Driving times in N Chile?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by JohnM, Apr 28, 2014.

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  1. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Has anyone out there driven from Arica in far N Chile to Antofagasta?

    Google Maps shows it as a bit over 700 km but requiring over 13 hours driving time. That's an average speed of about 55 kph which seems very slow to me.

    I am quite familiar with driving in Chile but it has been in the south. Major roads there are usually good.

    Both Ruta 5 Arica-Antofagasta and the alternative Ruta 1 along the coast from Iquique to Antofagasta look to be good roads. Even if I break the search into Arica-Iquique and Iquique-Antofagasta, both sections come up similarly slow. Has Google got it wrong or is there something that would slow average speed in a major way?

    I was intending to drive it in a single, although obviously quite long, day but 13 hours seems excessive.

    Any tips appreciated.
     

  2. upupandaway

    upupandaway Junior Member

    Apr 7, 2006
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    Hi JohnM,

    I've got no experience in a car in Chile to draw on, but I travelled that exact route in a very high-standard daylight hours bus in January this year - took 10 or so hours with 2-3 stops including detouring off the PanAmericana to Iquique.

    I know you have your own vehicle but Turbus.cl has an online timetable for their services, which might give you an idea. Seem to recall cars overtaking us (bus usually about 100km/h), so my best guess in a car would be 7.5-8.5 hours. Not sure if recent earthquake dramas in the area would have any effect.

    The PanAmericana is of a high standard and avoids the higher Altiplano to the east. I would guess the coastal route would take longer. This is desert country and towns along the PanAmericana itself are small. Beautiful part of the world!

    Hope that is of some help.
     
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  3. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    I just discovered Rome2rio (Rome2rio: discover how to get anywhere) which gives comparisons of travel duration between points by various means. Brilliant! - and it's Australian.

    Anyway, it puts the journey at about 9 hours which sounds much more like I would expect and fits with your experience.
     
  4. quokka77

    quokka77 Active Member

    Feb 21, 2013
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    Can confirm that the road is ok for reasonable speeds (100kph) although some go much faster. Consider looking around (San Pedro, Chuquicamata, lago chungara) if your schedule permits.
     
  5. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Thanks - as I would have expected from extensive experience in the south. Google Maps occasionally seems very strange in giving very long estimated travel times.

    I'm flying into ANF and spending a couple of weeks in the region - looping out to San Pedro de Atacama for several days then north to Putre via Iquique and Arica on the way there and back.
     
  6. docjames

    docjames Senior Member

    Jul 10, 2007
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    Last travelled to ANF in 2008. The road quality in the area around ANF is generally high, although the driving standards are variable. Haven't driven the full length of the road you question.

    I'd allow a similar time as it would take to cover a similar distance on aussie country roads. So 8-9 hours would be bare minimum and of course it depends on how often you stop, current road conditions (roadwork) etc.
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Thanks - that's been my experience in the S, so it's evident that Google Maps is off-beam.
     
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