Spending One Month in Chile

Spending One Month in Chile

Written By: Bandit

After finishing university, my friend and I wanted to do something during the summer months. We wanted to go explore somewhere that we had never been, but we wanted to keep our travel plans pretty flexible. This was quite a challenge for me because I always like to research and plan where I want to go, the part of the appeal of this trip and going with my friend was that we would keep it as spontaneous as possible. After going back and forth with a few options, we settled on Chile, as neither one of us had ever been.

We decided that our trip would begin in the capitol city of Santiago and that we would use transportation options and other means to get around by heading all the way down to the southern tip of the country before returning back to Brazil. Starting in Santiago was also about convenience, especially since it was a major city. We didn’t really know what to expect out of Santiago, but we enjoyed our explorations throughout and stayed at a local hostel in order to save money. When I travel I often try to look for hostels because that is where you’re going to meet a diverse range of people coming from all over the world. It’s through some of these conversations with international travelers that I’ve learned about different destinations or have recommendations given to me and then I have toured new cities and regions that I probably wouldn’t have seen as quickly. Being a male and traveling with my friend, I had no issues choosing hostel accommodations. While we were in Santiago we walked around the various neighborhoods and sampled street foods before venturing outside city just a little bit north to small tourist town called Vina Del Mar. Since we had some extra time to spare and no particular plans, this little daytrip was a fun diversion and we got to enjoy the atmosphere while dining on some tasty dishes from local vendors.

Once we were ready to leave Santiago we hopped on train and headed south to Rancagua, not sure what we would expect when we got there. The locals were very nice and friendly and we found a spot that served up delicious empanadas. We spent two days walking around Rancagua, just getting a feel for the atmosphere and engaging with the locals at many of the outdoor markets.

Our next stop was Curico, arriving by train. Again, there were lots of street markets in this area and friendly residents, so we spent most of our time exploring. I was beginning to realize that having a lack of itinerary made it a little difficult to have anything to look forward to, but a lot of our travel plans came about we asked the locals for recommendations. One of them mentioned visiting the Siete Tazas Waterfalls, which are located nearby and a really beautiful detour to get out of the city. After the last few days of traveling in busy cities and being on public transportation, getting outside to nature and enjoying the waterfalls was the perfect thing for both of us.

We passed through Concepcion because we wanted to spend some extra time in Lota exploring a Museum and Park that belonged to one of the coal mines in the area, which I had seen mentioned in a few travel magazines. When we got there, some aspects of the coal mines were closed so we just walked around the park and enjoyed spending time in the museum, which was really interesting and provided a lot of history, which of course I love being a history major. Looking ahead on our travels, we both agreed to go visit the Nahuelbuta National Park, which we had seen so many gorgeous pictures of the volcanoes and lakes. We also read about some hiking trails and wanted to explore some of the shorter options because we needed to get away from public transportation for a few hours. For those who use public transportation, seeing some of the parks is rather difficult, but we decided to get a rental car because we needed to venture out and explore a little bit more.

Once we were done this in the National Park, we both realized that perhaps we had taken a little too much time in each of our previous destinations to see the rest of Chile in a month. We decided at that point to turn around and head back to Santiago and set aside more time at another date to explore south of the National Parks.

Our ventures go to show that even spending an entire month in a country is never enough!

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Countries: Chile
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