Chile

Country stats
Population: 17.57m
Area: 756.096 km2
Elevation: Between 0m (Pacific Ocean) to 6.893 (Atacama Region)
Average temperature: 30-35C

A 3rd minion makes the trip

If we had to describe our experience of Chile in one word, for us it would be – expensive. Not by European standards, but compared to the cost of Brazil and Argentina (even Uruguay to an extent). We always knew it would be one of the more expensive countries, but it still caught us a bit off-guard (something which seems to be a common occurrence with other backpackers we spoke with who’ve traveled there). To be fair, we also made some mistakes ourselves with our budgeting (who forgets to include a big chunk of budget for partying at New Year!?!).

Budget woes aside, we did love Santiago’s urban vibe, the history (thanks to the explanations from our private tour guide Alejandro), the amazing New Years Eve party on top of a parking garage (best view of the fireworks at midnight, decent House music and an open bar, what’s not to love?), the vibrant gay scene (by vibrant we mean the gay iPhone apps exploding upon arrival) and the spectacularly dramatic views of the Andes against the city.

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We loved our time in Elqui Valley; beautiful views, super relaxed and great for plenty of hiking, walking (or in our case cycling along with our four legged friend, Bruno), sunset watching and star gazing (being one of the best places in the world for this).

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We also really enjoyed our few days in and around Valparaiso; with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, street art to keep you occupied for days and an amazing wine region (Casablanca) on your doorstep (one of Carl’s favorite days in Chile was spent cycling around the vineyards here).

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Yet, we have to say, we came away from Chile feeling somewhat indifferent. For all of the things we did enjoy, overall it just didn’t wow us. In part probably because we found the cities to be very polluted and dirty (think having to take a shower every time you step back inside from the street); almost suffocating. We probably also had higher expectations for the beaches; they were more ‘18-30s holiday’ than ‘relaxing paradise’. Most likely, in the end it probably comes back to the budget issue; meaning we didn’t let loose as much as we could have. Ultimately we feel we can experience all of the great things Chile has to offer in other places we’re going to visit (or have visited already) for much less.  If we were here on a vacation it might have been different.

Summarized – we could take it or leave it. For that reason, in the end we decided not to make our way further north in Chile and instead head back to Argentina and make our way up from there.

One thing we haven’t mentioned about Chile yet (although our title hints at it) is that we had a 3rd minion (for those who know our Instagram page) join us.  Our first visitor from home – Susan. We have to say, we were a bit apprehensive about inviting people into our trip. (How will they like it? How will we manage strict budgeting? How will they handle staying in hostels? How will they handle long (bus) travel? How will we be together given that our lives traveling are radically different from those we have at home?) But it worked. Susan did some of her own things when we couldn’t afford to, got involved in our money saving efforts the rest of the time, stayed in her first hostel, got to encounter some of the interesting characters you sometimes find at hostels and seemed to even enjoyed the bus travel. Overall, we think she loved the experience (regardless of our opinions on Chile)!

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For us after three months away from home, spending those two weeks with Susan (and getting to share our experience with someone from home) was the best part of our time in Chile.  So, in the end whatever else we thought of it doesn’t really matter.

Till our next blog. In case you can’t wait that long, you can always check our instagram page : 2minionsontour

Big Kiss

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Travel stats

  • Countries visited: 4
  • Cities visited: 20
  • Distance travelled: 22.238 km
  • Modes of transport:
    • Plane (8),
    • Night-bus (4),
    • Day bus (14),
    • Boat (2)

1 Comment

  1. Totally agree with you guys. I was a little underwhelmed by Chile but the company and activities made up for it and I loved it!!
    Maybe it’s the way of things for you guys now but another thing that made it was us creating our own trips (the vineyard cycle, sunset and star gazing were our own versions and not guided tours). It definitely pays (also literally) to think outside the box and avoid all of the standard prearranged tours. I think ours were much better (including descending in the pitch black with only 2 out of 3 is us wearing head torches 🙈🙈). Thanks again for having me! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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