Traveled for: 44 Days
Cost per day of travel:
Chile has by far been the most expensive country that we have visited on this trip, although it looks like Argentina might give it a run for its money. We did not do too many tours or activities because almost all were absolute budget busters, however, it was kind of refreshing to take it easy. Also, the transportation went from about one dollar per hour to much, much more.
With the few must do attractions, daily living, and transport we ended up spending $75 dollars per person per day. Ouch.
-Taking the Navimag ferry in the Chilean Fjords was beautiful, fun, and relaxing. Not only were we lucky enough to get upgraded for free, but we also had a great time enjoying the scenery with some new friends.
– Seeing the Cerro Abajo in Valparaiso. This is one of the craziest urban downhill bike races and it only happens once a year. We couldn’t believe that we were lucky enough to be there on the one day that it happened.
– Torres del Paine: Probably the most famous Patagonian landmark.
Phrase Language Learned:
-Chilean Spanish: We felt pretty good about our Spanish before arriving in Chile, but after trying to talk to a few people, it almost felt like we were starting over. It is all spoken so quickly, words are chopped, and the amount of slang is incredible. We have heard from several native Spanish speakers from a few different countries that even they found Chilean Spanish very difficult. This made us feel a little better as we struggled to understand the basics that we thought we had mastered on day 1.
FYI: Chile is so loaded with slang that there is a book called “How to Survive in the Chilean Jungle” to help learn Spanish phrases that are unique to Chile.
Moments We Remember:
-Hanging out with penguins on Magadalena Island.
– Joe thinking he got a great deal on a hostel in San Pedro de Atacama. Really he just got the exchange rate wrong in the new currency.
-The absolute friendliness of Chileans. These guys give Colombians a run for their money. The popcorn seller in Chiloe really went out of his way just to help us catch a bus. They were all so patient as we struggled to understand what was being said. Everyone was helpful and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
We often looked at each other and asked, “How Much?!” when we heard a price quoted for something. This was partly due to sticker shock AND the fact that we couldn’t understand the rapidly spoken numbers.
-The people were just as nice as the people of Colombia. From bus drivers giving us directions (and not getting mad at us when we boarded the bus without the proper card), to random people on the streets. Traveling in Chile was a pleasure.
Items We Packed That We Couldn’t Have Lived Without:
– Warm clothes, it was really cold and windy in Southern Chile and on the boats. Sometime it feels like we had everything we owned on.
Total Time Spent Apart From Spouse:
Only about 10 hours, Joe did the volcano hike by himself.
Would We Do Anything Differently:
In hindsight, maybe we should have started in the more expensive countries (Chile and Argentina), and then journeyed to the cheaper ones. Then, our only shock would be how cheap things are.
Try to get more “directo” buses. Far too often, we found ourselves on the slow one that stopped EVERYWHERE. This would often turn 6 hour bus rides in to 10. Chile is a looong country.
Would We Return:
While we both loved our time in Chile, we don’t feel the need to return as much as we would for other countries (Colombia is still at the top of this list). We felt that we got to see everything that we wanted and we spent enough time here to really enjoy what we saw.