Chile Travel, Tours, Backpacking & Gap Year
Chile stretches over half of the South American continent and has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world, from the driest desert in the world (Salar de Atacama salt flat) to the spectacular glaciers in Patagonia and also volcanoes, mountains and lakes. Find ideas for things to do if you would like to travel to Chile.
Adventure Tours, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs in Chile
Chile Travel Guide
Get information, tips, itineraries and inspiration for visiting on our guide to travelling in Chile.
- Population: 17,250,000 (approx)
- Capital: Santiago (population 6,000,000 approx)
- Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
- Language: Spanish
- International Dialing Code: +56
- Area: 756,000 km2
Best Things to See & Do in Chile
- The spectacular landscape in San Pedro de Atacama where you can see ruins or go sandboarding
- Skiing in the Andes which is home to some excellent ski resorts and slopes with stunning views
- The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Easter Island and get pictures of the Moi'an statues
- Climbing Mount Villarrica which is an active volcano
- Wandering around the capital - Santiago
- If you would like to visit somewhere unique the Southern most city in the world is located in Chile
- Exploring spectacular Patagonia
- Colchagua Valley
- Lake District
- Chiloe Island
- Torres del Paine
- Punta Arenas
Travelling & Backpacking in Chile
Chile is located on the West coast of South America with over 2,500 miles of scenic coastline. This is a country full of beauty, outdoor adventures, tasty food, friendly locals, beautiful scenery and also world famous sights.
Places we recommend visiting include the huge Atacama desert in the North, Strait of Magellan and Patagonia in the South. The scenery, coast, Andes, sand dunes and glaciers will live long in the memory and on a authentic holiday booked through One World 365 you can experience the best locations in the country. Chile really will blow you away.
Gentler activities like cycling are perfect to enjoy with a loved one; you could even up the romance stakes by hiring a bicycle made for two. As a new arrival to Chile you will get to meet new friends, experience the thrills of this country together, and take part in new challenges of a small group. You’ll never forget climbing that mountain together, or tumbling down a waterfall in a raft. Experiences like these are sure to provide memories which last a lifetime, not to mention some interesting stories to tell to your friends and family back home.
Fun-filled is almost an understatement when you look at the activities on offer for groups to enjoy together; white water rafting through fast-flowing rivers, for example, is perfect for those who like their thrills to come with plenty of spills. For something completely unique, you could have a go at river bugging or even go skiing. Take advantage of the fact that it’s one of the few places in South America that offers so many adventures.
Gap Year in Chile
By plannng a gap year to Chile you will get to experience the culture and spirt of Latin America, along with beaches, spectacular coastline, nature, wildlife, glaciers, bright blue ocean, scenic road routes and gorgeous landscapes. This is one of the most diverse countries on earth. It boasts incredible cities and towns and fine cuisine. Whether you’re a student, graduate or just looking to do something different, explore famous sights or just lap up the beach life, we list gap year trips in Chile to give you lots of options.
Most flights arrive into Santiago which has a hive of activity both throughout the day and night. Most Nationalities are granted a tourist visa on arrival in Chile if you have a valid passport, occassionaly and very rarely you might be asked for proof of an outbound ticket. Chile is quite a small country in comparison with others in South America but this doesn't mean there are any less things to do and places you need to visit.
Public transport is very good / cheap in Chile but the distances are usually long / uncomfortable.We highly recommend you visit the mysterious Easter Island or travel to the world's driest desert - the Atacama - both places you must see at least once in your life. Usually you will need to be aged 18+ but there are shorter taster summer trips available for 16 and 17 year olds. A basic level of Spanish can sometimes be required for some trips.
Program start dates are usually weekly and you can join every month throughout the year. You usually need to commit a minimum of 2 weeks time to join, this can be extended though. Usually you will stay in hotels, hostels and guest houses in Chile, if you book a gap year through our website accommodation is usually provided where you will stay in a house with other internationals. Cultural homestays are also an option where you can live with a local family and teach them English at the same time. Prices vary, please enquire for more information.
There are a lot of different trips available including visiting Easter Island or exploring Santiago which is a great city to wander around on foot. There are so many must see destinations, try to visit the Puerto Natales Torres del Paine National Park where there are various treks and excursions available. Valparaiso might not be part of your itinerary but this city is well worth visiting where you will find one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America.
Other places you might want to visit include San Pedro and Pichilemu which is a little surfing destinations. You'll get to immerse yourself in the local culture, see amazing places and enjoy the time of your life. Our adventure tours in Chile will allow you to get an authentic experience, see the highlights of the country and also have a lot of fun. Group tours of Chile allow you to enjoy the local culture, learn more about the country and also get a really authentic experience.
Whether you are looking to visit somewhere new, or if you have always wanted to visit, you will find a tour to match your interest. You might want to try to arrange a placement during September as 'Dieciocho' takes place where people celebrate Chilean culture with patriotic celebrations 'Fiestas Patrias'. The festivities usually take place with music and delicious food including empanadas (pasty) and anticuchos (shish kebabs). You might also like to view our South America tours for more options.
Best Chile Tour Operators
Are you wondering what are the best Chile tour companies to book with are? On One World 365 you can search and compare trips from top rated Chile tour operators including Contiki, G Adventures and Oasis Overland. Thousands of people travel with these companies every year and they offer highly rated guided tours with positive feedback and reviews.
Top Reasons to Book a Group Tour of Chile
- Get an experienced guide
- See the best places
- Go off the beaten track to see locations difficult to reach
- Eat at the best local restaurants
- Enjoy a stress free journey
- Get an authentic local experience
Chile Small Group Tours
Our tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most of our tours specifically cater for the 18-35 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
Chile Budget Tours
We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. Our website features lots of cheap tours allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank.
If you would like to make the most of your time in Santiago then we highly recommend booking a city tour of Santiago, this is the most well known city in Chile and is a fascinating place to explore. Santiago sprawling city surrounded by the snow-capped Andean Mountains - not many cities in the world can compete in terms of scenery!
There are so many stunning colonial buildings, we highly recommend stopping for lots of pictures in the Plaza de Armas which has incredible architecture. Other places which can be incorportated into Santiago tours include the Huilo Huilo Reserve which has over 100,000 hectares of rainforest! On a tour you will be with a local guide who will be able to tell you more about the locations and also take you to eat at the very best local cafes and restaurants.
Easter Island Tours
Easter Island really is somewhere you have to visit once in your life. One of the easiest ways to venture there is on a tour.
- Accommodation: Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location. Some tours also include homestays which allow for a facsinating cultural exchange.
- Group Sizes: Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator.
- Transport: On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible.
How to Book
Search our featured trips above or contact us for specific advice.