List of our Campsites in South America -

© 2014-15 - no commercial use or re-publishing permitted!
If you wish you may save this list to your computer for personal reference :-)

Please note: we are travelling in Berta, a Mercedes 1019 4×4 truck with good ground clearance and a fully self-contained camper. To save money this time around we prefer "free boondocking" sites; often we find that such places are more scenic and quieter than any commercial campground. NOTE: many of these locations are NOT suitable to pitch a tent! GPS readings were usually taken at the campsites (not at the turn-off to the location).
After much consideration we kept this list in a very similar format to our previous camping lists from 2006-09. We don't record GPX tracks. This is a one page document (with all formatting included) which can be saved as a small file and easily be passed on. You can open it in any web browser, Apple, Windows, Android, and search for a location, then transfer the reading into your GPS device. Right now the list is a "work in progress", so please return for the latest update. This time we have decided against a complete list of locations; in some regions it seems so easy to find a suitable camping spot next to the road that our location was only a random choice without any significance. Other locations are excluded because either we considered them to be not really safe, or they relied on the goodwill of people we befriended…
Since we encountered some difficulties finding propane filling stations, several locations are included.
Do you find this page useful?
If so maybe consider a small donation
(towards upkeep and hosting - which we are paying for).
Anything from 50 Cents to 100 Dollars [ LOL ] will be appreciated.
Thank You!



last update: November 2015 - Main Page  
Argentina Central West Argentina North-West Argentina towards the East
Chile south of Santiago Chile north of Santiago Uruguay
[ click the country name to jump to relevant section]


1. Argentina Central West

 from Mendoza south to the Lakes District [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Argentinean PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Many parts of Argentina are a paradise for free camping - compared to Chile you find a lot less fences, or often road reserves are very wide, so even if the land is fenced in you can still stand up to 10 meters away from the road. Overnight traffic is light to non existent away from main highways.
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
just outside Mendoza
Camino Las Lajas
S 32:49.11804
W 68:54.38095
  This is the Mendoza end of the Camino Las Lajas connecting with Uspallata; the track further on can be only driven by small vehicles (maximum a pick-up) with good clearance, as the road is not maintained. Even the first part is fairly rough. To get to it you have to drive through a dense residential area, the camino starts then (there's a sign on the left indicating emergeny service numbers for the road). The first bit looks like a rubbish dump, mostly for building material. Then, after crossing a mostly dry river bed, comes relatively flat land densily covered with shrubs and cacti. Our spot is the first clearing where you can get off the road. Blissfully quiet o/n, yet only ~4 kilometers to the nearest Walmart, a little more into town. Good breeze o/n to cool you down.
Ruta 52 between Mendoza and Uspallata
The Road of 365 Curves
S 32:30.47585
W 68:2.95349
large image available online Coming from Mendoza this the first spot where you can get off the Road of 365 Curves (read our blog post), a beautiful drive, despite being a bit scary in parts with a truck the size of ours. This spot is a flat section inside a hairpin bend; further on in direction Uspallata you will find plenty of level spots to pull off the road…
Uspallata Museum's parking lot S 32:34.17206
W 68:20.45151
large image available online Edge of town to the north, on road to Barreal, the museum is after the causeway to your left. Sections of this large gravel lot are almost level (none is perfect), if you stay away from the fence you won't be in the way for visitors to the museum. A quiet place (only some distant dogs) with a nice view towards the mountains.
Embalse Potrerillos
end of RP 82
S 32:59.66743
W 69:8.68011
large image available online Totally quiet, end of sealed road, large almost level lot overlooking the Embalse. It can be windy here from time to time. There are several such lots, the second time we stayed on one a little closer towards the town of Potrerillos (for better mobile reception); this was the Carnival long weekend, lots of people during day time, but no noisy crowd and again very quiet o/n.
RN 40, north of border between Neuquen and Mendoza provinces S 36:35.40779
W 69:49.65317
large image available online Good spot to gain some distance from the road - with a beautiful vista! Large, almost level, gravel lot with track connecting to road. Overlooking a beautiful lagoon and a couple of farms. Quiet o/n.
outside Caviahue by lagoon S 37:51.87172
W 71:2.00363
large image available online Obvious dirt track leading into this place, almost level, sandy and dusty. Windy and, even in February, fairly cold. You overlook the lake and see the smoking volcano in the distance. Many mature Araucaria trees make this a lovely spot.
~8-9 kms west of Las Lajas S 38:30.49713
W 70:27.19894
large image available online Large paddock near river, way off the main road going to the border with Chile. If you want you can also drive further in towards the river, but where we stood it was completely quiet (except for some horses near-by). The paddock is a bit bumpy, full of large pebbles and animal dung.
Photo shows the eerie light before a storm broke loose.
Lago Aluminé near Villa Union S 38:53.84171
W 71:7.4794
large image available online By the time we reached Lago Aluminé it was peak holiday season, so this small beach parking lot next to the road looked more promising than anything in Villa Union. Over night there was hardly any traffic, so we slept well. Coarse sand, lovely view across the lake (see sunset from our dinette window).
by rapids RP23 near Pilo Lil S 39:38.98293
W 70:56.55305
large image available online A lovely level spot by some river rapids - we stayed two nights. Level, filtered shade from some trees, nice view. This lot is absolutely not fenced in, the driveway is wide and stable. There is a fair bit of traffic on this road, but it creates more dust than noise (that's muffled by the sound of the river). Certainly also a good spot to pitch a tent.
Throughout the Lakes District we alternated between free camping sites, provided by the National Park, and some free sites. Some of the official free sites are good, though without facilities. At two spots, where we free camped, we were asked (very friendlily) by the park rangers to move on - hence we didn't include these locations. Outside peak season you might find the rangers more lenient.

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

2. Argentina North-West

 travelling south from Salta to Mendoza [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Argentinean PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Many parts of Argentina are a paradise for free camping - compared to Chile you find a lot less fences, or often road reserves are very wide, so even if the land is fenced in you can still stand up to 10 meters away from the road. Overnight traffic is light to non existent away from main highways.
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
RN40 south of Cachi S 25:15.05001
W 66:12.88788
large image available online The first option we found to get off the road and a bit away from the road dust: large flat gravel area, hard surface with a few shrubs. Very quiet apart from some shy donkeys, possibly a tenting spot too.
RN40 south of Angastaco
inside the National Reserve
S 25:41.73649
W 66:7.67029
large image available online A lovely small level spot in the middle of the Quebrada by the river! Check if the ground is firm before you drive in. You could probably tent here as it's far enough from the road.
edge of Cafayate
above new hospital
S 26:3.76522
W 65:59.08127
large image available online Yes, Cafayate has a Municipal Camping, and yes: we're cheap! Plus we remembered from last time that there was some loud music near the camping, so we weren't that keen to return… This is a large empty lot (don't know how long it will last) between two newly built housing estates on the hill. It's not perfectly level, it's not perfectly quiet (distant dogs and motorbikes), there's a bit of trash (not too bad), and there are a few too many street lights around, but for an in-town location this is not too bad. We felt safe here and one night two cyclists camped in their tents behind us.
~20kms outside Cafayate
off RN68 (road to San Carlos)
S 26:0.77042
W 65:49.49387
large image available online A very scenic spot not that far outside Cafayate (we wanted to get out of town for a long weekend). Coming from Cafayate turn left onto dirt road sign-posted to San Carlos, the place is to the left (further in is fenced off). Very quiet over night and not much traffic during day time. Go for a walk – the mountains are stunning! Possible to hide a tent here…
RN40 south of Cafayate: once you're passed the last fenced-in vineyards you can find good opportunities to pull off the road. In Quilmes you could possibly stay overnight at the parking lot of the ruin site. In Santa Maria (free WiFi at the plaza) we camped east by the river. Unfortunately south from Hualfin there is a continous fence running left and right along the road reserve – with no option to get off the road!
RN40 by-pass of Londres
in front of cemetery
S 27:43.66631
W 67:8.68927
  Due to the above mentioned fence along RN40 we were getting desperate… This spot in front of the town's graveyard was almost level and quiet over night. Other option: drive up the hill and park in front of the well sign-posted Inca ruins of Shincal (it's also level there, but we didn't know beforehand).
RN60 to Fiambala
S 27:56.53833
W 67:38.77333
large image available online The RN60 is is labelled as 'Ruta del Adobe' due to the many old mudbrick buildings found in this region. Here the lovely Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Andacollo is sign-posted and well off the road. Large level parking lot, only one property shares the driveway. There are a couple of street lights. There's also a picnic area with some tables and seats, you'll even find an outside power point (discretion!) at the utility building left of the church. Please treat this place with respect as the locals take good care of it!
Sand dunes outside of Medanitos
north of Fiambala
S 27:33.91708
W 67:34.23615
large image available online The enormous sand dunes north of Fiambala hardly get a mention in any guidebook, although they are quite stunning. The Dakar discovered them years ago… This is a good spot to explore them in the daytime or stay over night. Access roads are quite narrow and sandy, but nevertheless doable with any vehicle (no 4WD required!).
Fiambala is also famous for it's thermal springs (some say they are among the best in the world).
RN150 Paganzo
next to village school
S 27:33.91708
W 67:34.23615
large image available online Again RN40/RN74 south of Chilecito and the RN150 going towards the National Parks in the West are all lined with fencing both sides; there aren't any roads going off and the few properties all have solid gates blocking their access roads. We finally settled into this spot, which wasn't far off the road. Over night we heard hardly any traffic, the village is east of the school, so dogs weren't around either… BONUS: free WiFi, a little weak, but good enough for a Skype call w/o video. About 40 kms further west, near the intersection of RN150 with RN76, the fencing ends, but vegetation is mostly dense.
San Juan
Av. Rioja Norte, l.h.s. going north
S 31:31.48579
W 68:31.35498
Small shop to fill with gas The gas places (YPF and Total, both next to RN40 south) in San Juan distribute cylinders filled in the Mendoza province, so they have no equipment to fill our cylinders. This is a small mum & pop shop (forgot to write down its name - red facade) selling hardware and filling gas bottles. They have a number of adaptors at hand, but charge about twice as much as the large gas distributors.
Difunta Correa
S 31:44.17191
W 67:58.74344
large image available online The site of the most venerated holy figure in Argentina. A mini township featuring the shrine, numerous restaurants, small shops selling souvenirs, many parking lots, asado areas, a hotel, and more… It's busy all night with trucks and buses pulling off the highway for a short visit, but the back of the large parking lot we stayed on was quieter than any overnight stop at a petrol station would be. There are some power points accessible attached to the light poles.

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

3. Argentina towards the East

 first travelling east from Mendoza, via Cordoba, then from Misiones towards Buenos Aires [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Argentinean PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Overnight places along these roads were a little more difficult to find because most land is agriculturally used and fenced in. Still: we found mostly nice places (the others aren't listed). A couple of times we parked in empty residential sub divisions, where roads were in but no houses started; these aren't listed either… NOTE: you'll cross San Luis province, where every town seems to have free WiFi of good quality!
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
RN142, way north-east of Mendoza S 32:34.89784
W 68:16.25244
large image available online Large empty lot (dry river?) next to side road, which is sign-posted to 'La Asuncion'. Dusty, but not very trashy. You can probably hide a tent here in the bushes. Quiet with very distant traffic, none over night. Friendly locals asked the next day if we were okay (we stayed rather long).
Alta Gracia
edge of Parque Garcia Lorca
S 31:38.71479
W 64:27.10419
large image available online Small bumpy parking space near a causeway on edge of park. Some traffic during day, no traffic noise or dogs over night. One bright street light overhead. Inside this park is also a municipal camping and balneario, both were closed when we visited. Alta Gracia is such a lovely town, we dedicated a blog post to it.
Jesus Maria
by river, behind fire station
S 30:58.76667
W 64:5.74149
large image available online Very quiet place, even on a weekend! Drive in on the road to the right of the 'bomberos', down to the river bank, and pick your spot. The river bank was getting remodeled when we stayed… A lovely spot close to town, some mature shade trees. Further up the river is a large 'balneario'.
lakefront Mar Chiquita
S 30:54.96128
W 62:40.92247
large image available online Quiet place right at the shore of Laguna Mar Chiquita, next to crumbling tower with the town's name on top. Almost level dirt and some grass, got very muddy o/n due to storm. In summer this town might get very busy, as it is completely geared towards tourists — we were off season.
Balneario Municipal
S 31:51.89472
W 59:0.21586
  Could be a quiet place - out of town to the east. Unfortunately, the very friendly caretaker insisted that we park right next to his house at the entrance. As a result we had cars and mopeds driving in and out right next to our camper. Over night we experienced a very hefty storm with torrential rain, which uprooted some trees in the otherwise nice park. The ground turned into extremely slippery mud, we got bogged driving out. Somehow we get the impression that a) they are not used to foreign visitors in this town (the 'welcome' was very friendly), and b) the park by the river might be very busy in summer (so no quiet place to sleep). Maybe suitable for tent camping.
by old railway station
S 32:9.59564
W 58:24.82979
  Small round parking lot in front of the old railway station, which is only used for an historic tourist train running some weekends. Edge of town and rather quiet. Level, some good breeze and a bit of shade. (We forgot to take a photo as it was raining in the morning.). Elisa has thermal springs in a rather posh looking gated complex. The whole town looks neat and a bit up-market…
Parque San Carlos
S 31:22.0784
W 57:59.93889
large image available online Parking lot of the Museum Castillo San Carlos in the large park of the same name, a little north of town. The park is huge, 30 hectares, and used extensively during daytime hours; over night we slept fairly undisturbed here. Good breeze, but almost impossible to get vehicle really level. There is WiFi coming from the museum which offers a 30 minute free trial - once every day.
Concordia, Avenida Monseñor Rosch
Sculpture Park north of town
S 31:18.07137
W 58:0.37766
large image available online TIP & free: a group of almost 20 sculptures, erected 2013 for the 3rd "Simposio Internacional de Escultura" outside town to the north, near modern YPF station, right at the entrance to the airport. Reading taken near-by! The sculpture group is in public parkland, always accessible, unfortunately this means some have already been vandalised.
The park itself is large, with mature trees and bbq-areas away from the road = possible overnight place?! It's on the road from town to the boder with Salto/Uruguay. Concordia iteslf is a pleasant surprise: fairly neat, friendly people, lots of green spaces, many sculptures and other public art throughout the town.

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

4. Brazil

 [R = all prices (if mentioned) in Brazilian REALS --- Electricity: in the south of Brazil the current and HERTZ-frequency can change from place to place, occasionally you will even find two power points, side by side, with different current — so always check with volt meter! In some places you may find only 110V/60Hz, in most places 230V/50Hz.
Locations will be added soon.

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

5. Chile, south of Santiago

  [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Chilean PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Finding a suitable place to stay overnight in Chile, without paying, can sometimes be difficult as most land is fenced in - right to the edge of the road. It's a little easier along the coast as beaches are public land.
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
Navidad Rapel
under bridge by river bank
S 33:56.48277
W 71:44.12521
large image available online Right in front of Municipal Camping (so maybe not suitable in peak season), which was closed at the time. I loved this spot so much I went back a second time! Coarse pebbles, difficult to get level, some slight traffic noise from nearby bridge, but overall a small paradise. Don't go too close to river edge (into the more level grass) as the river is regulated by a dam - twice during my stay they flooded this entire area!
Friendly locals, all shopping in walking distance, at the local COPEC station you can fill with fresh water (or sneak into the campground to use taps). If you own a USB-stick for mobile internet there's strong 5-bar reception here (I got a lot of online work done). The coast of Navidad is a windsurfer haven (hence very windy), here by the river it's rather calm.
EDIT: we came back here in June 2015 and loved it again - one of our favorites!
near Navidad
S 33:57.74025
W 71:52.5119
large image available online Slightly sloping concrete parking lot direct by beach, used by kite and wind surfers (hence very windy and some salt spray)! Some shopping in the small village, bad mobile reception. Overall not my kind of place - and it might get busy on weekends.
past Almahue towards Las Cabras S 34:17.75391
W 71:29.85855
  Possible spot by river and bridge crossing (only used for lunch break). Relatively quiet country road (there's an amazing old hacienda the other side of the bridge), almost level, dusty.
south of Coltanco S 34:22.5943
W 71:9.01988
  Dry river bed below main road level, unfortunately used in sections to dump trash and rotten fruit. The main road is busy with truck traffic and a little too close, but everything else in this region is fenced in. Coming from the south you have to make a u-turn to get into the steep driveway going down to the river.
Algarrobo Crystal Lagoon S 33:20.73807
W 71:38.98178
large image available online Parking lot of the World's Largest Swimming Pool (unfortunately to get into the pool you have to be a paying guest of the resort, this lot is only for sightseers). Almost level sand lot, can be busy during day, but reasonably quiet o/n.
Pichilemu S 34:23.09624
W 71:59.91302
large image available online Empty lot by an open-air chapel, just up the road from Tourist Information (future development site?), overlooking a lovely lagoon with lots of wild birds. Almost level sand/dirt, quiet o/n.
opp. El Bolsico along K175
road to Siete Tazas Natl.Park
S 35:14.60976
W 71:10.54459
  Along Rio Claro between Molina and Agua Fria, there's a section of old road, overlooking the river, which was cut off when the new road was built. Almost level, semi-sealed surface, some strange iron sculptures standing around. In the day time and fine weather a popular swimming spot, totally quiet at night.
Pueblo Hundido S 36:2.43805
W 72:46.6658
large image available online Packed dirt lot at end of village, overlooking beach. Almost level, quiet o/n.
Coronel S 37:0.26527
W 73:11.2299
  Beach parking lot, almost level, quiet o/n. The morning we left fencing contractors moved in to fence off our parking spot, but there's is enough room to stand nearby. Read our report about the coal history of this region.
road from Cañete to P.N.Nahuelbuta S 37:48.41057
W 73:19.33365
  at Puente Pulebu: small gravel side road, tiny triangle after river crossing, almost level grass (and weeds), quiet o/n, some traffic noise from main road in the morning.
Lago Lanalue S 37:55.87257
W 73:19.66919
  Municipal Campground, right by the lake (the only spot to camp). Relatively cheap, but too low trees and too many people (early January) for our liking = we didn't stay. More suitable for smaller vehicles up to van size of tent campers.
north of San Ramón
parking lot next to road
S 38:7.19833
W 73:23.43013
large image available online We used this place twice, the second night we went onto the lot on top of the hill (for better mobile reception), which is a little further from the road and less exposed. Level gravel lot with a group of Mapuche wooden Chemamull poles (like totem poles). Some traffic noise from lumber trucks starting early, yet quiet o/n.
near Puerto Choque
open field
S 38:11.52351
W 73:22.01615
  Above Lago Lleullen. Large, almost level paddock, away from road. Quiet. The second day a local farmer approached us saying this wasn't a safe location (who knows why?).
There are many commercial campgrounds around this lake - the ones we saw were too crowded and had many low trees, making it impossible for us to get in…
outside Puerto Dominguez
look-out next to road
S 38:54.46655
W 73:15.40741
large image available online Large packed dirt lot next to road, parking for look-out over fields towards the lake. Not quite level. The view is beautiful, the breeze just right, and over night there's no traffic. We could have easily stayed two nights, only our fridge was empty… Very good mobile reception too.
between Mehuín and Mississippi S 39:26.63561
W 73:13.14056
  In dunes near the new bridge, windy but otherwise quiet (some dirt bikes playing in the dunes during the day). Almost level sand and dust.
There are two unappealing campgrounds in Mehuín.
Estacionamento "Rio Blue"
General Lagos 901
S 39.81927
W 73.25000
(reading from friends)
large image available online 6,000 Pesos for 1 day and night = 24 hours guarded parking = bargain!
For a city location quite nice and cheap. Don't know how long this parking lot will be around for, as there was a real estate 'For Sale' sign on the property...
It's actually a beautiful spot, right on the bank of the river, only 3 blocks to walk to the tourist information in centre of town. Basically fairly quiet o/n, the parking lot gets locked up after 9 or 10pm, the guard hands you a key in case you want to stay out later (how's that for convenience?). There's a tap with water near the gate house, but otherwise vehicles need to be fully self-contained with own bathroom! Bit bumpy gravel lot, but you can get level, good breeze and in several spaces a nice view across the river.
We were unlucky on our second night. Basically the place is quiet after 10 or 11pm, but we stayed from Friday to Saturday as well, and a group of people partied on their river front terrace, right next door, into the wee hours of the morning…
Niebla village parking lot on hill S 39:52.4726
W 73:23.70117
large image available online This is not at the beach, but a large lot to the left of the road when you enter the town. Most likely busy and parking charge during peak holidays, we visited mid January and had no problems. Overlooking fishing boats down in the river, lovely view to islands and river bank across from Niebla. To get to a beach walk down the road to the left of the few shops (not very far). Almost level, surprisingly quiet over night on a weekend.
Lago Ranco S 40:19.2856
W 72:29.18664
large image available online Still one of our favorite spots (mostly because a grassy camping spot is so difficult to find, but read on): between beach road and the lake on a small grassy knoll with 3 or 4 trees. Some other cars park here during daytime, but nobody seemed to mind our presence, rather the opposite: people were very friendly, we talked with the neighbours and were invited by a German livng in the area for an evening drink on their verandah. Not 100% level, but okay, some traffic in daytime hours, quiet over night, distant roosters in the morning. Walking distance into the town (though all uphill), strong reception for mobile internet. We filled our water tank once at the carabinieros down the road near main beach.
Grass, shade trees to put table & chairs under, friendly people, good internet, lake front = what more could one ask for?
Playa Riñinahue at Lago Ranco S 40:18.24084
W 72:13.58414
large image available online East side of Lago Ranco, a wide bay with very little parking. Coarse dark lava pebbles and sand. Parking behind shrubs which block the view. Large and smelly dumpster container for trash nearby, not very level, dusty. Access road is steep in parts and was very badly corrugated when we visited (I used 4WD to get up the hill.) Nice sunsets…
We found that the north side of Lago Ranco is relatively uninteresting as far as beach access goes! What's not farming land can be divided into 2 categories: beaches with no parking other than cars lined up right along the road, or monster parking lots with charge, where 1000s congregrate on the weekends and during holidays…
RN 215, km89
road from Osorno to border with AR
S 40:39.34181
W 72:11.36765
large image available online Next to Capilla Santa Teresa, a cute wooden church. Bumpy grass lot, which was freshly mowed when we stayed. The border is only open from 8 to 8, so there's hardly any traffic o/n.
Further up the road you will find more places to pull off the road. Between km90 and km91 there is a National Park campground.

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

6. Chile, north of Santiago

  [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Chilean PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Finding a suitable place to stay overnight in Chile, without paying, can sometimes be difficult as most land is fenced in - right to the edge of the road. It's a little easier along the coast, as beaches are public land, and in the desert of the far north.
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
outside Casablanca
empty lot
S 32:20.64034
W 71:23.51257
large image available online Large empty lot, close to new sub division (future expansion?), next to Ruta F-74-G. Some trash, not bad though. Difficult to get in, otherwise easy to get around and find a level spot away from road. You could hide a tent here too.
parking lot near navy base
S 33:1.28677
W 71:38.77762
large image available online Paved parking lot overlooking the ocean, bays are small, we had to use two to get almost level. Some street lights. Surprisingly quiet o/n, except on weekends.
When you walk up the road you reach the main gate of a cemetary from where there are direct buses into town (marked Cemetario #3 for return trip). We didn't use this option as we were unsure about daytime security at this parking lot.
(main road)
S 33:2.85439
W 71:26.79932
Gasco fuel station After I was refused at Lipigas in Viña Del Mar (no sweet talking helped) I was desperate, so I drove towards Villa Aleman to fill my empty cylinder. No problems here, except that cylinder was certainly not filled to 100%. A bit off the beaten track, not so much of a detour on way to/from Santiago.
Ciudad Abierta south of Ritoque
parking lot at beach
S 32:53.67531
W 71:30.41382
  Fee $1,500! Trashy lot, squeezed in between dirt bike track and railway line. The only reason to use is to visit the Ciudad Abierta (see our blog post). Quiet o/n except 3 or 4 slow moving trains; these transport material back and forth from the copper smelter in Quintero.
Playa Ritoque
parking lot at beach
S 32:49.63898
W 71:31.7244
  Sandy parking lot, almost level, not much salt spray from ocean. Popular surf beach. Very quiet o/n, can be busy on weekends and public holidays - then charges for parking (but none weekdays!). Zero supplies in town, there is a small beach café (sporadically open). As we found out on March 1, 2015 no space during peak summer holidays!
empty lot on hill
S 32:43.13713
W 71:29.29642
  Empty lot with left-over frame of some old stall, some trash around. Almost level, thoroughfare for locals heading on foot for the main road, quiet o/n. (Problably not the most secure place, but we enjoyed this quirky little town.) There are several commercial campgrounds in Horcón; at the first we were greeted by rooster (a no-no for us).
Punta Puyai
S 32:29.91257
W 71:26.11313
large image available online This spot is only good out of season, avoid during summer holidays or on long weekends! Dirt parking lot in a cul-de-sac close to sandy beach. Nice view (although between apartment buildings), I photographed some amazing sunsets, very quiet over night, some construction noise during daytime hours. The ocean here is calmer than in Maitencillo or Pichicuy, hence less salt spray. No services, no shops near by, not suitable to pitch a tent.
end of beach
S 32:20.71838
W 71:26.9069
large image available online Drive all the way (to the left) through town to reach this remote part of the beach. Parking on hard sand (and some wild flowers) behind dunes. The surf here is very strong, so the dunes don't provide much protection from salty sea spray! Quiet most of time, occasionlly playground for dirt bikes. Good mobile reception. Most of the time I shared the spot only with grazing horses. Roughly 2 kilometers walk into the village for some basic shopping.
between Pedegua and Caimanes S 32:2.66755
W 71:9.42719
large image available online One of the few spots to get off this road after the "Tunel Las Palmas", not quite level, but a good distance from the road. This is a short way (maybe 200 metres) uphill before Puente Don Gonzalo. Quiet o/n, traffic stops soon after dark. Rocky ground, but you could probably pitch a tent here…
north of La Ligua de Cogoti S 31:1.6032
W 71:3.13614
large image available online Directly north of the bridge and village, turn north towards the embalse, which was dry when we visited, so we stayed close to the bridge on a level dirt lot. Otherwise you could drive further down the track towards the edge of the water. Good breeze, but still rather hot. Very quiet o/n, in the morning an excavator came past.
La Serena
Ruta 43 south
S 29:58.02052
W 71:15.90546
Lipigas Along the road to Ovalle, in the industrial estate of La Serena: large gas plant with attached gas filling station for vehicles (we currently get our cylinders filled at these, although the bottles are never quite fully filled).
La Serena none!   We don't have a real recommendation for La Serena, as it is one of these towns with rapid real estate development. Most "officially listed" camping places along the beach are now gone, replaced by new condominiums. Two words of advice: it seems the beach front is also the party mile! We had a reading, from some other travellers, of a parking lot along the waterfront with the attached warning to expect loud music in the middle of the night. Well, we didn't choose that one, but a rather uninviting dirt lot up the road, and we were woken up by loud music at 3am on a Wednesday. Our second night, spent near a road one block in from the beach, wasn't much quieter. We finally ended up parking on a large vacant lot half way between town and beach. So our second advice: drive around, look for some accessible development land between Ruta 43, Ruta 5, and the beach road, but stay well away from the beach. As all land seems to be developed rather quickly locations will change as quickly…
Valle de Elqui
Gualliguaica near Embalse Puclaro
S 30:0.56786
W 70:48.91113
large image available online This is across the river valley from the main road, the turn off is sign-posted. The spot is actually part of the water reservoir, but chances are slim that the water level will ever be that high. We got stuck in Vicuña due to bad weather causing landslides, so we went back several times - we just loved this spot! Nice view, absolutely quiet, never felt disturbed or felt like we might disturb anyone. Watch the goats grazing, the horses run around, sunsets over the observatory. If you go a bit a further in you could probably pitch a tent here… We needed to block up the truck a bit with rocks laying around to get level. That we had good cellphone reception made online work possible.
Valle de Elqui
Montegrande behind church
S 30:5.64182
W 70:29.64752
large image available online We loved the atmosphere of the upper part of Valle de Elqui, but in Pisco Elqui we couldn't find any level spot (too hilly), and further on the roads got a bit too narrow for Berta. So we finally turned around and stayed o/n in Montegrande behind the church. This was actually suggested by locals, and the neighbours in the street were very welcoming, even asking if we needed anything (like water). Not perfectly level, but okay. Fairly good ENTEL mobile reception. Unfortunately a few stray dogs barked a few too many times o/n, but overall a pleasant spot, in the middle of the village, away from traffic. Please be on best behaviour (no noise, no rubbish) and don't spoil this location for others…
Av. Radomiro Tamic
S 23:36.11023
W 70:23.11569
Lipigas Another Lipigas fuel station where it was no problem to get our cylinder refilled with our own ACME connector. A little north is a second GLP station on a street corner where we once filled with water; the second time we were refused to top up.
S 23:36.24413
W 70:23.26767
large image available online Earth roads in the north of Chile are getting hardened by spraying salt water on their surface; as soon as you drive them in wet conditions your vehicle will be covered in salt crystals. This was the only truck wash we found in the north. Not cheap to wash: $40,000, but they did a very thorough job. Also a recommended business to get an oil change and grease service done (both were reasonably cheap).
North from La Serena we didn't take any more camping readings as we found it easy enough to pull off the road wherever we wanted (okay, sometimes you have tor drive 10 kilometers until the right spot presents itself)...

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]

7. Uruguay

 [$ = all prices (if mentioned) in Uruguayan PESOS --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
We didn't spend much time here this time. Overall Uruguay has become expensive for our budget…
Attention: fuel is very expensive in Uruguay (more than in most of Europe); Diesel prices are almost double that of Argentina and Brazil, so come with a full tank.
Town / Campsite GPS Photo Link Our Impression
north of Salto S 31:13.94279
W 57:56.75912
large image available online Small eucalypt forest right by the shore of Rio Uruguay. Some shade, some open grassy bits. Good breeze, fishing, tenting possible. Reasonably quiet overnight, but on weekends don't expect to have the place to yourself! Out of town along fairly decent gravel access roads.
RN3, Parque Bartolome Hidalgo
half way between Young & Trinidad
S 33:7.96074
W 57:10.32692
large image available online A REAL FIND! One could easily spend a week here! Shame we came through here on our way from the border crossing with Argentina; to comply with quarantine our fridge was almost empty (though nobody checked)… Large, well kept park on an island in the middle of an enormous waterway. Grassy areas, shade trees, beach, decent toilet facilities, some power outlets, a small zoo, playground equipment — kids would love it here. Best of all: it's free and you can save some money by staying here, as the road through the park bypasses the only road toll peaje for several hundred kilometers!
Bring supplies of everything as it is rather far to the next decent shopping!
Rio Gas
S 34:51.06262
W 56:16.41884
Small gas filling station Bring enough time as they will not fill your gas bottles immediately! They have adaptors to fill foreign cylinders.
north of Punta del Este
Sculpture Park on Ruta 104
S 34:51.94199
W 54:49.23981
large image available online TIP & free admission: a foundation by world famous sculpture artist Pablo Atchugarry. If you're interested in art this will be a nice place to visit. We dedicated a blog post to this sculpture park.
Punta Del Diablo
boondock by beach
S 34:2.45705
W 53:32.40372
large image available online Small bumpy parking lot overlooking beach. Outside season, so it was quiet over night. Some sea spray, no shade. Punta Del Diablo is still a rather quirky little town by the beach, not that much development happening (yet)…

[ ^ Back to Top! ]    [ dare2go Main Page ]