You can check out her tips for travelling and volunteering in South America on her website. If you rent a car, you can drive almost to its top or just explore the countryside in what is a really beautiful and green part of Chile. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. #14 Best Value of 18 Backpacker Hostels in Chile “ This is a great place to stay, located 5mins walking from the city center and still in a quiet area. Don’t buy one-use water bottles, don’t take plastic shopping bags, and forget straws. If you’re heading to Patagonia, summer is arguably the best weather to camp in. Chile really is one of the most underrated countries for intrepid backpackers, it is a trekkers dream, you just need to know where to go. You’ll be happy to hear that Chile is also well set up for taking buses overland into neighbouring countries. Chile is one long strip of awesome things to do, yet it can be surprisingly tricky to pick out a good itinerary, especially when the distances are way bigger than you may realize at first. We hiked the O Circuit. We've compiled our observations into this list of 30 things no one tells you about backpacking … The next stop as you head north is Iquique for a bit of sandboarding before finally arriving in San Pedro De Atacama. Otherwise, there are plenty of options to wild camp for free. This is an incredible place from which many people travel from to Bolivia in a jeep overland. With local dishes such as King crab and lamb and a number of veggie options, La Marmita is always a good bet when you’re in Punta Arenas and looking for some hearty – and delicious – food. Then we head on an overnight bus straight up to San Pedro De Atacama to explore the driest desert in the world. 1 The W Trek If there is one hike that has come to symbolize Chile's spectacular backcountry, it's the five-day, four-night W Trek through Torres Del Paine National Park. We just finished hiking in Torres del Paine. Book it on Hostelworld. Check out this detailed article for everything you need to know to start teaching English online. Whether you’re exploring the Atacama desert, Santiago, or Patagonia, the summer season – more or less – runs from November to March as it is in the summertime for the southern hemisphere, therefore, high season for most places. I can be incredibly indecisive (which stems from being a total perfectionist) and I’ve been the one debating for weeks, months even, over which camera to buy. Recently I often get asked about the best places to visit in Chile. The current exchange rate is 1000 CLP : 1.60 USD (March 2018). Start your South America backpacking trip in Chile and you’ll find that your well-earned cash isn’t going to go very far. This Chile and Argentina itinerary will hit all of Patagonia: the impressive Andes mountains crowned with glaciers, waterfalls, glacial lakes and marshlands. The best time to travel Chile is from October till March – … This way you can see everything you want to see. Backpacking Chile: our best travel and hiking tips. But with attractions ranging from volcano-laced desert plateaus in the far north to hiking in world-famous national parks and even hitchhiking through barely-habited lands in Patagonia, Chile is the soul mate of anyone seeking an adventure. Chile Backpacking Guide! South America ; Chile ; Things to Do in Chile ; Hiking Trails in Chile; Hiking Trails in Chile When are you traveling? If, however, you do want a cushier option there are refugios along the way, which are basically simple cabins that you can stay in. They say that when God created the world, he (or probably she, let’s be honest) had a little of everything left over – mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, deserts, the whole shebang. I’ve listed 5 of the best hikes in Chile below: 1. If you like museums, don’t miss the ever classic Museo Historia Nacional and the ever fun interactive geekfest that is Museo Interactivo Mirador. Joining a tour is a great way to see a majority of the country quickly and without the effort that goes into planning a backpacking trip. Considered by many to be the ultimate trekking challenge, this route regularly appears not only on lists of the best treks in Chile, but also of those anywhere in the world. Many of them have serious safety measures, huge comfortable chairs, meals on board, and they’re pretty affordable. Most of the places mentioned will have more than enough things to do if you have a little longer in Chile. A lot of different layers will help you balance your clothing for trekking whilst still allowing you to pack light. The views from here are simply stunning, especially in winter, when snow litters the ground and the contrast of colour is really pretty. Keen to live the digital nomad dream while traveling the world? The Mount Fitzroy trail in Argentina is one of Patagonia’s best hikes and offers an alternative to hiking Chile’s Torres Del Paine Route. So when you're in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the Best Backpacking Tents of 2020. This guide offers everything you should know about Chile and a suggested Chile itinerary for 2 […] When that temperature drops it gets cold really quickly. Few places in South America are as gob-smackingly otherworldly as the Atacama Desert and so it’s no surprise that adventurous travellers land in San Pedro de Atacama in their droves. Be prepared, however for technical mountain passes. You can relax in the city and chill on the beach whilst sipping some great cocktails. Not only is this a fun way to do most things, but in this case it gives you access to one of the most unique places on the planet for a tighter budget than most will manage. Make sure you take an extra layer though. Do you speak English? Now I’m not claiming it’s going to compete with the Caribbean Islands, but it does have a certain ruggard beauty to it. It’s not just because of its vibrant cities – like capital city Santiago – and stunning scenery in the jaw-dropping Patagonia region, but also because you’ll find its trails a little less well-worn than in (relatively) nearby Argentina and Brazil. There really is no place like it. So, you know me, of course I’m going to say that camping is the best way to do this! Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Generally, you can get away with wild camping all over Chile and it really is one of the best ways to experience the natural wild beauty of the country. They seem to like to be organised. From trekking in Torres del Paine to El Chalten and everywhere in between. If you want more mountainous challenging treks, Conguillío National Park is more worthing visiting. You can book sand boarding through some hostels, or a company called Denomades can also help you arrange it. Home » South America » Chile » Backpacking Guide. Explore this wondrous country through a hiking and trekking tour, and remember to stop by Santiago, a city encircled by snow-capped mountains. US$65/day | 45,000 Chilean Peso. I would probably recommend trying to trek on either side of the high season to get the trails more to yourself. You can choose between. Yes, this is fairly steep, but unless you’re heading into Central America or neighbouring Peru, this is the chance for gaining the ultimate in bragging rights. Great artcile and thank you for the tips! Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. All of them have an intended flexibility. Luckily, I still have my leg today, and whilst it is permanently damaged, I’m grateful every day it’s still attached! If you wish to see Chile, you need to travel a bit more of the 2,653 miles (4,270 km) from North to South than I did. Chile is home to Torres Del Paine, one of the greatest national parks on the planet! Even if you just did this for the Instagram shot it would be worth it! Torres del Paine, W Trek Why is it one of the best hostels in Chile? The possibilities are absolutely endless in Chile. Bear in mind that Chile is a crazily long country with over 4,000 km of coastline and distances between destinations are far and often involve either an overnight bus or a short flight. A backpacker’s guide to Chile: a one-month itinerary Full moon fever … the hypnotic landscape of Chile’s Valle de la Luna. Just one of those hostels you've got to stay, great vibe and everything you need. It’s always worth checking out the profile, which will say what language they speak! LAN airlines is the main airline to get you there. The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! As I was dead set to include the region of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile in my 30-day South America backpacking route, I headed south from Arequipa Peru towards the border with Chile. Moral of the story: consider getting travel insurance before you head out into the wilds, people!“. For more hitchhiking tips, check out Will’s hitchhiking 101 post. Sat beneath the majestic Osorno Volcano, Puerto Varas is one of the country’s prettiest towns and a must-visit when it comes to backpacking in Chile. I have been backpacking in Chile 2 times already where I managed to visit 13 of 15 regions. Unless you wild camp, eat beans, hitchhike, and only visit places in the wild (that no one has heard of), you’re not going to travel Chile on $10 a day. Strap on a pair of crampons, grab your ice axe and scale Volcano Villarrica. 3. All rights reserved. And don’t panic. Arguably the capital, desert and parts of Patagonia do get quite a bit of tourism, but it’s still very little compared to so many places that are half as impressive. Also known as Rapa Nui, this incredible island is home to 887 massive, mysterious statues that will capture your imagination. Locals around Patagonia and the Atacama tend to be pretty sweet about picking up hitchhikers. If you still have some trekking left in you, I would recommend either Vicente Pérez Rosales or Alerce Andino National Park. They’re pretty tasty! However, Chile isn't exactly the cheapest place to visit in South America, especially when compared to the northern neighbors of Peru and Bolivia. Santiago is a beautiful, exciting city with a sweet Latin atmosphere, great street food, and even better wine. There are 36 National Parks in Chile, all stunning and unique in their own way. ), ¿cómo estai? From here you can then head up to Osorno to make the most of volcanoes and thermal baths. Please try again. The landscape is so dramatic it creates an atmosphere and leaves you feeling like you have actually been to another planet. There are so many trails to follow, and so many vistas to witness. Obviously, this all depends on your fitness level, and how you want to pace yourself; it’s a challenge not a race. It has a beautiful dock for enjoying sunsets and few great bars to hang out and meet other intrepid travellers. This guide offers everything you should know about Chile and a suggested Chile itinerary for 2 weeks. Map. Some travellers fly into Ushuaia and work their way up, though many people go to Ushuaia to begin an Antarctica cruise or excursion. Unlike in many of its neighbouring countries, backpacking in Chile is relatively straightforward, thanks to a well-developed (and fairly reliable) system of buses, modern facilities and a greater proportion of English-speakers, particularly in cities around the capital. The average salary for teaching in Chile is $500 – $800 per month. Chilean cazuelas can also be made with beef, chicken, pork or turkey. I’m a carnivore but when I’m on the road, I only eat chicken. Top attractions in what is indisputably the Chilean capital of cool include wandering through the city’s labyrinth streets admiring the mishmash of graffiti and political painting daubed on buildings at every street, particularly around Cerro Alegre. Expect to pay upwards of $250,000 CLP for flights and set aside a budget of at least $35,000 CLP per day for food and accommodation. If you reach the top and want to backpack through Bolivia, you can either get a bus or go across the salt flats as part of an overland tour. You can wrap up warm and walk or bike out into the desert to enjoy the stars. If you love a good hot spring you can easily get to more than one. Compare the cheapest rates online, here (for FREE). Ever fancied exploring one of the most isolated island in the world? There are plenty of companies organising trips up the volcano with a price set by the local authority at 85,000 CLP. I can take up to 2 weeks off and I feel Chile is a great spot for me to visit. As it’s not really a tourist destination it can be tricky to find somewhere to stay. Save yourself some money! The GRAYL Geopress is hands-down the most effective one we’ve ever used as well! However, in all cases Visa applications can only be made once a job offer has been obtained. Thanks for your comment. We’ve sprinkled in a little bit of everything: overnight adventures, off-trail excursions, and long-distance thru-hikes. Just drink plenty of water and don’t try and walk too quickly! and a liberal use of po (yeh?) Best websites for renting cars in Patagonia: International companies such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget have offices in Chile and are generally cheaper than local outfits. Make sure you write your signs in Spanish. You can surf, scuba dive, horse ride, or kick back and watch one of cultural dance shows. Check the latest price on Hostelworld. They were officially independent from Spain on September 18, 1810. Throw in some giant mysterious heads, super friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and a really impressive volcano to trek around and you truly have one of the most kick ass places on the planet! Don’t flash your cash, you know the drill! San Pedro de Atacama is often the starting point for their trip overland through the salt flats into Bolivia. Empanadas: You will see these all over South America. It has a big bohemian feel to it and as you roam around the hilly streets you’ll never be far from something quirky. In fact, on the backpacker circuit, nobody really comes to Chile for its beaches. Ashley Nitransky. Depending on your interest in visiting Chile, there is an area to explore on foot for your individual taste. If you’re on a budget but don’t fancy cooking, keep your eyes open for interesting hole-in-the-wall food joints. A lot of it. Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. Starting in Villa O’Higgins, a small cluster of buildings on the border with Argentina, the Carretera Austral winds 1240km north to Puerto Montt, stopping in a series of tiny communities and utterly spectacular areas of natural beauty. Argentina and Chile (41) New Zealand (40) Ireland (38) Nordic / Scandinavia (36) Eastern Europe (36) Ecuador (36) Canada (35 ) Middle East (34) Austria (31) Albania (30) Portugal (29) Ethiopia (29) Bolivia and Peru (28) Iceland (28) Amboseli National Park (28) Zion National Park (28) See more. From the famous Patagonia region, its glaciers and mountains, the Atacama Desert, to the lakes and volcanoes in the Lake District, the best of Chile has to be explored wearing a pair of trekking boots. Many, but not all, of Chile’s festivals are quite specific to localized places within the country, which makes them even more special. This is, however especially important when you’re camping and hiking a lot! Satellite. The “O” and the “Q” take 7 to 10 days to complete. Below I’ve listed some great books set in Chile. For more general advice, check out these articles: A backpacker security belt to keep your cash safe on the road is always a good idea. Iquique is one of those places where you can go cosmo or go crazy. As you may imagine the capital, Santiago, has great nightlife. It is incredible. A decent head torch could save your life. Although you can hire some gear in Patagonia, it really is worth making sure you have at least some camping and trekking basics of your own. From Patagonia’s stunning blue mountains and massive glaciers, to the Atacama Desert’s unique moon-like formations, Chile’s distinct geography and wildlife can be fully appreciated on the country’s hiking trails. where you can download PDF versions of our guides. Chile, however, isn’t overrun with backpackers, so there are less hostels than you might think. What would you say if I told you, you could go to a beach one day and the highest active volcano the next!!!! Zoom in to see updated info. Given it’s a desert, the weather is good all year round, just remember it gets cold at night and the area’s altitude (2407m above sea-level but going much higher at points) can cause feelings of nausea. It’s one of the most beautiful, action-packed and popular neighbourhoods, so you want to book in advance. READ MORE: Check out my complete guide on travelling in Chile for all the best tips. We have hunted out some of the very best for you. My biggest advice is to just be respectful to the local people and their culture. Who the hell doesn’t? Don’t risk having to sit on the floor or change your itinerary because you missed the last ticket at the station! You can see it as a warm up and preparation for heading further south into the depths of Patagonia. And no matter when you go, Patagonia is notorious for its high winds. Show the historical and archeological sites respect too, don’t be like the Dutch idiot who tried to cut an ear off one of the big heads on Easter Island and got charged $17,000! TREK 9. ‘Cazuela’ means cooking pot in Spanish. ). Chile does also offer an Independent Worker Visa designed for contractors – this may be awarded to would be Digital Nomads but we don’t have any first hand knowledge of anybody obtaining one. Home to Patagonia, Chile is one of the best countries to visit in the world for hikers, mountaineers, and climbers. The city itself isn’t especially special, just a typical latin american city with the usual questionable clothes stalls and fried chicken on every other corner. There are many places to star gaze across Chile, but the Atacama is probably the best. Through the art of storytelling and photography, we help our readers explore the globe with us, and aim to get you on the road as well. The type an applicant needs varies depending on the nature of their employment. If you are looking to meet people and get a good balance of party and peace, then Feel Iquique Hostel is definitely worth checking out. And we’re just that little bit envious. Just make sure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months left on it. You can find some awesome apartments and home-stays for cheap prices. The red in particular is world class! There are so many national parks in Chile, 36 to specific. For longer distances, it is often more economical to fly than take the bus so always do you research before buying. Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS! Instead, head to ¡école! Bring sun cream and a book for lazy afternoons hanging out on the top floor of the boat and a good camera for keeping an eye on the coast as the shore passes between looming volcanoes to ancient forest and tiny fjordside communities. Otherwise, Couch Surfing is the cheapest way to go, and a great way to meet other travellers; however, they can be hard to pin down in Chile, and chances are you will need to be pretty good at Spanish. If you’re feeling flush and want luxury, you can book some accommodation on the trek before you set off. Although I never personally stayed here, I’ve heard excellent things about this hostel. Cazuela Marina. Ever climbed an active volcano? Just take a moment and picture waking as the sunrises, unzipping your tent, and looking out across an ocean, knowing that there is no one for thousands of miles in any direction. Food in San Pedro de Atamaca is expensive (you’re in the middle of a desert after all). It’s necessary to book in advance during the Austral summer (December through March) and the longer route to Puerto Natales only runs during this season. Porotos Granados: This is basically a bean stew made with fresh ingredients, more often served in the summer months. If you’re feeling brave you could opt for exploring the highest active volcano in the world and get yourself to Ojos del Salado. This coastal boho beauty is best known for its hills and colourful buildings, both of which are really worth exploring. This gorgeous photograph, taken in the Atacama Desert in Chile, shows star trails circling the South Celestial Pole, over a cacti-dominated still landscape. Steph Dyson is a travel writer and educational volunteer who writes about adventurous travel and meaningful volunteering as she believes them to be life-changing but accessible ways of exploring the world. You also need to organise special insurance to travel into Argentina and this must be done at least a week before you pick up the car. The “W” Trek in Torres del Paine National Park – This park is home to the most popular trail in Chile, if not the world! This place is an adventurous explorers Nirvana! Both are stunning in their own way. I have been backpacking in Chile 2 times already where I managed to visit 13 of 15 regions. Make sure you take time to trek round Rano Kau, an impressive extinct volcano. Updated October 22nd, 2018. Make sure you make time to watch a sunset in San Pedro de Atacama. Chileans speak Spanish, though with a notorious accent. For one of the best hikes in Santiago Chile, Alto Las Vizcachas combines the perfect mix of activity, views and time. Location: Careterra Austral Hotel Category: Superior Why we like it: Finished in 2008, this lodge holds just 20 guests. They’re often handing out flyers, but most of Santiago’s hostels can also hook you up with what’s happening that week. EAT! Now get yourself organised and get to Easter Island. Find out where to go and what to do in our 4 to 6 week South America Backpacking Itinerary, which covers Peru, Bolivia, and Chile! Your email address will not be published. Featured. Pisco: This is white brandy with a distinctive taste, pretty good on its own and even better in cocktails. Totally hippy fest! The squares really come to life with locals selling all sorts of local produce, and you should get to see some good old school grape stomping! When you visit a country that has some of the best wine on the world you’ve got to take time to taste it! 4. It’s important to make time to actually take in the scenery and connect with where you are, especially when it’s somewhere as beautiful as this! On my round the world trip, I only had time to spend two weeks in Chile but it was one of the highlights of my whole journey. If you want to cover long distances, you can take some impressively comfortable overnight buses in Chile. Easter Island is one of the best experience you can have in Chile. Having a filtered water bottle means you can drink from just about any source. As a general Chile travel guide, you want to decide whether you’re heading north or south. Chile has around 500 active volcanoes, so you are pretty spoilt for choice. We are kicking this Chile guide off in the famous Torres Del Paine National Park by doing the O Trek, which takes around seven to ten days. There are a couple of nice hostels in Puerto Natales too, where you can rest your head and recharge before your next adventure. Arguably one of the best capital cities to visit for hiking lovers, Santiago is unique in that it sits in a valley framed by sky-reaching mountains, which means that, on the other side, lie a wealth of valleys which are ideal for hiking (and for wine tasting, FYI). The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. There is a reason everyone raves about trekking here and to be honest, until you go, you just won’t get it. Great location, helpful staff and a good breakfast. It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Answer 1 of 3: Hi guys, I'm going to have a chance to take a two week vacation between job switches. Beaches, mountains, art, history. Definitely one of the best hostel in Santiago, Chile. There are a few posh ones, but I reckon the best ones are the rough and ready middle of nowhere ones. It’s worth having a browse and booking up early as it’s a busy little town. Check out the world’s highest geothermal field, the El Tatio Geysers (most spectacular at dawn), see three species of flamingo wading through saline lakes at the salt flats or venture to the more off-the-beaten-path spots, Lagunas Miscanti and Miñiques. Patagonia is home to some of the most beautiful, majestic, and harshest scenery in the world. Dancing is a large part of Latin culture across South America, so you’re going to have to let go of those inhibitions and get into the latin vibe if you want to party like the locals. You’ll be spoilt for opportunities for great shots that get everyone on Instagram jealous! There are a number of different work visa’s available for Chile. If you are a bit of a national park fanatic, you’ll find you are spoilt for choice in this area. This culture-packed country also has some impressive volcanoes, hot springs, and world-class wine. Best in Travel 2021. It’s built in the style of a mountain lodge that you may find in Yosemite national park or national parks across North America. Terremoto: This is Chile’s national cocktail, which translates as “Earthquake.” It is made up of cheap white wine, pineapple sorbet and grenadine. You can even buy groceries and food along the way, but it is really expensive. Clear Dates. It’s not more complicated than that! Home / Backpacking tours / South America Backpacking Tours Backpacking South America. Do note that over the winter season the longer routes are usually closed, so make sure you check the routes when planning. PRICE: Dorms are around $16.51 whilst Privates from $18.16. There are also plenty of natural hot springs to soak your feet after a hard trek! You may want to consider Couchsurfing or Airbnb. As a great Santiago backpackers hostel, Chile Lindo is just a 10-minute walk from the main bus terminal and only 15-minutes from Santiago city centre. There are loads of adventurous things to do in San Pedro De Atacama, but the one you can’t miss out on is watching the sun go down on what will look like mars. It includes Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. As mentioned, you can camp, but there are also hostels and airbnbs on the island that are worth checking out. I’ve listed 5 of the best hikes in Chile below: 1. For Chile, you really do need to contact your own local embassy to see what the latest information is. This park is considered the hiking capital of Patagonia due to some incredible camping and trekking sites, like Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres. Nice to meet you – Encantada de conocerte, No plastic cutlery please – No hay cubiertos de plástico por favor. It can be done, you just have to drop your comforts and be resourceful. The exception is Patagonia’s National Parks, where you must stick to the official campsites on the main trails in Patagonia, but there are quite a few free options. The thing many overlook, however, is that the town is actually quite nice within itself. Most hostel offers wine tours, but the cheapest way is to make your way out to somewhere like Concho Y Toro on public transport and book yourself on the next tour round. You can pick up some pretty good stuff at low prices everywhere across Chile. Windsurf, dive or just chill on the beach. – Habla usted Inglés? However, more and more are making their way here for its waves . You must take time to see the iconic Cerro Alegre Dare.