8 Stunning Sites to Go Camping in South America
Camping in South America under the night sky is a magical way to connect with the great outdoors. Sleeping under a canopy of stars is a mystical experience.
The continent is full of vast deserts and plains, spectacular volcanoes, lush rainforests, and stunning coastlines. Its diverse and picturesque terrain makes it perfect for campers.
Read this post to explore several awesome camping spots in South America, from glamping in relative luxury in Venezuela to wild camping in Patagonia where all you need is a tent, sleeping bag, and provisions.
8 Spectacular Places to Go Camping in South America
Wild camping in South America is fantastic for rugged adventurers. Or perhaps a less rustic glamping experience is what you’re after. This list has something for everyone.
Be sure to pack cash, insect repellent, sunscreen, comfortable athletic clothes, a sweater, swimwear, and a camera.
Hand-picked for you: A Vocabulary Guide: Going Camping in Spanish
1. Tatacoa Desert
Location: Villavieja, Colombia
The stunning Tatacoa Desert is a one-of-a-kind adventure for camping in Colombia, South America. Five hours from Bogota and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) east of Villavieja, the Observatorio Astronómico de la Tatacoa (Tatacoa Astronomical Observatory) offers rustic campsites with gorgeous surroundings.
Tatacoa is a special place to contemplate the night sky. Visitors come to camp and spend the night in contact with nature. Catch a glimpse of the colorful local fauna including birds of prey, hares, and foxes. Campgrounds and wild camping are your options at Tatacoa.
2. Tambopaxi Lodge
Location: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
Want to camp and commune with one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world? Just two hours south of Quito, this hostel and campsite sits at the foot of majestic Cotopaxi in the verdant Andean grasslands. The area is home to wildlife such as the Andean fox, white-tailed deer, and spectacled bears. Camping here costs about $16 per night (including breakfast).
Because of the high altitude, the nights and mornings are chilly, so pack layers. In addition to the Tambopaxi Lodge, the national park offers several free rustic camping sites. If you choose this option, be sure to arrive before the national park closes at 3:00 pm. The park is two hours’ drive south of Quito.
3. Sol y Luna Eco-Lodge
Location: Coroico, Yungas, Bolivia
Until 2006, Bolivia’s Yungas Road had dangerously narrow stretches and was also known as “Death Road.” Today, however, it offers travelers safe passage to the tranquil Sol y Luna Eco-Lodge in a sub-tropical cloud forest. It takes 3 hours to get there from La Paz.
The campsite’s vast garden is full of walking trails and excellent for birdwatching. They have a garden camping area, two swimming pools, a restaurant, Wi-Fi, and a yoga and meditation studio.
This well-equipped camping option is just under three hours’ drive from La Paz. Note that the campsite often closes during the rainy season from January to April.
4. Camping Quinta LaLa
Location: Cusco, Peru
Located in the Reserva Ecoturistica Privada Llaulipta (Llaulipta Private Ecotourist Reserve), this basic and economical camping area attracts campers with 4×4 vehicles and tents. It’s quiet, a safe place for RV camping, and just a stone’s throw from Cusco.
Head here after exploring Peru’s famous colonial city. Cusco is the former capital of the Inca empire! The owners of this ecocamp in Peru are happy to share their knowledge of local trips and logistics. They have long-term parking options here for Inca Trail trekkers or travelers who take the train to Machu Picchu.
5. Pousada and Camping Santa Clara
Location: Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
The Pantanal is the largest wetlands on Earth and a biodiversity hotspot. This campsite is a superb base for exploring the region and spotting its fascinating wildlife, including caiman, capybara, jaguars, and many exotic birds.
Camping Santa Clara offers package options including meals and safari trips. Beware that flooding is a common occurrence during the wettest months of the year, February and March.
6. Camping Las Torres
Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
If you want to go wild camping in Patagonia, this is the place for you. It’s a large, pristine area with 150 campsites. It’s close to the trailhead to the park’s three namesake torres (towers). From here, hikers can go on a 5- to 7-day “W trek,” which is dotted with several free and low-cost campsites.
Camping Las Torres provides shared bathrooms, hot showers, drinkable tap water, and road access. They rent equipment including tents, sleeping bags, and insulation mats. Bringing along a camp stove is key, as open fires are banned. The Laguna Amarga park entrance is open from mid-September through April.
7. El Chaltén
Location: Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina
One result of the 1985 Chile-Argentina border dispute was the town of El Chaltén. It’s close to an impressive saw-tooth Andean mountain range. This is a radical site for the most extreme and experienced climbers. Three authorized campsites exist along the park’s longer trails: El Relincho (the neigh), El Refugio (the refuge), and Lago del Desierto (Desert Lake).
El Chaltén is Argentina’s National Trekking Capital. Its 18 hikes range from several hours to several days. If you go in the winter, get ready for snowshoeing, ice climbing, and other winter sports. However, the campsites are closed in the winter. The village also has hostels and hotels.
8. Glamping La Cepa
Location: Barbacoas, Venezuela
Nature meets glamor at this lovely site in Venezuela. La Cepa can accommodate your small to medium-sized group in two A-frame tents, a 4-bedroom cabin, and a funky western wagon. It’s just a couple of miles from the Cascada del Vino (Wine Waterfall), in the cozy village of Barbacoas.
They also have an area for extreme explorers with hiking, bicycles, games, and a campfire area. Their rates include private transport, 3 meals a day, horseback riding, guided tours to Wine Waterfall and Cave Peonia, and bonfire night.
Learn Spanish Before You Go Camping in South America
Imagine stretching out under the night sky at any one of these gorgeous and unique campsites, observing magnificent flora and fauna by day, and disconnecting from the rush of the modern digital world.
Being fluent in Spanish makes travel to South America not only simpler but also more meaningful. And did you know that being bilingual also improves your cognition and decision-making abilities? Sign up for a free 1-to-1 class to practice your conversational skills in preparation for your South American camping adventure! Here at Homeschool Spanish Academy, our friendly, certified, native-speaking teachers are ready to help you improve your Spanish today!
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