Review of LATAM flight Punta Arenas Santiago in Economy

Airline LATAM
Flight LA2
Class Economy
Seat 24L
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 03 Feb 18, 16:25
Arrival at 03 Feb 18, 19:45
LA   #56 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 158 reviews
By SILVER 1050
Published on 20th July 2018

In the previous report I boarded LATAM's LA2 flight from Puerto Natales back to Santiago after my holidays in Patagonia.

But instead of heading immediately north to Santiago, we flew south to Punta Arenas - PUQ - which is necessary for refueling the plane, since PNT doesn't have the necessary equipment.

That would be one of the reasons why another airline - Sky - decided not to keep flying to Puerto Natales after pioneering this route.

I'm shaken

So, this report starts with my flight parked at PUQ's apron.

Find a detailed tour around the premises in my previous report.

Some passengers from Santiago have disembarked, and some are boarding.

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There's a very strong wind…

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…coming from the Strait of Magellan…

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…that makes life miserable for the ground staff…

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…and sgakes the plane from side to side constantly. I feel I'm inside a coctel shaker.

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A little storm is growing in my stomach…

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…and I'm not sure I can hold it in…

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…if we don't leave soon. Blurgh…

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At least they can be happy…

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…that the wind pushes the cart with them.

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Those vehicles are electric! I didn't know that.

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Disclaimer: "If you use this platform but don't belong to this company, do it at your own risk."

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The wind plays nasty tricks on the ground staff…

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…like trying to undress them…

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…or giving them what looks like rubber legs, as the guy on the left seems to have.

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The Flight I - Over Paine Towers and Perito Moreno

Some details of the flight. Yes. I know the map is a bit long. Oh, by the way, this is flight 6 of 9 of this series. The reports for flights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are also available.

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At long last. We're leaving.

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Brazillian Air Foce?

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I didn't know their jet fighters were so posh!

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One of Aerovías DAP's BAe aircraft. By the way, DAP is in hot water…

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…since JetSmart, an LCC, announced that it will start flying the Balmaceda > Punta Arenas route next November, which was covered exclusively by DAP so far.

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We wait a little until this guy lands…

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…before we keep taxiing along…

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…one of PUQ's three runways.

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And we leave.

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Departing from PUQ gives you…

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…superb views of the Strait of Magellan.

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That's one of ENAP's (Chilean oil company) refineries…

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…and the island over there is Isabel, which is private property…

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…and is used for cattle farming.

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The mouth of Pescado river.

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Though large areas in western Patagonia are covered with forests of lenga trees…

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…these forests are in a continuous tug-of-war…

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…with the eastern steppes, which can be called a "cold desert"…

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…though they have nothing to do with the desolate landscape of Atacama, for example.

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Whatever, the colors and shapes you see around Patagonia…

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…are fascinating.

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Only minutes after taking off from PUQ, Puerto Natales comes in sight.

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Here on the left is PNT, the airport…

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…from where we took off less than an hour before! This indicates that in a while we'll be flying above Paine Towers National Park!

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Indeed, our first stop during our tour around the park was Toro lake, here below.

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Only a little further we see…

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The Horns of Paine, which I find more attractive than the towers after which the park was named.

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The complex geography of this area was carved by glaciers.

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The white horizontal line between those two lakes is the Salto Grande, made up of large rapids and waterfalls that connect lakes Pehoé (lower right) and Nordenskjöld (left), at the foot of the Horns.

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Another important feature of the park is Grey glacier, which, like many others, is receding and will soon disappear…

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…just like others in the area.

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I can't believe my eyes when I see this white tongue stretching to the east. Can it be it?

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Yesss!! It's Perito Moreno glacier!!

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The very same glacier I visited only the day before!!

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It's impossible not to recognize its two sides, north and south, splitting Argentine Lake in two, and the round Magellan peninsula.

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The north side is the one that you visit on a boat.

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You arrive from El Calafate on the road around the south border of the peninsula.

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Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers still resisting global warming. If you want to see it… hurry! There's little time left.

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We leave Perito Moreno behind…

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…and keep flying above the ice and snow of Campos de Hielo (ice fields).

BOB service

The FA distracts me with the BOB service.

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I choose a wrap this time, because one of the ingredients is quinoa, a grain I love.

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The wrap is good, but Sky Airline's prices still beat LATAM.

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They're done. It was a fast service.

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The Flight II - Glaciers and volcanoes

Not much more to see from here on. Oh! Look at that! It's mount Chaltén, in Argentina!

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We slowly reach the north of the ice field…

…where many glaciers have succumbed…

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…leaving nothing but mud and lagoons between those hills.

We are flying over the Chonos archipelago, made up of thousands of islands.

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That island with a long peninsula is called Enrique…

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…and the peninsula is called Punta Tajada.

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From left to right, the largest islands in the photo are Harry, Chita, Toto, and Gala. Rudy is right east of Harry.

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Salmon farm.

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Some more amazing views of the archipelago.

That pointy thing down there…

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…is Corcovado volcano…

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…south-east of Chiloé island.

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Further north…

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…there's this H-shaped island…

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…called Talcán, and north of it…

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…is this funny little island made up of a single large rock that looks almost like a cube, called Nihuel. More info about it in the report of my flight to Coyhaique.

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The sight of Reñihue fjord…

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…the mountains of Corcovado National Park…

…Queullín island…

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…Reloncaví fjord…

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…Calbuco volcano…

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…and Chapo lake (no connection to drug-trafficking, thank goodness) are unequivocal proof that we are reaching…

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…Puerto Montt.

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From that point, the views are quite the same you can see in the reports for my other flights around the area, but I can't leave out some amazing vistas like Osorno vocano…

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…and it's perfect cone…

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…flanked by lakes Llanquihue and Todos los Santos.

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Or its neighbor…

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… Cerro Tronador (Thundering Hill)

Lakes Rupanco (left) and Puyehue (right)…

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…and Puyehue volcano, that some years ago covered its surrounding areas with pumice (the cone is on the right).

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And last but not least, the volcano that I can see from my city every day, Chos-Wenko…

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…whose upper half is missing.

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And lake Riñihue at its foot.

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Some more photos:

As we near Santiago the Andes become taller and taller.

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We descend over Cantillana hill…

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…and can see the smog covering the valley of Santiago.

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Some happy people are escaping from it next to us…

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…and below us.

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Cough, cough, cough…

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Turning right.

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Final approach…

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…and a soft landing at SCL.

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I wonder if LATAM…

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…has some kind of priority over the use of jetways at SCL…

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…because I don't remember ever disembarking a LATAM flight…

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…by bus at this airport.

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The thing is…

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…I am happy I have some time to get used to Santiago's summer heat!

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No money for a miserable printer, LATAM?!

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Farewell to my ride, five-year-old CC-BFU.

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Luckily I have no baggage to claim, but I could pay a visit to the restrooms before I take the bus to the city.

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The obvious option would be those restrooms on the way to baggage claim, but they are always full.

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The third floor?

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Hm! That gives me an idea.

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Let's take the stairs to the third floor, past these bored-to-death ladies.

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The restrooms on this corner of the third floor (door 23A) are always empty and clean.

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You see?

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Back on the second floor it's time to go down through baggage claim…

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…out to the hot afternoon, and onto the bus, which brings my two trips to Patagonia to an end.

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Tourism Bonus - Punta Arenas

Not a long bonus this time. Just some views of the city from Cerro La Cruz lookout…

…and some streets downtown.

I fully enjoyed this trip, from the first penguin in the Strait of Magellan to the last bit of ice of Perito Moreno glacier. Patagonia is a place you should visit at least once in your lifetime… before everything melts down!! :(

This lonely seagull mastering the winds of the Strait of Magellan is an appropriate image to close this report, which is not the end of this series, though, because now I'm packing my bag to fly north to a city called Antofagasta, whose airport, ANT, has never been reported here. This time we'll fly JetSmart.

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Cabin crew10.0

Punta Arenas - PUQ


Santiago - SCL



Second leg of my flight from Puerto Natales to Santiago on LATAM, after a stopover at PUQ (Punta Arenas).

So far, LATAM has offered the best quality for my money in domestic flights within Chile, with comfortable seats and cabins, good BOB service, an IFE system (that I haven't used), and three different fares you can choose from.

Information on the route Punta Arenas (PUQ) Santiago (SCL)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 455356 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5589 Comments

    A feast for the eyes as always! Amazing scenery from start to finish and you were lucky with a beautiful relatively cloudless day. The wrap looks fine though it does look a bit dry. Santiago is an impressive city from the air, it's too bad, it's enveloped in a cloud of pollution.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 455463 by
      Pilpintu SILVER AUTHOR 766 Comments

      Thank you, Kevin!

      Yes, impressive scenery indeed. And wait to see the next report! I don't really like the desert very much, but this time I saw from the plane a landscape that blew my mind! And I'm not talking about mountains or vocanoes. I'm talking about colors!

      The wrap was fine, but I still think that Sky and even JetSmart have a better BOB. And less expensive.

      Yes. Santiago is toxic. It gets critical in autumn (April, May), with hospitals collapsing with little children and elderly people who can barely breathe. Horrible. I congratulate myself for leaving all that.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 455541 by
    spiritzio 1 Comments

    what an awesome trip report, the landscape in those snaps are truly amazing

  • Comment 455643 by
    loukas 343 Comments

    Hi Nechus, thanks for all these amazing views, volcanos, mountains, glaciers, bays and islands, it's always a pleasure to read your reports!

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