This page looks at the estimated cost of travel in Chile. Read on for our suggested shoestring and more comfortable Chile backpacking budget. We also have some sample prices and info on how to pay for things in this stunning South American country.
Chile Cost of Travel in 2023
Shoestring Backpacker Budget
- 32,500 Chilean Pesos per day (US$40)
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 5,000 km by the quickest overland route, over 50 hours on the road by car and plenty more via bus. Clearly covering such a vast distance can cost a significant amount of money but an emergence of budget airlines in recent years makes things a lot simpler and cheaper to get around. That said, although you can find some bargain fares, baggage fees can still mount up for backpackers taking a few flights in the country.
$40 may be a suitable daily backpacking budget in most of Chile. That’s based on staying in dorms and eating and drinking in budget establishments or preparing your own food in hostel kitchens. However much will depend on where and when you go, as well as how regularly you move around.
If you want to cover basically the length of the country in just 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 of time to travel then this is a lot more realistic. In popular areas such as Patagonia, prices vary according to the time of year with December to February the peak season (most expensive period).
Overall, Chile is one of the more expensive countries in South America and prices are certainly higher than the cost of travel in Peru, its neighbour to the North, and the same goes most of the Andean region.
More Comfortable Chile Backpacking Budget
- 50,000 Chilean Pesos per day (US$60)
If you want to visit the beautiful Southern region of Chile during the peak summer period, increasing your travel budget to around 50,000 Chilean Pesos per day may be advisable. 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 can be high as a result. There are also fees just to enter the stunning national parks in that region too which you will need to factor in, although you can save money if you’re willing to camp.
You can also save quite a bit by finding some volunteer placements and exchanging your skills for free food or beds. Worldpackers is a useful platform to use which will open plenty of doors if you’re serious about finding these opportunities. We can offer our readers a $10 Worldpackers discount to get started.
How much are things in Chile?
|Flight from Santiago to Antofagasta (2 hours)||From $25 + Baggage Fees|
|Bus from Santiago to Valparaíso (1 hour 30 minutes)||$6-9|
|Meal in an affordable local restaurant||$7-12|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||$3-4|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From $10/night|
|Budget private room||From $20/night|
|Day pass to Torres del Paine National Park||$9|
|Travel insurance for backpacking the US||Get a quick quote from SafetyWing (from $45 depending on your age)|
As of 2023, prices in Chile are more or less in line with those in a typical Brazil backpacking budget, although there are subtle differences and changes in the value of the respective currencies will also have an impact.
Currency – Chilean Peso
£1 = 990 CLP
€1 = 870 CLP
US$1 = 810 CLP
These exchange rates are accurate as of March 2023. US Dollars are not widely accepted in Chile, so you will need the local currency.
This Chile backpacking budget was last updated in March 2023.