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Internal South American Flight prices and availability

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Internal South American Flight prices and availability

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1. Posted by webs (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Hey all.

Just wondering how easy it is to get internal flights on short notice between the big cities in South America. I have a return flight booked to Santiago from Brisbane (Australia) but am backpacking from Santiago to Rio over my time there. How easy would it be for me to get a flight from Rio back to Santiago at relatively short notice (a week or two) and roughly how much would it cost? I dont want to get caught out, but buying through International sites say it is about $800+!!!


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

It's not difficult, but I'd strongly recommend that you don't do it. Flying where ground transportation is a feasible alternative is a hopelessly irresponsible way of travelling; harmonise your timeframe and the ground you want to cover, then there's not even a need for flying (except for the intercontinental bit of course).


3. Posted by webs (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Thanks for your help. The thing is that I only have six weeks in South America. I want to come in at Santiago and finish at Rio, and then fly back to Santiago... there would be no need to road travel because I wouldn't want to retrace my steps.

What do you think about that?


4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Turn it into a round trip, forget about Rio... several possibilities to avoid flying, really. I'm sorry to say, but the argument you use goes in the basket of 'environmental selfishness'.

A possible itinerary for a roundtrip Santiago - Rio - Santiago overland would entail a lot of travel for just 6 weeks, but it is doable. You could do, for instance:

Santiago - Mendoza - BsAs - Montevideo - Rio - Iguazu - Asuncion - Salta - Mendoza - Santiago

It wouldn't leave you much time to spend at each destination, though. But it's better than flying.


5. Posted by webs (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

I'm a little bit confused by the use of the term 'environmentally selfish'. Planes will fly regardless of whether I am on them or not and I plan to meet family at certain times that mean a round-trip is not possible. You obviously know a great deal about what I am asking you, so instead of trying to change my journey it would be nice if you would help me out with the actual question I am asking.


6. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 10y

hi webs, i've been looking into it as well and most of the sites show expensive costs but a friend on mine managed to pick one into columbia at the airport for €180..... have you tried to contact samsara2, she was recently in sth am and maybe able to give you more recent relevent information..... let me know what you find out !!??!!!

7. Posted by webs (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Bringing this back up...

Can Niels or anyone else actually answer my question?

Cheers, Webs

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Hi Webs,

I booked a flight from Rio to Auckland stopping over in Santiago at short notice - 3 weeks - and I was happy with the cost. I couldnt tell you what the Rio- Santiago leg was, but I imagine if you keep an eye on the on-line airfares for any given month you will see how much they go up towards a particular date (if you get me).

I flew with Lan, and they do great specials online.

The national airline in Brazil is in a bit of trouble right now apparently, and flights can be picked up for quite good rates...The airline is called Varig. Also try (but i'm not sure if they are just internal in Brazil).

Finally, check aerolineasargentina - great airfares.

Hope that helps.

Good luck ;)

Ps: In case you do decide to overland it, it is possible to do Santiago -Rio in 48 hrs bussing it, but thats a marathon maaann!

9. Posted by webs (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

I'm thinking about doing it overland now, mainly due to the fact that flight prices are so much. If was to leave Rio on like the 2nd or 3rd I could break up the bus ride and have a couple of nights sleep on the way to get back to Santiago by the 7th.

Samsara, would you have any information on bus prices etc for me to travel that far? Also, what sort of route would the bus take?

10. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Even if it isn't by your own free choice, I applaud your decision. And Samsara's right; I think it's even a bit more than 48 hours, so if you're smart, do it in two legs with a wee bit of rest in between.

There's no direct busses Santiago-Rio that I am aware of; I think your best go would be to head for Iguazu or Asuncion (Paraguay) first, then travel to Rosario/Santa Fe or Cordoba, and from there hop on a direct bus from BsAs to Santiago. Alternatively, you could just travel south all the way to BsAs, and change busses there, might be quicker in the end.

good luck, and please post your experiences here for the common good,