information for fellow travelers:
Camping along ruta 5, Pan-american highway:
Near the town Quilimari, S32 07.735’ W071 30.767’, we named it as an expensive campsite. for an area for both of us to camp, it cost 15000CPL. Then I went to use their toilet. Sam was with Hope Too. The daughter of the owner, about aged 7 came to Hope Too tries to open the box. Sam was irritated. When I came back we asked for a bit of discount, it came down to 10000CPL. I told the owner we are on budget and he offer us for free! guess what, we rejected his free offer.
WE ARE ON BUDGET BUT WE ARE NOT DESPERATE!
we don’t feel comfortable here so we went on…
Furthur north near Chigualoco, S31 45.181’ W071’ 30.808’, another beach camping. Cost per area is 10000CPL. Minimum facilities.
Ovalle, free camping at S30 35.680’ W071 10.398’. there are many food stalls in this free camping but we don’t feel safe. 2 locals had warned us to look after our belongings.
there are 2 more camping site along this road.
The best around is at Valle Del Encanto. top up supply before going in. 1200CPL (no typing error, in English is one thousand two hundred Chilean pesos only) for visiting this monumento arqueológico and staying in the safe camp site for a night, for 2 person. worth! S30 42.233’ W071 22.727’
La Serena: we look at the guide book. recommended a hostel with German management with good parking. Sam went in, first thing that the lady at the reception asked was do we have a reservation? We did not have one. The lady said that we can only stay in a private room as all the dormitory are full. also we could only stay for one night as there are many reservations. Private room is out of our budget and we enquired from her if she could recommend us another hostel nearby with motorbike parking, she said: I’M NOT SURE and continues clicking on her computer trying to ignore us. is this some problem with foreign owned hostel in Chile? after being recommended by travel guide book they seems to be high class. Andrés Bello 979. hostel El Punto. Go there if you like. we don’t feel good from their first impression.
after some rounds of recommendation from other hostel, we came back to the same place, one unit before Hostel El Punto (and that receptionist don’t recommend their neighbour). Excellent! Safe parking for 2-3 bikes. the lady owner is very friendly. She is a Chilean. if you want to meet the locals this is the place to stay. free WIFI and nice people. S29 54.516’ W071 15.223’ Hostel Vergara. La Serena, Andrés Bello Number 991.
Popular tour from La Serena goes to the East, visiting Pisco distillery and sky observatory. Prices from La Serena to Pisco distillery, eat some food, see some free sights cost 20000CPL. Observatory cost 15000CPL. so we ride east, about 60km east from La Serena to Vicuna.
Vicuna, book the tour to Observatory Mamalluca at Gabriela Mistral 260. cost 3500CPL for tour and 2 way shutter bus to observatory and back to Gabriela Mistral 260 is 1500CPL. don’t try to ride your bike to the Observatory. it’s a mess and very dark. no body switch on lights around the observatory. Camping at Rancho Elquino, 300meters walk from Plaza de Armas. S30 01.685’ W070 42.861’ Independencia201. firstname.lastname@example.org
don’t be surprise to pitch your tent under the sun as you will not get a chance to sleep in the day. there is a shed where everyone can use as a kitchen, BBQ, reading. Nice swimming pool. very nice people. not crowdy and not noisy. kids are real nice, so as the owner Mario. 3500CPL per person. RECOMMANDED!
there is also a Pisco factory at S30 02.384’ W070 41.892’
Solar restaurant, they use sunlight to heat up the food. 4000CPL for menu of the day: S30 02.720’ W070 40.857’
Valle del Elqui: about 60km east of Vicuna.
We camped at S30 08.021’ W070 29.784’
very steep slope down hill to this campsite. Good swimming pool but gets crowded. surrounded by grape vines. Nice! Agrocamping Dona Josefa. 4000CPL per person.
Pisco tour avalible in the town. 5000CPL with free tasting of Pisco and free Pisco glasses.
Top up gas before heading up North of ruta 5 from La Serena, into the Atacama Region. Next estation will be more than 180km at city of Vallenar.
We camped wild in the desert by the coast of S28 17.442’ W071 09.930’ possible. we reach at about 530pm with Andreas and Saskia, clear the area from cactus and stones, cooked dinner and when it was about sunset, we set up the tent. Thanks to Thomas and Andrea of Germany, we learn to camp freely from them. we see the stars more clearly then in the observatory. there are many shooting stars to catch here!
Good supermarket at Copiapo S27 22.885’ W070 19.769’
now we are camping at Bahia Inglesa S27 06.340’ W070 51.043’ Cost 19000CPL per site up to six person. we found a couple traveling by their car so we asked if they want to share the site and split the cost. nice couple, Jessica and Miguel from Sweden. nice beach and swimming pool.
for more info view:
singapore dream: We are on budget but we are not Desperate!