Carretera Austral

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Joined: 23 Mar 2009, 6:09am

Carretera Austral

Postby molly » 7 Nov 2019, 8:45pm

Does anyone have any experience/advice regarding getting out to Chile from the UK with luggage and a bike to ride the Carretera Austral?

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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Carretera Austral

Postby simonhill » 8 Nov 2019, 12:39pm

Without knowing what research you have done, difficult to offer useful advice.

Nonetheless, don't just go for cheapest or most convenient airline before you check out their bike policy. Plenty of airlines in the Americas have punitive cycle carriage policies.

BA and their partner airline Iberia could be worth a look.

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Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Carretera Austral

Postby HobbesOnTour » 8 Nov 2019, 4:57pm

Have a look on CrazyGuyOnABike.
Search the journals for the more recent tours.
Filter out the ones originating in the UK.
If necessary, contact the authors.

Good luck!

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Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 5:55pm

Re: Carretera Austral

Postby randonneur » 8 Nov 2019, 5:24pm

When I went out to Chile to cycle the Carraterra Austral, while not the cheapest flight, I flew via Brazil on TAM Brazil which has a very generous luggage allowance of 2 X 23kg bags, so bike in one bag and panniers in the second bag. Obviously had to take a domestic flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt using Lan Chile, this I booked on the same ticket hence the same luggage allowance. Since flying out there I believe TAM and Lan Chile have now merged to LanTam so things may have changed. However flights through Brazil do generally have better luggage allowance. As mentioned above definitely worth avoiding any American Airlines if travelling with a bike together with the hassle of clearing US Immigration.

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Joined: 23 Oct 2018, 7:37pm

Re: Carretera Austral

Postby willswitchengage » 9 Nov 2019, 5:37pm

BA are excellent for bikes, I think they fly to Santiago and Buenos Aires. A friend who visited the area had to get a bus down to Tierra del Fuego - that might be the only public option to get further south. He also got robbed on the bus, so watch out!

BA's policy gets tweaked every now and then but IIRC you get to just take a bike as one of your 23kg bags. That's it. So fill a bike box with your bike and all your camping stuff up to 23kg and you're good to go. Extra bags with BA are pretty cheap too. I have never had an issue flying with them.

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Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 9:57am

Re: Carretera Austral

Postby MartinBrice » 18 Nov 2019, 9:27pm

I did this a few years ago. Flew Heathrow Santiago with brief stop in saõ paulo, spent day in the Santiago bus station, bought ticket on one of the very many buses going overnight to Puerto montt, rebuilt bike in the bus station, went to place to stay. Was away for seven weeks. Your main problem will be getting back from the remote area of southern Chile. I clubbed together with others to hire a minibus to get us away from o'higgins, then a pick up truck then managed to get the only spare seat that week on a flight into Santiago. All a bit of an adventure. Best place is to check crazy guy on a bike and ask direct questions of the bloggers there.
Great place, Chile, lovely people. I've cycled in a lot of places and traveled all over the world: the caretera austral is the worst road I have ever seen, anywhere.