96 Days of Overlanding Chile

1 van 

...bought and improved to make it our own

After two stressful weeks we are finally the proud owners of Mitsi. She is a Mitsubishi L300 . 

Our first day with Mitsi - Cleaning time

We painted her...

and sewed curtains for her. 

The result after two days of DIY home improvement. 

Our super comfortable bed for the next year.

10.331km driven 

...on all kinds of roads from smooth highways to the most terrible and sloooow washboard dirt roads 

Perfectly straight roads cutting through the landscape. 

Compact dirt roads through national parks. 

Terrible dusty washboard roads on which we could drive no faster than 20km/h. 

13 national parks 

...explored by car and on foot

La Campana National Park is home to one of the last Chilean Wine Palm forests. 

We hiked for hours through the Pan de Azucar National Park hoping to spot some Guanacos. Little did we know that there are tons of them just by the side of the road along Ruta 40.

The starting point to one of the hikes in Llanos de Challe National Park.

Hiking along canyons and several waterfalls in Siete Tazas National Park. 

Soothing the sore legs in the lake after a hike in Huerquehue National Park 

Hiking on the beach along sand dunes in the Chiloe National Park.  

Climbing up wooden ladders through a dense forest to hidden waterfalls in Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park. 

Witness the dramatic effects climate change has on glaciers in Laguna San Rafael National Park.

Observe a King Penguin colony at Reserva Natural Pinguino Rey. 

Defy the crazy wind to hike through fascinating landscapes at the famous Torres del Paine National Park. 
Learn about the Mapuche's worldview during a walk at Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve.  

Look for wild animals at Patagonia National Park. 

Tons of Vicunas and Viscachas at Lauca National Park. 

5 border crossings 

...between Chile, Argentina and Bolivia 

Our first border crossing from Chile into Argentina via the beautiful Paso de Jama on an elevation of 4.200m

This was our longest border crossing via Paso Los Liberatadores. We waited in line for over 12 hours until we managed to cross back into Chile. 

We passed the time playing DOS ( the new UNO), making up tons of new rules. 

Thankfully we had enough food and water in the car with us. 

9 ferries 

...on one of them we travelled for over 50 hours

On our way through the cloudy fjord to Hornopiren.

At the ticket office in Hornopiren they told us that the next available ticket is in two weeks. So we waited in line for a whole night with all the other unorganized people hoping to get a last minute spot on the ferry. 

All the waiting and hoping was in vain - there was no space left for us on the ferry. So instead, we made our way back to Puerto Montt and took the much more expensive overnight ferry down to Chaiten. Thankfully we got a "window" parking spot and were allowed to sleep inside the van which worked surprisingly well. 

The ferry from Puerto Natales to Caleta Yungay takes around 50 hours. It passes through surreal, fog-covered landscapes and stops only at Villa Puerto Eden, the most remote town I have ever seen.    

Countless stunning landscapes 

...from the colorful salt lakes in the desert to the majestic snow-covered mountain peaks of the Andes in Patagonia

Leaving the clouds behind when driving from Paposo towards Antofagasta

Heading towards the coast from Viento Sur Astro Camping

Driving towards Hurtado between the Elqui and Limari Valley

Laguna Miscanti near San Pedro de Atacama

Early morning at El Tatio Geyser 

Laguna on the road from San Pedro de Atacama to Paso de Jama

Road from the coast towards Pucon

Sunset view from our wild camping spot on Volcano Osorno 

Osorno Volcano in the background on Lago Llanquihue

Playa Corona on Chiloe Island

View from the main road leading to Puerto Ibanez

Kayaking through the marble caves near Puerto Sanchez

Did you like this blog and want to know more about Overlanding Argentina? 

Check out my blog 81 Days of Overlanding Argentina

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