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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Backpacking through Chile by lunchtime on 28 July 2004 10:41pm
I'm hoping to go on a gap year, and i'd love to explore Chile, particularly in the south, although i would also like to explore futher north, into Peru, and if i can afford it, Mexico and more of central america. However, i don't know where to start. If anyone can give advice then that would be fantastic.
Re: Backpacking through Chile by Godfather on 28 July 2004 10:50pm
Wow. Well,that's a lot of ground to cover if you end up doing all of it. I have'nt been to Chile i'm afraid. I got to the border areas,which look out on the Chilean Lake district apparently. It certainly did appear to be a beautiful place. That was in the area of the Salar De Uyuni and lakes of Southern Bolivia. The land coverage from Chile to Central America is gigantic mind you. I know because i went from Bolivia all the way up to Colombia and it was quite epic. But the Pan American highway makes it manageable and pretty comfortable compared to other regions of the world. Your big problem is getting over to Panama from South America. The Darian Gap between them is damn dangerous, so most people fly from South-Central.
Re: Backpacking through Chile by lunchtime on 28 July 2004 11:10pm
it is a big place to cover. i don't really want to cover the whole area, just a much as i can do reasonably easily, and for the lowest cost. i had planned on skipping out that grey area, and fly past colombia/panama and into wherever
Re: Backpacking through Chile by Godfather on 28 July 2004 11:21pm

How about just Chile and Argentina? There is probably lots just in those 2 countries to keep you occupied for quite a while.
Re: Backpacking through Chile by Izot on 29 July 2004 10:46am
My Spanish teacher came from Chile (a town in the north, though I can never remember where - the place where they celebrate Andacollo, if anyone knows what that is), I'll ask him tomorrow when I have a lesson.

Apparently it's a beautiful country, but I guess we all say that about our homelands. =D
Re: Backpacking through Chile by justdna on 2 August 2004 11:47pm
I agree with godfather that there is so much to see in Chile and Argentina alone. I have recently spent two months only touching the surface of Argentina, an amazing country with a variety of different landscapes. Thats not taking anything away from Chile though, which is extremely beautiful and with very welcoming people. It, like Argentina has a variety of landscapes. I never managed to get any further south than Valdivia because of the poor weather, but the scenery around the Atacama desert, including the geisers (see Full Circle) and the valley of the moon are absolutely magnifent.
Re: Backpacking through Chile by Jorgywolf on 20 August 2004 2:12am
I´ve been travelling through Chile for at leat two months and I enjoyed it tremendously.

If you wanna get some impressions, please go to my website, and see some pictures (fotos) under the 2001 section!


Enjoy! And if you wanna have some specific info, let me know!
Re: Backpacking through Chile by chris1979 on 30 September 2004 7:39pm
I have traveled the whole length of Chile, and I can heartily recommend you go there - you'll have an amazing time!

Like others have said I would plan on spending some time in Argentina too - in fact, this is necessary if you are travelling for more than a month because your tourist card runs out after 30 days, and you have to cross an international border to renew it (luckily the Argentinian border is never far away!)

Some of my highlights were:

1. Patagonia - all of it! But in particular Torres del Paine national park and the Carretera Austral in Aisen region. Also worth going to Argentinian Patagonia to see Los Glaciares national park (Perito Moreno glacier and Fitzroy mountain) and Tierra del Fuego.

2. Chiloe - charming island with a unique culture of its own (as Michael Palin found out in Full Circle!)

3. Lake District - great for outdoor activities like white water rafting and volcano climbing

4. Valparaiso - large port city, a million times more interesting than Santiago!

5. Atacama Desert - base yourself at San Pedro de Atacama and go explore the desert and the altiplano!

There are many other interesting places along the way that serve as useful staging posts, such as Puerto Montt, Temuco, La Serena and Arica.

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