After one month in Perú visiting friends and studying Spanish once again I entered Chile to begin my travel by bus to Santiago. From Arica it is somewhere between 25 to 28 hours in bus. I had three days to get to Santiago. I decided to slightly split up this travel with a stop in San Pedro de Atacama…the driest desert in the world. In order to start this bus trip I first took a 6 hour bus in Perú from Arequipa, where I used to live and where I spent a few days visiting friends. This was to arrive in Tacna where I could take a 40 minute bus which crosses the border and drops me off in Arica, Chile.
Once in Arica after a sweaty voyage and because it is summer here, I decided to make the most of my 5 hour wait for the connecting bus to Atacama desert and head to the beach!
I checked my bags, bought my tickets and went straight to the beach walking because I had been before. BEST IDEA EVER! The water was perfect, not as cold like it had been in Perú, the beach was not crowded, waves were not super strong, and there was a cheap shower at the beach I could use afterwards :D. Best welcome to Chile ever!
I ate and boarded the next bus, an 8 hr over nighter arriving in Calama only to switch buses. I slept most of the way. In Calama otro change of bus..this one much emptier so the driver invited me to share the cabin with him (this is nothing dirty…only the best view and a conversation). This ride was my first ever in the cabin…not sure that happens often…but view was desert of course…so nothing great…but experience cool!
Arrived at 9 am, straight to hostel with all my bags which by then had majorly increased since I was moving to Chile and not merely traveling. Two backpacks and a travel back pack plus a normal suitcase (haven´t used one of them in a long time). And Water!
Hostel full, luckily the guy had a friend with a hostel also available. From there I headed to plaza to book sandboarding and rent a bike…oh and find food! Within 1.5 hrs I was on my way cycling to Valle de la luna…..cool!
Sandboarding was evening so I was able to fit both in. The tour finished with sunset in the Valle….much prettier by sunset, so i was happy to spend it there…plus it included pisco! 😛 HAPPY! That was day Two Chile!
Day three was 21 hours in bus but ! had a panoramic seat…mind u not much to see. Slept well and arrived in Santiago March 3 in AM.
We wont talk much about the horrible taxi experience upon arrival just know that you should exit on the main street from the main bus terminal and that if quickly placed in a taxi IT IS A TRAP. Taxis are cheap so never pay what I did…ok GOT it, GOOD!
Nice to arrive with an apartment already lined up.