Chile Backpacking Budget

cost of travel in Chile

(Map of Chile from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Chile on a Shoestring Budget

US$45 | 30,000 Chilean Peso

Chile is a complicated country to budget for, mostly because of its peculiar long snake-like Shape. From Arica in the far North to Punta Arenas in the far South, it’s almost 5,000km by the quickest overland route, over 50 hours on the road by car and plenty more via bus. Clearly covering such a vast distance costs a significant amount of money and the lack of real budget airlines makes things difficult for the shoestring traveller in Chile although things have improved in that regard recent years.

The budget you allow for depends a lot on how much ground you want to cover and how quickly. $45 is our suggest daily Chile backpacking budget but if you want to cover basically the length of the country in a few weeks, you’ll need to budget for a bit more. If you’re staying in one or two parts of the country or have a longer period time to travel then this is more realistic and by camping or using hostels with self-catering facilities, you may be able to get by on less although it is still overall one of the more expensive countries in South America and prices are certainly higher than in neighbouring Peru.

See where Chile ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all South American countries.

More Comfortable Chile Backpacker Budget

US$60 | 40,000 Chilean Peso

Another major issue with budgeting for travel in Chile is the regional and seasonal variation in prices. The cost of travel in the remote South is considerably higher than in the rest of the country, particularly during the peak summer months. It’s one of the most beautiful regions of South America but the location and harsh climate means travel infrastructure is fairly limited and prices are high as a result. There are also some fairly hefty fees to enter the stunning national parks in that region so costs can add up and if you’re planning to spend the bulk of your trip in the South of Chile and aren’t willing to camp then $60 or 40,000 Peso is a more realistic daily budget.

Sample Prices in Chile

Flight from Santiago to Antofagasta (2 hours) – from $50

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – $7

0.5 Litre local beer in bar or restaurant – $2

Dorm bed in Santiago – from $6/night

Twin or Double private room in Villarrica – from $35/night

Entry to Torres del Paine National Park – 18,000 COP peak season (currently $27.50), 5,000 COP low season ($7.50)

These prices are as of December 2016.

Compare Chile prices to the cost of travel in Brazil


Currency – Chilean Peso

£1 = 824 CLP

€1 = 694 CLP

US$1 = 655 CLP

(All exchange rates are correct as of December 2016)

MFT Recommends

La Casa Roja is a cool hostel to stay at in the heart of the Chilean capital Santiago with a spacious garden and pool area.

Street art in Chile

street art in Valparaiso, Chile (via BORIS GCC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Chile recently, help your fellow travellers out by sharing your typical daily costs in the comments section below 😉

This article was published in December 2016.

Get our Backpackers Guide to South America 2017-2018  for a full overview of budget travel in the region.