Planning on heading north from Santiago or Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama? A good way to break up the long 18 hour bus journey is to stop off by the sea-side town of La Serena. A 7 hour overnight bus from Valparaiso and 11 hours from San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena is a popular Chilean getaway beach town. We used this stop as a detour to spend some time by the beach and to try some of the national drink, Pisco, in the valley that it is made.
Landing on Easter island we reach another level of “the middle of nowhere”… This small dot in the Pacific Ocean is the most remote piece of inhabited land on earth. For years the mysteries of the island have intrigued us, so we made it a must see while traveling South America. It’s simple, to get to this Chilean island, it required to cross at least 3500 km of sea from either the South American continent, Polynesia or New Zealand. No wonder the island is renown for its mysterious culture and history that involves a collapsed civilisation, toppled statues and bird-man stories.
In this article, we will take you on a 5-day journey across this tropical island that we explored by car, bike and on foot for just above €600 each, flights included. Let’s go!
Patagonia is the ultimate travel destination, but the long distances don’t exactly offer affordable transportation. The journeys are long and depending on the time of the year can be completely unreliable. For many, the most budget friendly and fun option is to hitch-hike north or south. So how do you make sure to catch a ride, safely and quickly? These are the tips we would like to share with you from our experiences hitch-hiking through the Argentinean and Chilean sides of Patagonia. Continued
Only a short bus journey from Santiago, the port town of Valparaiso takes street art to a different level. Formerly the most important city in Chile due to its strategic location for sailing around the continent of South America. The city diminished with the opening of the Panama Canal and an easier route through the Americas.
As a result of this decline, Valparaiso was thought of as unsafe for a long time. However, the graffitied streets are now home to university students, artists and the scene that goes with them. Here is what you can expect while spending a few days in Chile’s most colourful city.
Santiago is the capital of Chile and has over a third of the country’s population. There is not much denying it, Santiago is big and busy. It is not the prettiest city in Chile and if you don’t keep your wits about you it has the potential for petty crime.
For backpackers the city will mainly act as the beginning or end of the South American adventure or, like us, it is the first taste of city life after spending months trekking through Patagonia. So, if you are starting or ending your trip or if you are in need of some life again, this is our guide for a couple of days in Santiago.
The wine in South America can often be summarised to the famous Argentinian Malbec and the usual Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite Argentina being one of the world’s largest wine-producing countries and offering an opportunity to visit many world class wineries, we decided to skip the Mendoza region and instead focus on Chilean wine. Our first stop would be the town of Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Valley, 2 hours south of Chile’s capital Santiago, where we would have the opportunity to cycle around the wineries but also to taste one of our favorite wines: Carménère.
The Colchagua Valley is not a main tourist destination for backpackers and can definitely be defined as off the beaten track of the Chilean gringo trail. This makes it a great place to spend a couple of days, relaxing and sampling the local wines. Here’s a secret…it is also much more affordable than Mendoza! In fact it seems to be such a secret that we only noticed 4 other tourists during our 3 days visit.