Chile is one of those countries that you wonder how you will ever start to travel through. Running along the long western side of South America, do you start the south, middle, or north tip?
If you are on a strict timeline and are interested in exploring Chile in one week, you are in luck. Although short (yet sweet), the following itinerary will allow you to visit all the major points of Chile while adhering to a shoestring budget.
Day One, Day Two
Start in Iquique, a port city in northern Chile and spend one night in the Backpacker’s Hostel Iquique, where you can relax on the rooftop, drink beer and watch the sunset. Sign up for an early-morning surf lesson and spend the rest of the day chilaxing on Playa Cavancha. Munch on savory crepe at Café Boulevard and scope out your bus route to Valparaíso.
Day Three: Travel
Take a 26 hour bus ride, (yes 26 hours) to Valparaíso and make sure you opt for full-Cama, (full-bed) you will need it. If you can’t find a direct rout to Valpo, catch one to Santiago, spend a night there and connect on a micro bus the next day. If you are not fluent in Spanish, the connecting bus from Santiago to Valpo can be difficult to navigate so you are better off trying to find a direct route.
When in Valparaíso, stay at Planeta Lindo, with comfy beds and set up in an old house and a T.V room with beanbags, this charming little hostel has a balcony that overlooks the bay and you can eat and drink all day long to your heart’s delight. Take a stroll and gawk at the street art stop mid-day for bite to eat at Puerto Blanco, a cute little café with excellent tea lattes and decedent carrot cake.
Day Five: Travel
Take a two- hour bus ride to Santiago and make sure you ask the driver to inform you when you arrive at the main bus station terminal.
Day Six, Day Seven
Take a taxi from the main bus terminal to Rado Hostel. With a boutique aesthetic, and a price tag set at about $22 USD a night, this hostel offers great beds and is close to the best parts of the city. Seek out the city-center and stumble upon a massive strip of hopping bars, clubs and restaurants. Visit Cerro San Cristobal, which offers fantastic views and ask around about the free city tour that is offered everyday and explore the highlights of the city.
What would your 7 day itinerary in Chile look like?