From Santiago to Calama with sky airways a pleasant 2 hours flight along the andes.
Arriving at the airport you will follow your luguage on a very nice green tralor to the terminal.
From the airport a direct minibus will take you to san pedro; no need to reserve in advance , there are various minibus waiting for you.
Both LAN and SKY AIRLINE serve Calama with several daily flights, on an average price of US$ 190, although seasonal and last-minute offers can cut this price by 40% or more.
Flights are either via Antofagasta (2:35 hours), or direct (2:05 hours). Oncoming flights from northern cities, such as Iquique and Arica, are quite cheap but their schedules are not always convenient, as they usually arrive to Calama quite late at night, if your idea is hopping immediately to San Pedro (if not, arrival times are OK).
SKY AIRLINE is cheaper, and service and aircraft (both use B-737’s, and A-320/319 Airbuses) are as good as in LAN.
As said before, Calama is a bit out of the way... but from Santiago there are frequent bus services, both on the mornings (from 9 AM till 1130 AM), and then in the late afternoon, from 600 PM till 1000 PM, approximately.
The trip from Santiago is 22 to 25 hours long, and can cost between US$ 22 and US$ 40 (double this price in the high season).
Almost all of these buses pass through Antofagasta before heading to Calama.
From Antofagasta it’s a 3-hour journey, costing US$ 6,50, with a lot of daily services.