Camping in South America may not be on top of many people’s bucket-lists, but it is slowly climbing up in ranking. Being a newly-discovered tourism area, South America offers a freedom that its counterparts in Europe or even North America lack. Whether you feel like packing up a tent and starting wondering around, or you’re thinking of hiring a car or a motorhome, there are plenty of possibilities and choices awaiting for you.
The first one is in Colombia, a country that has recently become safer so, consequently, more attractive for tourists. Here, 4 km east of Villavieja, at the Observatorio Astronomico de la Tatacoa, you can camp out in the open, for one of the most spectacular views that South America has to offer. Once the sun has set, the rock formations turn pink and, as you raise your eyes to look at the sky, you will feel compelled by the enormous number of stars flooding the night-sky.
Another destination worth visiting is in Peru. Camping Quinta LaLa only has basic facilities however, it makes up for it by being quiet and secure. It is also within walking distance of Cusco, the astonishing former capital of the Inca Empire, and the most heavily touristed Peruvian city to this day. If you’re thinking of trekking or taking the train to Machu Picchu, you can safely park your vehicles here.
The next two camp sites that I will talk about are in Brazil, a country where tourism has been flourishing over the past few years. Camping Pousada Do Mundai in Porto Seguro, Bahia gained amazing reviews asa a motorhome park and campground. Aside from a superb infrastructure, it is next to the beach and also within close range of Bahia’s many other fine beaches.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous approach, exploring Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland is the best option for you. It is also the best place on the continent to spot Brazil’s wildlife, including capybara, jaguars, caiman and an amazing array of birdlife. In this case, you must visit Pousada and Camping Santa Clara in Corumba, Mato Grosso do Sul. The camping site offers also meals and safari trips.
Chile is a country that has developed an entire culture for camping. Both campsites and wild camping are widely encouraged among locals, as well as tourists so you won’t have a hard time finding a place to visit.
One example is Camping La Junta in Los Lagos, a campsite situated at the foot of giant granite domes in the Cochamo Valley, north of Patagonia. It is only accessible by foot or horse and it is a real haven for trekking and rock-climbing.
Another amazing one is Refugio y Camping Las Torres, situated at the start of the hike to the trio of peaks from which the Torres del Paine national park takes its name. It is a huge site with showers, drinkable tap water and road access. If you want to rent camping equipment, the owners do so, as well as the shops in Puerto Natales, 70 mile southwards.
Argentina is the last country that I am going to recommend for now, but it has such a stunning array of camping places and natural beauty that an entire article wouldn’t be enough. This is mainly caused by the locals that don’t only camp overnight, but will pitch up only for the usual family barbeque.
Probably the most beautiful site in this list, Camping Los Aleces in El Bolson, Patagonia occupies a stunning spot on the river Azul. It’s within walking distance of the trailhead for the Hielo Azul glacier and a network of mountain refuges. This little campsite also has a café serving hot drinks and snacks. If you intend to trek around, you need to register at the mountain office and they will offer you maps and other campsite lists.