USEFUL CAMPERVAN LINKS
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Definitely do not bring an XXL suitcase; try to be as practical as possible, however the camper has enough compartments for your belongings under the bed. In case you are missing something, possible to buy it in Chile, here always can find what you need.
Ruta 5 Norte-Sur
It is the main road in Chile. Find traffic almost exclusively heavy trucks, it is very common for them to exceed the allowed speed at night, reaching 120km/h or more. Be careful, let them pass you. Remember that a trailer will never have the versatility of a small car. In the southern zone, during the night there is a lot of fog, there is slow and very dangerous traffic.
To make the trip to the north more interesting, I recommend you avoid Route 5Norte; use the interior roads, start your journey through San Felipe, then Combarbalá, Monte Patria, La Serena. Now you are entering the area known as "Norte Chico" desert climate. Security: high.
Coquimbo District, Circuit Range - Cordillera de Los Andes Route. Surely you want to feel connected with nature, without the intervention of other human beings, solitude, silence, fresh air, nature. Do this route. The road was built to connect a mega mining project called Pascua Lama, with the port of Coquimbo; which fortunately was not executed due to serious interventions to the environment.
Caleta Chañaral de Aceituno - This area happily concentrates the greatest marine biodiversity of the Chilean coast, there are beautiful offers of activities, for example there is a company that offers diving expeditions, visit their page, you don't lose anything... https://www.explorasub.cl , you can also buy a boat ticket to go see whales, dolphins, sharksthe. The town offers a totally quiet, safe, very simple life... it is perhaps what you need to live
Section “Huasco - Caldera” - If you travel north, don't use Route 5 North entirely; use the Husco - Caldera section... then you inevitably return to Route 5 North.
If you travel from South to North; You will first arrive at Vallenar (do not spend time in Vallenar City) At the intersection between Vallenar and Route 5 North there is a restaurant in front of COPEC, go in, buy empanadas, they are the best! then drive a couple of kilometers to Freirina; It's a really nice little old town, quiet, small, nothing happens there, but you can go to rest and talk to people, I'm sure you'll have a great time. Watch this video https://youtu.be/67PoWELylTk
A little further on is Huasco, it is a little bigger but still very nice to visit. From this point it runs along the coast, please, visit the "Llanos de Challes" National Park, you will like it, you can do a short, comforting trek. After a couple of kilometers you will arrive at Bahía Inglesa, it is not bad to go for a beer in a terrace on the coast, right? The road is coastal, it is very nice to stop, walk to the beach and take a good swim in the Pacific Ocean, everything is open, there are many kilometers at your disposal.. kilometers of beach just for you
Section Caldera - San Pedro de Atacama. Unfortunately between the port of Caldera and San Pedro de Atacama there is not much to see; there are a couple of wonderful national parks and salt flats; but also fortunately, very close to San Pedro de Atacama there are others.
In this section, practically all the routes towards the mountain range are routes that go to mining deposits, nothing very nice really, don't go, they are routes in poor condition, only trucks, gravel, dirt.
You will have to use Route 5 north, arm yourself with patience and drive as if there were no future. Go to Chañaral to rest, the town is ugly because it was almost entirely destroyed by a great mudslide. There are a couple of supermarkets, a few cafes, inns, and gas stations. The beach is not recommended for swimming, despite the advertising that you probably see. After Chañaral, you could go to Tal Tal, not much to see but it is comforting to rest on the coast.
Do not visit Antofagasta, Copiapó or Calama. Security: poor. Unfortunately there are high crime rates in these cities and my clients know it very well; don't risk it
San Pedro de Atacama, is an exception, you have a great time and it is surrounded by places that you must visit; much better than me, please seek advice from the tourist agencies in town. Important; it is better to go up to the height in tourism services (like a Geysers del Tatio), because possibly the lack of air makes you and your camper not work and you have to lower it with a crane, it is expensive and you will have to bad time. To the north of San Pedro, the situation is repeated, the cities have a bad life, and you will risk it for nothing; the natural beauty is exactly the same as that of San Pedro de Atacama to the south, nothing more to see, the desert is repetitive at this point, stay with what you will see in San Pedro, it will surprise you
Section Santiago to Puerto Montt. Leaving Santiago you can take route 68 to Valparaíso and connect with the access to the city of Algarrobo; From this point to the south you will find small coastal cities, very close to each other... well to relax on the first day of your trip, after a short walk you will reach the town of "La Boca", a little further south is the bay of Matanzas, these are good places to sleep, there is plenty of space, it is safe, comfortable... then you will pass through Pichilemu (go to Punta de Lobos) and Cahuil and so on, always along the coast to the town of Cobquecura, there are small coastal towns dedicated to fishing, all very similar but very pleasant to visit. It is good to eat fish and take a bath in the sea. To the south of Cobquecura you must take interior routes because there is a mouth that interrupts the coastal route, in addition to the second largest city in Chile, it is Concepción.
From this point you will pass through countless small towns and you will return to the coastal route from "Lebu". Now you enter Mapuche lands, Mapuche is a Chilean ethnic group, it is the original people of the area, you will realize it. Drive to Puerto Saavedra, or Puerto Dominguez. The field is beautiful, very green, it is calm. It's time to go to the mountain range: you can go to Temuco, from there it leads to the area of lakes and rivers, visit Pucón, Licanray, Villarrica, Curarrehue, Neltume... From this area to the south there is much to see, you have many lakes that you visit, hot springs, volcanoes. I suggest you reserve long time in this area, you will like it, and review the options on the CONAF website and more specialized SERNATUR web page
It would be very entertaining to sleep in the Osorno volcano; there is a ski center that continues to operate in summer. Park, sleep, and do a little trekking on the volcano. the snow you see will not be in summer time. In front of the Osorno volcano there is another volcano called Calbuco, you can park and sleep on its slopes and do the trekking routes in the middle of the forest, check the CONAF guides (the Chilean forest service), the routes are really beautiful, they are easy to do.
Very close there is a very nice point called Petrohue, drive there and walk along the edge of the river, I assure you you will be a very happy and satisfied person for having made the decision to visit Chile.
"Isla de Chiloé", located in southern Chile, is known for its natural beauty and its rich cultural heritage. Some of the main tourist attractions of Isla de Chiloé include:
Explore National Parks: The "Carretera Austral" passes through several national parks, such as Queulat National Park, the Patagonia National Park and the San Rafael National Park. These parks offer paths for walks, waterfalls, lakes and impressive panoramic views.
Visiting glaciers: one of the main attractions of the Carretera Austral is the Campos de hielo Norte, which houses several glaciers. You can do boat excursions to see the impressive San Rafael glacier or perform explorers in the glacier.
Perform outdoor activities: The Carretera Austral offers a lot of outdoor activities, such as hiking, trekking, kayak, fishing and mountain cycling. There are numerous routes and paths to explore, which will allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
• "Parque Nacional Queulat": Within this park is the famous Ventisquero Colgante, an impressive waterfall that falls from a hanging glacier. The path to the viewpoint of the "Ventisquero Colgante" is a relatively short but spectacular walk.
• Cerro Castillo: located near the town of "Villa Cerro Castillo", this path offers panoramic views of the impressive mountain solid of Cerro Castillo. It is a challenging but rewarding trekking that crosses forests, rivers and glaciers.
• "Parque Nacional Patagonia": This National Park is one of the newest in Chile and offers a wide variety of paths. You can explore the Chacabuco Valley, the Avilés Valley or the Jeinimeni Valley, all with virgin and spectacular landscapes.
• Parque Nacional Pumalín": With a large extension of forests, waterfalls and mountains, this National Park has several paths to explore. The "Parque alerce Andino", which allows you to walk between the ancient and majestic allerces.
• Glaciar Exploradores: located near the town of "Puerto Tranquilo", this path takes you to the imposing explorers. You can walk along the path until you reach the viewpoint, or even hire a tour to walk on the glacier with crampons.
Discover local villages and cultures: Throughout the route, you will find small towns and communities where you can experience local culture and life. You can visit Puerto Varas, Coyhaique, Puerto Tranquilo and other charming peoples to know the history, crafts and regional gastronomy.
Enjoy landscapes and wildlife: the "Carretera Austral" is surrounded by impressive landscapes, such as mountains, fjords, rivers and forests. It is also an ideal place to observe wildlife, including birds, marine and terrestrial mammals, such as dolphins, sea lions and huemules (an native deer from Chile).
Relax in natural hot springs: Throughout the route, there are several natural hot springs where you can relax and enjoy rejuvenating hot springs. Some of the best known are the "Termas de Puyuhuapi" and "Las Termas de Coyhaique".
Section "Ruta 40", Argentina - Ruta 40 is one of the most emblematic roads in Argentina and offers numerous adventures and impressive landscapes between Bariloche and Río Gallegos. Here are some of the best adventures on this route:
"Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi": located near Bariloche, this National Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayak, fishing and fauna sighting. Explore its mountains, lakes and forests.
"Cruce Los Lagos": From Bariloche, you can make a boat journey through several lakes, such as Nahuel Huapi, Frías and "Todos los Santos". This adventure will take you through spectacular landscapes and will allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
Los "Parque Nacional Glaciares": In El Calafate, you can visit the famous "Parque Nacional Los Glaciares" and marvel at the imposing "Glaciar Perito Moreno". You can make walks on the glacier or simply enjoy the views from the catwalks.
Trekking in "ElChaltén": known as the "National Capital of Trekking", the Chaltén is an ideal destination for lovers of walks and mountains. Here you will find well -marked hiking routes, such as that of "Cerro Fitz Roy" and the "Los Tres" lagoon, which will offer you incredible panoramic views.
"Cueva de Las Manos": located near Perito Moreno, the "Cueva de las Manos" is an archaeological site that houses cave paintings of thousands of years ago. It is a fascinating stop for those interested in history and culture.
Section Ruta 40 Argentina - Punta Arenas. The nature scene changes again and you will be impressed again. If you have a ticket to "Parque Torres del Paine", make sure you travel with enough time. The Park is a separate point, you have to live one the most beautiful places on the earth.
And now, you have survived everything, there is nothing left, it only arrives to Punta Areas, we hope you are happy with your life 😊