Chile is a country of extremes. From low to high altitude, small crystals of salt to unmovable mountains, dry desert to granite spires, ancient moai to modern skyscrapers, and smallest deer huemul to widest wing-span condors, it’s hard to fathom the massive scales that are at play.
Spanning the extreme ends of this beautiful South American nation, we’ve put together a spectacular 1 month Chile itinerary that covers Patagonia in the south, the Atacama Desert in the north, and Easter Island far off into the Pacific.
Read more about Chile
- 9 Reasons Why You Don’t Need To Do The W Trek
- Comprehensive Guide to Traveling Torres del Paine
- Must-Read Atacama Desert Travel Guide
- The Ultimate Patagonia Packing List
- Best Chile Travel Guide Content
Looking for a deal on car rentals?
- Hotels – With Genius tier, you can save 10-15% on Chile properties on Booking.com.
- Car rental – Every segment of the trip is a little different but where it can apply, make sure to know your car rental coupon codes.
- Tour packages – We’ve partnered with EcoChile to give you 5% on all pre-packaged tours.
- Travel insurance – This is very much an adventurous itinerary. While not dangerous or over-the-top, with being really far away in Easter Island, in the middle of the desert in Atacama, and in the mountains of Patagonia, you’ll want to make sure you pick the best travel insurance for your trip and also Medjet in case you need a medical evacuation back home.
- Flights – We have an insane hack on how to save hundreds. Don’t miss it in our article on how to get to Easter Island!
Here's what we're covering:
- Chile Trip Planning
- 1 Month Chile Itinerary
- Is 1 Month in Chile Too Much?
- How else could you tweak this Chile itinerary?
- How Much Does This Chile Itinerary Cost
- Closing Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Chile Trip Planning
Before we get into the itinerary itself, it makes sense to give you some context around how the trip was put together, why it’s done the way it is, and useful information on how you should tackle your own 1 month Chile itinerary.
Background Of This Itinerary
This trip came up quite last minute for us and it started with the idea of going to Chilean Patagonia and then expanding to other parts of Chile.
Ultimately, Chile’s most popular destinations are:
- Atacama Desert
- Easter Island
We later learned from local Chileans that this is considered to be a kind of Chilean golden triangle (not officially coined a tourism term but probably should be!).
It wasn’t the obvious choice in our planning at first but as we deliberated all of the options, it came down to these few thoughts:
- If we’re going to make the most of our month in Chile, we’d want to see the full diverse offering of the country instead of just focusing on one area.
- There’s no knowing if we’ll be going back to Chile anytime soon so we should try to see as much as we can.
- The only way to get to Easter Island is through Santiago so it just seemed like an incredible opportunity to go and possibly our only chance to make this aspirational destination a reality.
- Flying domestically with the trio of LATAM, SKY Airline, and JetSmart is quite affordable so it’s easy to travel the length of the country as long as you use Santiago as the major hub.
It’s also worth noting that we travelled to Chile right after the country re-opened from COVID so we still had to deal with PCR testing to get to Easter Island. As a result, we had to build our itinerary around some of those restrictions.
In retrospect, this itinerary turned out to be a great way to see Chile for the first time and the order worked out as well, with the most strenuous parts in the beginning, and being able to relax on Easter Island.
Sure, it’s not the only way to build a 1 month Chile itinerary but our hope is this itinerary gives you a starting point to build your own.
Reasons You Don’t Need To Do The W Trek
When planning your trip to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, you’ll feel the FOMO around doing the W Trek but as we learned, there’s another way to do it and we think it worked out way better.
Who is this trip for?
This is very much an itinerary for those that love the outdoors. It’s a trip that is designed for those that like to be active and also have a sense of adventure.
That being said, it’s still an itinerary that most people can do. Yes, you’ll need to be physically fit to do some of the hikes and walks, but nothing is to the extreme degree where you need serious athletic ability.
The good thing about travel in Chile is that there are also a lot of alternatives as well. So if you don’t want to do the more challenging Base of the Towers in Torres del Paine, you can easily substitute it for a boat cruise on Lake Grey or an easy going horse ride.
For those that have concerns, here are the more challenging parts of the Chile itinerary:
- Patagonia – Glamping at Riverside Camp may not be for everyone but is an experience I recommend.
- Patagonia – If you’re not doing the W Trek like us, it’s mostly pretty easy going except the kayaking and the hike to the Base of the Towers. We found the horseback riding to be great for beginners.
- Atacama – High altitude may be factor for your day out to places the Altiplanic Lakes but beyond that, most places are easy walks from the car. The real adventure is the driving if you decide to rent a car. Places like the Lagunas Baltinache will also feel like quite the effort to get to.
- Easter Island – All of the main archeological sites are easy walks. The longest day of hiking would be if you decide to do one of the island hikes such as along the North Coast, Vai a Tare, Poike, and Terevaka Summit.
While this itinerary certainly leans towards the adventure side of things, it’s by no means unsafe or risky and that’s why we felt so comfortable travelling through Chile.
It’s ultimately a trip that everyone can do and like we’ve been saying, it’s easily one of the best trips you’ll ever do.
What We Left Out
Naturally, as you go through the itinerary, you’ll wonder why we did the trip we did. As will be similar to your trip, it’ll ultimately come down to time, money, and personal interests.
Chile may seem like a small country but when you look at the map, it really isn’t. North to South, it’s 4,300 km (2,672 miles), making it one of the longest countries in the world. If you turn it 90 degrees, it pretty much stretches between the two coasts of the United States.
We made a lot of tough choices and here’s a bit of reasoning behind them:
- Argentinian Patagonia – Mount Fitz Roy, Perito Mereno Glacier, El Chaltén, and El Calafate sounded amazing and if we only focused on Patagonia, this would’ve made a lot of sense to combine but ultimately, the allure of the Chilean golden triangle was too strong.
- Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego – The more research we did, the more we learned how incredible this most southern part of Chile was – think penguins and pristine nature, but like Argentina, it was hard to fit it in unless we only focused on Patagonia.
- Chiloé and the Lake District – We were definitely enticed to explore the island of Chiloé with its wildlife viewing opportunities, and the lesser known national parks that sprawl from Puerto Montt. This was very much something where it was either this or Atacama and the desert ultimately won for being something polar opposite to what we would be able to see and do in Torres del Paine.
- Valparaiso – This was such an easy add-on to our time in Santiago but the way flights were laid out, we just couldn’t fit it in the schedule. If we could somehow squeeze in another 2 days in Santiago, we definitely would’ve made it work.
- Route of the Parks of Patagonia – This is a relatively new initiative to connect 1,700 miles of landscapes, ecosystems, and cultures from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn. It includes Torres del Paine National Park but Route of the Parks shows you how there’s so much more to explore. We only learned about it after we arrived in Chile but definitely warrants inclusion on future trips.
Yes, we covered the coveted Chile golden triangle but as we learned from being in the country, there’s so much more to see, making it almost a guarantee that we’ll come back
How To Use This Itinerary
At Going Awesome Places, we pride ourselves in creating itineraries and making them as practical and useful as possible.
Similar to our 10 day Egypt itinerary, 6 day Banff in winter itinerary, 8 day Iceland itinerary, and 3 week New Zealand itinerary, we share a lot of tips and tricks that we learned from being on the ground. Make sure to read these carefully because the devil is in the details. In Chile, this is particularly true.
We also spend the time to create a custom Google map that allows you to visualize where everything is in relation to each other. This dynamic map allows you to filter each day and it’s color coded for each type of point of interest. You’ll find these in the individual itineraries.
Lastly, another invaluable part of our itineraries is the spreadsheet itinerary that you can request access for. We’ve refined our trip planning process over the years and we’ve found that being able to see an entire trip in calendar format makes things so much easier. With this, you’ll be able to use it as a building block for your trip by creating a copy.
What makes this one month Chile itinerary unique is that since we created individual itineraries for each segment of the trip, we’ll refer you to each one and their respective travel guides. We’ll still emphasize a few key things to remember about each so your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
For the purposes of this itinerary, we’re going to count the days inclusive of the start of travel day from your country and all the way to your return back home.
Remember, this just one way of doing a month in Chile!
What You Need To Know Before Planning Your Trip
Instead of cramming every last detail into this Chile itinerary, we’re in the progress of building out a Chile Travel Guide which will be able to answer questions like:
- When is the best time to go to Chile?
- How many days do you need in Chile?
- How to get to Chile?
- How much does a trip to Chile cost?
- Is Chile safe?
- What should you eat?
1 Month Chile Itinerary
Day 1 – 2: The Long Journey to Patagonia
One thing you have to realize is that Patagonia is far. It is at the end of the world and southern tip of the continent. No matter where you’re coming from, you’re in for a long few days of flying.
If you’re lucky, you can grab a direct flight to Santiago. Otherwise, you’ll need to connect somewhere such as Toronto, New York, Houston, Miami, Auckland, and Barcelona. In total, it’ll take at least 2 days.
We recommend that you bite the bullet and connect all the way to either Puerto Natales. In the case that the timing doesn’t work, Punta Arenas also works but that’ll mean an additional bus transfer north just to get you to Puerto Natales.
Ideally, you’ll want to arrive in Santiago early in the morning so you can catch one of the earlier flights to Puerto Natales. This way, you can make it to Chile Nativo’s Riverside Camp just outside of Torres del Paine National Park.
You’ll just about collapse from exhaustion when you finally make it into the heart of Patagonia but trust us, it’ll be worth it!
- Making it to Chile, finally!
- Chance to see the Lake District and Patagonia from the sky
- As we detail in our Patagonia travel guide, Santiago’s airport can be a bit confusing. Make sure to remember that T2 is the international terminal and T1 is the domestic terminal. They are not connected so if you’re not taking the same airline all the way through, factor in time to pick up your bags, walk over to the other terminal, check-in, and go through security.
- Priority Pass is your best bet for lounge access. American Express Platinum card won’t get you into anything. There are also no lounges under Visa Airport Companion which you get with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, nor Plaza Premium.
- For your flight from Santiago to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas, sit on the left side of the plane and away from the wing for the best views.
Day 3 – 12: Torres del Paine National Park
You’ll start off your trip spending 10 incredible days in Torres del Paine National Park. From the famed granite towers, crystalline lakes, prowling pumas, well-mannered horses, delicious eats, and mammoth glaciers, the scale of everything you’ll see and do will have you in awe at every turn.
This 10 day Patagonia itinerary is broken into two segments – the first part is with Chile Nativo and the second with Hotel Las Torres.
With Chile Nativo, you’ll have a close-to-nature experience in their glamping bell-shaped tents. Their activities get you up-close to most of the highlights of Chilean Patagonia. Even if you’re not a fan of group travel, we guarantee that you will quickly bond with the travelers, guides, and driver in your group.
Special Discount with Chile Nativo
Chile Nativo was the main operator I used for my trip to Torres del Paine and they are the leaders in helping organize independent W and O treks but also do incredible guided experiences in the park.
We have your back! We’ve negotiated a special 5% promotion with Chile Nativo. This applies to existing packages that they offer but not add-ons & upgrades or fully customized tours.
How? Type in “Going Awesome Places” under “Referral discount”. Simple as that!
At Hotel Las Torres, you’ll be a bit more pampered with all of the amenities of the property and all-inclusive experience. This means that you’ll eat and drink incredibly well. You’ll also get to choose-your-own-adventure with their large menu of activities.
You’ll notice that the W Trek isn’t in here. We did this on purpose because upon further research, there were so many reasons to not do the W Trek, namely that we could see and do so much more.
For more details, start with the itinerary which has a full break out of each day and what to expect.
Whether you’re looking for alternatives, trying to make heads or tails of how Torres del Paine works, and the differences between Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, makes sure to read our travel guide for Patagonia and Torres del Paine.
- Horseback riding to the lesser-known Tyndall Glacier
- Hiking a major segment of the W Trek in the French Valley
- Kayak Grey Lake and being amongst icebergs
- Hike to the legendary Base of the Towers
- Following a tracker to see pumas in the national park
- Learning Baqueano culture and drinking mate
- Summiting Cerro Paine which is arguably the best hike of the trip
- Delicious Patagonian BBQ with its freshly grilled meats and toasty sopaipilla
- Be prepare for all weather conditions as things can change very quickly. Torres del Paine is also notoriously windy so you’ll always want a good shell jacket handy.
- Investing in and bringing your own compact hiking poles is worth it.
- The Patagonia segment is certainly the most intense part of the trip as the days are packed and quite active. What will help tremendously is having a good organizing system for your luggage and having a hiking backpack that’ll handle your needs.
- For the photographers out there, we highly recommend the Shimoda Action X series of bags. Having a backpack that can integrates with a hydration bladder makes a difference.
- Don’t forget to take advantage of the custom negotiated discounts and offers we have with Chile Nativo and Hotel Las Torres! Read our Torres del Paine itinerary and travel guide for all the details.
- Self-drive around Torres del Paine National Park while basing yourself in Puerto Natales.
- If the W Trek is top on your bucket list, you can do it self-guided or jump on the W Trek Plus with Chile Nativo.
- Extend time by ending off the trip in Punta Arenas to be able to see either the Magellanic Penguins on Magdalena Islands or the King Penguin colony in Tierra del Fuego (Bahia Inutile). From our research, Turismo Selknam had the best prices.
- You could shorten your time in Torres del Paine and try to do fit in a quick 4-5 day tour of Patagonia on the Argentina side where you squeeze in Perito Moreno Glacier, hiking Laguna De Los Tres and Laguna Torre, and El Calafate.
- If you’re looking to book or build a tour for Patagonia or all of Chile, check out EcoChile. If you book through this form, save 5% on all pre-packaged tours on us!
Day 13: Reset in Santiago
This is a transit day to make your way from Puerto Natales back to Santiago. This will allow you to reorganize for the next segment of your trip – the Atacama Desert.
While it’s entirely possible to catch the first flight out of Puerto Natales, connect to Calama, and then up to Calama (closest airport to San Pedro de Atacama), this is a great way to eliminate any stress of misconnecting flights and allowing you to reorganize your gear for the desert.
The truth is that, at the time, we needed to do a PCR test and it was the easiest to do it in Santiago. In the scenario that we tested positive, we’d have an official result where there was enough time in between that and our flight to Easter Island which had strict COVID entry rules. Today, it’s no longer an issue but it’s a reminder of how travel was complicated for that stretch of time.
After you arrive in Santiago, take the complimentary shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn Santiago Airport.
TIP: The location of the shuttle is not as obvious as you’d think and they don’t always send the instructions to guests. To get to the pick up area, you first have to take an airport bus to the Patagua parking lot. The Hilton Garden Inn shuttle only comes once an hour and if you’d like to know when it’s coming next, it’s best to use message them through WhatsApp. To get the PDF of the full instructions just sign up below.
The rest of the day is pretty laid back. You’ll be able to have dinner at the hotel and breakfast is included for those that have Hilton Honors status.
Remember to book a shuttle back to the airport for the next day.
- Enjoy a relaxing morning in Puerto Natales.
- If you’re lucky, you’ll have have an amazing view of Patagonia from your window seat.
- If you have hiking sticks, make sure they’re in your check-in bags.
- Domestic flights in Chile allow water so don’t worry about packing it in your carry-on. There are also no water-filling stations in the airport.
- Choose a window seat on the right side of the plane for a chance to see Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy Mountain on your flight back to Santiago.
Day 14 – 19: Atacama Desert
From sentinel towers, sweeping mountain views, bobbing icebergs, and lush greenery the second leg of your 1 month in Chile will be the exact opposite. You’ll not only be flying to close to the most northern part of the country, you’ll also be going to one of the driest places on Earth, climbing up in altitude, and trading snow for salt, and lots of it.
In this part of the Chilean golden triangle, you’ll enter a region that may seem completely desolate but you’ll quickly learn is filled with geological wonders, unique experiences, and bountiful wildlife.
You’ll be spending 6 days in the Atacama Desert, the perfect amount of time in our view to see all of the major attractions without feeling incredibly rushed.
The one big difference with this Atacama itinerary is that we opted to rent a car from Europcar instead of the standard route which involves stringing together a bunch of tours together. The other option is still there but you’ll enjoy having the freedom and flexibility. The only downside is that you’ll have to get comfortable with the bumpy roads.
The San Pedro de Atacama itinerary below breaks down each day so that you’ll have a clear guide for you to follow including critical tips that you won’t want to miss.
Atacama turned out to be one of the most challenging parts of our 30-plus days in Chile because there were significant changes in how attractions operated post-pandemic.
We’ve made sure to catalog all of the significant pitfalls alongside other common questions in our travel guide.
- Stargazing in one of the best locations in the world
- Seeing flamingoes in the wild
- Walking amongst one of the largest geyser fields at dawn
- Watching golden sunsets light up Valley of the Moon
- Floating on hyper-salty lagoons
- Seeing the super cute vicuña
- The pastel-shaded mountains around Piedras Rojas
- An afternoon in a hot springs nestled inside a hidden valley
- Do your research (read our guide) and book attractions ahead of time.
- There’s a bit of fear-mongering about how bad the driving is here. Having done it ourselves, we can confirm that the road conditions are poor but totally do-able. You don’t even necessarily need a full 4WD. Our 2WD small SUV (Nissan Kicks) handled it well. It takes some nerves and confidence but nowhere near deadly.
- Book your stargazing experience early in your
- Don’t underestimate the effects of altitude at Piedras Rojas and Miscanti y Miñiques. You won’t be out here that long but make sure to take it easy and drink lots of water.
- Most people that go to Atacama rely on the endless line of travel agencies on the main drag of San Pedro de Atacama. There’s a reason for this. The prices are quite reasonable and it takes the complexity of buying your own tickets and dealing with the driving.
- There are a number of salt lagoons to choose from. Lagunas Baltinache was the one we ended up focusing on for the swimming experience but there are also others like Laguna Cejar.
- We really wanted to do sandboarding in Atacama but discovered that it wasn’t as easy as people made it sound to rent sandboards. If you want to fit this in, your best bet might be Sandboard San Pedro.
- If we were more ambitious, Atacama’s version of Rainbow Valley and the Yerbas Buenas Petroglyphs are a strong candidate to fit into this itinerary if you’re not interested in the hot springs or floating in a salt lagoon.
- EcoChile also runs tours in Atacama and so if you’re looking for something a bit more all-inclusive, you can look at their offerings. Again, if you book through this form, save 5% on all pre-packaged tours!
Day 20 – 22: Santiago
So far you’ve connected through Santiago a bunch of times but you haven’t actually seen Chile’s capital yet. In between your second and third leg of the trip is as good a time as any for an urban exploration.
It’s a type of city that you’ll come into with not a lot of expectation because you just won’t know that much about it. That’s why you’ll come out of your visit with a sense of surprise for how cosmopolitan, energetic, and modern it is.
As you explore Santiago’s different neighborhoods, you’ll see quite the juxtaposition of skyscrapers and busy people in suits with beautiful examples of colonial architecture, lively local markets, and green spaces.
While we would have liked to have included Valparaiso, we opted to stick with exploring Santiago our 3 days (more like 2.5). Part of this is because we needed to get another PCR test 24 hours before departure to Easter Island thanks to the previous travel restrictions. We also met friends that lived in Santiago when we were in Patagonia and so we wanted to catch up with them over dinner.
Overall, this itinerary is a great way to be able to see some of the key highlights of the city and in our opinion is just the right amount of time.
We’re currently in the process of putting the 3 day Santiago itinerary so we don’t have it yet but all of the places we ended up visiting can be found in our spreadsheet if you sign up to become a Going Awesome Places Insider (form is earlier in the article).
- Watching the changing of the guard at La Moneda
- Eating piping hot empanadas from Emporio Zunino
- Seeing Indigenous artifacts spanning multiple time periods at Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
- 360 degree views atop Santa Lucía Hill
- Taking the cable car up to San Cristóbal Hill and seeing the expansive sprawl of Santiago
- Delicious and memorable meals at Mestizo, Pizzeria Tiramisu, and Osaka
- Hanging out with local friends and learning about Piscola
- We recommend that you stay in the more upscale neighborhoods in Santiago such as Las Condes because it’s much safer, cleaner, and has a larger cluster of options. We ended up booking One Nk Apartments through Booking.com
- This is a great opportunity to withdraw cash especially with Easter Island coming next. We’ve done in-depth analysis on which banks have the smallest fees and that can be found in the Easter Island travel guide.
- If you run out of storage space like we did, this is also your opportunity to buy whatever you’re missing, whether it’s a portable hard drive or other travel gear you forgot to bring.
- Transfers from the airport into the city are a major headache (read the reviews for TransVIP) that you just don’t want to risk dealing with. Instead, book a private transfer from a reputable driver. We ended up finding a driver through a friend who was reliable and affordable. His name is Santiago (ironic right?) and you can WhatsApp him at +56 994961021.
- Reservations are highly recommended for dinner.
- The Santiago Metro (called Red Metropolitana de Movilidad) is quite convenient and easy to take. It’ll be worth it to get a Bip! Card. It costs $1,550 CLP and you load it with money. Load it with the minimum ($750 CLP) and see how you go as you progress through your trip. You can also pass back so share with your group.
- This might be a good time to do laundry.
- The glaring thing missing from this itinerary is Valparaiso and it’s definitely possible to fit this in on Day 21 by either taking a bus there yourself or joining a day tour like this one that includes Valparaiso and Viña del Mar or this one.
Day 23 – 31: Easter Island
If you’re planning a trip to Chile, making sure you fit in Easter Island is a must. The reason we say this is because the only way you can get there is from Santiago. It’s about as exotic of an add-on to an itinerary as you can get and is very much well-worth it.
Also known as Rapa Nui, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to uncover the mystery of the cult that made it a priority to carve stone monoliths to represent important ancestors of the tribe as a way of preserving their energy and protecting their people.
Excellent Experience with Green Island Tours
It’s impossible to try every tour company but we can fully attest to the quality of tours by Green Island Tours. We spent a total of 3 days with them including Moai Monuments Tour, Historic Pathways Tour, Stargazing Experience, and North Coast Adventurer. Marc and Ludo were awesome guides.
Special offer – Use “Going Awesome Places” under “discount code” and receive Marc’s photography book for free (sold for $35,000 CLP at the airport).
While 9 days on Easter Island might seem like a lot, we couldn’t have been happier with the amount of time we spent on the island. Instead of the usual 3-5 days where tourists rush through everything, we were able to have more time to add in activities that most don’t get to do and spread things out.
Keep in mind that since this is the final leg of your 1 month Chile itinerary, fatigue will start to set in and you’ll be thankful for the slower pace of travel here.
This 9 day itinerary is allows you to maximize your time on the mysterious island.
Our ultimate guide for visiting Easter Island is an invaluable read, including all of the recent changes in Rapa Nui National Park that fundamentally change how you can see the most important moai sites.
- Watching the sunset over the moai of Tahai
- Learning the incredibly fascinating stories of the cult of the moai, Birdman cult, and what ultimately lead to their demise
- Catching the sunrise at Tongariki
- Seeing the quarries where the moai were birthed
- Realizing that the Easter Island heads have full bodies and that we were mislead as children this whole time
- Watching a traditional Rapa Nui show
- Discovering the many caves of Easter Island
- Relaxing on Anakena Beach with Ahu Nau Nau just behind
- There are a lot of articles out there that were all written pre-pandemic and as a result have a lot of inaccurate information. Make sure to read our Easter Island travel guide to get all the recent changes.
- The key difference from before is that in order to visit the main moai sites in Rapa Nui National Park, a guide is needed. This means you need to book a tour with a company such as Green Island Tours. If you mention “Going Awesome Places”, you’ll get Marc’s photography book.
- We still recommend that you allocate days to have a car and explore the island on your own.
- Our Easter Island itinerary details ways you can tweak the itinerary including alternate hikes, other rarely explored parts of the island, and unique activities.
- Check out EcoChile’s Easter Island Tours and see if there’s anything that matches your interests. Again, if you book through this form, save 5% on all pre-packaged tours!
Top Things To Do on Easter Island
Our extensive list of all of the main attractions and activities you’ll find on Rapa Nui.
Day 32: Heading Home
1 month in Chile seems like a long time but as you’re going through it leg by leg, you’ll realize it goes by incredibly fast.
Playing it safe, we recommend staying one night in Santiago. This way, you have a bit of buffer room if that flight from Rapa Nui to Santiago gets delayed or cancelled. Having a night in Santiago also allows you to reorganize your gear for the journey home.
Last minute, our friends from Santiago told us about Mappin, a local art company that specializes in maps. We ended up ordering a framed Chilean Winter Summer map online and had it shipped to our hotel, One Nk Apartments. This makes a lot of sense for your final day in Chile.
Depending on when your outbound flight is, you might have time to squeeze in something in Santiago before catching a private transfer back to the airport.
- None because you’ll be sad that your trip is coming to an end
- Staying at the same hotel throughout (i.e. One Nk Apartments) turned out to be an advantage. Before leaving for Easter Island, we told the reception to expect a package. They were more than happy to accept it.
Is 1 Month in Chile Too Much?
We don’t think so! In fact, there is easily a case for a longer trip to be able to see more of Chile.
That said, we recognize that it’s hard to put together this many vacation days. A full month is often the limit to what most people can pull off and so this 30 or so days in Chile including transit time is enough to comfortably see 4 main areas – Patagonia, Atacama, Easter Island, and Santiago without feeling extremely rushed.
1 month in Chile is just right for the amount that you get to see and do but I can see a case for tightening up each leg if you want to pack in the schedule. If you do, it’s possible to get this down to 3 weeks.
This is one of those personal preferences in travel, how much time off you can afford, and your budget.
How else could you tweak this Chile itinerary?
There are so many different ways of traveling through Chile. If you’re looking for ways to adjust the itinerary, we have a few broad stroke ideas.
- Shorten each major leg – If you’re tight on time, you could shorten Easter Island closer to the standard 4-5 days, bring Atacama down to something similar, and Patagonia down to 7 days. This would allow you to reduce the trip length or allow you to fit in more.
- Expand time in Patagonia – Out of every spot, Patagonia is somewhere that we felt could’ve easily used more time. Argentinian Patagonia is noticeably absent, there’s Tierra del Fuego, or you could look into something like the Australias cruise between Ushuaia to Punta Arenas or vice versa.
- Add a major leg – If you negotiate time away from other parts or add time on your trip, I’d look into seeing the Lake District by starting in Puerto Montt, or you could focus on Chiloé (and perhaps stay at the superb Tierra Chiloé)
- Focus on two legs – Limited on time but want to have an impactful trip to Chile? If that’s the case, we’d recommend Patagonia and Easter Island.
How Much Does This Chile Itinerary Cost
A question we often get from readers is “how much?”. It’s a valid question and so when we travel, we are much diligtent in tracking our expenses so that we can analyze them post-trip. You’ll find them included in most of our recent itineraries.
As you’ve seen from our itinerary, you can get a pretty good gauge for the type of travelers we are. We aren’t backpackers looking to do everything on a budget and we definitely aren’t at the luxury end either.
We’d like to think we’re somewhere in the middle of the pack. We look for deals and save money where we can but also are willing to spend on good food and experiences.
Actual itinerary costs
Here’s what we actually spent (prices are converted to USD) and for two people:
Trip cost per person = $9,855 USD
This breaks down to $308 USD per person per day.
Is Chile expensive?
There’s no denying that those numbers above are pretty big. In fact, it is definitely one of the more expensive trips we’ve done.
To put it in perspective though, our 3 weeks in New Zealand came out to a daily average of $353 USD per person while 10 days in Egypt came out to $204 USD per person (skewed because international flights weren’t included).
When we look at the breakdown by region, you can see that the most expensive parts of the trip were Patagonia and Easter Island. Keep in mind that Santiago’s numbers are inflated because we categorized our international flight into Chile in there.
So is Chile expensive? It can be. While flights are a part of it, it’s the cost of the experiences that add up.
The better question is, “is Chile worth it?”. That’s when we say a resounding “YES!”.
Save Money with EcoChile
Looking for a packaged tour where you can be more hands off with planning and allows you to see all of the main sights? This 4 day Easter Island tour is an excellent option. This package includes accommodations, activities, airport transfers, entrance fees, and breakfast.
Save up to 5% – We’ve partnered with EcoChile to offer you 5% on all pre-packaged tours (not just Easter Island). You can also book a custom tour but the discount will vary. Simply put your inquiry through our form below!
For years, our 2 weeks in Peru was really the only other time we’ve been to South America. It was about damn time to see other parts of it and I’m so glad that we got to do our epic tour of Chile.
In the initial stage of planning, it all felt a little overwhelming. Beyond the big names of a few places I’ve heard about over the years, I just had no knowledge of how any of Patagonia, Atacama, and Easter Island worked. Throw in how business is run in Latin America (i.e. the reliance of WhatsApp over website or e-mail) and I was a hot mess putting it all together.
Thanks to the expertise of folks like Chile Nativo, Hotel Las Torres, and Green Island Tours, we were able to rely on them to help guide us through the more difficult parts of the trip. Atacama presented its own set of challenges as a self-drive trip but luckily we ran into some helpful people while we were there.
The wild adventure of Chile is what we remember from this month.
Once we got past the challenges of planning, this 1 month Chile itinerary was an adventure of a lifetime that characterized how different every corner of the Chile golden triangle is. Each part of Easter Island, Patagonia, and Atacama were brilliant in their own way.
It’s a trip that almost feels like you’re doing a round-the-world trip without having to leave the country.
Chile is incredible and now is the best time to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
The major international airport is located in the capital of Chile in Santiago. In order to go to Chile, you’ll have to first fly into Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport/Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL). From there, you can take a domestic airline to other parts of the country. LATAM Airlines is Chile’s national carrier.
In order to fly a drone, your aircraft must be registered and receive authorization from DGAC. As a foreigner, these are incredibly difficult to obtain. Easter Island and national parks such as Torres del Paine are “no drone” areas so do not attempt to fly here.
The best time of the year to go is during its shoulder seasons when there are less visitors than at its peak. These are the months of April to June and October to December. This is also when prices are lower.
Chile is quite the safe destination for travelers especially when you compare it to other countries in South America. There are also no travel advisories for Chile. Overall, crime rates are relatively low, and violent crimes are a rare occurrence. As Chile’s tourism is mostly centered around its natural beauty, most places you’ll visit are sparsely populated and isolated, reducing any safety concerns even further.
There is so much to see and do in Chile as a result of it’s geography and so this really depends on how much you’d like to include in your itinerary. If you’re hoping to do Patagonia, the Atacama Desert, and Easter Island, you will easily need at least 3 weeks, and ideally a full month.
Chile isn’t a large country but it is incredibly long, resulting in drastically different geological and ecological regions from top to bottom. Chile covers an area of 756,096 square kilometers (291,930 sq mi) and a population of 17.5 million as of 2017.
So there you have a full month in Chile – our longest itinerary yet. If you have any questions about putting together your own Chile itinerary and are interested in covering Patagonia, Easter Island, San Pedro de Atacama, and Santiago, make sure to drop us a comment!
What you should read next
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Airbnb is the market leader but you’d be surprised how you can find cheaper deals on the lesser-known VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
- RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
- SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
- Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.