After spending time in Colombia and Peru, we were getting used to our expenses being below our estimates. And then we got to Chile. When compared to its neighbors (Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina) every cost in Chile is definitely more expensive. But a higher cost of living is no reason to skip Chile. San Pedro de Atacama in the north and Patagonia in the south are must visits for a long term trip. You just need to plan ahead and be efficient with your time! This post covers how much it costs to backpack Chile by breaking down our all of our expenses for the just over 2 weeks we spent there!
Let’s cut right to the chase. Here’s how long we stayed, where we visited and what we spent. Keep in mind, costs below are the total costs for a couple in their 20s traveling together.
Days Spent Traveling in Chile: 16
Places Visited: San Pedro de Atacama, Santiago, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natalas, Torres del Paine National Park
Total Amount Spent: $1,700
Cost per day (couple traveling together): $105
Chile Backpacking Cost Details
Looking for a little more info? Curious if/where you can cut some costs? For every country we visited, we broke up our expenses into the following buckets: Food & Drink (including groceries), Transportation, Accommodation, Entertainment, Shopping, Laundry, and Other. For Chile, here’s how much we spent in each category:
- Food & Drink: $500
- Transportation: $400
- Accommodation: $300
- Entertainment: $420
- Shopping: $50
- Laundry: $10
- Other: $0
How To Travel For Less In Chile
We did our best to minimize costs during our time in Chile as much as possible. We stayed in the more affordable hostel options presented by Hostelworld, opting for dorm rooms more often than not. Also, we ate a lot of hot dogs. Don’t ask me why but Chileans love their fancy hot dogs. Doing your own cooking is the most helpful thing you can do to lower your daily costs!
The one pro about Chile from a cost perspective is that if you need to fly somewhere, flights out of the Santiago airport are usually the most affordable in all of South America! Be sure to factor this in to your itinerary planning.
Highlights from the Entertainment bucket include:
- Star Gazing, Red Rocks Tour and Moon Valley Entrance (San Pedro de Atacama)
- Camping rentals and entrance to Torres del Paine (Chilean Patagonia)
We did Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia as affordably as possible by renting our own gear, buying food and camping during our 5 day / 4 night adventure in the park. Not including transportation to/from Puerto Natalas, it cost us ~$525!
More Helpful Stuff
Looking to learn more about how much it costs to travel South America? Check out how much we spent in each of the following countries.
- Colombia Backpacking Cost
- Peru Backpacking Cost
- Brazil Backpacking Cost
- Argentina Backpacking Cost (Coming Soon)
Nick and Michelle Travel Guides
Whenever there’s a city with a hyperlink in these posts, you’ll open up a link to one of our travel guides!
All costs are current as of March 2020. The exchange rate while we were in Chile was roughly 780 Chilean Pesos to $1 USD.
Although we tried our best to catch every expense, it’s likely some slipped through the cracks. We’d estimate our numbers are within 5% of our actual total.
There you have it, our Chile Backpacking Costs post! From you to us, happy adventuring!