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How to Travel in Chile

Just look at Chile on a map and you will immediately appreciate one of the major considerations that needs to be taken into account when travelling here ? great distances: from north to south three and a half thousand miles of amazing scenery. You can't write any of it off as not worth seeing. Every region of this country has its beauty from the icebergs and turquoise lakes of Patagonia through the chocolate box scenery of the lake district and the fertile valleys of wine country, to the dramatic northern deserts.

All this against a backdrop of the towering Andes and giant volcanoes to the east and the infinite Pacific to the west.Throughout this incredibly diverse and varying landscape there is one constant, the ruggedness of the terrain, which can make it an arduous and inaccessible place to travel. However, the right approach and a bit of planning can make sure that you make the most of your trip to Chile. Here we have identified what we recommend as the best ways to see the country:.

1) The Private Tour:.Requirements: usually 2 or 3 weeks, cost approximately USD 1600 per person per week.Advantages: No hassle, no stress, all transport is in private vehicle with English speaking driver. For tours and excursions you will have the undivided attention of a knowledgeable English speaking guide. Your itinerary will include the highlights of the regions that you visit and you stay in 4 or 5 star hotels.

2) The Tailor-Made Holiday.Essentially the same as the Private Tour, but the tour operator customises the itinerary for any special interests that you have.3) The Small Group Tour:.Again similar to the Private Tour, with the difference that your group comprises a dozen or people. You travel with the group for the duration of the trip.Advantage: the main advantage is the cost, approximately USD 1000 per person per week.

4) Self-Drive Chile:.Requirements: usually 2 or 3 weeks, cost approximately USD 1600 per person per week.Advantages: Flexibility and freedom. The addition of a vehicle can be expensive and you will probably end up doing a lot of driving, but for the more adventurous traveller this can be the best alternative. You see more than just the highlights of the country, you also see many facets of its true identity. On the road you have the chance to explore towns, villages, restaurants, bars, beaches and many places that are not on the tourist map.

5) The Back Packer:.Requirements: usually 3 months or more and a budget of USD 20 per person per day.Advantages: Time to explore places of interest in depth, learn the language and make friends. The major drawback with backpacking is the inaccessibility of many of the major destinations. In Chile the buses are excellent, but they only travel between the cities. If you want to get to the beautiful national parks for the scenery and/or the adventure sports you will need private transport, which means hitchhiking if you are on a backpackers budget.

All part of the fun.However you decide to travel, you won't be disappointed by Chile.

.Andrew Chaundler worked and travelled in South America for many years before setting up Optimundo, a travel company that specialises in Private Tours and Tailor-Made Holidays to Chile and Argentina.

Optimundo offers a range of exclusive luxury travel itineraries that have been designed with expert knowledge of the region. The company also provides an efficient and friendly tailor-made service, so that you can specify the elements that you want in your perfect trip to Chile and Argentina.

By: Andrew Chaundler

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