Chile is a great place for backpacking and exploring independently. There is a diverse range of different sceneries and landscapes; any country that combines the soaring Andes, gorgeous beaches, and the dramatic wilds of Patagonia is sure to be a hit. There are party places and historic towns and cities. With a laid back attitude and a friendly population, Chile is perfect for exploring. There are several ways that you can explore Chile on a budget and make your money go further and last for longer.
Accommodation in Chile
In the capital city of Santiago and all the main tourist areas, good quality backpacker hostels are fairly easy to find. If you do not want to share a room with others, you will also be able to find reasonably priced guest houses. Take a padlock, as many places offer lockers where you can keep your valuables. Nobody needs the hassle or stress of finding out that their passport, credit and debit cards, cameras, and similar have gone missing.
Eating in Chile on a Budget
Look for accommodation options that offer breakfast or basic cooking facilities. Even a refrigerator can help save money. You can easily save yourself some money by buying a few basics and preparing them where you are staying – toast and jam, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, and sandwiches are quick, easy, and cost effective. When eating out, look at where the locals are heading. Avoid any places that seem to be solely geared at tourists.
Transport in Chile
There are some good long distance land options, which can really save money when time is not a big factor. Take overnight bus journeys rather than planes, and not only are you saving money on your actual transport, but you are also removing the need to pay for a night’s accommodation. Don’t use taxis unless absolutely necessary – many people will be able to advise as to what local buses to take to see various sights.
Where to See in Chile on a Budget
Santiago has a wonderful selection of great architecture. A stroll around the city admiring the sights is completely free. The main square, the Plaza de Armas is a must. You can also marvel at the views of the stunning Andes, and it is a great place to meet other travellers. A wander through the fish market shows a traditional side of the city. Cajon de Maipo offers a handy day trip. Whilst being close in terms of distance, the atmosphere and sights make it truly worlds apart.
A leisurely walk along the seafront and a relax on the beach in Valparaiso won’t cost a dime, and you can see the charming cobbled streets and colourful residences. La Serena, as Chile’s second oldest town, combines pretty beaches with history and heritage. Other places to check out include Arica, Coquimbo, and Lake Villarrica.
Torres National Park is one of South America’s finest. Spend some time hiking and walking in this fabulous area. Of course, one should be wary of going out alone, but in a group it is a perfect spot to save some money and head out with a map and a sense of adventure.
Chill out on a Budget
Valle del Elqui is peaceful, pretty, inviting, and entrancing. The beautiful scenery can be admired for free, with hills and valleys waiting to be explored.
With some careful planning, it is easy to see the best of Chile whilst also sticking to a budget. There will be more trips that cost more than others, but with some careful planning it is possible to do everything with ease.