Travel News

Backpacking in Chile – The Ultimate Travel Guide [2024]

Backpacking In Chile

Everything you need to know about backpacking in Chile, including costs, itineraries and places to visit.

It might have been voted South America’s leading adventure travel destination for the past two years running in the World Travel Awards, but few travellers actually make it to Chile.

One of the biggest barriers to backpacking in Chile is the price tag; there’s no escaping the fact that it’s one of the most expensive countries to visit in the continent, leading many budget-conscious travellers to head to other destinations.

But with attractions ranging from volcano-laced desert plateaus in the far north to hiking in world-famous national parks and even hitchhiking through barely-habited lands in Patagonia, Chile is the soul mate of anyone seeking an adventure.

READ MORE: Check out my complete guide on travelling in Chile for all the best tips.

Backpacking In Chile
By Christopher Michel (Torres del Paine National Park) [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Backpacking In Chile

Unlike in many of its neighbouring countries, backpacking in Chile is relatively straightforward, thanks to a well-developed (and fairly reliable) system of buses, modern facilities and a greater proportion of English-speakers, particularly in cities around the capital.

Bear in mind that Chile is a crazily long country with over 4,000 km of coastline and distances between destinations are far and often involve either an overnight bus or a short flight.

But those who travel the length and breadth of this (albeit very skinny) land are rewarded with incredible natural places and unique and unforgettable adventures.

General Advice For Backpacking In Chile


  • Like most of the rest of South America, Spanish is the official language and while you’ll likely encounter English speakers in Santiago, knowing at least the basics of Spanish is essential.
  • That said, the Chileans are renowned for having the most difficult Spanish to understand in all of South America, littered as it is with slang phrases such as ¿cachai? (get it?), ¿cómo estai? (how are you?) and a liberal use of po (yeh?) at the end of every sentence.
  • Further south of the capital and into Patagonia you’ll meet few people with more than a basic grasp of English, so take a good phrasebook or spend time studying before you go.

Staying Healthy

  • Tap water in most places in Chile is safe to drink, just double check with your hostel before you do.
  • I’ve personally not been ill in eight months of living in Chile (which has been a real treat…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at NOMADasaurus…