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Chile : is it safe for a girl back packing ?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Chile : is it safe for a girl back packing ?

1. Posted by violaine (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Hi everybody!

I was supposed to join a friend at santiago and then visit chile together but finaly he is going to be in US at this moment! I already have my ticket and plan to visit the country back packing in january.

Is it safe for a girl alone ? I never did it but feel excited!

Thank you for your advices,

2. Posted by chef_trekR (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y

If you're going on scheduled guided tours and staying in the city, then as long as you use some common sense and stay aware you should be ok in my opinion.

But I wouldn't suggest just going anywhere by yourself. I don't think that is safe anywhere.

3. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 11y

I could't disagree with CHEF more, especially when talking about Chile. It's a first world country with exceptional transportation, decent hostals and lots of backpacking opportunities in the south. Traveling alone for anyone, man or woman, is safe in Chile - with the common precautions (CHEF is right about that). However, I would not go hiking in the backcountry alone, that's not smart or safe for anyone, man or woman.

I also think the cities are the places where you'll have the most problems regarding petty theft, etc; they are the places where you need to take the most care, watch your guard and your stuff. The country people are friendly and curious, but not dangerous.

Clearly, I am a man, and have only the benefit of a man's experience in Chile (spent two months traveling on my own from the bottom to the top). But I felt very safe in Chile, and I think if you go into it with the right attitude, you'll be fine. You will not be the only single woman traveling the thin country.;)

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Joshuafeye is correct in his assessment. I met lots of women back-packing in Chile alone. As Joshua hints at, the worst is likely to be petty crime - that's at it's worst in the bus stations, so be very vigilant when there. Otherwise, keep your wits about you, keep an eye on your stuff and you should be fine.

Learning a little Spanish will be important, though, because many people speak no other languages down in Chile. Just learning enough to say hello, goodbye, thank you, understanding the numbers and you should be okay. Obviously, if you know a lot more Spanish, that's a bonus.


5. Posted by cookieyum (Inactive 75 posts) 11y

Chile is one of the friendliest countries i've ever been to and i'm sure you'll have a great time in santiago. There are always loads of other backpackers to have fun with. The hostels i stayed in were very clean, well organised and made us very welcome - the best one was the Hostel Bellavista in barrio bellavista which is full of great bars and restaurants and interesting shops. I definitely agree with Greg about knowing some Spanish. Besides making things easier you'll enjoy your experience more if you can talk to some Chileans. People really appreciate if you make an effort and on the whole will be genuinely interested in what you have to say. HOWEVER, as a pale red headed distinctly unchilean looking girl i found that I did get some unwanted attention sometimes just because i looked different. People do stare and make comments but it's not meant to be threatening so just ignore it and keep walking and don't let it ruin your adventure! Have fun!!

6. Posted by chef_trekR (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y

Quoting chef_trekR

But I wouldn't suggest just going anywhere by yourself. I don't think that is safe anywhere.

When I said this I was thinking about backpacking off the beat and path like through the jungles or mountains and whatever...

I'm glad others were able to give you some better info on Chile.

7. Posted by violaine (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Thank you for all these advices. I thought first visit santiago and valparaiso and then go in the south for lakes and trecks... always keeping an eye on my stuffs.