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Author Topic: Arriving in Santiago, heading to Buenos Aires via.........  (Read 1632 times)


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Arriving in Santiago, heading to Buenos Aires via.........
« on: January 11, 2010, 03:51:30 AM »

   My girlfriend and I will be arriving in Santiago in a couple of weeks. First time in South America and are planning to head North. Dont really want to fight our way into city just to fight way out again. Any recommendations for somewhere West or North to pitch a tent (or cheap room) within easy cycle ride from airport (up to 20km). Probably heading to Valparaiso or Parque Nacional La Campana over first couple of days


PS any other pointers for the trip North would also be great. Planning to camp as much as possible and go East from Arica to Bolivia, Paraguay (through Chaco), poss a bit of Southern Brazil, Uruguay, finishing in Buenos Aires in 6 months time.


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Re: Arriving in Santiago, heading to Buenos Aires via.........
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 11:37:19 AM »
Yes there are ways to camp right by the airport if you make sure to leave early in the morning. The west side of the airport has fields and a lot of secondary roads, not much people living around there. You have to go towards Lampa which is north west of the airport. You will have to find a way to go all around the aiport (no just around the terminal but actually around all the landing strips). The area where I camped is within a 1 mile west of the airport on G-182, but it is longer because you have to go all around the airport thru camina a Lampa and then thru camina al aeropuerto then go on 182 and there is plenty of spot near there. I don't think they have cheap accommodation near the airport (they never do). The airport is in the middle of nowhere so I am sure you can find a spot to camp easly, just get out of the airport and take the first secondary road you find. check google map you'll see what I'm talking about. Enjoy Chile, it is an amazing country for bicycle touring. check peter's article: I thought it was well done...
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 07:15:30 AM by Stephane »


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Re: Arriving in Santiago, heading to Buenos Aires via.........
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 05:45:22 AM »
Hello Grapsy,

You have planned an amazing tour there!

Toni is right, the airport as out of the city and to the north west of it the country side is already quite empty. The highways around Santiago are quite busy, but not as busy as you would expect from a 6 million people city. It depends of course on what time you are arriving. Sundays mornings are very quiet for example. I lived in Santiago for a year and with the triathlon club we used to train on the highway between Santiago and Los Andes on Saturday mornings.
The road to La Lampa is one of your best choices to leave the city. You will easily find a place to camp. Just hop over a fence, walk 200m and hide yourself behind some bushes. Or ask a farmer to camp on his land.
See my Article about Chile:
I have written also about Argentina and Bolivia, Look in the tips and tricks section on

The road from Arica to the East is extremely beautiful. Parque Lauca in Chile, and Volcan Sajama in Bolivia are amazing. Good choice to go there!

To give you a route suggestion between Santiago and Arica: I would cycle at least once to Argentina and another way back. The easiest pass is the one between Los Andes and Mendoza. But the Paso Agua Negra and Paso San Francisco or even more beautiful. This will also give you some experience with the very high altitude, before you go to the altiplano in Bolivia. Also the northwest of Argentina is excellent for bike touring. Chile is great too, but your only option is the Panamericana through the Atacama desert, with a few possibilities of side roads. I would definitely do part of it, but north of Antofagasta it is much more beautiful. The coastal road (number 1) from Antofagasta to Iquique is fantastic. From Santiago to Arica is almost 2,000km! And all the trucks take the same road (but north of La Serena it is not really busy).

If you want to camp as much as possible, you can easily avoid using any accommodation at all. Everywhere in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia it is very easy to find a camp spot, and it almost never rains. These countries are also relatively safe.

Have fun preparing the trip and daydreaming about deserts and huge mountains!

Peter van Glabbeek


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Re: Arriving in Santiago, heading to Buenos Aires via.........
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 03:43:16 PM »
  Thanks, that's really useful information, i really appreciate it. We now have a whole load more options!