It’s important to organize your itinerary properly ahead of your Patagonia photo tour. Patagonia is a vast and large section of South America where the regional airports are small and have limited connection service. Patagonia’s airport options are a crucial part of your trip since ticket availability might fluctuate during different parts of the year.
Most of the Patagonia airports don’t receive international routes. Most of them behave as regional community hubs. International travelers first arrive to Chile and Argentina’s international airports prior to their connecting flight to a Patagonia airport.
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, has three airports with daily connection flights to most of Patagonia; these are: Ezeiza – Ministro Pistarini (international), Aeroparque – Jorge Newbery (domestic), El Palomar (new low cost domestic airport). Chile’s capital, Santiago, has also daily flights to most of the Patagonia airports on the Chilean side.
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina
Teniente Luis Candelaria Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: BRC)
This is perhaps the biggest Patagonia airport in the region due to the importance of San Carlos de Bariloche as a tourist destination inside Argentina. The Airport is served by all the major airlines: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Flybondi (low cost airline that only flies from El Palomar airport), Andes and Austral. A round trip from Buenos Aires might cost an average of $250 to $300 american dollars depending on season’s demand and the time of year.
El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina
Comandante Armando Tola Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: FTE)
This Patagonia Airport serves mostly tourist due to its proximity to the Perito Moreno glacier. This is also the perfect place to travel to a Patagonia photo tour due to its proximity to the Andes mountains and national parks. Airport’s daily flights are mostly domestic, with a few international routes originating in Chile. It takes approximately a 3 hours trip from Buenos Aires and the average price of a ticket is about $300 to $400 dollars round trip to get there. You can book a flight to El Calafate Airport with Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM.
Rio grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Gobernador Ramón Trejo Noel Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: RZA)
Rio Grande airport serves the local population of Tierra del Fuego and its one of the two main airports in the island. Tourist demand is low. Most passengers are locals travelling inside the island or to other airport hubs. There are daily domestic flights from and to this airport to Argentina’s capital. Aerolineas Argentinas is the only major airline serving this airport. A round trip flight from Buenos Aires can cost an average of $400 american dollars.
Comodoro Rivadavia, Santa Cruz, Argentina
General Enrique Mosconi Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: CRD)
Comodoro Rivadavia’s airport is a large regional airport in the province of Santa Cruz. There are more flight connection at CRD than at Santa Cruz other airport, El Calafate. You can book a direct flight to Buenos Aires as well as to other connecting hubs in other provinces of Argentina. Most of its daily traffic accounts for local passengers traveling to Argentina’s capital. This Patagonia airport does not receive international flights. The major airlines connecting to this airport are: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Austral Airlines and LADE. The average round trip fare cost $400 american dollars
Trelew, Chubut, Argentina
Almirante Marcos A. Zar (Patagonia Airport Code:TRE)
This regional airport serves the city of Trelew as well as Rawson in the province of Chubut. This is the biggest airport to near Puerto Madryn, a small town founded in 1865 by 150 Welsh settlers who decided to organize a community in South America far away from their homeland. Madryn is also famous for whale watching from June to December. The airport receives daily flights from Buenos Aires. Average ticket prices are around $350 american dollars. It’s served by Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM.
Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina
Piloto Civil Norberto Fernández (Patagonia Airport Code: RCL)
Rio Gallegos is a Patagonia airport in the province of Santa Cruz. It serves mostly domestic routes as well as an international flight from Punta Arenas, Chile. The airlines arriving to this airport are: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Austral and Lade. There are nightly daily direct flights from Buenos Aires through LATAM at an average price of $400 american dollars.
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: USH)
This Patagonia airport is 4Km away from the city of Ushuaia. It receives daily flights from Rio Grande and Buenos Aires. It’s the biggest and closest airport to the Beagle channel and its proximity to the end of the American continent puts Ushuaia at a unique place among other Patagonia airports. A round trip airfare from Buenos Aires cost an average of $380/$400 american dollars. There’s only a daily direct flight with LATAM. It takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Aerolineas Argentinas has a two stop flight originating from Buenos Aires for a little more. This information might change in the future. This was the information available at the time of writing this article in May of 2018.
Puerto Montt, Región de los Lagos, Chile
El Tepual Airport – (Patagonia Airport Code: PMC)
Puerto Montt’s Patagonia airport has daily service to Santiago as well as small regional airports in the región de los lagos. The flight time from Santiago is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It’s served by LATAM, Sky Airlines and Jetsmart. A round trip ticket average price can be found from $250/$300 american dollars
Punta Arenas, Región Magallanes, Chile
Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Airport – (Patagonia Airport Code: PUQ)
Punta Arenas is one of the largest Patagonia airports serving a non-stop number of flights from Chile to the region. The airport is also utilized by the Chilean air force. It’s main traffic comes from charter and airline tourist flights. The major airlines that are: LATAM, Aerovias DAP, Sky Airlines, Jetsmart. The airport is not far from Punta Arenas city center and has many daily flights from Santiago. The average ticket fare from Santiago is around $250/$300 american dollars. Some Patagonia cruises originate from Punta Arenas during the summer months.
Puerto Natales, Chile
Teniente Julio Gallardo airfield – (Patagonia Airport Code: PNT)
This tiny little Patagonia airport had its runaway expanded during 2016. It currently receives a single flight from Chile’s capital, Santiago, every Thursday afternoon. This 3 hour flight is expensive. Perhaps more airlines and destinations would be available in the future.
Have you visited any of these airports?
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