Hi every body
My boyfriend and I will go to Chile on october, and we would like to visit north and south, taking our time. We will stay a month, and are keen on beautifull coutrysides.
I have read much of informations here (thanks a lot to every boby), and we are plannig to travel by bus, or train.
Do you have any informations about this way of transport (prices, where to book tickets...) and also, if we need US dollard to pay in Chile or if chilean dollard is enought.
BTW, if you have any infomations about what to do, don't hesitate to tell me
You can purchase tickets for buses at the stations. You shouldn't need to purchase in advance. There are a few different companies, but the large one that seems to cover most the country is Turbus. The website is decent if you have some Spanish language skills. You should be able to get timetables and sample pricing - most of the bus companies charge about the same fare for the same trips.
Chilean Pesos are widely accepted. I never needed US dollars for anything (other than the entry fee when flying in, but only because I hadn't hit a bank machine yet).
A must see is the Atacama Desert (include valley of the moon) as well as the Altiplano and geysers. Plan to arrive at the geysers at dawn before sunrise if you can. The altitude is about 4,300 meters and it is very cold first thing in the morning, but the sunrise is spectacular and if you take photographs, you will see an amazing play of shadow and light. Drink a few cups of coca tea the night before you go, it will help with any altitude sickness and when you are up there, don't rush around, take your time and you will be fine.
The coastline near Vina del Mar is very rugged and well worth a visit.
If it is possible, take the lake crossing into Argentina. The scenery is beautiful and the Osorno volcano is spectacular. It dominates much of the crossing.
For travel south I highly recommend combining Rail and Bus travel. EFE (the chilean state rail transport) has very comfortable travel at decent prices that combines with TurBus to reach just about any location in the south. The trip by train is best done during the day to enjoy the views of the countryside. Recently my mother visited from the US and we took that route to PUCON.
EFE´s website has schedules and online ticket purchase (it's not available in english).
Again here is TurBus
Thank you very much to all of you for all these informations. It will be very helpful.
Do you need any visa, or is there any customes dues to travel via Argentina by bus in order to join South Chile?
Make sure to go to Torres del Paine and camp there for one or two days. If you are going to jump in and out between Argentina and chile you can check on Perito Moreno (glacial), bariloche (chocolate land) and Ushuhaia (camping possible at the rugby field), el chaten is quite nice especially if you want to do the filz roy but it´s a one horse town if you see what i mean.
Of course San pedro d´atacama is a must see. In the north, you have the island of Chiloe and Los Andes.
other alternative to travel are new companies that provide a hop on hop off system, and includes off the beaten path areas in their circuits. one of them is patacam chek out their website in order to get more information about the circuits , rates and schedules.
i recommend Chiloé island is a must in chile´s lake district