Backpacking in South America is something I really want to recommend to you. The world has a lot to offer and numerous beautiful places to be discovered. But the continent of South America is often wrongly classified as too dangerous. Argentina in particular is a country in which you can travel relatively safely, even as a woman. It’s the land of Diego Maradonna, juicy steaks and the hottest tango dancers. It is much more western than the Asian countries I introduced you to and therefore not an absolute culture shock for you. A rental car or motorcycle is recommended for getting around, alternatively there are modern and inexpensive buses with comfort for long trips. Even the domestic flights are mostly reasonably priced.
Those who have never dared to travel alone should face the challenge in Argentina, because the open and friendly nature of the locals, the easy getting to know other travelers in hostels and on excursions as well as a comparatively high level of security are the optimal conditions for the final step: Solo backpacking.
You wonder what gives the country its special charm? The list is long, but some reasons why I recommend Argentina as a backpacker country are that the mentality of the Argentines with a lot of zest for life and energy is really particularly captivating and the country has a lot to offer – from pulsating metropolises to endless dry desert landscapes, up to fascinating glaciers and snow-capped mountains. My experience has shown that you can optimally learn to travel alone here, you get to know people from all over the world and a country with lovable facets.
Fascinating country with contrasts
Argentina is so big and worth seeing that it is really difficult for me to restrict myself to a few “must-do’s”. But I think I should start with the capital: Buenos Aires , oh how did you enchant me. There are countless historical sights and cool neighborhoods that give you the Argentine lifestyle. Most of the hotspots are around the Montserrat district: marvel at the pretty Casa Rosada on Plaza de Mayo, where the famous Eva Perón lived as Argentina’s first lady. Stroll to Puerto Madero and enjoy a really delicious and tender steak in San Telmo. The water in my mouth runs down. Recoleta and La Boca are other highlights.
Patagonia offers you glacier panoramas of the extra class.
Of course, there are countless highlights on almost 3 million square kilometers. In any case, drive or fly to the Iguazu Falls , on the border with Brazil and Paraguay. At the same time you can take a detour into the culture of the two countries. The waterfalls themselves are an absolutely spectacular natural spectacle. The Quebrada de Humahuaca Gorge , a 150 km long gorge in the northwest of the country, impresses with huge rocks and dry landscapes in all kinds of red. In the Los Glaciares National Park you experience a picturesque landscape of glaciers and mountains and in the very south of the country, in Patagonia , you can expect glacier panoramas of the extra class.
Chile with a backpack
The last country on my list of countries for backpacking professionals is Chile . According to sportsqna.com, it is not only the top trend travel destination in 2018, but also a real backpacker’s paradise. Similar to Argentina, Chile has many facets and yet it is completely different from the country of tango. As you can already guess, there are many exciting highlights stretching over 4,300 meters in length and thus as the longest country in the world. And the landscape changes with the length of the country: From desert-rich, dry areas in the north to icy fascinating regions in the south. First of all: Although the distances from north to south are of course extremely long, you can also travel in Chile with long-distance buses that are modern and comfortably equipped – often even with WiFi. Rental cars or airplanes are alternatives, but you have to dig deeper into your pockets than with cheap bus trips.
If you speak Spanish, you don’t have to worry, but even English is understood almost without exception here – at least in the lively regions. Security is comparatively high in Chile – I always felt comfortable on my trip, which was also due to the fact that the Chileans are a very uncomplicated and hospitable people . So I was always spoken to on the street and given a friendly welcome. Since the country is absolutely popular with backpackers in South America, you also have the chance to get to know many cultures from all over the world .
For the beginning of the trip it makes perfect sense to head for the capital. This works from most destinations without any problems and as a small appetizer there is the most beautiful sight of the Andes served on the approach to Santiago de Chile . I promise you: This sight will take your breath away! Once you’ve arrived in the hustle and bustle of the big city, there are already some hotspots worth seeing in the city center: One of the city’s highlights is clearly the Cerro San Cristobal, the mountain from which you get a view of the whole of Santiago de Chile with the Andes and their snow-capped peaks as a beautiful setting. Like an incredibly impressive postcard motif. Don’t miss the impressive La Moneda presidential palace and stroll through the markets and art exhibitions of Bellavistas, the city’s bohemian quarter. From Santiago de Chile you can also reach all other places in Chile.
To get started, rent a hostel in Santiago de Chile. There you get to know other travelers and you can get together or get tips. Many hostels also offer inexpensive excursions. So you get an overview and get to know the surroundings, such as the Andes, in order to decide afterwards whether you want to travel north or south.
Deserts and vastness
Not far from the capital is Valparaíso , the picturesque port city on the Pacific. Here you can experience the origins of Chile and dive deep into the past. The colorful houses and walls decorated with graffiti give the city its unique charm. Anyone who comes here falls in love immediately, with the city and the country – Chile you have enchanted me. The neighboring town of Viña del Mar is also absolutely worth seeing and you can finally dive into the waves of the Pacific and cool off from the hot sun of South America. I was particularly impressed by the landscape in Chile: The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world and you can see the most beautiful starry sky here. You shouldn’t miss marble caves that have been conjured up by nature. If you have had enough of the dry nature, simply move further south and stop at the wonderfully green Huerquehue National Park. Waterfalls, alpine forests and idyllic lakes are simply wonderful. Enchanted too?
Grab your backpack and go!
That was them, the countries and places that are best suited for experienced and professional backpackers . And now do the test: If you are curious about which of the countries suits you and should be your next travel destination, then take part!