Overland Camping in Chile


Chile proved an ultimate country for overland camping and that’s all we did. No homestays, no hotels, just camping – rough camping. No paid campsites and only a few parking lots.

We felt safe, we had all the space in the world, sharing it often only with wildlife, and loved the variety of Chile’s landscape.

Here’s a photo selection of our camps and an overview with GPS waypoints.

Recommended Books on Overlanding

(click on the images to look inside)

The Year we Ruined our Lives – by Paul Carlino

Monkeys on the Road – Mary Hollendoner

The Road Chose Me around Africa – Dan Grec

Products from Amazon

Camping next to the Puchuldiza Geysers, Chile’s Altiplano
Rough camp on the altiplano of north Chile
Rough Camp with view of Torres del Paine
Camping on the flats of Ushuaia
Camping in the Ghost Town of Agua Calientes
Remote campsite in south Chile

Drinking Water – From the Tap vs Water Filter

Because of the heat (well, in part of the country, that is), you’ll need to make sure to stay dehydrated. Please do the environment a favor and don’t buy plastic bottles. Bring a stainless-steel water bottle and a water filter system. 

There is an amazing selection of small, handy, water filter systems out there, such as MSR water filters or, even smaller, a SteriPen or Lifestraw. Or carry water purification tablets if weight and space really are a big issue (we do so on our long-distance hikes).

GPS Waypoints of Campgrounds & Overland Camps in Chile

Let there be no misunderstanding: no, you don’t have to go to these places. No, these are not by definition the best spots. After having traveled in South America for so long we realize that it’s no problem here to find your own beautiful spots for camping.

We decided to continue the page anyway, for travelers who would like some tips about camping spots which we enjoyed or found practical. Please note that this is always our personal experience.

You can also check out iOverlander, where you can see where other overlanders spent the night (and add your own recommended spots!).

Read More: Chile’s Northernmost Desert

Check it out: the Landcruising Adventure Tire-in-a-Mile T-shirt Collection

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14 thoughts on “Overland Camping in Chile”

  1. Lorraine’s garden!
    S 32.30262 W 71.47334
    178 KM north of Santiago overlooking the Pacific. Please email ahead, as the area is in the process of becoming a gated community 🙁 fences are going up, and a key might be needed. MUST love dogs. [email protected]

  2. 25 KM north of the Copec station in North La Serena, tonnes of wild camping next to the ocean with wifi signals.

    5 KM sorth of the Copec station in Coquimbo, tonnes of wild camping next to the ocean with wifi signals. Showers and camping at that Copec too.

  3. You are both amazing and as usual we have enjoyed your post. Thanks for the incredible camping resources in Chile. We will be riding Chile in December and this info will be fantastic.

    Best regards,

    Daniel & Sara

  4. Hey guys,
    We’re just starting off our one year trip Santiago-Cartagena-Ushuaia-Santiago with our brand new 1999 Kia Ceres 🙂
    Is there a way I can download all your waypoints at once (in KML of GPX) so I can load them to my GPS device?
    BTW, I’m an OpenStreetMapper, so if you would like some of the info you collect to be shared through that platform, I could help out with that.

    • I’m Sorry Joost, but we don’t have a complete file for you to download. You could save them one by one by clicking on the KML icon. We made this page more as a page you could download and keep just in case, not as a driving guide and a must follow route with stopping points. Hope you have a great time, and for sure we will meet on the road. Keep a look out for our yellow Land Cruiser!

      • Looking forward to meeting people who make our trip seem short : )

        I wasn’t exactly planning to follow in your very footsteps (we do not plan, at all). Idea was more to load it into my GPS so when looking for a nice place to sleep in the evening, your experience would be one of the things to help pick a spot.

  5. Hi Karin and Coen,
    were most of these places paid campsites? Would you recommend Chile or any other South American countries for rough camping without our own transport?
    Thinking of just taking a lightweight tent with a tramping bag.


    • Joel, if I don’t mention a price you may assume we didn’t pay. I think rough camping is the best there is, but I think you’ll find it much easier in Chile and Argentina than e.g. in Andean countries. Chileans and Argentineans are used to camping because they have their own camping culture whereas the Andean cultures don’t and you have to be more careful (or ask permission from a nearby village chief) before pitching your tent. Having said that, I can’t say whether rough camping options are doable when depending on public transport as we have no experience with that whatsoever (are their buses into the middle of nowhere, or do you need to take a taxi, e.g.). Hope that helps.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. We (my girlfriend and I) arrive in Chile in early May 2015 and will be in the country for 2-3 months, returning to Australia early August. We are planning to buy a campervan or 4×4 camper-wagon so we can travel through the country and chasing waves from Santiago to Arica and everywhere inbetween.

    Hopefully, IF we can find a suitable car, we will be able to find some of these nice spots and maybe add some new ones too. A friend of mine made a website which is designed for shareable and imbedded geo-blogging and custom mapping for these sorts of purposes. The link, if anyone is interested, is http://gocart.cc/

    We’ve just finished up a 9 month, 26,000km+ trip around Australia with our custom converted camper 4×4 Mitsubishi Delica van. We loved the trip and the freedom of having our own vehicle and saving money having our own accommodation – so it would be great to do it again in Chile! 🙂


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