How much does it cost? $12,900 CLP each way (about $18.50 USD)
How do you pay? In many countries, ferries have a toll booth to pay before boarding, but this ferry accepts payment AFTER you’ve boarded. Once parked, stay in your car and wait. A staff member dedicated to collecting fees will make the route collecting the toll from each car. I’m not sure if a credit card was accepted as of 2019, but change was available for cash when I didn’t have the correct amoung of bills.
How long does it take? The ferry crossing takes about 30 minutes and you can get out and walk around. Although the boat is small you can take a steep flight of stairs up and enjoy the ride on the deck.
Is there a bathroom on the Chiloe ferry? YES. Both ferries I took had bathrooms on the car deck, available free to paid passengers. One boat had significantly nicer bathrooms than the other, so it may be a coin toss on cleanliness.
Watch a Video Tour of the Chiloe Island Ferry:
How do you board the Chiloe Ferrry? The boarding process is a little hairy- at least, compared to my familiarity with the process of the Washington State Ferries in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. As you approach the dock, watch for flaggers and follow their gestured instructions. If a ferry is waiting, you will be directed down onto a concrete ramp (that goes directly into the water- yikes!). The ferries tend to come in at angles, making it awkward but not scary to board. Once on the boat, more flaggers will direct you into a parking space.
How often do ferries cross? Ferries are boarding and crossing constantly- I actually did not have to wait at all at either crossing- before being waved on to a boarding boat. Although I missed the boarding of the ferry that was docked when I pulled up- it had departed and another docked almost immediately.
Can I get out of my car? Yes. You are free to wander the public sections of the boat- which includes the car deck, bathrooms (along the side of the car deck), and along one side of the upper deck. In nice weather, plan to spend the entire trip on the upper deck- the view is incredible and I saw interesting birds and marine life on both crossings. Keep your eyes peeled for Black Chilean dolphins (to my delight, a pod of dolphins passed on my outbound ferry trip), Peruvian pelicans, and a number of other animals.