Note: Internet access, ATM, and credit cards are unusable here so prepare enough money before you arrive. This route for Southern Argentina and Chile starts in Santiago and ends in Ushuaia, the Southern tip of the South American continent. Between November and January, my friend Nadia and I travelled to South America. It is a comprehensive guide that is an easy read and chuck full of information on what to pack, best places to purchase and best places to stop along the way. South America - Solo backpacking in Argentina and Chile - I traveled around Argentina and Chile with the only company of my backpack, and loved it! However there is always a steady stream of travellers backpacking through Argentina and Chile. For Argentina, you have the Iguazu Falls in the north and many diverse spots in Patagonia in the south. Santiago is the easiest place to start the route and as the capital city it has the best connections to other parts of South America and further afield. To get from Puerto Natales to Ushuaia, it will be another long bus ride that requires you to change buses at Punta Arenas. Adventure travel guide to backpacking Chile. Even though the internet package has unlimited data, they capped the data each day to 50MB and you have to pay extra to get the speed back, with another 50MB capped. The next port of call on this Chile backpacking two-week itinerary is San Pedro de Atacama, a town at the entrance of the amazing Atacama desert. Personally, I flew because at that point, I was done with long buses, and by the time you reach this point of the itinerary, you will probably feel the same. For Easter Island, Late January to mid-February is the best time as the annual Tapati festival is taking place with concerts and events all over the island. Australians must pay a reciprocity fee of US$117 if arriving by air but there are no such charges at land borders. Like in other parts of South America, there are some bargain set-meals to be found. I included a ton of pictures, several detailed maps, and lots of logistical information. The first leg of this journey will take about 3 hours and cost 10 USD. It is expensive but with its unique culture, especially during the Tapati festival, you will not regret traveling to Easter Island. Getting from the Lake District to the Extreme South: There is a 24 hour bus than runs between San Carlos de Bariloche and El Chalten. Then just head out with a tent and what you need for the trip. Keep your eyes peeled for bargain flights as they can sometimes work out cheaper than the buses. They only run this route 3 times a week so if you happen to be there on the days they do not run, you can easily do it yourself and get on a bus to Osorno and from there, there will be plenty of buses to take you across the border to Bariloche. Check out, Two Months Itinerary for Chile and Argentina, Getting From San Pedro de Atacama to Antofagasta, Getting From Pucon to San Carlos De Bariloche, Getting From San Carlos De Bariloche to El Chalten, Getting From El Calafate to Puerto Natales. There are some pretty big distances to cover and you could do it in less by taking the odd flight or skipping a couple of destinations. If there is one hike that has come to symbolize Chile's spectacular backcountry, it's the five-day, four-night W Trek… To get from Pucon, Chile to San Carlos de Bariloche, you can get a direct bus operated by Andesmar that will take you to Osorno, cross the border, and drop you off at San Carlos De Bariloche Bus Terminal. I am the founder of this blog, Travelistly and many others. Meanwhile there is a good view of some incredible whales from Carlos III Island. From Bariloche Airport, you will have to fly into El Calafate Airport where you can get the shuttle that connects El Calafate with El Chalten from the airport and they will take you to El Chalten. It has loads of great hiking trails and is very large going right up to the border with Chile. International flights around Latin America are typically very expensive though given the relatively short distance covered. As impressive as the Laguna de los Tres trail. There’s some decent info on how to visit Antarctica on a budget from someone who did the trip here. Options include the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, home of the Petrohué falls and Lake Todos los Santos. 99% sure there are places where you can just show up and camp with no booking. We were thinking it’s been 3 years already since we met in Santiago, and it seems like a long time ago… This is a guide to backpacking in chile on a budget while seeing the highlights and lesser seen spots They are also worth checking out if you get sick of the long bus journeys on the route above. The town is now complete with nice restaurants and given its military history there are some cool museums to visit such as Museo Marítimo set in an old prison. Prices and availability fluctuate in and out of peak-season. This is based on February 2019 prices and exchange rates. 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. Mount Fitz Roy. Depending on the day you arrive in Punta Arenas, you may have to stay overnight there before you can catch a bus from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. It takes around 4 hours to climb up so you need to be in shape. For Chile, the famous Atacama desert which is considered to be the place that has the clearest sky in the world for stargazing is located in the north, the famous Torres del Paine national park in the South and the Easter Island in the west. You will find plenty more under our Chile Travel Guide section where you will find suggested itineraries, things to do, and everything you need to plan your Chile trip. It’s also surrounded by excellent vineyards that you can visit and the locally produced but world famous Chilean wine is well worth a taste. If you are looking for more information about traveling in Argentina and Chile, be sure to check out these articles below: Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. The best time to avoid the crowd is the shoulder season from October to November where the crowd is manageable plus you get the beautiful spring landscape. The flight should take about 3.5 hours and cost around 66 USD. This post is also available in: German In this post I put together all information you need for Backpacking in Chile based on my own experience of 2 trips where I traveled to 13 of 15 regions in Chile. For multi-day hikes or trips to more rural areas, consider leaving your belongings in storage in a hostel in one of the larger towns. The final day, go on a day tour to Lagunas Altiplanicas, the Chilean version of the salt flat. Doing the W-trek through the Torres del Paine national park is highly recommended if you have a chance to do it. Categories chiledestinationsargentinasouth america. There are extra fees for entry into national parks. You can find adventure anywhere you are in these 2 countries, and this itinerary will take you to all of them. The journey from Atacama to Calama takes around 1.5 hours and costs 3,000 CPS and from Calama to Antofagasta takes around 2.5 hours and cost around 8 USD. Just 2-3 hours by bus from El Chalten, this is also a major base for trekkers in Argentine Patagonia. Therefore it’s the best place to buy anything you might need for your trip South. Backpacking Patagonia is quite simply a nature lover’s dream. There are quite a few must-see places in Santiago such as the view from San Cristóbal Hill, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago Metropolitan Cathedra and the Huerfanos street in down town Santiago. The falling value of the peso also makes it cheaper for foreign tourists than it was just a few years ago.The priciest location in Colombia is the beautiful and historic colonial city of Cartagena, as it … Required fields are marked *. A compact and unremarkable town but a decent base for more Lake District adventures. The massive scale of the glacier is best appreciated in all angles. Pullman and Jet Sur buses are highly recommended for this route and you can book a bus ticket with the link below: If the weather permits, with a tour, you can summit the Villarrica volcano and spot spewing lava inside the crater. Argentina and Chile are not cheap countries so buses are the perfect solution for long distance trip. After spending a full month backpacking in the high altitudes of Bolivia, I was ready to breathe normally again.So, my solo adventures continued as I headed for Argentina and Chile with the intention of border-hopping between the two…and I picked up a few travel tips along the way, which I’m thrilled to share. For Patagonia (South of Chile and Argentina), November to March is high season and even though it is not a bad idea to come during this time to maximize the chance of getting good weather, you will also have to deal with the crowds and the overbooked buses and tours. That is bullsh*t if you asked me but there were not many options available. Here is, Easter Island is one of the best experience you can have in Chile. Here are the ultimate, Looking for unique things to do in Argentina? Any advice so welcome, this is quite shocking… . Flying via Miami may be more cost-effective though in both cases. It’s busy in the summer but pretty quiet the rest of the year. The bus ticket costs 22 USD per person and you can book them online with the link below: Book A Bus From El Calafate to Puerto Natales. It is around 750 km between Santiago and Villarrica. It’s easy to forget Argentina’s rugged north-west corner when you’re drafting your backpacking trip. If you have an extra day, you can also do a glacier walk on the Perito Moreno glacier itself and explore the ice cave only accessible by foot. I am going on a backpacking trip through chile and argentina, mainly chile. The long trip here will soon be worth it when you start exploring the beautiful Argentine lakes and mountains in the area. Looking for a complete itinerary for South America? It was a pleasant way to remember my not-long-enough solo backpacking trip to Argentina and Chile. Argentina Patagonia Multisport – Bariloche to Fitz Roy Days: 10 Activity Level: 3 ... Southern Patagonia is a vast playground for hiking enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike. Ushuaia is commonly referred to as the southernmost city in the world and a thriving tourism industry has built up in recent years focused around the cruises to Antarctica. North of Chile where the Atacama Desert is, the driest place on Earth, is obviously hot and dry. Bus-Sur operates this route and they have one bus leaving at 8 AM and arriving in Puerto Natales by 2 PM. You can fly from Santiago to Puerto Montt for less than $40 excluding baggage costs for example (far less than the equivalent bus). Check out6 Months Itinerary for South America. The journey will take about 10 - 12 hours and cost around 18 - 21 USD. Heading North to South offers a bit more time to acclimatise but if you’re coming from somewhere cold I guess it doesn’t matter so much! Your email address will not be published. Big Sur does operate the route between Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas and it runs twice per day so you can get the 7 AM one from Puerto Natales Terminal. The journey will take around 2 hours and cost 9 USD. Food and drinks are typically pretty cheap in Patagonia. If you are coming from Bolivia, San Pedro de Atacama is where you will spend time getting use to Chile so spend your first day walking around the town square and in the evening, rent a bike and go up the Valle de la Luna for a beautiful sunset. It might also be a bit of a cold shock if you started off in Ushuaia in the middle of the year for example. The ride is long but passes through some stunning deserted scenery. The highlight of hiking in Argentina and a serious rival to Chile’s Torres del Paine, Mount Fitz Roy is the place to go if you can only do one trek in the country.Hikes begin in the town of El Chaltén, the country’s premier hiking destination, and venture into the wondrous Los Glaciers National Park, with trips ranging from easygoing day hikes to lengthy five day slogs. My plan is to do your whole south america route + patagonia backwards so I can do the south at the end of summer and make it to machu picchu in time for end of may! Some articles may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. In this guide, I will take you from the desert of Atacama to the island life of Easter Island, through the tropical forest of Iguazu falls and the snowy mountain range of Patagonia, all in one itinerary. Looking for more Chile articles? Backpacking, Budget Travel & Budget Living. The highly active Volcan Villarrica (which erupted as recently as 3rd March 2015) is a stunning sight but trips up it are very much restricted because as you might imagine it can be fairly dangerous! You combine these 2 countries, and you get one of the best trips you will ever have, from tropical to snow, islands to a desert, what more could one ask for. Research thoroughly the situation in all the destinations you will be visiting. This is a 2 weeks backpacking itinerary covering all the highlights you shouldn't miss when are you in Patagonia, plus a few days for you to explore the capital cities of Argentina and Chile. This article was last updated in February 2019. Check out the official schedule of the shuttle bus here. As you know, I am a light traveler and packing light for a trip like this is an art in and of itself. Getting from Santiago de Chile to the Lake District: From Vina del Mar or Valparaiso it’s quick and easy to get back to Santiago and will only take around 90 minutes to two hours depending on the traffic into the capital. The deal is that you cross over the Andes via three stunning lakes and take in some truly breathtaking scenery while typically stopping overnight at a village somewhere between the two.