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San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

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Toronto, Canada
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63 posts
19 reviews
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San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

How much time should we allow to drive from San Pedro to Calama Airport to catch a mid-morning flight?

Are we better off spending an extra (more expensive) night in San Pedro, or driving to and staying in Calama the night before we leave, i.e., is Calama interesting enough to warrant spending a night there?

We are booked on the 9:40 a.m. flight on November 23 out of Calama to Santiago and are wondering if we would have enough time to drive there that morning, drop off our rental car at AVIS, and catch the flight.

If we stayed in Calama, I'm leaning towards the Hotel del Mirador at $75 for two. However, I am a bit uncomfortable supplying my VISA card number on their web site which uses WebPay. My browser doesn't show this as a secure site. Does anyone have experience using WebPay (operated by Transbank)?

Many thanks,

Santiago
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493 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Hi Clompty

I have use webpay and it is very safe.

Now reagrind your questoins, being very honest, Calama deserves no visit at all, except for the mine Chuquicamata. So, if i were you, i would prefer to stay in San Pedro and even wake very early to get your flight.

If your flight departs at 940, means that you have to be at the airport at around 10. That means leaving San Pedro between 8 and 830 which is not so bad.

Calama is for sure one Chile's worst cities....sorry for being so honest, but it is true...

Toronto, Canada
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63 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Hi Gazpachon:

I appreciate your honesty. We'll try to extend our reservation in San Pedro by one night.

Thanks again,

Santiago
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493 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Sorry Clompty, i made amistake regarding the times of departure...here is the correction...

If your flight departs at 940, means that you have to be at the airport at around 9. That means leaving San Pedro between 7 and 730 which is not so bad.

From San Pedro to Calama is around 1 hour 15 min driving.

Worcestershire
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39 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

San Pedro to Calama is about 100km of paved road.We drove from San Pedro to Calama in the late afternoon after spending the day in San Pedro and stayed at the Hotel Mirador. Hotel was fine but poor breakfast.I paid in advance by credit card the day before our stay and had no problems.We booked and stayed there because there was a festival in Calama which we really enjoyed. As it was the hotel was nearly empty and Calama is no match compared with San Pedro where there are lots of nice things to see a do and lots more atmosphere.

Have a good trip

Toronto, Canada
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63 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Hi Taipo:

Thanks for the information. We've arranged to stay another night at La Casa de Don Tomas in San Pedro.

Thanks again

Brazil
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165 posts
58 reviews
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6. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Now that you probably have traveled, what would you recommend for the last night, since I'm going to take a flight early morning (8:45 am) and will go sightseeing the hole day before: should I pay US$ 240 in San Pedro for 3 or pay only US$ 100 in Calama?

Thais - Brazil

Toronto, Canada
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63 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Hi TFernandes:

Our return flight to SCL from Calama was at 9:40 and as I recall we left San Pedro shortly before 7:00 and arrived at about 8:00. The signs to the airport when you get close to Calama are very poor. We had a lot of trouble finding our way there. So, if you do plan to stay in San Pedro, and are driving yourself, allow about 1.5 hours to drive to and find the airport.

Also, we rented our car with AVIS and although the rental agreement clearly stated that we would return the car at 8:40, the agent didn't show up until about 9:15.

I can't comment on Calama accommodation, but if you want to save some money and stress, you might think about staying there the night before you leave.

If you are planning the trip to El Tatio Geysers, make sure you don't get stuck at the back of the bus/van, especially if it is one of the smaller ones. It is a very rough ride, but definitely worth the trip.

Have a great trip!

Germany
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61 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

I'm currently looking at a flight from Santiago to Calama, getting in at 9.45 p.m. My destination is San Pedro. Would it be too risky to try to get to San Pedro if I took the later flight? Or if I do take the later flight, should I just find a room for the night, getting myself up bright and early to head to San Pedro?

The other option is to fly the next day, getting in at 7.15 to Calama.

Germany
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61 posts
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9. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Have to correct myself. The flight the next day would get me into Calama at 7.15 p.m.

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile, Santiago
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6,142 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: San Pedro to Calama Driving Time

Driving from Calama to San Pedro at night means you miss the the drive across the Salar.

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