Chile 1994 - practical hints
Following a list of the locations where we stayed overnight. In general we took the first
reasonably cheap opportunity.
- Flight from Europe to Chile: It's worth to compare the flight prices
of different airlines and travel agencies. Our flight was 1500 DM, but one can
easily spend twice that amount. Possibly in high season (Dec-Feb) such cheap flights
are not available.
- Airport: Every 30 minutes, buses to the city center depart (fare about
1.25 US$). For the opposite direction, they depart from the Metro station Los Heroes
(at Av. O'Higgins).
- Informations, maps: A good information source are the three volumes of
"Turistel" (edited by the telephone company CTC), available at the kiosks in the center of Santiago
(note: ONLY there). Besides more or less exact road maps one can find there city plans,
hints about things worth seeing, and many addresses, in particular accomodations.
Topographic maps are available only in Santiago (at Instituto Geográfico Militar,
Calle Dieciocho, that is south of Av. O'Higgins), and also image postcards are hardly found outside
Santiago. Shopping possibilities are similar to Germany, there are supermarkets also in small villages.
- Travel: Infrastructure in Chile is very well developped and comparable to
central to southern Italy, the long distance bus connections considerably better than in Germany.
Since there is almost no railroad network, the bus lines have to replace this.
Long bus trips are begun preferably in the evening (18.00 to 22.00). One mostly arrives
in the following morning and has saved an overnight stay, too. Whereever possible, one should
choose "semi-cama". Unlike real sleeper-buses, this is only a little more expensive than
the normal bus fare, but a lot more comfortable. Trips from Santiago should be booked a day in advance.
Bus stations: Northbound - now at Terminal de Buses Borja, just beside the train station Estación
central (metro station with the same name). Southbound: the two bus terminals at
Metro station Universidad de Santiago (in the west).
- Mountains: Accessibility of the high mountains: Licancábur near San Pedro is quite
nice and recommendable as acclimatization tour. The whole region offers many hiking possibilities at high
altitude. To rent a car is expensive but probably the best for a really individual planning.
Also at Ojos del Salado one should consider to rent a car. Being well
acclimatized, one can drive at least to the first camp. That requires a good 4WD car (e.g.
Toyota Landcruiser) and good driving skills, otherwise one gets stuck in the sand.
If there's really no snow, maybe one could even drive the road to the upper camp at 5900 m.
For sudden altitude problems, please don't blame me!
In the south, the volcanoes are interesting places; the steep summit slopes require crampons and sometimes
an ice axe.
Renting a car costs like in Germany; a credit card is strongly advised for insurance reasons.
- Season: October is in between the high seasons, where many facilities are not opened, but on
the other hand it is more quiet than in the vacation time January/February.
Climbing the high 6000m peaks is not advised in October because of the strong wind.
In central Chile there's still a lot of snow in that time. Ski-touring is unknown in Chile.
Alpine equipment is hardly found in any sports shop. The volcanoes in the south can well be done in October.
- Camping: The north is governed by a dry desert landscape with lots of uninhabited terrain.
Good (unofficial) campsites are not too frequent due to the almost permanent wind.
Central Chile is quite densely inhabited. In the valleys towards the mountains in the lower regions hardly
a place can be found for unofficial camping. In the mountains directly that is no problem.
The south of Chile down to Puerto Montt is almost completely fenced in along the roads - it's hard to
find a suitable campsite together with a place for a car. In particular, since
the campsites mentioned in the "Turistel" often don't exist or are closed.
- Useful addresses
- Sernatur (national tourism board), Providencia 1550, Santiago.
You also get a reasonable city map there, so don't buy one at the kiosk (expensive).
Sernatur has offices in each region. For climbing Ojos del Salado you need a permit.
Sernatur in Copiapó is situated directly at the plaza and is very helpful.
- Federación de Andinismo, Simpson 77, Santiago (that's at the northern end of Mackenna):
Here some very kind elder gentlemen give you mountaineering information
about the closer region, e.g. Cajón de Maipo; an equipment store, too.
Evening after 7 p.m.
- Instituto Geográfico Militar, Calle Dieciocho, Santiago.: Here you get practically
all topographic maps of Chile. The 250 000 scale series offers a good overview at a reasonable price
(about US$ 12 per sheet). You don't gain information with smaller scale maps. Maps are available only here.
|29.09.||Hotel||Hotel Ducado, Agustinas 1990, Santiago|
|30.09.||Bus||Bus Santiago - Calama |
|01.10.||Hotel||Calama, Residencial Internacional, Gral. Velásquez 1976 |
|02.10.||Hotel||Calama, Residencial Internacional, Gral. Velásquez 1976 |
|03.10.||tent||before Tatio geysers|
|04.10.||tent||San Pedro de Atacama, Campsite Pozo 3 |
|05.10.||tent||at the road to Portezuelo de Chaxas |
|06.10.||tent||north ridge of Licancábur|
|07.10.||tent||at the road to Portezuelo de Chaxas |
|08.10.||tent||Toconao, road to Paso Huaitiquina|
|09.10.||Hotel||Calama, Residencial Internacional, Gral. Velásquez 1976 |
|10.10.||Hotel||Calama, Residencial Internacional, Gral. Velásquez 1976 |
|11.10.||Bus||Bus Calama - Copiapó |
|12.10.||Hotel||Copiapó, Residencial Rodriguez, Rodriguez 528 |
|13.10.||Hotel||Copiapó, Residencial Rodriguez, Rodriguez 528 |
|14.10.||tent||Plain on the way to Refugio Rojas at Ojos del Salado |
|15.10.||cabin||Refugio Rojas at Ojos del Salado |
|16.10.||cabin||Refugio Tejos at Ojos del Salado |
|17.10.||cabin||Refugio Rojas at Ojos del Salado |
|18.10.||Bus||Bus Copiapó - Santiago |
|19.10.||Hotel||Hotel Ducado, Agustinas 1990, Santiago |
|20.10.||tent||Las Lajas at Volcán San José, Cajón de Maipo |
|21.10.||tent||at Volcán San José, Cajón de Maipo |
|22.10.||tent||El Ingenio, Cajón de Maipo |
|23.10.||Hotel||Hotel Ducado, Agustinas 1990, Santiago |
|24.10.||Bus||Bus Santiago - Temuco |
|25.10.||tent||Beginning of the road to ski resort of volcano Llaima |
|26.10.||tent||at Lago Panguipulli, near Choshuenco |
|27.10.||cabin||Refugio Teski at volcano Osorno |
|28.10.||tent||near Lenca, road to Alerce Andino |
|29.10.||"Hotel"||casa familiar, V.P. Rosales 133a, Puerto Montt |
|30.10.||Bus||Bus Puerto Montt - Santiago |
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The information on this page is up to date for October 1994.
Last updated January 28, 1998 by Hartmut Bielefeldt