For this post, I’ve decided to group Chile and Argentina together because when exploring Chile, it is easy to cross the border into Argentina to visit places nearby. We spent most of our time split between the 2 countries, crossing the Argentina-Chile border 8 times in total!
We flew from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Santiago in Chile, as Steph’s cousin was getting married in the Chilean Casablanca region on a gorgeous vineyard! The wedding was beautiful, and so kind of Steph’s family to let me join the wedding celebrations for the weekend!
After the wedding we travelled to Santiago to explore the city. Santiago is such a beautiful city with so much history to be explored. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Human Rights museum, and a walking tour where you can see incredible views across the whole city.
Valparaiso is a colourful town in the north of Chile filled with pretty painted houses and beautiful views from atop it’s many hills! You can spend your time exploring Valparaiso on foot admiring the graffiti and colour of the town.
A trip to Argentina wouldn’t be complete without a wine tour! The journey through the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza is stunning, have your camera at the ready! Mendoza is famous for it’s many vineyards which we chose to explore by bike. We stayed at Banana hostel, a friendly, central hostel with helpful staff who can help you choose the best options to explore the vineyards. We stayed here for one night before heading back to Santiago.
Puerto Varas- Chile
Puerto Varas is a 12 hour bus journey south of Santiago. Puerto Varas is an adventure paradise where you can climb Volcano Osorno, go canyoning down waterfalls, kayaking on it’s many lakes, or simply spend your time exploring the pretty town which is famous for it’s chocolate factories!
Bariloche is known as the lake district of Argentina. It explodes with tourists in winter and becomes a ski resort. In summer it is just as incredible and has a ski lift up to ‘the 5th best viewpoint in the world’ according to National Geographic!
El Bolson- Argentina
El bolson is a peaceful, rural town 2 hours south of Bariloche. I’d definitely recommend staying in Casa de Odille hostel, a relaxing hostel filed with hammocks and set right beside a river which is perfect for swimming and sunbathing next to! The Rio Azul hike near town is also worth exploring for an easy hike to explore the beautiful mountains surrounding the town.
Trevelin is a tiny Welsh (yes, Welsh!) colony town set right next to the Chile-Argentina border. It’s a fun town which can be explored within a day. Make sure you visit the museum explaining all about the history of the Welsh people who travelled to and settled in Trevelin. You can even sample a welsh cake in the museum’s cafe!
Hitch hiking the Carretera Austral-Chile
Most people tend to fly from Puerto Montt straight to Punta Arenas when exploring Patagonia, however we had heard about the incredible road known as the Carretera Austral which winds through beautiful snow topped mountains and glacial rivers. People and transport are limited in this part of Chile with hitch hiking being the main form of transportation. We decided to do as the locals do and hitch hiked our way from Futaleufu, through Santa Lucia, La Junta, Puyuhuapi, Coyhaique, and eventually made it to Villa Cerro Castillo! Hitch hiking is safe throughout the Patagonia region, and we met lots of friendly locals along the way allowing us to learn more about the history of the region and also improve our Spanish!
Villa Cerro Castillo-Chile
Our main motivation to travel the Carretera Austral was to visit the beautiful town of Villa Cerro Castillo where you can embark on a hike which explores the mountains surrounding the town and finishes at the incredible glacier and basalt towers of Cerro Castillo. The views of the glacier are incredible, and the lake below the glacier is an amazing shade of blue!
El Chalten- Argentina
El Chalten is in the Patagonia region and has amazing hikes and mountains to explore. We hiked to the base of Mount Fitzroy from here and the views were unbelievable! The glaciers and glacial water surrounding the mountain were beautiful, it felt like we had arrived in Narnia!
We flew from El Chalten to Buenos Aires to finish our trip around Chile and Argentina. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city, filled with tasty food, friendly people, and and an interesting history and culture to learn about! Make sure to visit the pretty, pink government palace and gardens in the centre of the city!
With that, our time in Chile and Argentina had come to an end! They are such diverse, incredible countries containing beautiful scenery to explore and welcoming people to meet. A visit to these countries will make you want to return and explore again and again, it definitely won’t be my last time exploring these countries!