Chile is well organized for tourists, easy to travel around and one of the safest countries on the continent. The most important connecting street is the PANAMERICANA which leads through the entire country. The south is connected via the CARRETERA AUSTRAL, a curvy gravel road which leads more than 1000 kilometers south from Puerto Montt.

If you would like to discover Chile, a rental car is highly recommended. Traveling with a rental car is an ideal possibility to discover places and points of interest that are hard to reach by public transportation. A rental car will afford you the independence to stop whenever you please.

For driving in Chile a valid driver’s licence from the country of residence is required. But to avoid discussions with the Police during routine checks it is better to take an international driver's license with you. The traffic regulations in Chile generally correspond to the international standard, are however often ignored: for example people pass on the left and on the right. Truck drivers use their left blinker to let you know that they can be passed. In general: it is best to drive defensively and do not rely on the others to be considerate. The speed limit is 60 km/h in cities, 100 km/h outside cities and 120 km/h on highways. You should be especially careful at night: streets and other cars as well as bikes often have poor lights or none at all.

Gasoline is available with 93, 95 and 97 octane and is unleaded. It is recommended to take along a reserve canister of gas when traveling to distant areas such as the desert in the north and to the Carretera Austral. Otherwise, the network of gas stations is rather dense. At higher elevations, the petrol consumption also often increases to over 20 liters / 100 km. Be sure to fill your tank regularly and possibly take along a reserve canister.

On the roads outside the city, there are many police checkpoints. Usually the car’s papers and your driver's license will be checked there.

Which rental car is the right one?

Not all rental cars are suitable for all routes in Chile. Many roads are in good condition, but there are also gravel and dirt roads for which we recommend an off-road vehicle. This is especially the case during the rainy season (from May to August in the central regions, from May to September in the north and from April to September in the south of Chile). For this reason, you will find the necessary information concerning road conditions, estimated travel times and distances for every trip on the maps from If an off-road vehicle is absolutely necessary, this is clearly indicated on the section of the map. Use this information when planning your trip in Latin America.