Chile was the first stop in our South American leg of the trip so we were absolutely rearing to go. Our first few days were great. Of course. Things went a bit south after that – the biggest anti-government protests in over 30 years broke out in Santiago, while we were there. It was a bit of a nightmare and left us feeling as though we were running from riots the rest of our time in Chile. However, we did still manage to visit some absolutely incredible places and it is a country that I sincerely want to go back to one day – ideally with more money, as it wasn’t as cheap as I’d hoped it was going to be!

My blog posts:

  • Capital: Santiago
  • Population: 18 million
  • Currency: Chilean peso
  • Language: Spanish, although the dialect in Chile is quite unique and even Spanish speakers can find it difficult to understand the language at times.
  • Highlights:
    • Valparaiso: a colourful coastal town packed with history, yummy food, street art and beaches.
    • Patagonia: the best part of the country. Expensive yes (almost prohibitively so if you are on a tight budget) but also some of the most scenic landscapes even possible. Volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, rivers, waterfalls… you name it.
    • San Pedro de Atacama: Chile’s answer to a desert. Fascinating rock sculptures, lagoons, thermal pools – San Pedro is time well spent.
    • Pucon: the adventure capital of Chile. A backpacker hub, meaning it can be quite populated during peak season.
  • Did you know?
    • Chile is the longest country in the world, stretching in at a massive 4270 km.
    • There are over 1300 volcanoes in Chile, some of which remain rather active to this day.
    • The Atacama desert is literally the driest place on earth. It has an average rainfall of 0.05 mm per year.
  • Useful tips:
    • Planning where you want to go is helpful because the country is so long and skinny. Flights can be expensive but can save literally hours of sitting on buses.
    • Take a toilet paper roll with you: public toilets are not in the greatest state.
    • It is customary to tip 10% in restaurants, no where else though.