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Packing advice for Chile in November

Hi everyone! I'm going to Chile for 9 nights in early November. We will spend 4 nights in San Pedro de Atacama doing various desert excursions, and 5 in Santiago. We expect to do day trips to wine country and Valparaiso, and maybe some hiking. I think it will be in the 70's during the day in San Pedro, but maybe as low as 40's at night and even colder on some of the excursions. In Santiago it will be more like 80-85 during the day.

I'm mostly concerned about shoes. I know that I will bring my ankle high hiking boots for the desert. Usually I'd also bring sneakers for walking in a city, plus Birkenstocks - I have silver metallic ones that will go pretty well with a dress for going out, so they do double duty as sandals and slightly dressier shoes. I don't think we'd go anywhere fancy enough that I couldn't get away with these shoes, but someone please let me know if I'll get laughed out of a decent restaurant. (In NYC I pair my metallic Birksenstocks with nicer outfits all the time.) I want to limit it to three pairs of shoes, so I could sub in sport sandals or something for sneakers maybe. I could also sub in ballet flats for the Birks, but they would be much less versatile because I can use the Birkenstocks to walk in all day, as an alternative to the sneakers in Santiago. The sandals are also better for things like using a pool.

I don't want fewer than 3 sets of shoes under any circumstances, as my feet are FUSSY and changing things up helps. Do not suggest that I bring even fewer. But I don't want to bring 4 either. I just want confirmation that hiking boots, sneakers (I have very supportive metallic Ecco sneakers that I could wear with a dress to a laid-back type of restaurant!) and my fancy Birks will cover me.

I was also thinking of getting a tri-climate coat like the one Columbia makes, but I'd bring something lighter like a denim jacket to wear in Santiago in the evenings over a dress when I go out. If anyone has been to the Atacama desert around this time of year, I'd appreciate input on what kind out outerwear I might need for the town at night and the usual set of excursions. We'll be staying in a hostel in San Pedro, but with our own room and an en suite bathroom. Santiago accommodations are TBD.

Other information - I try to pack light but I'm probably a moderate packer compared to the light packers on this forum! I am fairly fashionable and I like options, aside from my foot fussiness that requires changes of shoe. I definitely want to bring one carry on bag, though.

Posted by
2 posts

I was in Santiago in June, and found that most people dressed very casually.
The three pairs of shoes you have chosen will be fine.
I would suggest that you take a fleece or merino jacket, as both the seaside towns and mountain deserts can be cold at night, even in summer.