By Car -- From Arica, head north for 9km (6 miles), then east on Rte. 11, the sole option. The road is good until about 35km (22 miles) from the Bolivian border, at which point it suffers major and frequent potholes. With care, the secondary roads can be managed by normal cars, but check ahead for conditions. Trips south from the Surire Salt Flat need major preparation. Fuel up in Arica and invest in some gas canisters if you're planning a multiday outing, as the only place to get fuel in the altiplano is the hardware store in Putre, and it charges 30% more than the going price in Arica.
By Bus -- La Paloma (tel. 58/222710) makes the daily trip from Arica to Putre, departing at 7am from Germán Riesco 2071 and returning from Putre at 2pm. From the international bus terminal, Transportes Gutierrez (tel. 58/229338) departs Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30am and Sundays at 7:30pm, returning to Arica Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6pm. The fare is $3.50 (£2.30).
In Putre, the municipality operates a visitor center on the main plaza, officially open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to noon and 3 to 6pm (tel. 58/252803). You can also get information from the tour agencies on Baquedano, which are more likely to be staffed.
Currency Exchange -- There is a Banco Estado branch on the square that will exchange dollars, but it has no ATM.
Hospital -- Putre's clinic is near the village entrance at Baquedano 261 (tel. 58/200261).
Internet Access -- A handful of spots offer Internet access, including the public library on Carrera and Quipon@t on the square. The best is the phone and Internet center at Baquedano 501. Hotel Las Vicuñas has Wi-Fi.
Post Office -- Located on Carrera just off the plaza's south side, the post office is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.