Complete Guide to Planning an Adventure Elopement in Chile

Adventure Elopement in Chile: How To Plan???

Preposterously thin and unreasonably long, Chile stretches from the belly of South America to its foot, reaching from the driest desert on earth to vast southern glacial fields. Diverse landscapes unfurl over a 4300km stretch: parched dunes, fertile valleys, volcanoes, ancient forests, massive glaciers and fjords. There's wonder in every detail and nature on a symphonic scale. For a couple who loves adventure and traveling, it's mind-boggling to find this great wilderness so intact for your adventure elopement.

For ultimate guide to planning an adventure elopement in general, click the link below!

I/ How to Travel to Chile?

Flying to Chile

Chile's main airline LATAM, connects both Europe and the US with Chile. British Airways also flies to Santiago via Sao Paulo in Brazil, Air France flies from London via Paris, and Air Canada arrives from London via Toronto...

- Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL) is the main international airport near Santiago

- El Tepual Airport (PMC) near to Puerto Montt.

- Cerro Moreno International Airport (ANF) close to Antofagasta

- Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (PUQ) not far from Punta Arenas for elopement/wedding in Patagonia.

- Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ) in Iquique Carriel

- Sur International Airport (CCP) for weddings in Concepción.

- Temuco Airport (CPO)

- Chacalluta International Airport (ARI) is the closet airport to the border of Peru.

Travel to Chile with Trains

A service used to exist between Chile and Bolivia (although it was mostly used for freight). There is talk of reviving that line, although that may be years before it happens.

Driving to Chile:

Chile shares a northern crossable border with Peru and Bolivia, and Argentina is to the east. There are more than 30 border crossings accessible by road with Argentina, although in winter months many are closed due to snow.

The two most commonly used border crossings by road are the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores, also called Cristo Redentor, a breathtaking mountain pass in the Andes between Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, Chile, reaching elevations of 3,200m (10,500ft) and including some intense switchbacks.

The other popular crossing is the Pajaritos crossing (also known as Paso Cardenal Antonio Samoré) between Villa La Angostura, Argentina and Osorno, Chile.

Many border crossings are paved highways, although some, especially towards the far south of Chile or the far north in Atacama, are gravel roads. Many are not accessible by public transportation, and close for the winter due to snow. It's best whenever possible to check ahead of time with either the nearest tourism office or border police office to make sure that the crossing is open.

Travel to Chile by boat:

Shipping lines such as Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica (CCNI) ( and Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) (from New York and European ports) ( operate in Chile.

Cruise Ships

Several towns on the coast are now regular stops in cruise company itineraries. Princess ( and Norwegian Cruise Line ( are both cruise ship lines that make stops in Chile. Valparaíso ( is the most popular stop.


Cruce Andino ( runs between Bariloche, Argentina and Puerto Varas, Chile. While not an actual ferry, small boats can be hired by Juana de Arco ( from Lago Puelo, Argentina to make a water crossing, but they drop passengers off at the Chilean border – most travellers continue on by foot.

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II/ Which part in Chile to Elope?

1. Atacama Desert

– Expect to pay entrance fees to all parks. Tickets range from $3,000 CLP – $17,000 CLP per person.

– Regardless of the season you visit, pack clothes for hot and cold weather. It gets cold at night.

Places to Visit in Atacama Desert

Conveniently, the streets around San Pedro are essentially distributed in four cardinal directions. This makes it fairly easy to spend an entire day exploring attractions along a given route.

Each route offered opportunities to enjoy the unique landscape and abundance of wildlife including flamingos, vicunas, foxes, donkeys and more. The biggest challenge is choosing what to see from among the many beautiful sights on each of the routes.

Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon)

Death Valley

Laguna Baltinache

Salar de Talar

Laguna Miscanti

Lagunas Altiplánicas

Laguna Chaxa

Laguna Tuyajto

Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos

La Pacana Caldera 

El Tatio Geyser

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Time to Visit Atacama Desert

This lunar landscape is the driest desert in the world, where it rains an average of six days a year. Its hissing geysers, sprawling salt flats and otherworldly valleys dotted with magnificent amber cliffs are accessible year-round, with daytime temperatures mostly staying around 20°C thanks to the surprisingly high altitude.

The Chilean summer runs from December to February and offers warmer, sunnier weather during the day and the best conditions for observing the Milky Way at night. During this time, flocks of wild flamingos, scattered throughout the year over the salt pans, gather in large numbers. The resulting haze of magenta feathers against orange and purple mountains is spectacular.

During these summer months, the hot and sunny days and pleasantly warm nights attract many visitors. The clear skies are perfect for stargazing, with the milky way often visible.

18°C Average max daytime temperature
6°C Average min nighttime temperature
12 days per month rainfall
0 humidity

While temperatures drop a little, the climate remains pleasantly warm and autumn nights are cool in the desert. As the peak season is over, you’ll find fewer visitors at popular attractions.

16°C Average max daytime temperature
2°C Average min nighttime temperature
4 days per month rainfall
0 humidity

The days are shorter during the winter months, and while daytime temperatures remain pleasant, nights are often below freezing with possible snowfall in July. Though the desert is generally very dry, there is an increased chance of rainfall during the winter.
13°C Average max daytime temperature
-2°C Average min nighttime temperature
0 days per month rainfall
0 humidity

With fewer crowds than the high season and temperatures warming up, this is an ideal time to visit the Atacama.

17°C Average max daytime temperature
2°C Average min nighttime temperature
3 days per month rainfall
0 humidity

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Activities to Do in Atacama Desert

- Sandboarding in the Valle de la Muerte

- Mountain biking through the ochre-coloured Moon Valley

- Sunrise Hot air baloon tour to see Atacama from the sky

- Visiting and bathing in the lagoons

- Valle del Arcoíris and the nearby petroglyphs

- Stargazing Tour with SPACE (San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations)

- Visiting ALMA, a huge radio telescope and the most powerful observatory for studying the universe on the planet.

- Camping and hiking in the desert

- Drive out to Salar de Tara

- Chacabuco Nitrate Village

- Find The Flamingos At Laguna Chaxa at Sunset

- Wander Around The Death Valley (Valle de la Muerte) which is close to San Pedro de Atacama.

- Walk Around The Village Of San Pedro de Atacama

- Visit The Pukara de Quitor (Quito Fort)

- Visit The Oasis At Valle de Jere

- Take A Trip To Tocanao

- Drive Out To Rio Grande. Even though the small village of Rio Grande is quite out of the way (unless you’re visiting the Rainbow Mountains and the nearby petroglyphs)

- Have Lunch In Machuca. Machuca is so small the word ‘village’ is being overly generous to its size. More of a collection of shacks operating as a transport stop, and some small houses close by the maintain them, Machuca is found on the way to El Tatio Geysers.

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2. Torres del Paine National Park

Places to Visit in Torres del Paine National Park

Time to Visit Torres del Paine National Park

Activities to Do in Torres del Paine National Park

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3. The Lake District

Although not quite as wild as Chilean Patagonia to the south, Sur Chico and the Chilean Lake District is a region of the country that never fails to surprise and inspire those who venture here. Unlike the other regions of Chile, Sur Chico is an area of snow-capped volcanoes, pale green lakes and endless miles of pristine and ancient forests. Intermingled with this wondrous natural beauty are many interesting and quirky places to relax or just take it all in. For those looking for an adventure this is the place.

Stretching approximately 600 miles, from Conception in the north to Chiloe and the Chilean Patagonia in the south, the Lake District is without a doubt one of the most visually stunning areas in Chile and one of the first places we recommend to our clients. Broadly speaking, while the entire region is worth exploring further, most will head to either the adrenaline-pumping city of Pucon or the sleepy town of Puerto Varas and the world-famous Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales.

Places to Visit in the Lake District

Parque nacional Conguilli Villarrica Pucon Valdivia Lago Llanquihue Ojo de Caburgua Laguna Azul

Best Time to Visit the Lake District

Activities to Do in the Lake District

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5. Elqui Valley

The valley stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes and is known for its vineyards that produce wine. The Elqui Valley rises to over 2000 meters and is characterized by rolling hills, grasslands and stunning mountains. As well as the many trekking routes that spiral through the Elqui Valley, the valley is also home to several small, hidden villages.

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6. Easter Island

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7. Valparaiso

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8. Chiloe Island

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9. Lauca National Park

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10. Fjords of Chaiten

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11. Beagle Channel

The Beagle Channel cuts a course through the tip of South America, spanning an area from the Atlantic to the Pacific, passing through Chile and Argentina. For about two hundred and forty kilometers, the channel separates some of the larger southernmost Chilean islands from the mainland.

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12. Santiago

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13. Villa O'Higgins

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IV/ What to Pack for Wedding/Elopement in Chile?

For styling inspiration (aesthetic wise, elopement attires), you can check the two links above.

What else to pack? Of course it will depend on when are you going to visit but the essentials would be:    

- Warm Layers for chilly morning, evenings and nights: scarf, jumper, light down jacket...

- Layering & lightweight, earth-tone gears are the way to go.

- 3-4 T-shirts / 2 long-sleeve shirts / 1 sweatshirt or fleece jacket

- Waterproof rain jacket. 

- 2 pairs of cotton trousers/pants (with zip-off function would be the best)

- 3-4 pairs of socks, 3-4 pairs of underwear, Sport bra.

- Comfortable Shoes (hiking boots is recommended!), 1 pair of flip-flops or sandals (for wearing around camp)!

- Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen

- Toiletries & basic first aid kit (painkiller, other pills, bandage...)

- Chargers & right adapters, Powerbank...

- Passport, travel insurance...

- Functional clothing and merino socks to Patagonia Shorts and top for Atacama Desert

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V/ Chile Elopement Itineraries

The itinerary below is an example for a 2-3 day elopement in Atacama Desert.

Day 0
Land in Santiago de Chile. Connecting Flight to Atacama.

Day 1
Meet up/Dinner/Location Scouting

Day 2 
 - Early Morning Bath Session in Laguna Baltinache for soft light and to avoid the heat/the tourists - Early Afternoon Walk in Salar de Talar - Lunch/Afternoon Break - In the late afternoon/sunset: Cycling in La Pacana Caldera/Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos/Laguna Chaxa OR sandboarding in the dunes of Valle de la Muerte

Day 3 
- Sunrise: Hot air balloon tour in the Atacama Desert at dawn to see the magnificent landscape from the sky!

- After landing, having breakfast picnic in some nice location close to the landing location.

- Lunch/Afternoon Break

- Afternoon: Getting dressed, Prepping, Writing vow, First Look at the Hotel

- Later Afternoon: I have an idea of involving a horseback riding in your wedding outfits to the ceremony spot. The idea is that we go with the car from the hotel to somewhere close to the ceremony location, and from there do a short horseback riding (maybe 10-15 minutes with each of you on one horse) to the ceremony spot! I'm thinking of Valle de la Luna for the ceremony in the late afternoon for the perfect golden hour sunlight. Exact location needs to be decided, preferable somewhere in higher elevation with volcanoes in the background. Sun sets at 7:30pm so ceremony maybe at 5:30-6pm

- Couple Session after the ceremony

- Before & during Sunset: candlelight dinner (either in Valle de la Luna or the nearby Valle de la Muerte). We can ask the hotel to arrange chairs, table, prepare food, drink and some simple yet aesthetic decorations that fit into the setting and scenery.

For a general guide of how to plan an adventure elopement itinerary click the link below!

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VI/ Recommended Hotels/Resorts for Elopement/Wedding in Chile


For an ultimate wilderness retreat around the world list take a look at the link below!

VII/ Legalities

Can foreigners get married in Chile? Foreigners with any residence title or tourists can get married in Chile.

- Those who have residence in the country must present themselves with an identity card issued by the Civil Registry of Chile; If he is divorced, he must present a marriage certificate with the annotation of the divorce, which must be legalized by the consulate and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and if it comes in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the case of a foreign couple as tourists , they must go personally to a Civil Registry office to request an hour for the Manifestation and Celebration of the marriage. What do they need to complete the process? To request an appointment, they must present their identity document from the country of origin or valid passport, as appropriate. And also, deliver the information on at least two witnesses, over 18 years of age, who have a valid identity card. Like foreigners with residence, tourists must attend both the Demonstration and the Celebration, where they will receive their marriage certificate in Chile, with their two witnesses.

In the case of spouses (one or both) who do not speak the language, the civil marriage law in Chile for foreigners requires that they attend both the Manifestation and the Celebration of the marriage, with an interpreter. This translator, paid for by the bride and groom themselves, must be of legal age and must carry their current identity card.

VIII / Visa Policy of Chile

Holders of passports of the following 92 jurisdictions can visit Chile without a visa for up to 90 days (unless otherwise noted):
All European Union citizens
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados,  Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazi, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Vietnam.

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IX / Other things to Know Before Traveling to Chile

- Most people who haven’t been to Chile picture it like some poor country. This is not the case. Chile is actually the richest and most developed country in South America.

- All in all, Chile is as safe for traveling as Western Europe.

Chile has every possible climate represented from north to south: hot and cold, wet and dry, ice and fire, and the ever-present Chilean signature wind. Concerning the wind… it’s a big thing in Chile.

- Rent a car in every destination. Traveling by public transport is a lengthy and exhausting process.

- Buy a Prepaid SIM Card at the airport.

- In the cities you can pay by card, once you step out in the countryside, you’ll need cash. In most of the national parks, they accept the admission fee only in cash.

- You don’t need an international driving license. Tourists are allowed to drive with a valid license from their country for the duration of their visit.

- After O’Higgins, where the Carretera Austral ends, you would need to get on a ferry or plane to get further. Apart from that, driving in a car around Chile is super practical. Chile is basically a long, narrow strip of land with a motorway in the center, which means everything interesting is always within your range.

- Although the tap water in Chile's larger cities is generally considered safe to drink it has a high mineral content that can cause stomach upsets so it's safer to drink bottled water. If you're travelling outside of the major cities you definitely should not drink the tap water.

- Vegetarian options are often limited in Chile especially in smaller towns and remote areas.

- Due to the low wages in Chile, many workers depend on gratuities to make a living. Most restaurants will automatically add on a 10% service charge to your bill but, if the service has been particularly outstanding, there is no harm in leaving a little extra.

- The voltage in Chile is 220V. Sockets require plugs with three round pins in a line (with the middle one being an earth) and two-pronged European style plugs can also be used.

- Chile observes Daylight Saving from September to April. Chile Summer Time (daylight saving) is 3 hours behind GMT and Chile Standard Time is 4 hours behind GMT. Easter Island is 5 hours behind GMT during daylight saving and 6 hours behind GMP during Standard Time.

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