Save or Splurge: Travel Options in Chile’s Five Diverse Regions – Part 5

Five Diverse Regions, One Country: Chile.

2,690 miles in length and no more than 112 miles wide, there are 5 distinct geographical regions in Chile, just waiting to be explored! Whether you’re on a tight budget or have some extra money to spend, these save and splurge ideas are sure to enhance your study abroad experience in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Follow us on a five part journey through the Norte Grande, Norte Chico, Zona Central, Zona Sur and Zona Austral.

Part Five – Zona Austral

The southernmost region of Chile is more commonly known as Patagonia. Originally used as farming land, the breathtaking land has shifted to accommodating the backpackers/hikers coming to see the sights. Keep in mind that with its location in the southern hemisphere the seasons are opposite of that in North America.  Winter runs from June to August, which for the Patagonia region means, rain. Many roads may turn up impassable, limiting your options for travel, so plan accordingly.


Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is the place to go for hikers looking for breathtaking views and prices that won’t break the bank. Allow Puerto Natales to be your home base for your exploration of the park. One of the most popular multi-day hike routes titled the “W” allows for you to see some spectacular views! Refugios (shelters) are available along the trail for a place rest overnight.

Photo by ISA Student Natalie Golden


Ok, I’ll admit that getting down south to Patagonia in itself is a good chunk of money, as airfare is required. Some things are just worth the money, and Patagonia is one of those things! While you’re down by Torres del Paine, I recommend just crossing the border into Argentina to visit the Parque Nacional de Los Glaciares. View the glaciers by land, buy tickets to get closer on a boat, or for the ultimate experience, spend the morning trekking on the glaciers!

Whether you choose to explore any or all of the diverse geographical regions of Chile, just know that you are in for an experience of a lifetime!

For more information about Chile, check out the ISA Chile website.

See more posts in the Save and Splurge series:

Part One – Norte Grande

Part Two – Norte Chico

Part Three – Zona Central

Part Four – Zona Sur


Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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