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  • Day6

    The devil's throat

    November 12, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Due to a national strike in Chile on Tuesday, our tour of the day got postponed. Only hearing about this on Monday evening from the operator, we only just managed to rent mountain bikes in the town center so that we could take them out for a spin on Tuesday morning. Besides the bikes, we received some fancy vests and helmets. We planned to leave right after sunrise to avoid the heat in the afternoon. In combination with the heat, the humidity (or lack of) is actually what makes it so tough to adjust to the climate of the Atacama desert. It hovers around 15% and is a killer of our hands, noses and lips. We're going through creme like crazy.

    So after a bit of predictable delay we set off to 'Gargante del Diablo' . It was a gorgeous gorge with an excellent biking trail. It was also deserted, we only came across 2 other bikers on the trail. We took longer than expected, but that had more to with us stopping every 100 meters to take pictures and losing the way at one point, rather than anything to do with our mountain biking skills (we were awesome and did some rad stunts).

    Having lunch back in town we saw quite some footage of protests going on in various cities. Pretty shocking to watch.
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  • Day47

    Easter Island/イースター島

    February 16 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    I couldn't have asked for a better day to fulfill my lifelong dream of seeing these incredible statues with my own eyes. It was perfect weather--sunny and warm.
    The Moai are amazing! I was overwhelmed with emotions.
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  • Day59

    San Pedro de Atacama

    March 13 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We are now in Chile! We are in a town called San Pedro de Atacama which is at the edge of the Atacama desert. The Atacama desert is supposed to be one of the driest places in the world. The average rainfall is 15 mm per year, however it has rained every day that we have been here, causing floods and powercuts in the shops and streets. The desert is a 600 mile plateau west of the Andes mountains.

    The thing that I find most interesting is how much the desert looks like the planet Mars. In fact, the Atacama is often used for filming Mars scenes, and is being used by NASA to test instruments for Mars missions. It looks like Tatooine from Star Wars.

    Yesterday we went to see La Valley de Luna and the Mars Valley. I couldn’t believe how alien the landscape looked for miles around us as far as the eye could see.

    2 days ago we visited the geysers and hot springs in the Atacama desert called El Tatio. It was at 4320 metres altitude, which again made the air very thin and extremely cold. It is the 3rd largest geyser field in the world! The reason this was so amazing to watch is because this is still a seismically active area, with active volcanoes all around 🌋! Some of the geysers were spewing out water and boiling mud and our guide said it looks like the gateway to hell!

    The town of San Pedro is really cute! There are LOADS of dogs all around! It looks like a wild west town! All the houses are built the same too!
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  • Day3


    November 9, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    After traveling for so long it was so nice to finally see a familiar face. Daniel will join us for the South-American leg of our trip. If we're lucky he might even write a guest post or two... 😉 We spent a night in Santiago at the friendly hosts of the Matsofy house. We walked a bit around in the neighbourhood. The overall image was very different to home. Houses looked very colorful, every house had a high fence with spikes on top and almost every house had at least one dog that liked barking. It wasn't close to the center but in the evening you could still hear some protests going on. Also, most supermarkets are closed because they were raided in the last weeks. Luckily there were still a lot of very tiny minimarkets to keep us feeded.

    We arrived at our hostel after almost 30 hours of traveling but it felt as if half a week had passed. It was 1 pm when we arrived and we decided to immediately adjust to the local time. This meant fighting the urge to sleep for several hours and we were very happy when we could finally go to bed to have a very long night of sleep.

    Now we are again at Santiago airport to head to the north... Atacama desert is waiting for us.
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  • Day13


    November 19, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    We have arrived in a very cold and rainy Coyhaique. Quite the contrast with the Atacama desert! The flights thankfully went ok.

    Now we're finding out what we want to do here and how we want to reach Argentina by the end of next week to meet Franzi in El Chaltén.Read more

  • Day5


    November 11, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    The tour of the day took us to the salt lakes Cejar and Piedra locally referred to as the Dead Sea of Chile. We were allowed to swim in the latter, which was an interesting experience. The Andes and its volcanoes provided the perfect backdrop. After a quick shower to rinse off the salt, we visited sweet-water crater lakes. While a desert, Atacama apparently does have quite some water underground. The tour ended with a sunset at lake Tebinquiche. What looks like ice is actually salt.Read more

  • Day39

    W Trek Day 5: Francés to Central

    December 15, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    When waking up in a tent it is difficult to judge the weather. Even more so when camping in the forest. It might be sunny but you won't notice as you're in the shade. Or it's raining but you won't notice because the leaves catch the water. Additionally, mosquitos and small flies have recently evolved in a way that makes them damn good at replicating the sound of rain hitting your tent.

    This morning in particular all we knew was that it definitely had rained through the night, plus that it was windy, because with every strong gust of wind it sounded like a bucket of water was released on our tent. We packed our gear and inside tents and braved our way outside.

    It turned out to actually rain. And even worse, it wouldn't stop for the next 3 hours, and only seemed to get heavier with time. So for the very first time on this multi day hike, we actually had to hike through proper rain. This turned out to be a good test for our rain gear. The feeling of water getting in and slowly soaking your underpants or shirt is just lovely. At least the path was fairly easy to walk and we reached camping Los Cuernos after just 1.5 hours. We thankfully took the opportunity to shelter from the rain and inspect how wet we were . Daniel's 7-year old rain jacket was more of a rain-through-jacket and the same was true for Susanne's and partially also Machiel's rain pants. Through unlucky river crossings or very soaked pants Franzi, Susanne and Daniel also ended up with (partially) wet shoes. Machiel's 6 year old rain jacket (which has been falling apart lately, including the duct tape on it) held on surprisingly well.

    Nonetheless, we had to continue at some point and when we did after an hour, we were lucky the worst seemed to have passed. The last 4 hours of the trail the weather changed between raindrops and sunshine or both at the same time and by the time we arrived at camping Central, most of our clothes had dried. Due to the bad weather we took less breaks and probably arrived earlier than we otherwise would've. Of course, we also couldn't enjoy the nature as much. Though the cyan lake on our right looked beautiful.

    The region of camping Central was a bit different than the rest, given that you don't need a ferry to reach this side of the national park. On the way to the camping we walked by a big hotel and a parking lot, and we had to cross actual roads. There was also a herd of horses running right at us when we crossed. The horses were used in the park to transport food, trash, and for horse riding tours.

    The camping at Central was thankfully better than Francés, with a slightly larger cooking area. Regardless, we had learned our lesson and used our early arrival time to cook a warm lunch when it wasn't busy, and then later had a cold wraps dinner before sleeping early.
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  • Day4

    Walking on the moon

    November 10, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Being three indecisive people we spend most of the day trying to decide how we wanted to spend our days in this place. While a few things might be reachable by bike, a tour or a rental vehicle would be necessary to reach the most interesting things. Also we were not sure how doable cycling in the desert is when you are still adjusting to the altitude and dry hot climate. So we were sure we wanted to book some tours.

    But... which tours? How many tours? How much money and time did we want to spend on them? And how to decide on one out of more than 100 tour agencies?
    They all offer about the same tours for slightly different prices and with slightly different details. Looking up some reviews online it seems that with the cheaper ones the chance that vehicles break down during the tour is a bit higher.

    Finally we decided to go for a package of one tour a day (5) for about 170 € per person including park entry fees and applicable meals. Of course we only decided one hour before our first tour would start 😉 Grabbing water, sunscreen and a hat, we went to visit the valley of the moon. After a short bus ride, we arrived surrounded by rocks and dunes often covered in a layer of salt. This salt, the dust and sand we will probably still find in our clothes at the end of this year...
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  • Day8

    About freezing toes and hot geysers

    November 14, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌙 -3 °C

    Again without Machiel we had to leave as early as 4:30am with our tour to see the highest and third largest geothermal area of the world - Géisers del Tatio. Already in San Pedro we noticed that it was quite cold this early.

    After a 90 minute bus ride through the moonlit desert, we arrived once more at an altitude of 4200m and it was freezingly cold with -10 degrees. The contrast between all the steam and boiling water on one side and the frozen water on the marked paths, was quite a thing. And while walking with our tour guide through the area, I was happy to wear 2 pants and 4 upper layers. Nonetheless our toes and fingers started freezing pretty quickly and the sunrise was not only nice for the light effect but also appreciated for the warmth it brought. Overall a nice experience but after having been to Iceland also not that special. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of high water splashes.

    After breakfast in the first sunlight of the day, we had the chance to bath in some lukewarm springs to try to warm up our frozen body parts.

    Our next stop was a wetland with birds and on the way we were lucky to see again some cool local animals: rheas or ñandús (South American ostriches), viscachas (something looking like long-tailed bunnys which camouflage so well they are hard to spot in the rocky landscape), again vicuñas, more lamas and again flamingos 😊

    The last stop before returning to San Pedro was a small town with - according to our tour guide - 10 inhabitants but 20 houses and they were still busy building more... we did not really understand this but the local goat cheese was appreciated by Daniel 😉
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  • Day4

    San Pedro

    November 10, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Yesterday a short flight brought us to Calama Airport, from which we took a bus to the nearby town of San Pedro in the Atacama desert. It's a bit dry and dusty here for some reason. And the breakfast is so tasteful it took our breath away quite literally.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Chile, Chile, Chili, Kyili, ቺሌ, Cile, تشيلي, تشيلى, Çile, Tsile, Чілі, Чили, Sili, চিলি, ཅི་ལི་སྤྱི་མཐུན་རྒྱལ་ཁབ།, Čile, Xile, Şili, Chilska, ޗިލީ, Tsile nutome, Χιλή, Ĉilio, Tiiili, Txile, شیلی, Cilii, Kili, Ch·ili, Sily, An tSile, An t-Sile, ચિલી, Yn Çhillee, Cayile, Chṳ-li, צ׳ילה, चिले, Csile, Չիլի, Chíle, チリ共和国, tciles, ჩილე, ឈីលី, ಚಿಲಿ, 칠레, چلي, Shiile, Chilia, Síli, ຊິສິ, Čilė, Shili, Čīle, Чиле, ചിലി, चिली, Ċili, ချီလီ, Tsire, Chíilii, ଚିଲ୍ଲୀ, چېلي, चिलि, Cili, Čiile, Shilïi, චිලී, Cilé, Czile, சிலி, చిలి, ประเทศชิลี, ቺሊ, چىلى, چلی, Ciłe, Chi-lê (Chile), Cilän, Tchili, 智利, Чилмудин Орн, טשילע, Orílẹ́ède ṣílè, i-Chile

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