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Hiking - South America

Good Afternoon,

My wife and I are thinking about taking a hiking trip to South America. We would not have a car and would have to use local transportation, also my wife needs to eat gluten-free so we usually get self-catering lodging when we travel.

Any suggestions for a town to use as a base for hiking?

I would be looking for the safest possible options as we have never traveled to South America.

Thank you,

Posted by
12953 posts

Looks like you have expanded your search.

We did a hiking trip in Patagonia last March, and it was fantastic. Probably our favorite hiking trip, for scenery, terrain, lodging and food. We hiked in both Chile and Argentina. We went on a guided trip with Mountain Travel Sobek as we were able comfortable driving, and the public transport is logistically difficult. The guides and arrangements ( lodging, meals, transport) were all excellent and we felt it was worth the extra we paid over an independent trip.

I am gluten-free and the guides were very attentive to my needs, even choosing a pizza restaurant that offered gluten-free crust for one lunch. For picnics my sandwiches were always made with gluten-free bread, and it was much better bread than I can find in the US.

This is the trip we did:

Posted by
315 posts

Lola, thank you for the reference.

Posted by
6857 posts

The Footprint country guides are quite good for South American countries. South America is so vast, it's hard to recommend a single town. I've done a lot of research on Ecuador and there are plenty of hiking options right outside Quito and Cuenca (home of lots of gringo expats). The big upside of Ecuador is that it's a very compact country with an immense variation of biodiversity (lots of different bird species, landscapes, etc) which makes for interesting hikes. And the temperatures in the mountains make hiking easier (I prefer cooler temps). Check out an Ecuador country guidebook; you'll probably get overwhelmed with choices.