HSJ, do you mean arriving on a cruise ship? If so, you will dock in Valapraiso and have to get to Santiago. This will take about one and a half hours depending on time of day etc. I have no idea how long it takes to clear customs from a ship. I know you can get a transfer from the ship to the airport. The flight from here to Lima is about 3 hours but there is a time difference between Perú and Chile. Check your itinerary carefully to make sure you can do all this and meet your flight in Lima on time.
Also check whether US passengers arriving by ship pay the 100 dollar reciprocity fee when entering Chile. Air passengers do, land passengers don't, so check.
As for most inexpensive, booking early is your best bet. Flying is your only option.
Yes, we will be arriving in Valapraiso. Thanks for all the info.
I was wondering if there are any "discount airlines" that fly from Chile to Peru. (In Europe, you can fly almost anywhere for under $100 on Easy Jet. In the U.S., there is the same situation with Southwest Airlines).
So far, the best fare I can find is on AerolineasArgentinas for $300. That is almost 1/2 the price of our airline ticket from Los Angeles (California) to Lima!!
Are there any other airlines besides the big ones: Lan Chile, Varig, Pluna and AerolineasArgentinas?
Thanks again for all your help!
We pay more for our flights than you do unfortunately. Cheaper to come here than go there. There are no discount airlines like Easy etc. You could try an intensive internet search to see if you found anything cheaper but 300 is around the mark. For your info, AA had a very disruptive strike recently and not much was resolved. It is all still looming.
I suspect you might have to reconsider your original flight. Presumably your cruise leaves from Lima, but it might be more economical, to buy a return to Santiago, with a Lima stopover, and forget about the Lima - Santiago portion. Just a suggestion which I do not even know is feasible. I would discuss the question with a travel agent. It is as Dancing Molly says risky to book so far ahead with Aerolineas - they have been having lots of problems to such an extent that they might even exist by December.