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Information About the Airport in Puerto Natales
If you’re like us, you may have spent hours trying to find information about the airport in Puerto Natales (Airport Code: PNT). You may be asking yourselves questions like, where is the Puerto Natales airport? Is there WiFi in the Puerto Natales airport? Is the airport open 24/7? How do I get from the Puerto Natales airport to town or how do I get from Puerto Natales to the airport?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many resources available to answer these questions and we suspect that no one has bothered taking the time to answer your questions about the Puerto Natales airport because it’s so small and often only serves one incoming flight and one outbound flight per day. In fact, there is no official website for this airport. When we were stuck and desperate for information, we almost only found information about the Punta Arenas airport, which is almost 250 km south of Puerto Natales. For these reasons, we have decided to write this article to answer all of your questions about the small yet sweet Puerto Natales airport.
Where is the Puerto Natales Airport?
The Puerto Natales airport is located approximately 8 km north of the city of Puerto Natales, Chile. This airport is not to be confused with the airport in Punta Arenas, which is located 230 km southeast of Puerto Natales. The reason for this confusion is rather simple: the Punta Arenas airport serves more flights than Puerto Natales and almost all outbound flights from Puerto Natales fly to Punta Arenas first. For example, we booked a direct flight from Puerto Natales to Santiago but our plane landed in Punta Arenas to refuel and pick up literally 6 passengers before proceeding to Santiago. In our case, it was cheaper to book a flight from Puerto Natales than to pay for a transfer to Punta Arenas and fly from there. However, this is not always the case.
Is the Puerto Natales Airport Open 24/7?
The Puerto Natales airport is officially open from sunrise to sunset. Weird right? Either way, you can’t spend the night there. If you have an afternoon flight, we still wouldn’t take the chance of arriving too early in the morning and running the risk of being stuck outside in the cold wind on the off chance that it isn’t actually open.
Facilities in the Puerto Natales Airport
The Puerto Natales airport has your basic needs covered. You will find a small newsstand outside of security as well as clean bathrooms and a few check-in counters. Inside security, you will find a small cafe offering coffee, tea, cold beverages as well as warm food items and snacks. There are also clean bathroom facilities inside security.
Is There WiFi in the Puerto Natales Airport?
There is no WiFi in the Puerto Natales airport. Since the airport often only serves one flight per day, which is almost always in the afternoon, you may be thinking about just going straight to the airport after your early checkout and just hanging out there. While the airport itself is quite comfortable, there is unfortunately no WiFi. We didn’t have any reading material with us, so we just went to the cafe at the local bus station and waited it out there until we could find an Uber to take us to the airport.
How do I get to and from the Puerto Natales Airport?
There are no public buses running between the city and the airport near Puerto Natales. Many long-distance buses will make a stop there if anyone needs it, but you will be hard pressed to find a ticket from the city to the airport. Therefore, your best bet is to take an Uber or a taxi. We believe there is only one Uber driver in Puerto Natales, but his hours seem to be pretty flexible as we saw him driving around late at night as well. We rode with him to the airport and had a quick and pleasant ride. The Uber ride cost us about 4,000 Chilean Pesos, whereas a taxi will generally charge you around 7,000 Chilean Pesos for the same trip. Your other options are to hike (not recommended) or hitchhike. Hitchhiking is very common and very safe in Patagonia, so you might be lucky. However, there aren’t many vehicles driving on these roads, so if you decide to go this route, you should first be okay with the idea of walking the entire 8-9 km.
How Soon do I Need to be at the Airport Before my Flight from Puerto Natales?
We suggest being at the airport absolutely no later than 1 hour before your flight. The Puerto Natales Airport is likely going to be the smallest airport you’ve ever flown out of. With that in mind, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to be there 2 hours prior to your flight. Maybe not, but we did notice a huge surge of people arriving at the last minute. They made it on the plane, but we were nervous for them.
Once you get there, even if you checked in online, the employees will ask you to weigh and measure all of your bags, even backpacks. Just bear with them. You would be bored too if you had to stand around all day just to work for one flight. The process is quick and the security process is even quicker. Unlike in major U.S., European and Australian airports, you do not have to remove any items from your bags before sending them through the scanner and you are allowed to bring water with you.
So there you have it. Everything you should need to know about the nearest airport to Puerto Natales. Do you still have some questions? Just leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
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