The buses timetable information in Chiloe was very hard to find online or in the Lonely Planet, here it only works the old-fashioned way – go to the terminal and ask! We found out we had a bus south in half an hour – luckily! – and continued our way to Puerto Montt.
The information here was also not easy to obtain, we found this was true everywhere in Chile – the bus schedules are not in display at the terminal or available online! You have to go to each bus company and ask them when they are going to the destination you want! This was cumbersome and we wrote them down so that it hopefully helps anyone wanting to go from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas (Punta Arenas is the center of Patagonian action).
As of December 2014, Puerto Montt - Punta Arenas:
- Tur Bus – departs only Saturdays morning
- Queilen Bus – departs only Mondays morning (10:30)
- Cruz del Sur – departs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays morning.
As we are a lucky bunch, it was a Saturday afternoon when we got to Puerto Montt – which meant we could only move forward on Monday!
We were quite tired of the nomad life of sleeping each day in a different city or in a bus. It was what we did for the past 9 days riding long bus hours while crossing Chile, so it was actually nice to stop for a weekend!
In Puerto Montt, we stayed in 'Hospedaje Vista al Mar' which was like a ski chalet and very comfy. Exactly what we were needing! Our room with sea and volcano view was the cherry on top! We even treated ourselves to a fancy dinner.
We left at 10 AM one day and got there at 3 PM the next day, good thing the bus was comfortable! There were also multiple stops for WC, eating dinner in Argentina and lunch the next day back in Chile. In fact, this was a much more pleasant trip than the crossing of the Atacama Desert with bus that lasted less hours.
It was cold in Punta Arenas! We were lucky that it was sunny, but the constant strong wind froze every tip of our body. The idea of "End of the World", that is now widely spread as an slogan of the region, is not only a marketing maneuver. In Punta Arenas you do feel the remoteness of the place. Even with modern transportation, communication, internet and all technology, it is palpable how isolated and far from everything is this corner of the Earth,
Punta Arenas had also a very iconic and original cemetery, which has been considered one of the most beautiful in the World. It has the particularity of having lanes of cypresses that have been extremely trimmed into very weird shapes.
There is a beautiful statue to the wind called 'Amores del Viento' ('Loves of the Wind') which is strongly felt here! And the mountains were hovering over us. The day before returning to Punta Arenas it had snowed during the night, making all white the mountains around the town. And all of this in Summer time!...