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Escaping to Chile

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Escaping to Chile

1. Posted by TKolb325 (Full Member 197 posts) 6y

Lately I have been having a tough time at home and need to escape. I speak a fair amount of Spanish, and have always wanted to experience South America. I think that getting out of the States and heading that way would do a world of good for my mental health..

So what I am looking for is somewhere in Chile that I could escape to. I would prefer somewhere that is close to the ocean so I can hit the beaches easily, but I want to stay FAR FAR away from any resorts, or any beaten paths for that matter. This trip is all about the cliche soul searching.. I would like to stay in a hostel where I can meet other travelers but also be alone when needed.

Basically, I want to find a small town/village that would be safe, very secluded, yet accessible to non-secluded areas.. I don't plan on travelling around a lot once there, but am definitely open to going wherever the wind(and budget) takes me. This is mostly just about me getting my head on straight and sorting through some stuff I've been dealing with lately.

I haven't put much research into this yet, this has only been developing over the past couple days, so I have a lot of searching to do, but this forum has always been the best asset for my travel needs.

BTW, this won't be my first trip, I did a RTW trip a few years back, although I did stick to the beaten path which I regret BIG TIME. So I have no reservations being tossed into some tricky situations, because often the results are the most rewarding..

Any ideas or suggestions are GREATLY appreciated, but for the most part, my questions are:

-Which city/town/village/beach/cave should I go?
-This would be happening pretty soon, so is July/August a bad time to be in South America?
-What are the chances I could find a way to sustain my income while down there to prolong the stay?(Planning for 3 weeks right now, but would love to stay longer if I had income)

Thank you in advance for you answers and suggestions.. What would we do without this site?!?

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 6y

Well, July and August is not a bad time to be in South America....but it's winter for Chile....and Chile doesn't believe in central heating, so you're gonna freeze your ass off. Seriously. I lived in Santiago for a year.

There are many beautiful coastal towns to recommend. One with a bit of a music scene is La Serena. I've never been, but people have said nice things about Iquique as well, and that's closer to the equator, so warmer.

Chile is not cheap. In fact, for the service and quality of products, it's goddamned expensive. The farther away from Santiago the better...for prices and everything else. Seriously. Go to Tanganga Colombia instead if you need some time to recharge and want a little village and places to hike.

Either way, Good Luck Out There


3. Posted by TKolb325 (Full Member 197 posts) 6y

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.. I will definitely think that through because I am wanting to find a location that I could hang out outside near the beaches.. I wasn't thinking about the opposite hemisphere season scenario.. Hmm.. I am intrigued by Colombia, but my damn ignorant American attitude makes me immediately wonder how safe it would be for me.. I suppose I'll do some research into that.

I guess the main characteristics i'm looking for is a South American location near some beautiful beaches, that is off the beaten path so there are no modern distractions, yet able to access some large attractions if I desire to. I picked Chile originally because I had a friend spend a year in Chile and he raved about it constantly, but I am totally open to anywhere in South America that has the characteristics I stated above.. Hmm.. I guess back to the drawing board, but Piecar, that is great advice, thank you very much!

I guess I will look into Colombia. Any additional advice or suggestions are very very welcome..

4. Posted by Maxihays (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Hey! going to be flying into santiago, Chile next year after 5 months of travelling south east asia, australia and new zealand. Just wondering if anyone knows how easy it is to travel santiago to buenos aires and what is the best method!? Any suggestions much appreciated! Cheers!xxx

5. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 6y

People travel back and forth all the the time...But it's farther than you think, so be ready for that. The usual method is by bus, for travellers. I suggest stopping in Mendoza Argentina to break up the trip, and then hunker down for 12 or 14 hours of pure boredom. Argentina is beautiful. but the towns between Mendoza and BsAs aren't....I tried several of them, and there was nothing to see. If you're in a hurry, fly. Even Mendoza, though certainly charming, can be missed. Though, the trip through the Andes is one of the most spectacular things ever. The world's most picturesque border crossing is up there.


6. Posted by Maxihays (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

thats brilliant thank you!! am i right in saying there is a trian santiago to buenos aires?

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 6y

I may be wrong, but I am going to say that you are incorrect on the train. I think there used to be a train years ago.....

....AH. According to some sites, they are looking at restoring railway service, but there hasn't been any for some years.