Chile
Río San José

Here you’ll find travel reports about Río San José. Discover travel destinations in Chile of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day15

    Chilean highlands

    January 18 in Chile

    It took a little convincing from Jeff, but we took an excursion into the Chilean Highlands yesterday. My hesitation came from the fact that it was a 3 hour ride each way to an elevation of 12,000 feet. Now come on, we’ve all seen those pictures of buses dropping off roads in South America, but I must admit that it was a pretty decent road. That certainly did not take away from the drama of the incredible landscape.
    This area of Chile is just south of the border from Peru and the Bolivian border is just to the east - Chile is skinny like a chili pepper! This region has a population density of 1 person per 30 square kilometers and that includes the city of Arica which is 160,000. In other words, it is pretty desolate. By the way, the second largest town is population 1,000. It is also the second driest populated place on earth at 1/2 millimeter of rain per year-that isn’t even what we would call a trace!
    In 1868, a magnitude 9 earthquake struck the area killing 70,000 people. Between the earthquake and the ensuing 2 tsunami waves (the second one was 90’ high), the city was literally reduced to rubble, the waves then washing everything away, including any remaining foundations.
    We saw some fabulous geoglyths that are about 170’ tall and we’re done between 100BC and 1500AD. There is very little know about why they were done, but they have found around 17,000 of them throughout this region.
    As we were driving into the Andes mountains on a 2 lane road, passing other vehicles in our bus, our guide mentioned that they experience earthquakes here about once per week! It took everything I had not to ask if the last one was yesterday or a week ago.
    We drove through an incredibly dry valley that was followed by a more lush area that looked up at 2 snow-capped dormant Taapaca volcanoes. The town of Putre, founded in 1580, lies in a shallow valley at about here at 12,000’ of elevation. There’s not too much air to breathe here!
    We had a wonderful lunch at the Canta Verde which served Pebre which is the Chilean version of what we would call Pico de Gallo. Jeff enjoyed it more than everyone else and they brought him an additional plate of it! They use it as a condiment for soups, meat and bread. Also, I was searching for a bathroom and was excited to recall my high school Spanish class to say “Donde esta el bano?” What a thrill - I was speaking fluent Spanish!
    We have 2 sea days before arriving in Valparaiso, Chile for some Chilean wine-tasting. Our captain has informed us that the waves are building and there will be some “pitching and groaning” tomorrow. Never a dull moment!
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  • Day54

    Fixing odds and ends

    November 22, 2017 in Chile

    There were still a few odds and ends that needed to be fixed before we could move on so we decided to do those this day.
    First off was to find out the cost of the bus tickets to Iquique at the bus terminal opposite our hostel. This was to compare costs with the rental options. It turned out to be quite reasonable at between 6000 - 10000 CLP.
    The morning was a bit slow. We managed to get good wifi and spent the morning calling home etc.
    After that, we had our breakfast and then decided to go to the Ministry of Telecomunicaciones to register our phones. Phones bought outside of Chile don't work here according to a new legislation effective since a few days ago. Eventually, after trying all the operators, we had found out that we'll need to register the IMEI number of our phones at the Ministry of Telecomunicaciones to make it work. The office closes at 13:00 so that was our 1st destination for the day after the breakfast.
    On the way, we passed the local fish market where they were even selling Ceviche.
    At the Ministry of Telecom, we managed to find out that they don't do the registration and that we'll have to do it ourselves and submit all the required papers online.
    We sat at a cafe with wifi and did all the registration formalities. The website was all in Spanish, we needed to submit a screenshot of the phone IMEI, a picture of the phone with the IMEI number visible, copy of passport, copy of the immigration form etc before the application went through. Keeping our fingers crossed it will work now.
    By this time it was lunch hour so we had our food. After lunch, we checked at the other 2 car rental agencies. Klasse was closed due to vacations. Hertz had the had the vehicles but the vehicles available were the same we had got for the Salar de Uyuni and we were not too happy with its power and effectiveness. Plus, Hertz was almost double the cost of the Europcar quote.
    With no reasonable option and running out of things to do, it looked like we were stuck in Arica for some more time.
    Not having any other ideas, we realized that we had 20 min before the Tourist Information center would close. We had been there before, but due to the limited time of operations, we had always found them closed.
    We managed to walk the 2 kms in 5-6 min and reached before they closed for the day. Here, we finally found the lady at the counter spoke excellent English. She was able to help us with a lot of information and maps but didn't know any more tour operators or car rentals than we had already checked.
    Having run out of ideas and absolutely no plan or even option for a plan, we just decided to chill and go to the beach.
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  • Day51

    Arica at night

    November 19, 2017 in Chile

    We slept about 6 hours straight and woke up in the evening. We decided to walk to the beach and from there to the city center, a total of about 4 kms. We reached there at about 9:30 and found it quite deserted. Even the food shops were closed with hardly anyone around. We ate some food and then headed back to the hostel.

  • Day52

    Search for the SIM cards

    November 20, 2017 in Chile

    After a lazy morning, we decided to go search for a SIM card since we would be in Chile for some weeks. First we tried at the mobile counters in the bus terminal. Every SIM card we tried failed to work on the our device. We tried all the operators as well but nothing seemed to work.
    After that, we went to the city center and tried at a few operators. Here we were informed that due to a recent legislation, the SIM cards would work only with mobile phones bought in Chile. We tried all the operators with no success. One old SIM seemed to work on my phone. It wouldn't connect calls or SMS but there was data available on it but with a max of only Edge connection 😑Read more

  • Day55

    The fish feast begins

    November 23, 2017 in Chile

    One of the fisherman started cleaning is his fish and would throw away the unnecessary parts into the sea, after cutting the fish. As soon as the parts were in the air, all the sea lions, pelicans, cormorants and herons would go after it in unison. It was a feeding frenzy out there. This easy pickings could also be the reason for the huge size of the sea lions.

  • Day55

    Fearless pelicans

    November 23, 2017 in Chile

    The fisherman cleaning the fish was right next to us so all the huge pelicans flew in and sat near us waiting for a chance to go after the fish being doled out. They were really big and didn't seem to have any fear of people. It was an exciting experience.

  • Day55

    The sea lion colony

    November 23, 2017 in Chile

    We had a general idea where the resident sea lion colony was but didn't know exactly where it was. After asking around, we reached the fresh sea food market right next to the harbor. There were many pelicans. These are huge birds with an impressive size. In the harbor we saw about 8-9 sea lions. These were huge compared to the sea lions I had seen before. They were swimming around in the harbor trying to get fish from the local fishermen while the pelicans waited patiently for the handouts.Read more

  • Day55

    Sea lion on the quay

    November 23, 2017 in Chile

    While all this activities were going on at one end of the harbor, at the other end a huge sea lion jumped out amd sat waiting at a lowered portion of the quay, waiting for some food. One of the fisherman cleaning the Pyura Chilensis started tossing a few of these in between the cleaning. The local dogs were not happy about the sea lion stealing what they thought they deserved and started barking at the sea lion but it didn't care at all. It didn't even give them a second look, while the dogs seeing the size 3 times their own, thought it better not to raise the issue further 😉
    By now, it was almost 1 pm so I decided to walk over to the dental clinic to be there in time for when Hristo would be done with his appointment.
    I reached there at about 1:20 pm, just as he was coming out of the room. From there, we decided to take a taxi to the place for the Econorental outside of Arica. We tried to stop a few taxis but they all seemed to be full and none stopped for us. After a while, we noticed that they all had numbers on top and had some places name written along with it. We asked one of the locals and found that these were shared taxis running on a fixed route with a fixed price per head, irrespective of where you get on or off on the way. The normal taxis had yellow roofs. We started walking towards the center trying to find one. Eventually, we stopped one and told him where we wanted to go. The taxi cost us 3000 CLP to reach the place.
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  • Day60

    Off to San Pedro de Atacama

    November 28, 2017 in Chile

    After dropping off the vehicle, we took a shared taxi back to the center of Arica. Here I managed to fix my problem of not getting 4G on my SIM card and Hristo managed to fix the problem with the recharging of his SIM card. After that we had a good lunch/dinner. After that we took a taxi to the bus station. Here we enquired for the timing and prices of the buses to San Pedro de Atacama at all the counters. Finally, the 9:15 pm (an hour later) bus from Turbus suited us the best. It cost us 11700 CLP per head. It was not a very comfortable journey. We had to wake up at 3 am and get out of the bus for some pest control check. Then there were some other police checks and then at 6:30 am we reached Calama.Read more

  • Day55

    Fish market

    November 23, 2017 in Chile

    After watching the feeding spectacle for some time, we went around the fish market. There were fish, eels, mussels, clams and many other sea creatures for sale. Local people and restaurant owners were there buying the fresh items in kgs.
    In one corner of the market, there were fisher women opening and cleaning up the Pyura Chilensis, a type of turnicate. These are filter feeders and attach themselves to rocks below the sea surface. The women were cracking open the shell using the knives and then extracting the soft inner body. This was then dumped into buckets of water for cleaning.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Río San José, Rio San Jose

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