Getting There & Away
Santiago sits in the middle of the region, providing easy international access, while to the south, Concepción also has a large airport. The excellent long-distance bus services that travel up and down the Panamericana highway are the quickest and cheapest way to arrive, whether you're coming from the Lakes District to the south, from Santiago or the north, or internationally via Mendoza in Argentina.
Frequent local and long-distance buses connect all the major towns in Middle Chile to each other and to Santiago. Trains are also an option for travel between cities on the Panamericana between Santiago and Chillán – journeys take as long as on a bus, and are markedly more expensive, so train travel is probably only worthwhile for the novelty value.
Getting to national parks and smaller towns can be trickier: snow closes some areas in winter, in others public transportation reduces to a trickle outside summer, and a few places have no public transportation at all.
Having a car is invaluable for quick trips to far-flung parks and for touring wineries in the Colchagua, Maule and Casablanca Valleys.