Average cost p/day: US$75 (expect to spend even more if you go to Patagonia!)
Time frame: 2-3 weeks
Currency: Chilean pesos
Though Chile is only 240km across at its widest, it spans a massive 4,270km in length. This means that the climate and landscape around Chile is incredibly diverse. In the north, there’s deserts and surf beaches, whereas down south in Patagonia you’ll find snow-capped mountains and stunning lakes. As one of the richer countries in South America, you can expect plenty of modern technology and good quality food. This also means that prices are a fair bit higher. Still slightly cheaper than Europe or Australia, though!
WHERE TO GO
If I’m honest, there’s really no reason to go to Santiago unless it’s for a flight. The city is just like any other city, and there’s not much more to it. If you have to spend a day here, climb up San Cristobel Hill for a view of the city and take a walking tour to find out a bit about Chilean history and culture – make sure they tell you about coffee on legs! The story of how coffee became popular in Chile. I won’t spoil it for you!
Valpairiso is just about the most colourful place I’ve ever been. Buildings are all kinds of bright colours, the streets are often decorated with bunting and just about every surface is covered in murals and street art. You could spend days just walking the streets here, admiring the artwork. Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean poet and diplomat who won a nobel prize for literature, once lived in Valpairiso and you can go visit his house. He was a “collector” which meant that his house was full of interesting bits and bobs acquired from all over the world. A really unique little place.
Hostel recommendation – Hostal Casa
Still on my to do list —
Atacama Desert: This is the final stop on the three day salt flat tours that starts in Bolivia. The area offers stunning landscapes.
La Sarena: A chilled out beach town.
Torres Del Paine National Park: A great spot for hiking, although known to be very very pricey.