Terra Trekkers Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
January 10th, 2018 Wild camp close to a Oil Derrick

A nice little spot near an abandoned oil Derrick. Decent wind protection depending on the direction it's blowing. The only visitors we had were an inquisitive herd of guanacos.

December 29th, 2017 Parque Patagonia – Casa de Piedra

As previously noted, only parking for rigs (like our truck camper) was in the parking lot. The campground appeared to be closed and we weren't charged a fee. At this time, the only other campground was at the visitors center. Exceptionally windy.

December 27th, 2017 Rio Ibanez wild camp

A nice little spot if the water isn't too high. It was a little marshy getting out (Truck camper) but not too bad.

December 16th, 2017 El Truful

As others have indicated, it's visible to the road but there are so few cars going to the park that we felt quite comfortable.

December 15th, 2017 Parque Nacional Conguillío - parking by lake

We got permission to camp in the day-use area, which was deserted at night. The nearby campground was nice but an exceptionally tight squeeze for our pickup truck camper.

December 13th, 2017 Wildcamp

A lovely spot for the night, fairly well (although not entirely) hidden from the road (which doesn't have much traffic anyway). Little kids will need some supervision down by the rapids.

November 28th, 2017 Geotel Antofagasta

This is a large hotel that caters to industrial mining workers but they have a secure parking lot (no height restrictions), a fabulous breakfast, and good wifi. The clean and modern rooms were a nice change after spending significant time in Bolivia on the Lagunas Route.

It's right on the beach and our kids enjoyed exploring the tide pools. It's a 10 minute drive from the Jumbo Supermarket and restaurants along the waterfront.

They accept US dollars (which means they won't charge you the 19% tax) or US credit cards. Or you can pay in Chilean pesos. We paid $82usd/night for a room with a king bed. We're a family of four and the kids slept on the floor in their sleeping bags.

They do have a laundry service - but it was expensive so we didn't use it.

The breakfast was the best we've seen in 5 months of travel.

One note about the parking lot: No problem for cars, pickups, and motorbikes. Some areas are covered from the sun. The ramp down to the lot takes a sharp turn and may not be suitable for big rigs. We drive a big Toyota Tundra (with truck camper) and didn't have an issue but something longer might have difficulty.

We tried visiting the Chick-In Hotel (also mentioned on iOverlander) but didn't feel comfortable with the parking.

November 25th, 2017 Hidden Lagoon

Nice little spot away from all the jeeps. It was fun watching all the flamingos wake up and take flight the next morning. Some wind protection, depending on where it's blowing from. We still have a pretty wild night, thanks to the large gusts.

November 12th, 2017 Swiss Wassi Zorritos

Rates have gone up and while the place is nice, they charge adult prices for anyone age 3 and above ($25 sol for car + driver, and then $10 sol for each additional person) which makes it expensive for families. Also, wifi is decent close to the house but does not work farther afield. After the first night they kindly offered that we could move closer but we were already parked (and unpacked) so decided to stay put. They let us sit on the porch of the rental house as it was unoccupied and we were able to get a decent signal.

The beach was nice, the shower was blissfully hot, and it was a fine place to crash for a couple days after crossing the border.

November 11th, 2017 Quinta Valdivieso Balneario

A very nice spot and a truly lovely family. $5 per adult; our children were free. On the day we arrived (Saturday night at 6pm) they had closed so it works best to call ahead (0984536948) as we caught them when they were out shopping. Our kids loved playing with the animals(very friendly) and picking oranges for juice. We paid $3/person for a nice breakfast; they also had lunch and dinner options. Bring ear plugs for the road noise.

Nice level gravel area for parking with the pool, bathrooms, and soccer field close by. It's a good stopover between Quito and Guayaquil/Machala. Be aware that it took us longer going over the mountains than our GPS estimated (but we're pretty slow). Big rig friendly as there are no height restrictions on the gate It's a gem!

November 11th, 2017 CEBAF Ecuador-Peru Border

We also had to wait 4.5 hours in line to cross into Peru. We arrived around 2:30pm in the afternoon but the line was much shorter by the time we left (around 6:30pm). The border is open 24 hours, perhaps a very early or very late arrival time might be shorter?

There were four bus loads of (according to the agent) Venezuelan migrants that arrived that morning. We were told that they'd been waiting all day to be stamped into Peru.

The vehicle import permit was quick (20 minutes) and we bought insurance in the same building. (We'd cancelled our Ecuador TIP on the other side, as noted on ioverlander). The insurance rates are posted (we've included a photo) and was $10 for a month for our pickup truck.

November 10th, 2017 Condor Huayco - offical Camping area - free

A nice little place that was protected from the wind. There is an old fireplace (perhaps left over from a previous building?) but not sure of the park rules in regards to open fires. You can see the road (200 yards away) but there aren't many cars passing by and it's quite peaceful. Lots of birds, rabbits, deer, and wild horses.

There is a sign at the turn off that says: Camping Area so perhaps this is the other official overnight area. No facilities.

October 30th, 2017 Altamira

Nice flat grassy area with pretty views over the city. The road up is in exceptionally poor condition. Narrow and a bit hairy, especially at night. (we drive a Toyota Tundra with truck camper). Paid 40,000 for two adults and two children (ages 3 and 6). we didn't love that that the owner started spraying pesticides next to our campsite (and the kids) while eating breakfast but he ceased when we asked.

No wifi but good LTE reception. we stayed on a Sunday and it was quiet.

October 25th, 2017 cabanas las palmas

A hotel on the edge of town with secure gated parking. we paid 150,000 (cash, prices for cc were higher) which wasn't cheap but the parking was excellent and the room was huge (3 beds, fridge and decent wifi). breakfast for four people was and additional 25,000 total.

October 25th, 2017 Finca El Manantial, Vida Campestre Camp

What a lovely spot! We extracted our truck from the port in Cartagena late in the afternoon and Graham's property is about 50 minutes outside of town so it was a perfect place to spend the night. The breezes on the hill made it significantly cooler than Caragena, which was a welcome relief.

Our kids adored meeting all the animals; feeding the pigs and playing with the puppies was the highlight of their time in South America so far!

The spot was level and had plenty of room. We paid 35,000 for our truck camper. Thanks Graham, you provided a lovely welcome to South America.

October 23rd, 2017 San Rafael Waterfalls Parking Lot

It must depend on the particular guard if they'll let you spend the night. We arrived during daylight and the rangers at the National Park weren't keen to let us stay on the tiled drive so we moved a 100 meters up the road to the bus turn-around area. (pickup truck with camper)

October 23rd, 2017 flat terrain near San Rafel waterfall

This is technically the bus/overflow parking area for the national park. The rangers didn't want us staying down below in the main parking lot and suggested this place. We moved early the next morning so it wasn't an issue to be in the bus zone but they might ask you to move if parking areas are full.

Also, even though the rangers asked us to move here, they also said they weren't very happy with people camping just below the volcano as it was pretty active. So be aware that they may nix camping in the area altogether. We have a pickup truck with camper. Room for big rigs.

September 24th, 2017 Restaurante Turin - Camping & Jardines

It's just as beautiful as everyone says!! Flat grassy parking, beautiful gardens, and a playground for the kids. We arrived in a torrential downpour and were warmly greeted by the family. They gave us a few choices for camping since the grass (and driveway up to the main camping spot) can be a little soft during the rainy season. We were sorry that we left a few tire marks in their gorgeous lawn.

That said, it was also the most we've paid for a campground in three months of travel for our family of 4: $24/night. Adults were $8 and kids (ages 3 and 6) were half price, which is unusual, as we've found most campgrounds let kids in for free.

August 8th, 2017 Playa La Perla

Cute little beach with six palapas. Very small waves so perfect for kids. Watch out for small stingrays near the rocks (they were quite timid and swam away when we got close so probably not a huge problem).

August 7th, 2017 San Juan del Lago

A lovely place - wish we could have stayed longer. Arturo is a great host and our kids had fun roaming around with the other family that is currently staying there for an extended period. The showers were hot and the views over the lake unbeatable. There was a bit of noise from the highway but it wasn't bothersome. Make sure you use the coordinates listed here as you have to drive through town to get out to the site. A great spot. We went through in the wet season and had no problem on the road with our truck camper but I'd check first with Arturo (with a bigger rig) before driving in.

August 5th, 2017 Los Pinos RV Trailer Park

What a fantastic place. We paid $150pesos for a truck camper and no hook-ups (2 adults, 2 children). Plenty of space for the kids (and a friendly buddy Mateo to play with). The kids ate sugar cane and mangoes from the trees and swung in the hammocks. Spots are nicely shaded. Lovely family.

July 27th, 2017 Detour south of cabo pulmo

They're paving a 1 mile section of the road and the dirt detour road was hairy - definitely required 4wd for about 1/4 mile. The main road was mostly done; we anticipate this being a short term detour.

July 22nd, 2017 Fidel's El Pabellón RV-Park

Fidel's is a nice enough place - Fidel himself is a nice chap, but the park itself looking a bit tired. It's a massive flat sand parking lot with 3 palapas. Our palapa smelled of urine and needed to be swept/raked of garbage. The bathrooms are a bit far away but the water in the showers was plenty warm. Wifi, like most of Baja, was slow but mostly worked.

$10 USD/180 pesos for two people (one vehicle). Kids (ages 3 and 6) were free.

July 20th, 2017 Campo Archelon

Spent a nice evening here. The camp was quiet and the palapas were in excellent shape (freshly raked/cleaned). The tables were a huge plus. The kids enjoyed playing on the beach but didn't go in the water as it was rocky and we were told there were a fair number of sting rays in the shallows. They did enjoy picking through the tide pools the next morning (during low tide).

After sunset a vast number of teeny tiny bugs flocked into the camper (right through the bug screen); it was crazy. Fortunately they weren't the biting kind and we promptly turned off the light. Bathrooms were clean and in excellent condition. We would stay here again, but be wiser about the bugs in the future.

We rented a boat (and captain) for $150 USD/2500 pesos and went down to Playa Gringa to see the whale sharks. It was amazing watching them circle round at the surface to consume small schools of fish. It was the highlight of our time in the Bay. There is no ATM in town so plan accordingly.


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