a VirtualTourist member
What is the best way to fly into Calama, Chile from JFK without going via Santiago? Can they fly into Lima, Peru and drive down? How long is the drive from Lima and is it an easy drive?
Nothing. Just doesn't make sense to fly from JFK to Lima then down to Santiago to fly up to Calama. Is there an easier way to get from Lima to Calama at all? How long of a drive is it from Lima to Calaga?
From JFK to Calama, Chile you will make a connection in Santiago. Flights from Lima to Calama also make a connection in Santiago.
If you choose to drive, it is a long, boring drive down the Pan Americana Highway from Lima to Tocopilla, Chile, then inland to Calama. I do not recommend that you make this drive, unless you are accustomed to driving in Peru and Chile. We are talking about a 900 mile drive through the most boring landscape imaginable.
If you are trying to save money by not flying into Calama, you will definitely save a bundle by flying from JFK to LIM (Lima). From Lima, you can either fly or take a bus to Tacna, cross the border into Chile, then from Arica take a bus to Antofagasta, then on to Calama.
When you are ready to move on from Calama, I recommend that you visit the town of San Pedro de Atacama, southeast of Calama. It is an oasis town in the Atacama Desert, and is a very nice place to relax.
Any alternative to going through Santiago will take much longer as it will involve a long bus ride from some other point in the north to Calama.