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Chile is a country that can be best split into three geographic sections. The North, Middle and the South.
These three sections greatly differ from climates, scenery and people. The south is home to Chilean Patagonia, stunningly beautiful lands with mountains, lakes, isolation and cooler weather. The Middle is home to the wine areas and the big cities. The North home to the driest desert in the world, giving uninterrupted views to the stars above.
Check out the contrasts in landscapes…
- Elqui Valley
- Conguillío National Park
- Huerquehue National Park
- Cordillera Castillo
- Marble Caves (Carrera Lake)
Epic Rides for Bikers
- Carretera Austral
- Ruta X-728 (Road to Glaciar Exploradores)
- Paso Rodolfo Roballos
- Laguna Paso, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to Uyuni (Bolivia)
- Los Libertadores Pass, Mendoza (Argentina) to Los Andes (Chile)
- Agua Negra Pass (Paso de Agua Negra), La Serena to Argentina via Elqui Valley
Best accommodation places for Motor bikers
|Chile (as of 2017)||Rating||Why|
|Money||As of 2017 the Chilean Peso was stable and easy to obtain from ATMs. All cards are widely accepted in all locations. Chile is similar to the same level of payment options you would expect in say Europe, Australia or the USA. During my time there I didn't find a bank that had no withdrawal fees for international cards. So try and get the max out each time to minimize this. Cost wise, Chile is one of the most expensive places in Latin America. in the leagues with Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica. However, with this you can expect good service and quality products.|
|Accommodation||Accommodation options are plenty in Chile. Hotels, Hostels, Couch-surfing and wild camping (outside main cities of course). However, hotels and hostels are more expensive in Latin american standards. Good news for campers though, Wild camping options in country are vast and stunning. Probably some of the best in the world.|
|Food||The food in Chile is average, like neighboring Argentina, Chile also has a take on the BBQ, 'Asado' (Grilled meat). The method of asado in Chile is unique and exists mostly in the south. The rest depends on location, but it involves basic, uninspiring, international menus like burgers, pizza, pasta. Vegetarian options are limited.|
|Drinks||Welcome to the land of cheap wine! While everything else is expensive in Chile, Chilean wine is super cheap and amazing quality. Beers are also cheap at supermarkets and there are also a few great German beers (Kunstmann). Surprisingly, the most popular coffee in Chile is Nescafe. Even finding good coffee in the supermarket is difficult|
|Nightlife (Is it Party time?)||Highlights are Santiago and Valparaiso. Chile has this annoying system at bar where you have to buy a drink voucher first and then go to the bar... meaning getting drinks is a time consuming process|
|Motorbike Parts (Availability, cost of Adv Bikes Parts)||Parts / Oil are easily available. Expect to pay similar prices to USA / Europe. Same for tyres etc|
|Petrol (Accessibility, Cost and Quality)||The quality of gasoline is good, unfortunately it is expensive for south american standards. Also in Patagonia, the distances between stations might require you to carry a small can. (depending on your tank size) plan ahead|
|Fun Factor on the Road (Did the roads put a smile on my face)||Chilean Patagonia has some of the most spectacular roads in the world. Carretera Austral and surroundings etc. Ruta 5 runs most of the length of this thin country. It is mostly multi-laned with a speed limit of 120km/h. I'd recommend avoiding it if possible as super highway riding is boring. Check out my 'Epic Rides' in Chile|
|Internet (Wifi Access / Local SIM Usage)||Local SIM cards are cheap and access speeds are comparable to USA / Europe. Claro was the best for coverage. Best to buy the SIM from an official store cause you can register your Passport at the same time. (This is required to use the SIM card after a few days)|
Spanish. However the accent is very different from the more neutral Spanish speaking of say Bolivia, Mexico and Colombia. As someone that is studying Spanish, the accent is more difficult to understand in Chile. Though the good news is that if you can understand the Spanish here you will be fine every else in Latin America 🙂
Chile is relatively safe. Big cities have areas that should be avoided. Any seasoned traveler will have a sense of these areas and should avoid flashing expensive items around. Theft/Pick Pocketing is common in the nightlife areas of Santiago and Valparaiso.
Remote towns are very safe. As for Motorbike security, I always try and park the Moto off the street. All places are very accommodating for this.
for Moto Travellers
Riding Chile is a bikers dream. This is also true for the locals. You’ll see heaps of adv bikes on the roads enjoying the landscapes.
For bike servicing and repairs, everything is possible in Chile. However, source parts / servicing around the center of the country as both Northern (Atacama) and Southern (Patagonia) are very remote.
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