? It's important to know which airport you should fly to, depending on your destination. Discover in this blog more information on all the major airports in Chile!
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Planes are one of the fastest and easiest ways to get around, and Chile is no exception. Due to the country's geography and size, it's no joke that air travel is the way to go, especially if you're planning to see the whole country! Did you know Chile is the longest country in the world?

Chile is a gorgeous country with lots of things to see and do, like hiking in Patagonia, seeing the secluded Atacama desert, tasting the rich wine regions, or visiting vibrant cities like Santiago, Conception, and Valparaíso. If you have much time to spend in Chile, it's important to know where and how to fly to get there! 

Although it is possible to take buses and trains in Chile, hopping on a flight would be the easiest route if you travel to a new region. We will go over all the airports in Chile, where you should land, and what you need to know.

Airports in chile airplane
Image courtesy of Anna Gru on Unsplash

How many airports are in Chile?

Chile has one major airport with international flights and one smaller airport that can receive international flights if the airport is closed due to weather. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (or SCL airport for short) is in Santiago and handles the country's bulk of international flights. 

Carriel Sur International Airport in Conception is a smaller airport for domestic flights. Still, it can also take air traffic from Santiago. 

Chile has 46 airports around the country, creating a network of flights, making it easy to travel around the county by plane.

chile santiago mountains
Image courtesy of Francisco Kemeny on Unsplash

What is Chile's largest airport? 

SCL or Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport is the biggest airport in Chile. It has multiple daily flights with several airlines in and out of the country. This airport has all the amenities and comforts you would be looking for after a long-haul flight.

What airlines fly out of SCL?

Thirty international and local airlines operate out of SCL, such as LATAM, Sky Airline, JetSmart, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Korean Air, American Airlines, Iberia, KLM, and Air Canada.

Getting to SCL

There are four easy ways to get to Santiago from SCL, bus, taxi, transfer, and car hire. 


Two 24/7 bus routes operate between SCL and Santiago city center. 

This is the best option if you're traveling to Chile and have a strict budget! The journey takes 35 to 45 minutes and costs 2$ USD for a one-way trip. The bus stop is located outside the airport terminal.


Taxis are the most straightforward way to get back and forth to SCL. Taxis to the airport run on a "Vía Controlada," meaning travelers can check their fares in advance. Once you arrive, you can book a ticket at the ground transportation desk, and the taxis are waiting for you outside! 

Alternatively, you can Uber from the airport, which can be slightly cheaper. 


It is possible to book a transfer that will pick you up right from the airport and then drop you off at your hotel door for the ultimate convenience. This is easy to arrange with your hotel when you make a booking. 

Car Hire

There are ten car rental companies with booths at SCL for all your car rental needs. It is easy and efficient to get around Santiago with a car if you are planning on doing some out-of-city excursions! 

Getting around SCL

The Santiago airport is big, but it's very walkable. There are two terminals, one for international and one for local flights. Both of these terminals are connected via walkways and elevators. 

The main international terminal is split into four levels. On level 1, you will find domestic and international arrivals. Level 2 is check-in for connecting flights, level 3 is check-in and departures, and level 4 is additional check-in. 

SCL has many amenities like a Duty-Free shop, restaurants, cafes, hotel, lounges, chapel, currency exchange, Police station, kid's play area, ATMs, travel agencies, and more. It is also limited mobility and wheelchair friendly, with a service desk that is open 24/7 to help any travelers needing assistance.

hiking in chile
Photo by Samuel Chenard on Unsplash

Covid-19 and traveling to the Santiago Airport

Disclaimer: As restrictions are constantly changing to protect travelers from exposure to Covid-19, it is best to check with the local government websites and your airline for the most up-to-date information on Covid-19.

It is possible to get a PCR test inside the airport at SCL. Although PCR tests are no longer required when traveling to Chile, Travelers must fill out a Traveler's Affidavit 48 hours before arrival. 

Although travelers don't need a Mobility Pass to enter Chile, it may be required for domestic flights, tours, cinemas, restaurants, and public events. You can apply for a Mobility Pass a minimum of 4 weeks before your arrival. 

chile nature
Image courtesy of Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

Other Airports in Chile

There are many other airports in Chile that you can fly into if you plan to see more of the country. 

The Atacama Desert and Northern Chile

If you plan to see the glimmering night sky in the Atacama desert, you will fly into Airport El Loa Calama, a smaller airport in Calama. From there, it is easy to catch a bus to the town of San Pedro de Atacama to begin your adventure. 

Wine Regions and Central Chile

If you plan to do a Chilean wine tour (or a few), you will be flying into Carriel Sur International Airport near Concepción or Araucanía Airport near Temuco. From there, you can easily rent a car or join a guided tour and taste the delicious wines Central Chile has to offer!

Patagonia and Southern Chile

If you plan to travel to Southern Chile to hike in Patagonia or Torres Del Paines, these are the three airports you're looking for! 

Puerto Montt is located at the top of the Patagonia region and has multiple flights during peak season. Puerto Natales is towards the center of the region and is closest to Torres Del Paines, although they have limited flights. Punta Arenas is located in the south and is closest to the "gateway to Patagonia" This airport also has limited flights, and it is best to book in advance. 

patagonia and south chile
Photo by Alex Wolowiecki on Unsplash

Santiago Airport FAQS

What is the closest hotel to SCL?

The closest hotel to SCL is the Holiday Inn Santiago - Airport Terminal located in the airport. The next closest hotels would be La Quinta, City Express, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Hotel Diego De Almagro Aeropuerto. All of which are a 5-minute drive from the airport.

What is the code of the Santiago Airport?

The Santiago airport code is SCL.

How long does it take to get to the city center? 

It takes approximately 30 minutes by car and 45 minutes by bus.

Can you sleep at the Santiago airport?

The airport in Santiago does not close; therefore, you could sleep in the airport overnight. Although it can be chilly and noisy, it is possible to find a quiet spot to rest, and the airport has pay-per-use shower facilities.

Traveling around South America? Check out our other airport guides on some of South America's largest airports.

Adventure in Chile with Pilot! 

Chile is a big country with lots of things to see and do, so if you're planning on visiting, it's best to fly! 

We've gone over the major airport in Chile and what it has to offer. 

Have you already purchased your ticket to Chile? Let Pilot help you plan the rest of your trip, then pack your bags and get ready for takeoff! 

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Amanda Lawrence Blog
Written by:
Amanda Lawrence
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