List of our Camp Sites -

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Please note: we were travelling with a FORD F250 Truck Camper, ~ 6.4m (22 feet) long, 3.17m (10.5 feet) high,
hence we didn't check all sites if they were suitable for really long or tall rigs.
GPS readings usually taken at the campsites (not at the entrance of the property).
Since we encountered some difficulties to find propane filling stations several locations are included.
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completed: 28. April 2009
ATTENTION: we have started a new CAMPING LIST for South America covering as of now, March 2015, our locations in Chile and Western Argentina 2014/15!
Get the new CAMPING LIST here! This is a work in progress as we are still on the road, so please check back for the latest version and additional countries. - Main Blog 2014/15 Colombia Ecuador
Peru Bolivia Chile North
Argentina North Paraguay South Brazil
Uruguay Argentina South Chile South
[ click the country name to jump to relevant section]


1. Colombia

  [$ = Prices in Colombian PESOS - current January-June 2008 --- Electricity: 110V/60Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
parking lot near convention centre
N 10°25.179'
not used! option - not used: public parking lot, fenced, by the bay, with 24 hour security (hourly charge). relatively quiet location near the historic centre of town, some traffic, but not excessive. good restaurants near-by, also some night clubs (noise?). not much shade, but some breeze, no facilities.

there's a second large parking lot near the navy museum - next to the round-about to Bocagrande (busy w.traffic). entrance road is full of tourist buses during the day. most parking bays are very short, some shade, good breeze, we filled here once with water (tipped the attendant).
Playa De Manzanillo near Cartagena
Beach restaurant
N 10°30.587'
$10.000 turn off the main highway to Baranquilla at km9, at the military post, and follow the road to its end. greedy pig of an owner, overcharging (also for food)! I had to get out of town, and only found this place along the beach - NOT recommended (see below for alternative location).
beach shelters used extensively during day time, very quiet over night. no shade, windy, and fine sand blows into everything. parking on sand (be careful: soft in some places), not very level. fair bit of trash, toilets so run down I didn't use them, no fresh water, no other facilities.
before Playa De Manzanillo
Palma Real on beach
N 10°30.587'
free turn off the main highway to Baranquilla at km9, at the military post, and then off the road to Manzanillo (see above) turn right into the dirt track at the sign pointing to Palma Real and the "Calipso" restaurant, keep straight. I had asked the restaurant owner if it was o.k. to stay, and he replied it was safe and quiet. he also offered us to stay at his place, get power and water, but too many closely planted palms and 5 dogs made me think better... we later talked with the very friendly neighbours, too, who even invited us for drinks!
beach sand is firm, almost moist, and easy to get level. very exposed and windy location, but we felt safe here. no shade, no facilities.
km8 Via Mamonal
N 10°19.188'
CARTAGAS to reach this place you basically have to follow the shoreline south, past all commercial ports like "Muelle El Bosque"... it's on the left hand side opposite a MOBIL refinery.
ATTENTION: looking to re-fill another bottle at Cartagas (at the now defunct plant) in Santa Marta I was told that all bottles are trucked in from Cartagena and this is the only filling station along the coast.
on the way to Playa Blanca
beach camping
N 10°13.442'
free the road is rough and very dusty. this little spot between the road and calm waters is shaded, but only half a car length off the road. decent breeze, quiet over night apart from a few stray dogs. I wouldn't have stayed but it was too late to reach the main land and find anything better. no facilities.

I went to Playa Blanca and didn't like it: you can't access the beach with any vehicle, so the only options are 1. to tent, or 2. stay above the beach in the dirty and dusty parking lot, for which you have to pay. I didn't like the beach much, very windy and crowded (Saturday). road is getting narrower and rougher the further along you go.
Santa Marta
off C. Ferrocarril
N 11°13.895'
Carrefour in "Ocean Mall" large supermarket, which has almost everything, but fairly expensive. in the mall you will find banks and internet cafés. outside are water taps in the lawn, where we filled our tanks several times (you need a tool). free un-locked WiFi, best on top floor in the food court area!
one night I even slept there, parked on the road behind the shopping mall, and it wasn't too noisy once traffic stopped around 11:00 (it started again at 6:00) - security around the mall is good with armed guards and dogs patrolling all night.
Hotel "Dolfin" parking lot
no reading $20,000 !! near the end of the beach road, narrow entrance, small parking lot (watch out for low tree branches). it was carnival and the town was packed - it was noisy almost all night, didn't get more than 3 hours of sleep. due to its central location it wouldn't be much quieter any other time of the year.
use of clean toilet, power from power point near office, there's a tap in the yard to fill water if needed.
parking lot
N 11°16.170'
$6,000 to reach this place you have to drive all the way to the end of the beach road (past the Hotel "Dolfin" listed above). I wanted to park near the fishing boats, but a local told me it wouldn't be safe and that I would be in the way in the morning...
roaming dogs barked almost all night, owners got up before 6:00 = not much sleep. paid parking lot, not very level, tree with low branches across the entrance, no facilities.

another option, not used: you could try up on the hill near the two football fields, where there are several hostels near-by. this is a quieter part of town with some decent breeze (and little shade). to reach it turn up the hill near the police station / speed bump at the entrance of town.
Tayrona Natl.Park
Gayraca beach
N 11°19.059'
free 1) 1) entrance fee to National Park is (for foreigners) $25,000 p.person + $8,000 for the vehicle.
first exit off the main road (coming from Santa Marta) into the Natl.Park, opposite a fuel station. road is in bad repair, but mostly sealed. driveway into property is dusty with a few trees you have to watch out for.
this was the nicest beach camping we found in Colombia; a local in Taganga had recommended this place. calm bay with a few fishermen's huts, one small restaurant which only opens sporadically... restaurant owner is very friendly. not many visitors during the week.
large lot with many trees, several being rather low, not very level. good shade and almost too much breeze, dusty. there's no power, no running water, so bring everything! but it's a very quiet place to relax and enjoy a safe swim! I stayed 4 nights (no repeat entrance fee).

the next bay down the road, Neguanje, is a lot more busy, with local tourist buses, many boats operating, the accompanying commerce and rubbish - for which they are asking an 'amenity fee'...
Tayrona Natl.Park
outside entrance
N 11°16.561'
free another time in Santa Marta we wanted somewhere quiet for one night and just drove up to the entrance gate (after closing hours - it's a good 10 kms from town), where we slept outside the gate in a parking lot - nobody seemed to mind.
no facilities, not quite level, but good breeze and very quiet over night (22:00 - 6:30)
near Los Najanjos
"Casa Grande" Camping
N 11°16.684'
$8,000 p.person right at the beach, far enough off the main road that you don't hear much traffic. surf is rough, creating lots of sea mist. some cocos palms and trees offer shade. decent breeze. a dozen simple cabins for rent.
popular over weekend with surfies tenting, but still quiet enough to sleep well. o.k.-ish bathrooms and cold showers. upon asking I was offered to get power from restaurant, but then I camped too far away.
"Hotel Chiriguana"
N 09°21.748'
took a room! it is hot in the interior low lands of Colombia (coolest o/n 27°), so after a long day of driving we took a room with private bath and a/c ($50,000). we created quite a spectacle in this little town, and we left with "Gracias Australianos - Los quieros mucho" written into the dust of our bonnet...
Chiriguana is a little off the main highway and a lot quieter than settlements along the main road.
near Rio Negro
on way to Bucaramanga
Balneario "Brisas Del Rio"
N 07°13.565'
free large property a little set back from the main highway (you hear more of the river than the road), in a bend of the river. very steep and rough driveway, but once down lots of level space, some with decent shade under mature trees, some on grass. once again a very friendly owner, this one with 14 dogs!
water, o.k. toilets, cold showers, probably could have got power, too (didn't ask - it was free after all!).
next to Police station
N 07°04.191'
not used! large walled parking lot in walking distance to historic town centre. almost level, road doesn't seem too busy, and you could get a bit away from it... we only parked here for the day.
some breeze (when we visited), and toilets (which we didn't check out).
near San Gil
km 5 north of town
Balneario "El Condado"
N 06°34.223'
$10,000 p.person turn into dirt road almost opposite the petrol station (there's a tiny yellow sign under a tree), across a narrow bridge, through the arched gate (decent clearance) which looks like a castle from the middle-ages. camping in the grassed parking lot, not very level, hardly any shade. a fair bit of truck noise from nearby highway, almost all through the night.
o.k. recently renovated toilets, cold showers, power with looong extension from gate post, option to fill with not very clean water.
between Socorro and Santa Ana
Restaurante "El Ganadero"
N 06°05.233'
free w.dinner roughly mid-way between Bucaramanga and Tunja. this restaurant sits right next to the highway on a small crest overlooking the country side. it got late and the options were limited (better options just south of Barbosa on road to Tunja). we parked in the back of their property, near their hotel rooms, but traffic noise was still disturbing our sleep. the meal, 2 large grilled trouts, was excellent, and at $35,000 incl. drinks for 2 not too expensive!
level parking on packed dirt/gravel, use of clean toilets, probably could have got power since there are power points outside the rooms...
north of Barbosa
(~80 kms from Tunja)
N 05°57.815'
GASAN propane filling station right on main highway (unfortunately closed on Sundays - we needed propane).
Villa De Leyva
(or Villa De Leiva)
just north of town
Camping "San Jorge"
N 05°38.922'
$7,000 p.person try to find the by-pass (Av.Circonvolar, left just before the bus station) around the historic centre, which has roads that are narrow and roughly pebbled. property is left off the road down a gravel driveway (opposite bomberos / fire station). camping in grassed parking lot (might get muddy after heavy rain), not quite level (can be levelled out), no shade, but cool o/n. palapas, fire pits, blissfully quiet over night (some dogs and roosters in the distance), but busy during main holidays.
we got power (w.our extensions) from one of the palapas, water near the house, nice and impressively clean new toilets, hot showers, and some laundry tubs.
Villa De Leyva
Calle 10 8-27
N 05°37.884'
Lavenderia Milán not many people in Villa De Leyva seem to know this modern laundry - good but pricey!
on the way into town near the hospital (easy parking)
Bogotá [no reading] free in front of friends' house - not recommended for general use! small barrio near the airport, noisy planes during day time, surprisingly quiet o/n. no services, but safe area.
Electro Reparacíon Diesel
Cra. 51 131-97
N 04°43.072'
recommended mechanic modern, well equipped and clean workshop, the friendly co-owner Oswaldo Arcila (Cellphone: 317-440-8657) speaks good English and is very helpful.
northern end of city not far from the Autopista
Lizarautos Ltda. in Calle 131
(don't have No., rhs. just before Cra.51)
N 04°43.065'
LANDROVER mechanic around the corner from Electro Reparacíon Diesel; we don't know much about this place except that during our stay it was always busy with local Landrovers and Range Rovers (plus some exotics: I even noticed a Steyr Pinzgauer in their garage), and Oswaldo (see above) says these guys are good...
Calle 18a 50-98
N 04°37.950'
PROGAS propane filling station relatively close to city center, open 8:30-12:00/12:30-17:00/Saturdays 15:00.
south bound off Carrera 50, turn right at MOBIL station.
near Puerto Lopez
Hotel "Luna Roja" & Camping
N 04°06.175'
$17,000 p.person !!! recommended by friends, but we couldn't talk ourselves out of paying this "gringo price", so we stayed only one night... property on hill next to "El Corazon de Colombia" (obelisk) overlooking the countryside. cabañas and nice day-use pool. constant truck traffic (engine brakes) from before day break until after dark, quiet o/n.
camping on slopey paddock, difficult to get level, absolutely no shade, but some breeze. use of o.k. toilets, pool, and outside showers (no privacy!). for the price not even access to power or water (we asked)!
near Villavicencio on road to Puerto Lopez
Balneario "La Casona"
N 04°05.833'
$5,000 p.person just off the main road, which you still can hear. swimming area built into the river, water w. high mineral content is supposed to be healthy. friendly owners.
camping on relatively level grass under some trees for shade, use of swimming area, basic toilets, enclosed cold shower (w. river water), and power from bar.

we have the impression that it should be easy to find camping options in the Llanos since the area is geared very much towards local tourists from Bogotá.
between Restrepo and Cumaral
Camping "De Camino"
N 04°16.119'
$7,000 p.person right on the main road, though behind a wall, so noisy during day, but not much traffic over night. camping on grass, almost level, under some large mango trees.
access to ensuite style bathroom w. clean toilet and cold shower, electricity from power points outside the cabañas, water here comes straight out of a river
Santa Maria
Balneario "El Peñon Del Lago"
N 04°51.745'
$5,000 if you want to take this route: the scenery is stunning, but the road is poor (part dirt, part potholed tar, very windy). balneario at edge of sleepy hill side town, no place to get level (nose way up), but quiet (apart from stereo and TV in balneario).
could have used the large and clean pool (too cool), use of old, but o.k. toilets and cold showers (which we didn't use either). we didn't ask for power.
Embalsa de Neusa
north of Zipaquira
N 05°10.054'
$6,000 p.p 1x entry
$6,000 p.p. camping
you wouldn't believe that this place is less than 40 miles from Bogotá: peace & tranquility (at least during week, Saturday got busy w. local campers) and fresh forest air, beautiful calm lake, cool at 3,000 meters - we almost felt like we were in Canada... part of the access road is poor (potholed and windy). camping at lake shore on grass, some shade, almost level (in some locations), several tables and stools, bbqs.
the toilet situation here is a little weird: when we arrived all were locked, we were told at 8:00 in the morning toilets at a near-by restaurant would open, the campground toilets later; when they were there was an attendant asking an extra $500 for use of clean toilet (no showers). lucky we have our own!
empty lot by highway
N 04°02.173'
free we lost over an hour searching for somewhere to stay in/around Girardot - just south of Guamo were several balnearios along ruta 45, which we didn't reach because it was getting too dark... paddock next to housing development, shared with cows, goats, and sheep. a little close to the road, but in daylight the next morning we discovered that that we could have driven in further.
level, reasonably quiet over night, no facilities.
Desierto de La Tatacoa
north of Neiva near Villa Vieja
N 03°13.668'
free blissfully quiet - right in the middle of this small desert, a bit off the road. upon arrival Señor Meza, the friendly local tourist police man, pulled up next to us and welcomed us with "this is your desert".
almost level, nice view, no shade, good breeze, no services. down the road is a private "piscina" ($3,000 p.p.) with soft mineral spring water to have a swim - lovely!
San Agustín
Camping "San Agustín"
N 01°53.338'
+$3,000 p.person
out of town along the road to the archaeological site, turn right after the Hotel Yalconia, then right again up a steep gravel drive. slightly slopey grass area, slippery when wet, some trees, it could be quiet over night, but the owner's 5 dogs and 3-4 roosters disturbed us that much that we decided to leave.
difficult to get level (and to power), electricity from power point near fridge on verandah, water with owner's hose (only one hidden tap), basic, but clean bathrooms with cold showers.

further up the same steep hill are the cabañas "El Maco", with camping, owned by the very friendly Swiss René - we couldn't get in due to the size of our camper and very muddy conditions. it will be a nice spot for smaller vehicles, like Landcruisers, Landrovers, and (when dry) small vans!
near Isnos
Parking Archaeological Site "Alto de Los Idolos"
N 01°55.010'
free friendly staff, no problem to sleep there. parking lot in front of park entrance, almost level. very quiet over night, but traffic started early at 5:30 (market day in Isnos).
no services, but we were offered the use of the toilets when gate was open.
near Coconuco
Thermales "Aguatibia"
N 02°15.464'
not used! GPS reading taken at road - just off the dirt road from Isnos to Popayán at km 31 (rough road, but passable with normal vehicle) - thermales recommended by other travellers who had stayed there. looked nice (nicer than the place we ended up staying).
we couldn't get in because the bridge to the property was under repair (freshly concreted)!
near Coconuco
Thermales "Agua Hirviendo"
N 02°19.772'
free *) *) entrance to thermales is $4.000 per person, but payment was not really demanded (it rained, too).
south end of Coconuco, take the turn-off to Hotel Coconuco, follow the road up the hill to its end. large gravelled turning circle come parking lot, almost level. cool at 2,600m.
no services used! thermales are open 24 hours, and to our surprise 2 buses with bathers pulled in after 8:30 pm, they left sometime between 11:00 and midnight (on a Saturday)... in the morning loud radio music from the thermales kitchen woke us at 5:30.
south of El Bordo
Centro Turistico "Patia"
along Panamericana
N 02°04.456'
$10.000 roughly 2½ hours south of Popayán. large tropical garden set back a fair bit from the Panamericana, though you can still hear traffic, but it's not too bad over night... charge doesn't include use of lovely pool ($5,000 p.p. extra). also some rooms for rent and a restaurant. nice and warm at only 660m!
camping on grassed area away from pool and road in the back of property, under some very large trees, level in most parts, a little muddy in some. we could use the o.k. pool side bathrooms with cold showers (the second toilet block near our campsite was disgustingly dirty).
El Encano
Laguna La Cocha
Terpel Petrol Station
N 01°09.582'
free parking on level concrete - no services because their water supply wasn't working. very friendly and helpful owners (if they are present, which they aren't all the time). not much sleep because the station is open 24 hours, and for some weird reason gets more business over night than during daytime hours...
we originally wanted to stay at the Hotel "Sindanamoy" (recommended by other travellers) but we were sent away! close to this hotel is the Swiss owned "Chalet Guamuez", where the owner was absent and staff didn't feel confident to give us permission to stay - otherwise this might be a good option. another option, for which it was too late (most places were closed already), is a row of small restaurants by the lake and boat launch; these you can reach by driving past the Terpel station and take the first dirt road to the right, down to the lake.
Carrera 18 (with Calle 12)
one street south of Avenida Las Americas
N 01°12.361'
German mechanic Carlos Koch (phone 316 347 7377) is a German engine rebuilder - he might be able to help you (particularly if you are German) with other vehicle problems and refer you to reliable mechanics. although we didn't meet him in person (he didn't work that day) he proved to be very friendly and helpful on the phone. workshop (lhs of one way road) has signage "Porlain - Ford - New Holland"
south of Pasto N 01°06.588'
Supergas de Nariño on PanAm just south of a large ESSO station where we filled with water (for free).
south of Ipiales
Hotel "Mayasquer"
N 00°48.972'
$40,000 *) *) to camp only would be $25,000 - please read below.
roughly 500 meters from the border to Ecuador. border is closed at night from 22:00 to 6:00, so there's hardly any traffic. we slept very well. parking on level concrete in front of the hotel entrance. earlier we had tried to follow other travellers' recommendations and use the parking lot of "Las Lajas" - far too busy and slopey for our liking to stay for the night.
for the price we got to use the bathroom in one of their rooms: hot shower with plenty of water, hot water at vanity (for a shave), hairdryer, etc. free WiFi code 123abc45de

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2. Ecuador

  [$ = Prices in US Dollars - June-August 2008 --- Electricity: 110V/60Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
outside Ibarra near Caranqui
Vivero "Plantas Ornamentales"
Graham Kerslake
N 00°18.416'
no charge
leave a decent tip!*)
other travellers have used this place before us, but we strongly recommend to ring (ph. 09-449 4883) or email (gkersy [at] Graham in advance to arrange your stay and ask for directions (we damaged our truck, on a rough dirt track, trying to find the place by GPS only)! when we arrived Graham was unfortunately out of the country; shame because we had been looking forward to meeting a fellow Australian...
large vivero (nursery) on the hill side overlooking the town and surrounding country side. camping on almost level concrete in front of the house, no shade (but at 2,400m no problem w. heat). area has almost too many dogs and roosters for undisturbed sleep.
power (110 + 240 Volt!), water, use of bathroom w. electric hot shower, washing machine (bring your own detergent), clothes lines.
*)= email received from Graham: ... [let] people know my place is a free stay they can have a real break out of travelling!
outside Otavalo
Hostel "La Luna"
N 00°11.788'
$3 p.person hostel about 4 kms outside Otavalo, on the way to Mojanda. hillside location with lovely views. camping on slopey grass area, difficult to get completely level, even with blocks supplied from their fire wood. access is limited to vehicles to up around our size, larger trucks will have problems to get in. the friendly owners, Kevin (British) and Tamara (Ecuatorian) don't want visitors with dogs!
very quiet over night. use of bathrooms with clean toilets and hot shower (some restrictions when groups are staying at the hostel), o.k. restaurant, power w. extension from laundry, water.
Laguna de Cuicocha
Parking Lot
N 00°17.562'
free *) *) = $1 p.person entry to park. parking lot at the end of the street near boat pier, some level and paved (near restaurant), some slopey gravel, difficult to get level. blissfully quiet over night.
no services, though use of smelly toilets for $0.15 during opening hours.
TIP: the "Mirador" restaurant up on the hill above (rough dirt path) has a nice view and good cheap food!
Hostal "El Descanso"
S 00°03.277'
$5 turn right into the first road across the bridge. parking lot of hostel, Ecuatorian owner Rodny speaks some English and almost fluent German. nice setting, colibri feeders. quiet over night, but too many roosters for our liking.
use of clean toilets, hot shower in one of the guest rooms (we tipped for), some restrictions apply when hostel is full!
by the river
S 00°03.514'
free along the road to the cascades, opp. "Kumbha Mela", by the river. very quiet over night apart from water running across the rapids - no traffic, no dogs, no roosters.
no facilities.
Diego de Almargo
Guarded Parking Lot
S 00°12.009'
$3 p.night in the tourist area of Quito, one-way section from Av.Francesco De Orellana to Av.Colon. parking lot on l.h.s., you can camp in the back, little uneven dirt lot. over night some traffic noise in the distance and a couple of alarms going off = not too bad for a city location! gates close at 9:00pm!
there is town water available and a drain, inside the open welding shed is even a double power point (we didn't use it, but we would have paid extra for electricity!).
TerraSystem 4×4
Pasaje E-10B N52-229 y Eloy Alfaro
S 00°139757
good mechanic
and supplier of 4×4 parts
UPDATE 2014 thanks to Coen from Santiago Uribe W. ( ph. 099 933 339), a very thorough mechanic, who works mostly on 4x4 vehicles, but will fix other cars too. he is no expert for Diesel vehicles, but will point you in the right direction. Coen Wubbels was there in early 2014 for special Landcruiser parts!
Av. Diego Vasquez (? - not sure)
S 00°12.009'
Agipgas on the northern outskirts of the city (we didn't need to use it)
Cotopaxi N.P.
off the Pan Americana
S 00°41.555'
free off the PanAm (official entry to park, near where the hwy. goes from 4 to 2 lanes), about 5 kms along a rough dirt road. place we stayed is after the second creek crossing on the right. there's a Y - road to the right gets quite a bit of truck traffic, but it's totally quiet o/n. if you continue left towards Cotopaxi you might find other places and be luckier than us: we got woken at 4:30 by the first truck.
no facilities. almost level ground, windy location
Hostal "Cloud Forest"
S 00°47.922'
free *) *) we paid $0.50 p.p. for a lovely hot shower and ate dinner there ($2.00 p.p.)!
small concrete parking lot, almost level - there is another gravel parking further down, belonging to same hostel. very friendly owner Jose and family. quiet o/n, but honking buses very early in the morning are disturbing.
use of clean toilet and shower, dial-up internet is an expensive $5/hour.
Rio Verde near Baños
Soccer Field
S 01°24.137'
free *) *) $0.50 parking fee on weekends. almost level, very quiet over night
no services

further down the main road (well past the next tunnel) on the rhs is "Pequeño Paraiso" Cabañas and Camping [S 01°24.'06.9" - W078°17'13.8"], owned by a Swiss and a Scot: this place was recommended by other travellers, but we couldn't get in. they were closed for renovations, but their gateway anyhow looked too low for our camper!
Calle Velasco Ibarra
parking behind playground
S 01°24.021'
free almost level, reasonably quiet over night
no services

many travellers have used the parking lot of the "Baños de La Virgen", which is nearby, but since they open at 4:30 in the morning (and probably wouldn't do so if there is no demand) we figured it could be a restless night there.
south of Ambato
800m off the Pan Americana
towards Montalvo
S 01°19.966'
Agipgas there is a large sign on the west side of the highway near the turnoff (a little south of the intersection). to fill one bottle of 20 pounds took several phone calls and almost an hour, because officially US bottles don't comply with Ecuatorian regulations, and then we were asked to pay more than the subsidised local price.
Ingapirca near Cañas
parking of ruin site
S 02°32.458'
free almost level, very muddy after rain, parking lot is part of the road, but it is fairly quiet over night, traffic starts around 7:00 in the morning.
no facilities, the clean (and cold) toilets stayed open over night.
"Cabañas Yanuncay"
C. Canton Guataceo 21-49
S 02°54.343'
between Av. Las Americas and Av. Loja outside old city. don't be discouraged by the low gate with the sign for "Cabañas Yanuncay" - there's a second larger gate up the road. not very level grass, rather soft after rain (be careful), no shade. the owner Umberto speaks English and German, he knows his way around town and can recommend a lot of useful addresses (laundry, dentist, organic market, mechanic, gas filling, etc.)
~½ hour walk into town centre. hardly any traffic, but dogs and noisy roosters made us finally leave (we couldn't get enough sleep).
use of hot showers and toilets in a cabaña at the other end of the property, water near camping site, power with extension cord from owner.
outside Cuenca
in subdivision near park
S 02°51.570'
free quiet barrio north of the centre. from town follow Grán Colombia and then Av. González Suárez several kilometers out of town, turn right at P&S petrol station (~½ kilometer after military barracks on rhs), follow road down to T at end, turn left: at the end are a few vacant blocks opp. the park. neighbours were friendly and welcoming.
no facilities, almost level concrete, reasonably quiet, but you can hear some trucks on the autopista across the valley. adjoining motorcross track can be noisy during the day.
outside Cuenca
on road to Azogues
S 02°50.438'
AustroGas road is the continuation of the one leading to the camping in the barrio, listed above. large wholesale gas plant - compared with AgipGas (in Ambato) relatively uncomplicated, we paid only $1.00/20lbs.
down by the river
S 03°03.230'
free follow the heavy vehicle by-pass until you reach the turn off to the hospital, follow this road (past the hospital entrance) down the hill, there are several almost level areas along the river bank to choose from. CAREFUL with under-motorised vehicles - steep and unpaved grades - we had to tow friends' 2WD van uphill!
no facilities, quiet o/n, only a handful of cars going past, some dogs in the far distance.
riverside park
S 03°03.230'
not used parking lot by the river park, away from main road - we only used this place for a lunch break, but it probably would be a quiet and safe place to overnight.
level paved parking. there are outside taps at the toilet block to fill with water, but toilets were locked.
Cajas Natl. Park
lower parking lot
S 02°50.487'
S 02°50.649'
entry (5 days):
$10 p.person
$4 p.p./night
note: opening hours only from 8:00 to 16:30 - no access after hours! lower entrance to the Natl.Park (not as cold); turn-off between kilometer 13 and 14. narrow pebbled access road. with entry ticket you can explore the higher section of the park, too.
almost level gravel parking lot, a little muddy. short walk to Lago Llaviucu: nice walks and fishing for trout. very quiet over night.
use of o.k. toilet at entrance (short walk - new block almost finished), there are cold showers and an outside tap for water, but water supply is unreliable.
parking lot at municipal piscina
S 03°58.467'
free north end of town, one major block downhill from the main road, is the Jipira recreational park along the river bank, piscina (next to soccer field) is the only area with off-street parking. almost level gravel, we asked permission at the piscina cashier, nighttime security guard. some traffic, but not too bad over night, we slept o.k.
a quieter option could be the sports fields of the university, south end of town (off the road to Vilcabamba near roundabout) - we passed it the next morning!
no facilities (public toilets for a fee during day time, covered piscina entry $1 p.p.)
parking lot of "Hosteria "Izhcayluma"
S 04°16.690'
$4 p.person approx. 2 kms out of town on a hill - very nice view from the good restaurant. German owned, welcoming and friendly staff. small gravel parking lot on top of hill, not quite level, large pebbles make it difficult to get level, only room for 1-2 smaller campers (there's a larger lot next to the entrance gate, but no access to power there). the property appears fairly quiet and peaceful, but one night we were disturbed by guest returning late from the on-site bar, and early taxis picking up other guests (all taxis have to turn on the small parking lot); other nights were quieter.
water to fill (ask for a hose), power from near-by massage parlour (extension needed), use of bathroom with hot shower, detached from one of the cabañas, we even were provided with towels.
north of Macará
side of the road
S 04°19.489'
free we first looked around in town, but didn't like the feel of it, so we back tracked and stayed at the side of the road (a place used previously for a rock slide detour). fairly level packed dirt, about 8 meters from road. hardly any cars over night, but traffic started before 5:00 in the morning, by 5:30 it was rather busy.
no services!
Attention: all petrol stations in town were closed on Sunday, even the ones advertising "24 Horas"! Monday morning all had long lines of cars waiting to fill up - fuel was restricted, we were allocated (by a soldier who took our details) initially 10 Dollars worth of Diesel (only one station with Diesel in town), after some discussion received an extra 5 Dollars worth of fuel - so don't arrive here with empty tanks (Diesel in Peru costs 4x the Ecuatoarian price)...

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3. Perú

  [S/. = Prices in Peruvian Soles - August-October 2008 --- Electricity: 220V/60Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
general information no reading Propane Filling it seems that most petrol stations, the ones which sell LPG for cars, have an attachment to fill gas bottles as well - not a cheap option (~S/.1.70 per litre at time of writing), but convenient.
outside Motupe
beside old Panamerican Hwy.
S 06°09.532'
free dirt lot off the road by the river, level in parts, rubbish in some areas. good breeze, a bit protection from low shrubs. unfortunately some traffic all night - we slept kinda o.k. here, but were woken early.
no facilities - security?
parking lot of Hostal "Garuda"
S 06°50.122'
S/.30 upon enquiry at the iperu information in Chiclayo we were told that the beach promenade in Pimentel would be a safe place for camping vehicles to spend the night. we were just settling in when a group of local women approached us and warned us the it was in fact not safe to spend the night (a tourist had been murdered recently). so we went and searched for some police, who unfortunately repeated the same warning. hence we finally asked at this hostal.
walled parking lot, level packed dirt. location right at a T intersection. security guards blowing their whistles all night keep the dogs barking = no good sleep.
use of hot shower and o.k. toilets (relatively new, but could do with a decent clean). w/o use of shower S/.20
in front of "Museo Tumbas Reales De Sipán"
S 06°42.291'
free the tourist police at the museum's entrance suggested we stay the night in front of the gate. almost level bitumen, close to road. security guards blowing their whistles all night keep the neighbourhood dogs barking = no good sleep!
no facilities - could use the very clean museum toilets if needed
outside Ferreñafe
"Bosque De Pomac"
S 06°28.239'
free a delightful place with delightful staff (Edwin, who was our guide, arranged for us to camp inside the park). level sand, firm but dusty. blissfully quiet all night!
no facilities.
"Huanchaco Gardens"
S 08°04.380'
S/.30 the gate says "RV Park" = that's a slight exaggeration... grassed camping area with some trees around, almost level, room for 4-5 smallish campers, nice breeze, small pool. quiet o/n, but noisy bus traffic starts early (~6:30).
water to fill, power points (220V/60Hz) to plug in at 2 sun umbrellas, free WiFi (luxury!), tables, benches, chairs. simple, but clean toilet block near pool, use of warm shower in one of their rooms.
Attention: the camping space might get used as a fiesta area on weekends - then you cannot stay! that's why we went for one night to the place below.
Centro Recreational "Bella Horizonte"
S 08°05.084'
free w. dinner rhs on road to airport, yellow wall, large sign. the airport and the road to it aren't very busy; there might be only four flights per day. friendly welcome. parking on coarse gravel, not quite level. our luck: over night they had a meeting come fiesta of cub scouts - the attending adults partied well into the night. probably very quiet during week (if open at all).
dinner was cheap and o.k. (nothing to remember), toilets basic, but clean-ish.
Touring y Automóvil Club
Calle Argentina 258
S 08°07.083'
good for maps coming into town along Av.Larco turn right at PetroPeru Larco, then first right again.
detailled Peru maps (north/central/south) for S./5 each. offices in other major cities, too!
east of Chuquicara
off the road
S 08°41.016'
free about 8 kms after the police checkpoint in Chuquicara, just past the first bridge, is this large area next to the road. packed dirt, almost level in some spots, stay away from the edges. pretty quiet o/n, you can mostly hear the rushing river. not much traffic, but passing trucks and buses create some dust.
no facilities.
"Los Pinos Lodge"
Parque San Martín 130
S 09°02.915'
S/.10 p.person parking in a rather dusty, enclosed lot behind hostal; not quite level, but a few blocks helped. parking lot is used by guests, too, so late arrivals and early departures might disturb, quiet over night.
power, water to fill, small shaded verandah with some recliners, use of bathroom w. warm to hot shower (depends time of day), locked WiFi (password).

parking o/n around the park in front of this hostal is considered a safe option, too.
near Mayorarca
beside Ruta 14 from Conacocha to Pan Americana
S 10°09.922'
free the road is steep and windy, full of nasty potholes, it was getting dark and this place was the first semi-level area we spotted a little off the highway: a dirt patch at the edge of a village, also the driveway to a couple of houses. too close to the highway to be really quiet. sunrise was beautiful (= didn't get to sleep in with all the truck traffic). further down the mountains it might be easier to find a level spot.
no facilities.
Lima Miraflores
Hitchhikers Hostel
Calle Bolognesi 400
S 12°07.344'
S/.15 p.person walled concrete parking lot, room for maybe 4-5 vans (more if you move some tables out of the way), almost level, secure, at the edge of the tourist area, shopping and restaurants near-by. noisy traffic (late into night and again early).
use of all common areas: clean kitchen, tv-room, bathrooms with hot showers (except in morning rushhour), water to fill and power to plug in-to, free WiFi (password).
km17 Pan Americana Sur
no reading Camping Trailer Shops we only noticed them driving past, might be a possible option in an emergency: southbound along the PanAm around km17 (service lane) are next to each other 2 dealers/manufacturers selling camping trailers - try for parts if you really need something.
next to Yacht Club Peruano
S 13°50.081'
free drive through town, yacht club (w/o any yachts) is on the right hand side. almost level hard sand, a row of trees as wind break, security over night. close to beach (sand too soft to drive on) and very quiet over night.
we didn't ask for services.
Hotel "Maison Suisse"
Panamericana Sur km447
S 14°51.047'
US$5 p.person *) *) one night free if you book Nasca Lines flight through them. fix price and exchange rate beforehand.
nice green garden, parking on coarse rock pavers in the back of property, where you still can hear a bit of the trucks on the Pan Americana. almost level, not much room to turn (piles of building sand when we visited), dense foilage cover will reduce solar power. trees and concrete edge along driveway make it rather narrow in places. lots of roosters in the neighbourhod.
use of toilets and electric warm shower, all a bit neglected and dirty (were cleaned upon asking), power with your own long extension cord from a supply shed. free WiFi (password).
Ruta 26 Nasca to Abancay
edge of Promesa
side of the road next to stream
S 14°28.580'
free this is as far as we got after leaving Nasca at 10:15; at 18:15 it was getting too dark to look anywhere else, so we pulled off at this wide pebbled bank of a stream... almost level, relatively quiet o/n, although we could hear passing trucks every now and then. the mudbrick building near-by doesn't seem to be occupied.
no facilities.
on hill above Cusco
Quinta Lala Camping
S 13°30.336'
S/.9 p.person +
S/.10 p.vehicle
on hill above town (ca. 20 minute walk into Cusco) near the closed Hotel Inca Tambo and the Sacsayhuaman ruins - get directions from their web site. this is a real travellers' meeting point, and a good spot to leave your vehicle when visiting near-by Machu Picchu and other sites. large enclosed lawn area, some chickens and naughty ducks, Dutch owner Helmie has blocks to get you level. quiet over night, if the trains in town wouldn't blow their horns early in the morning you could sleep in nicely.
use of common room, small kitchen, bathroom with hot shower, water to fill, front-loader washing machine, space to empty small camper toilets, friendly help to get around town and the sites. strong WiFi is an extra S/.4 per day.
unfortunately the water supply situation worsened during our stay - dry season and too many tourists.
Pisac, Sacred Valley
Paz y Luz B&B
S 13°25.663'
single room S/.80
NOT RECOMMENDED: we would like to rename this place to "Barking Dogs Hell", since we didn't find much "Paz" [= peace] at this place; three barking dogs inside the compound, within 10 metres of our camper, kept us awake almost all night. manager's only response "I can't control these dogs"...
very narrow gate opens to a spacious, rather dry, garden, lovely looking buildings and rooms, but the service lacks seriously in quality (eg. our friend received a dry bread roll and bad coffee as her complimentary breakfast)
almost level, no services for the price! to be fair: our request to sleep in vehicle came as a surprise.

follow the river on a dirt road uphill out of town. we would think that you could find spots along the river bank near-by where you could camp a night for free! others have stayed on the parking lot of the ruins - very slopey and entrance fee.
Ollanta, Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Lodge
S 13°15.611'
S/.20 to park*)
single room S/.90
what a contrast to our last night in Pisac: a narrow red gate leads into a lovely green garden with flowering hedges and cane seating groups, the staff are very friendly and helpful. to get here drive around the town square and back out of town (one way streets), the lane way, where the hotel is, runs parallel below the road, sharp right turn. easy walk into town and to ruins, a little further to railway station.
grassed area very bumpy, difficult to get completely level. power from their store room, could probably fill with water, key for guest room to use hot shower. quiet over night.
*) safe place to leave vehicle (even plugged in) and visit Machu Picchu by train.
Moray, Sacred Valley
parking lot of archeological site
S 13°19.802'
not used almost level packed dirt lot, when we visited it was very windy and dusty! should be very quiet over night.
near Cusco S 13°33.498'
Llamagas on road to Puno, on l.h.s. across a small concrete bridge, bright yellow block wall. later we discovered that our cylinders were not filled completely at this station!
Aguas Calientes
near Tambo
Cusco - Puno road
S 14°27.068'
free was getting too late! large, almost level, gravel parking lot a good 50 meters from the main road, in front of popular hot springs. was it the altitude or the the whistle of the on-site security guard? we both didn't sleep well here...
no facilities.
Sonesta Posada Del Inca
Hotel parking lot
S 15°49.435'
US$15 (~S/.46) follow the railway line along the water out of town, the hotel is right where the "Yavari" is anchored. parking on almost level concrete pavers. we were woken at 4:50 in the morning by the first bus pick-up.
power from generator room, we didn't ask for water, free WiFi in reception (weak in camper), use of lovely hot shower and toilets inside hotel.
soccer field behind museum
S 15°43.480'
free staff at the ruin site are very friendly. windy and dusty (in dry season); soccer field is a little better protected from wind, almost level. very quiet over night.
no facilities.
Hostal "Las Mercedes"
S 16°24.050'
S/.30 p.n. lovely old mansion, painted blue and white, right by the river, but unfortunately on a 4-6 lane main road; parking/camping in enclosed lot, only a 4 meter high wall seperates vehicle from this road. at times you have to share parking with large expedition trucks owned by Toucan Travel. reasonably quiet o/n (except Saturday night), traffic starts early on weekdays, a little later on Sundays. PlazaVea supermarket at other side of intersection, town centre in easy walking distance.
use of fairly new bathroom block with hot shower, at the end of parking lot (grassed area set up for parties), there are several power points and a water tap there - we couldn't reach either because blocked off by expedition trucks (mentioned above). nice sitting room in the house, where you can plug in computer and use free (fast) WiFi.
just before Moquegua S 17°12.559'
Fruit Check Point check point, south bound, where our camper was checked for fruit (this region is free of fruit flies) - you'll probably have to hand in all fruit, particularly citrus. we didn't have any because further south into Chile you can't take any fruit or vegetables, or milk products.
south of Tacna
Grifo opp. Free Trade Zone
S 18°04.698'
free we first asked in town at the Gran Hotel Tacna, then at the airport, but were sent away at both. this is the last petrol station before the border with Chile! dirt lot, almost level, unpleasant smell of urine, but surprisingly quiet over night.
no facilities (we didn't want to use the toilets).

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4. Bolivia

Due to political unrest in Bolivia we didn't travel in this country! Please refer Other Travellers' Sites, some of which also published a list of camping options.

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5. Chile North

  [P = Prices in Pesos - October 2008 --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
please note: due to different current frequency we did not ask for power until we had confirmed that it doesn't hurt things except electrical motors!
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
Camping "Siumaki"
S 18°25.192'
P6,000 north of town towards Villa Frontera, take the beach front road and turn off at sign, about 200-300 m of narrow dirt track, gate to the left. camping on part grass, part sand, almost level. friendly owners. christian radio during day annoyed us (was turned off when we asked), very quiet over night. no shade, good breeze from ocean.
use of toilets, hot shower in owner's house, pool (too cold for us), bore water not suitable for drinking, but owners provide drinking water.
Renato Rocca
S 18°27.780'
Lipigas large gas plant, also with LPG station to fill vehicle tanks. they needed our converter to fill our US bottle.
in front of police
S 19°57.740'
free after a shit of an afternoon (car trouble and a flat) the night here wasn't that good either: truck traffic almost all night made for a restless sleep. almost level, drinking water tap with hose to fill tank.
Playa Blanca south of Iquique
beach parking lot
S 20°19.883'
free small settlement along the beach, large, almost level parking lot, a little rubbish left by weekend visitors, apart from a few dogs barking, very quiet over night (road is far enough away).
no facilities.
between Iquique and Tocopilla
beach parking
S 21°53.625'
free turn-off just north of the only tunnel along this road. almost level sand lot (easy to turn) between large boulders. very quiet over night, faint traffic noise from highway.
no facilities.
outside San Pedro de Atacama
near "Valle De La Luna"
forgot! free we were (half way through dinner) kicked out of the reserve at "Valle De La Luna"; others before us have stayed the night inside this reserve... we then parked just off the road outside their gate. very quiet over night.
no facilities.
San Pedro de Atacama / Calle Tocopilla
Camping "Los Perales"
S 22°54.793'
P3,500 p.person
+ P4,000 f.power
+ P3,000 f.water (f.tank)
this seems to be the cheapest option in town (despite the steep prices), and the only one where we could get easily through the gate. dusty parking lot, a couple of dry trees provide barely any shade. almost level. when we heard about 2 backpacker buses due to arrive we left.
hot showers (only for a few hours), toilets, wash basin. be careful: some taps are with recycled shower water - don't use them! we filled with drinking water (for free) at the local petrol station.
outside San Pedro de Atacama
Mirador "Valle De La Luna"
S 22°55.061'
free off main hwy. to Calama - several tracks going off (not sign posted). beautiful spot to watch the sun set (and rise) over "Valle De La Luna". exposed to wind, hence dusty, not all level ground, but easy to level out. very quiet over night, once the few small tour operators have left after sunset.
no facilities.
outside San Pedro de Atacama
near balneario "Pozo 3"
S 22°55.313'
free off main hwy. to Paso De Jama, road to the south sign-posted aerodromo. in front of a balneario (swimming pool) which also offers camping. the prices kept us from entering: P 3,000 per person to use pool, or $5,000 p.p. to camp, use facilities and pool. at around 18:00 an enormous Rotel truck pulled in, so we would have had to share the site o/n with around 40 other people. somehow disturbed night with several cars going in and out, noisy gate opening, etc. almost level spot on hard sand, very windy and dusty during day.
no facilities.

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6. Argentina North

  [$ = Prices in Pesos - October-December 2008 --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
Salta, south end of city
Av. Rep. Del Libano
Camping Municipal
S 24°48.806'
  $3.20 p.person
+$6.40 p. casa rodante
camping on rock pavers in one part, on dusty dirt in other, grassed areas for tents, all around the biggest pool we have ever seen (empty during our stay). some trees for part shade, picnic tables and grills. it's a city location, so some traffic noise almost all night, dogs barking, and locals visiting for late night asados or futból games. bus into town centre stops in front of gate ($1 p.p./Route 3B or 7D).
power, some taps (difficult to reach) to fill with water, use of bathrooms in urgent need of renovation, but kept clean and plenty of hot water in the showers.
Alberdi 362 (off Av.San Martin)
S 24°47.661'
shop for batteries shop for all sorts of batteries, including solar (gel type) and low cycle; they also stock small batteries, all sorts of chargers, LED lights, etc. batteries are rather expensive in Argentina. very helpful manager and staff, who spent almost an hour (w/o charge) to check our camper battery and car electrics, told us we didn't need to buy a new battery and referred us to a good electrician instead.
Salta, Camino a la Isla
off Avda. Mons.Tavella (Ruta 51)
S 24°50.807'
Gas Plant name of company? about 2 kms along this road you'll find a gas plant on the left side of the road. they needed our converter to fill our US bottle. at second visit they didn't have gas!
Ruta 40 south end of town
Camping "Luz & Fuerza"
S 26°04.802'
  $5 p.person
+$8 p. vehicle
large camping place, parking on dusty dirt, some trees for shade. noisy on Saturday night from near-by disco and teenage group camping. very friendly owner.
power, some taps to fill with water, picnic tables and grills, use of old-ish men's bathrooms, women's are newer, both kept clean enough, hot water best late afternoon.
Camping Municipal
S 25°07.337'
  $15 camping place above the small town (walking distance), large, almost level, lawn with many trees, also some shaded camping bays for tents, w. grill, table, power, etc., but access to them too low for us. all arranged around a large heated pool (extra payment?). complex underwent some small renovation during our visit and not all facilities were operational. lovely quiet over night.
two toilet blocks, one small one down the hill w. no water in showers, one large and clean block next to pool, supposedly with hot showers (worked on during our stay). access to power, only tap to fill with water behind admin building.
PN El Rey
National Park Camping
S 24°43.415'
free access road rough in parts, looked like it would be very muddy after rain, several easy creek crossings. some roads within the park difficult to drive due to very low tree branches.
large camping area inside the National Park, most of which we couldn't get to due to one low tree across the access. level lawn with little shade (other parts more shaded), ticks and plenty of mozzies, very quiet over night. some lights which are turned off after 22:00.
toilets in such poor state that we didn't want to use them... a tap outside the toilet block (drinking water?), some benches and tables, and fire places.
near Quebrachal
[ Camping Municipal ]
S 25°20.873'
free coming from the west drive through Quebrachal, turn directly after the railway crossing right into a gravel road, follow it for about 2-3 kilometers until you come across a concrete bridge, access after bridge sign posted. narrow bumpy grass area along the river, several degrees cooler here than elsewhere. good morning and evening shade from some mature trees and some breeze. quiet apart from some late swimmers.
(even though the writing on bridge says "camping" it's more a picnic area) no facilities, apart from a few grills and rubbish bins (which look like they never are emptied).
Presidencia R.S. Peña
Camping Municipal
S 26°47.758'
free follow the RN 16 until you reach the roundabout with RN 95, turn north, at the Y turn left, camping after about ½ kilometer on the right. large oval with many trees and sure more mozzies, muddy in parts. traffic noise from the road isn't too bad, but there's also a night club near-by disturbing from Thursday nights onwards.
power from lamp posts (you'll have to ask admin staff to keep them on during day), totally neglected toilet block with some cold showers in women's section, often without (bore) water. drinking water only available at office. some picnic tables and grills.
Resistencia, Chaco
Av. Avalos
Parque Municipal "2 de Febrero"
S 27°26.215'
  $7 large park at outskirts of city, play area, grills and picnic tables for day use, large stage on island, some tenting bays, un-even, partly muddy, area under mature trees (towards sports fields) for larger campers. traffic noise and night clubs. on Saturday the site was invaded by a youth convention with their own loud PA and DJ (we left). many street lights all over the site. Carrefour supermarket diagonally across the road.
o.k. toilet block w. hot showers (locked in the middle of the day), only two posts w. power outlets, drinking water from a few taps.
Paso De La Patria near Corrientes
Camping by Rio Paraná
S 27°18.832'
  $25 at the end of the main street, next to soccer field, private property right by the river, w. boat launch, pier, grills, private sandy beach, shady lawn. the town is relatively busy on weekends, but reasonably quiet over night. on Sunday the typical asado parties... camping under some gum trees, some shade, but very hot and sticky. many mozzies.
several power outlets. bathrooms, which could be cleaned more regularly, w. cold showers, one electric hot shower (in women's room). no access to water to fill tank.
near Formosa
Camping "Curuzu La Nova"
S 26°14.014'
  $5 just west of town turn off the main hwy. near Puente Puca, sign posted. roughly 5 kilometers of sandy dirt track, bumpy in parts; at the end is this new campground right at the edge of the lagoon. very nice cool breeze, some shade, benches and tables, asado grills, soccer field. fishing seems to be good here (judging by what locals caught).
not many facilities (at time of our visit - they were still establishing the place). very weak power with long extension.

in many guide books "Camping Banco Provincial" is mentioned for Formosa - this place is not suitable for camping w. a vehicle, because you have to walk into the small sites. they offered camping on their bumpy parking lot near the highway for $25 with no facilities.
outside Formosa
"Laguna Oca"
S 26°13.179'
free large nature reserve about 3 kms south of town; drive the main road from the plaza south, continue at the stadium straight, on the dirt road, until you can see the first lagoon on the right - turn right. we followed the dusty road around until we came to the boat muelle. camping on elevated grassed sand, not quite level. near by is a police post, manned all night. quiet o/n., plenty of aggressive mozzies, but some breeze. lovely spot for bird watching.
no facilities.
Puerto Iguazú
Camping "(Viejo) Americano"
S 25°37.404'
$15 p.person +
$19 p.camper
on the left along the road between the town and the falls. large tourist compound w. restaurants, cabañas, 2 pools, and a large camping area under trees. a lot of it is sloping, so you'll have to look for some level ground and equalise. plenty of shade, but no breeze, lots of bitey insects. some concrete tables and benches, 2 large asado shelters. distant road noise and music almost all night.
too expensive for what it offers: electricity from some power points (check before choosing site - some don't function!), large bathrooms w. hot showers, but fairly run-down and not the cleanest. we didn't look for water to fill our tanks.
TIP: the aca YPF station down the road (other side) didn't charge us a foreigner surcharge on Diesel - the one in town did!

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7. Paraguay

  [GS = Prices in Guaraníes - November-December 2008 --- Electricity: mostly 220V/50Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
general information no reading Propane Filling it seems that even locals have their cylinders filled at petrol stations, the ones which sell LPG for cars (Petrobras and Corona stations are the most likely to have gas). the one we used had a number of attachments at hand, and it was a quick process to fill the bottle (though not cheap).
Aregua near Asunción
Playa Municipal / Lago Ypocarai
S 25°18.188'
free we couldn't find Klaus' place (lack of directions), it was getting dark, so we ended up here. the friendly care taker warned us that the place would attract visitors all night and for security made us camp in front of his house. he was right: youths with loud stereos came in and out almost all night. no shade, but some breeze from the lake.
we didn't use any facilities - there's a toilet block.
Aregua near Asunción
PRIVATE free Klaus has since passed away. Klaus invited us to visit, and he and his partner made us really welcome. camping under trees in a large garden (shade from midday onwards), not very level, couldn't equalize completely, but o.k. the barrio can be noisy with music from 3 or 4 surrounding houses at once, quiet hours over night are short.
use of a clean bathroom w. toilet and warm shower, kitchen. power and town water (to fill tanks).
Villa Florida
Playa Municipal at Rio Tebicuar
S 26°24.416'
free coming Ruta 1 from Asunción turn right straight after the peaje (after bridge), next right towards the river, then left for a good 1 km, sign-posted Playa Paraiso. large playa by the river, busy during weekends, but blissfully quiet over night. many trees for shade, but almost all too low for camper vehicles; we found some shade, nice breeze. note: road and campground might be flooded after heavy rain!
toilets blocks were not usable since w/o water, power from several power points.
"Parque Manantial"
S 27°05.098'
GS30,000 p.person Ruta 6 at km 35, large sign, ca. 500 meters from hwy. large property with some forest, large lawn areas, nice clean pools, restaurant, horse riding, etc. German spoken. the price might be high, but facilities are spotless (a first in a long time!) - day visit incl. pool use costs G.25.000 p.p. some shade, some breeze, but difficult to get level. you can hear the highway in the distance, but overall nights are quiet.
power at sites, lights, tables and chairs, use of pool, several water taps, tiled washing sinks, very clean bathrooms w. hot showers, free WiFi in restaurant.
Puerto Bella Vista
Balneario Municipal
S 27°04.592'
not used! turn off Ruta 6 in Bella Vista and drive towards Puerto, balneario is sign-posted to the left. we drove around exploring and came past this balneario by a river. we didn't stay! large grassed field by a small river w. weir, many mature trees for shade. could be hot because located in a valley...
near Ciudad del Este
Refugio Biologico "Tati Yupi"
1. permit:
S 25°22.661'
2. camping:
S 25°22.131'
free part of the Itaipu hydroelectric project (about 20 kms north of town): to get permission to camp here is a little complicated, but certainly worth it! drive from Ciudad del Este in direction of Itaipu, after around 7 kms (2 kms before you reach the main Itaipu entrance) there's the "Museo de la Tierra Guarani" on the left side of the 4 lane road [see GPS reading]. here you have to stop and apply for a permit to camp at the refugio !! open from morning until 17:00, closed on weekends (sure closed on Sundays - without a permit the security guard won't let you into the refugio). then continue towards the main Itaipu entrace, just before it the road splits, take the left turn and follow this road north; the entrance is on the right at a small roundabout (sign posted), from the gate it is roughly 7.5 kms of dusty road to the campground. one permit is kept by the entry guard, the second and third copy by the staff at the campground.
large, well maintained area with many mature trees offering some shade, swimming in the huge dam, horse drawn carts, tractor rides, bicycles for rent. large restroom blocks w. electric hot showers (reasonably clean). kiosk, etc. very busy during daytime hours, blissfully quiet over night (apart from some wild life). some breeze and shade. being owned by a power plant the place is lit up like a soccer field o/n - difficult to find a dark place to camp.
a few power points at light posts (we didn't use because too bright), warm showers and o.k. toilets (the place is busy, many people = some dirt)

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8. Brazil

  [R$ = Prices in Reals - December 2008 --- Electricity varies, so always check: 110V in some provinces, 220V in others!]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
general information no reading Propane Filling we didn't manage to get an empty cylinder filled in this country - the brazilian cylinders are completely different to anything else we have encountered, and our adapter for Argentina didn't help either - so we managed on what we had left...
Foz do Iguaçu
Hostel "Paudimar"
S 25°35.944'
R$15 p.person off the road between the town and the falls, signposted; large hostel in a quiet area. camping is behind reception area, space is partly used as parking, so not very quiet, also some noise o/n from the hostel bar. not much shade and ground is not very level. pool, bar, etc. price includes (not very interesting) buffet breakfast. internet computers free for guest, but very slow! at reception powerpoints, network cable and WiFi to use your own notebook = faster.
use of all facilties, toilets and electric hot showers are kept clean, shared kitchen. 110 Volt and 220 Volt power to use (w.own extension). taps to fill w. water.
east of Guarainiaçu
Posto "Ipiranga"
S 25°07.648'
free this is not one of the large truck stop petrol stations, but a smaller one next to highway 277. we don't even know if it stayed open 24 hours - we slept very well here! owner allocated us a spot right in front of his family home, almost level on paving. surprisingly quiet and just the right temperature to sleep.
we didn't look for facilities!
in street near Navy base
S 25°31.045'
free first we searched in Curitiba for the "Campingclube do Brasil" along BR116, but couldn't find it, locals and a taxi driver we asked didn't know about it, so we drove on to Paranaguá. when we arrived there we looked for the tourist information at the bus terminal - it was closed. we then ran into another couple with a camper who told us that there is no camping in/near town...
north end of town in a side street. first we parked almost opposite the entrance to the navy base (guards), but traffic on cobbled road was too noisy to sleep, so we moved into this deserted side lane right next to the base. here it was quieter, used condoms on the ground revealed its other attraction. almost level, right at edge of the water. boat traffic was a little noisy.
no facilities
Porto de Cima near Morretes
"Xira Japonese"
S 25°25.773'
R$8 p.person off the main road just by the one-lane steel bridge, through a tall wooden gate, about ½ km of potholed dirt road. this is one access to the National Park "Marumbi". property is on the left, no sign w. its name, but a "camping" sign. owners of japanese heritage keep the gardens really neat and facilties clean. camping on fine gravel, almost level, no shade, nice shady spots to pitch a tent. very peaceful - may-be more busy on weekends?!
110V electricity from shed, very clean toilets and electric warm showers, water to fill.
Morretes town
street camping by the river
S 25°28.587'
free street camping opposite the historic center in a cul-de-sac between some posh houses and the river; Morretes is (from talking with locals) a very safe town. no through traffic, but some youth hanging around until late - after that very quiet. not quite level on paving under some trees.
no facilities, but there's a clean public bathroom across the river, next to the park, which is supposed to have warm electric showers for small fee (we didn't check).
between Guaratuba and Brejatuba
Municipal Camping
S 25°54.546'
R$15 follow the main road along the beach, the campground is on the inland side of the road, sign posted; about ½ km off the shore, but all open land so it gets a good breeze. almost level grassed area with a few trees, some shade (not a lot). soft ground, so difficult to block up to get level. facilities could do with a good renovation but are kept very clean. sites, when fully occupied, are very small. some distant road noise.
large toilet block w. some electr. warm showers, 110 Volt (+ 220V at very few sites) power, some sites come with "full RV hook-ups": water and drain connections - a first in a loooong time (actually since Costa Rica)!
Camping "Sta. Catarina"
S 27°08.981'
R$17 p.person! just off the main road (sign) opposite a newly built, yellow painted, small shopping arcade with up-stairs restaurants - so don't expect it to be quiet (we visited just before Christmas - peak season)! obviously shopping, restaurants, and the beach are all in immediate walking distance. narrow L-shaped campground with lots of low trees for shade (which meant we couldn't drive in far and had to stay near the entrance). almost level sandy sites with some concrete rectangles to set up table and chairs, several permanent camping trailers, large covered bbq kitchen, outside sinks for dish washing and laundry.
small but clean toilet block with electric warm showers. we didn't connect to power since the readings with our volt-meter were a little "iffy".
outside Florianópolis,
Ilha de Santa Catarina
Camping "Lagoa da Conceição"
S 27°36.617'
R$15 p.person
+ R$0.60 p. kW electricity
at southern end of the lake, large yellow wall w. red writing points to this complex of apartments and the campground, which is more like a well set-up RV park: the majority of sites are small paved bays with good shading from mature trees and full hook-ups: locked private power box (220 Volt only!), ½ inch water tap, and a waste drain. you'll find many large camping buses semi-permanently set-up. some shaded tenting sites further back. large open communal kitchen with fridges, several stoves, bbq grills, tables and chairs, and several toilet blocks (men's could be a little cleaner, Yasha was happy with the female side). it was too busy pre-Christmas so we didn't stay long - others have stayed here during other times of the year for weeks! little road noise, since the camping is well away from the road, but don't take a site next to the east-wall: there's a dirt lane right behind which is being used as overflow parking for a near-by discotheque = noise almost all night...
full hook-ups (if your equipment fits), electric warm showers, o.k. toilets.
SC 438 between Lauro Müller
and São Joaquim
in front of Hotel "Verde Serra"
S 28°23.196'
free SC 438 is a popular tourist drive as the road winds its way from the coast up to over 1,470 meters, with some stunning vistas and hairpin bends to match... this campsite was a small shaded parking lot with a stunning view all round! unfortunately not far enough off the road, so truck traffic disturbed until around 23:00 - quiet for rest of the night. level parking, good breeze.
no services, although the friendly owner of the hotel actually offered us to stand closer to the building and plug into power.
SC 438 between São Joaquim
and Lages
Campground by the river
S 27°51.818'
R$30 p.24 hours a greedy farmer who over-estimates the value of his river front property: he charges locals R$10 per person for access to swim (there just weren't any other options to get off the road to camp). narrow gate leads into the property, river access is set back from the road (so we slept well!). bumpy grass area with some trees too spindly and low to provide decent shade. several half-finished projects (like brick tables) and a toilet block which we didn't enter! water comes straight from the river, the rest probably goes straight into the river...
we didn't use any services, and the next day it rained, so a swim wasn't an inviting option either.
Camping A.A.B.B.
S 29°21.844'
R$10 p.person
+ electricity
large park-like grounds with grassed areas, flowers, bushes, and many trees. the majority of "campers" here are actually permanent set-ups: an enclosed camping trailer with a large well-constructed annexe - most look more like holiday houses. there's a large gravel area next to the entrance set back for large RVs (not very attractive), others get sites allocated throughout the grounds. bbq-shelters, kids' playground, duck pond, large hall for private celebrations, and more. next door is a pool (which is part of AABB - though: it's cool here). despite our visit falling at Christmas, we found this a rather relaxing place, and well taken care of.
several clean bathroom blocks with hot showers, electricity and water to most sites (we didn't have to pay for electricity since our site didn't have a meter), ask for dumping facilities (I have seen some).
north of Novo Hamburgo
parking lot along BR 116
S 29°29.450'
free large shaded parking lot alongside the road; we went a little further off the road, but then ended up standing under a high-voltage powerline. tight to get in with overhanging tree branches, grassed area, good afternoon shade, well protected, some breeze, not quite level (nose up). first we had German-style tuba and brass live music near-by, then dogs barking in a distance, later howler monkeys even further away, plus the constant buzz of the power line... but quiet over night and not much traffic.
no facilities.
Novo Hamburgo
BR 116, km 234
S 29°39.307'
repair shop for camper vehicles
we stopped here after a recommendation from a Brazilian we had met at Gramado - Paulo, the owner, speaks some German; repaired our broken Fantastic Vent - not cheap (but also not really expensive) and quickly done! they have spare parts in stock and seem to repair all sorts of different RVs.
Tapes, Lagoa Dos Patos
Camping "União"
S 30°41.828'
R$6.00 p.person cabañas and established campground right by the lake shore south of town (there are a few others - but all were packed this time of the year). friendly family atmosphere, but very busy and no shaded spaces available (there are a lot of mature trees providing full shade); we ended up under a tree next to the bowling hut; there are also a beach volleyball field, a covered play-area, several bathroom buildings (clean-ish, but a little dated), outside tubs to wash clothes, and a small convenience store inside the reception.
power, bathrooms w. pokey little showers, electr. hot water w. little pressure.
north edge of Taim / BR 471
on dirt road to lake shore
S 32°29.305'
free at the entrance (coming from the north) to this little village is a dirt road going off to the right towards "Lagoa Mirim" - you have to cross one cattle grid, but everybody seems to be treating this as public access to the lake! we didn't feel like dealing with sand, so we didn't drive all the way to the lake... absolutely no shade, but some breeze and cool o/n. our most relaxing night for a long time! it got busy the next morning (New Years Eve).
no facilities.

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9. Uruguay

  [$ = Prices in Pesos - January 2009 --- Electricity: mostly 220V/50Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
"Parque Nacional Santa Teresa"
S 33°58.593'
$140 don't expect wild nature to explore - this Natl. Park is mostly there to preserve the fortress Santa Teresa and the shore line... huge parcel of land, almost estate like, with many roads winding through, cabañas, several camping areas, beaches, even 2 or 3 supermarkets. New Years Eve - what else than packed with people... at other times of the year this will be a lovely spot to camp, although there aren't many sites with access to power (only in zona A), even fewer with all 4: power, water, shade, and level ground... if you don't want power you could find a nice and secluded spot to camp even during busy times.
TIP: you could easily fit 2 vehicles onto a single site - the camping fee of $140 covers up to 6 people.
power, water at site, old, but (considering the crowds) clean bathrooms w. hot showers (no privacy!).
La Pedrera
Camping "La Pedrera"
S 34°35.288'
$200 p.person
$150 p.p. for 3+ days
I guess normally we wouldn't have stayed at this place, and definitely not for these prices, but our gas supply was getting critcally low and we wanted to stretch it by plugging in to mains power. coming from main coastal road take the first left after you have turned into La Pedrera, camping is almost at the end of this dirt road. mostly set up for tents, large eucalypt forest offers shade, but no breeze. camping vehicles (and trailers) have to stand in a small area next to the road, beside their cabañas, where the ground is very uneven and dusty. one friendly guy, Paulo, spoke good English. noisy (holiday season) almost all night.
all facilties next to the main office: toilets w/o seats, warm showers (but only a few shower heads). water tap (too small) next to drive way, and the weakest power we have had in a very long time.
San Carlos
Av.Alvariza 1165
S 34°47.027'
Acodike Gas open daily 8:00 to 22:00. probably the most expensive filling of our gas cylinders to this date, but no surprise w. general energy prices in Uruguay, and their particular procedure: our small bottles were filled from a large 45kg cylinder.
outside Jose Ignacio
empty new sub-division
S 34°49.603'
free Jose Ignacio is actually still a rather sleepy town north of Punta Del Este, but development is happening fast. there is no official campground near-by, which outside of season wouldn't be much of a problem: you can simply drive onto any beach outside town. we didn't want to stick out this much, and were looking for a little more distance to the road (and traffic noise) - this new subdivision was perfect: nicely wooded dunes, no traffic, over night you could actually hear the ocean - we slept well here!
no facilities.
Punta Carretas (or Punta Brava)
S 34°55.982'
free don't confuse this with the near-by shopping center of the same name! Punta Carretas is the tip, off the coast road, where the lighthouse stands. some level ground, no shade, but the breeze grew to almost a strong wind in the early morning, so it was cool enough. some fishermen and other activity over night, but overall quiet for a city location. locals confirmed that it would be safe. pick your spot carefully since there are some sewage treatments on the peninsular; you don't want to be upwind from them (wind o/n from the land).
others have stayed behind the near-by ANCAP petrol station, which is considerably closer to traffic.
no facilities.
outside Colonia
Camping "Brisas Del Plata"
S 34°21.685'
$50 p.person the municipal campground in Colonia, praised in our guide book, doesn't operate anymore, so the nearest options are about 20 kms away. this one, reached by a well sign-posted dirt road, didn't convince us to come back for a second night... fairly busy with holiday makers (open bar, music, TVs, kids, etc.), all facilities are a little old and tired. camping on dirt under trees (lots of low branches and power lines) by the river, which you can't see for all the bushes. concrete tables, benches, and bbqs.
power, use of old bathrooms (squatting toilets), shower water heated w. wood fire in the afternoon (don't know if this service exists in off-season).

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10. Argentina South

 (from Buenos Aires) [$ = Prices in Pesos - January-February 2009 --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
Laguna de Lobos
"Club de Pesca Lobos"
off Ruta 205
S 35°16.644'
$10 p.camper +
$10 p.person entry
very large property stretching along the lake: boat pier, beach, some grassed areas by the shore, rest rather dusty, all shaded by mature trees and almost level. relatively wide spaces between occupied sites (despite peak season) and fairly quiet campers. concrete tables and benches, many asado grills w. power outlets, some even w. water and sinks. the entire property was well cared for. two nice, clean bathroom blocks, small on-site shop. water-restrictions meant that only one block of three showers was open from 10:00 to 12:00 and 17:30 to 20:30 - not enough for all the people.
power, hot showers, clean toilets.
Tornquist, off Ruta 76
Balneario & Parque Norte
S 38°03.206'
$16 municipal balneario by a river, top section used for camping. mostly level, partly grassed with many mature trees providing good shade, fairly crowded when we visited, incl. boy scout groups. one old and disgustingly dirty toilet block, and a little newer block with more toilets and showers, which was a bit cleaner.
weak power from lamp posts, water taps at sites, some laundry tubs (which drain onto the ground), showers w. plenty of hot water, we didn't use the toilets (that bad!).
Bahia Blanca
Balneario "Maldonado"
S 38°43.998'
$21 municipal camping fenced off from parking lot of the town pool. narrow entry, very low trees restrict the choice to only a couple of sites. camping on packed dirt (which they seem to water once a day). hot, very hot, despite some breeze. late noise from roaming dogs and kids camping there, then early arrivals for picnics, also some distant truck noise from Ruta 3 by-pass.
power, use of hot shower (locked, so you have to ask to use them), we rated the toilets "un-usable".
Ruta 3 just after Bahia Blanca no reading Food Check Point check point (only south bound???) where our camper was checked for fruit and meat. they are mostly interested in all kind of fruit, capsicum (red and green peppers), and meat and meat products (like sausage). other vegetables, like mushrooms, potatoes, onions, didn't interest the inspectors, neither did milk or milk products (like cheese).
NOTE: at all check points they looked straight away for built-in boxes under the seat cushions (a first for us, since these were always ignored elsewhere) - better knowledge of camping vehicels?
outside Pedro Luro
"Lago La Salada"
(sign-posted from hwy.)
S 39°27.580'
free lovely laguna (with water birds and flamingos) just off Ruta 3. at the entrance, and on several signs around the lake, it says "no camping" - which seems to be ignored by many... there are three official campsites: one right next to the discotheque, the second at the T-intersection where everybody drives in (and out), and a third one tucked away and closed (in peak season) - well planned! several small convenience stores for basic supplies.
we were looking for something secluded with a little shade, so we didn't stay right at the shore, but there are plenty of nice spots. the quietest night in several weeks and a beautiful sun rise - very nice!
no facilities, though there are several toilet blocks near parking lots, which looked clean enough.
Ruta 3 just after Pedro Luro S 39°31.341'
Food Check Point check point (only south bound!) where our camper was checked for fruit and meat. probably similar priorities to the one near Bahia Blanca (above), but more thorough...
Ruta 3 near Viedma no reading Food Check Point there was a check point sign-posted along Ruta 3, but we turned off into Carmen de Patagonas, and later took the bridge along Ruta 1 through Viedma back to the south end of town - so we missed this one...
Las Grutas
beside road above the beach
S 40°48.241'
free in dunes above the beach, fairly exposed and windy, gravel road turns here away from coast. whole area rapidly developing with new apartment blocks. a little disturbed sleep, but not too bad. level in some places, muddy in others.
no facilities.
Ruta 3 after Las Grutas, San Antonio Oueste S 40°45.021'
Meat Check Point check point (only south bound!) where our camper was checked for meat and meat products (no mention of fruit and vegetable).
Sierra Grande no reading cheaper fuel this is the last (or first - depending which way you're driving) town to get fuel (petrol & diesel) at cheaper Patagonian prices. Diesel here was $2.066 per litre (YPF w. credit card), around Bahía Blanca most stations were asking between $2.50 and $2.69 per litre (cheaper in town than along Ruta 3).
Puerto Madryn
ACA campground "Punta Cuevas"
S 42°46.931'
$70 !! not necessarily a destination we would have chosen, and we wouldn't go back to it... large campground on a peninsular, very exposed, set out in a tight grid pattern with rows of poplar and pine trees (not much privacy for individual sites, and very crowded). most sites aren't level (to a degree where blocks don't help much), and despite all the trees there's not much shade, and the wind is strong, blowing lots of dust and sand around. two large facility blocks w. toilets and hot showers (clean enough). several asados, also some rooms and apartments for rent. our quiet site (quote from check-in) was close to a fairly busy gravel road, and the "entertainment" from midnight to dawn was distant "thump-thump" music from a nightclub in the neighbourhood...
power to all sites, water to fill at wash troughs (though: in the morning, when we needed it, all water was turned off), use of toilets and hot showers.
Puerto Madryn
Estivarez y Chaco
S 42°46.700'
Oxígeno Patagonia small gas place and ferreteria, quick (and not cheap) to fill gas cylinders - has own adapter for foreign bottles.
Puerto Pirámides, Valdez Peninsular
parking lot at beach
S 42°34.605'
free bumpy sand, difficult to find a level spot, very exposed and windy. it was quiet for most of the night until around 5:00, when a group of youths drove in with loud "thump-thump" music, and stayed until after 6:30 (by which time we had given up on sleep) - judging by the number of people who turned up, many on foot, this seems to be a bit of an established meeting point around dawn...
no facilities.
north of Puerto Madryn
along Ruta 42
parking lot at Punta Ameghino
S 42°35.573'
free bumpy dirt, difficult to find a level spot, very exposed and windy. no disturbances over night apart from strong wind shaking our camper.
NOTE: most places, we have stayed in Patagonia, the wind has turned several times within a 24 hour period.
no facilities.
municipal camping
S 43°18.294'
free not used!!! it was Saturday, adjoining the toilet block is a small hall which was getting its finishing touches in preparation of a fiesta, and in town (2 blocks away) a band in an open-air tent went through its final sound check...
o.k. looking bathroom block w. shower (female's door was locked), power to sites, several concrete tables, benches, and asados.
near Dolavon
beside a field track
S 43°22.021'
free to get here we had to cross one rotten timber bridge with a weight restriction of 2,500 kgs - obviouly we're heavier... lovely drive through the irrigated fields of Welsh origin - nice vistas and a very quiet night.
no facilities.
near Camarones
beside a track to the beach
S 44°50.185'
free on the way to the Penguins at Cabo Dos Bahias - there are many options to get off the road and find a quiet place to sleep - none will be really sheltered from the winds, but a few have small (vacant) fisher houses, which might provide some protection...
no facilities.
Rada Tilly
Municipal Camping
S 45°55.055'
$10 p.person +
$15 rodante
two blocks from the beach, north end of town. some gravelled, some dusty sites, most are more or less level, a few trees provide some shade and wind breaks. fairly busy during our visit, so it wasn't the quietest, but during the night no disturbances. facilities in o.k. condition, though toilets could have been much cleaner.
weak power, toilets, restricted use of warm showers (no privacy!), water restrictions (also mean that it's difficult to get water to fill tanks - we had to ask for assistance).
Ruta 3 after Rada Tilly S 45°59.719'
Police Check Point registration of tourists and foreign travellers: you have to stop, enter a small office, and show your passport and vehicle documents, details of which are entered into a ledger.
no control of any food!
south of Caleta Olivia
in dunes
S 46°31.437'
free just south of the intersection with Ruta 99 are several tracks leading to the beach - we took one of them. dunes initially protected us nicely from the wind, later the wind shifted and the camper was quite heavily shaken. not quite level (nose up) and some trash laying around. quad bikes early in the evening, but quiet over night (apart from wind).
no facilities.
Puerto San Julian
Auto Camping Municipal
S 49°18.322'
  $5 +
  $3 p.child +
$10 p.vehicle
San Julian is just off Ruta 3, the campground is down by the sea shore. this is probably the best cared for camping we have found along the Argentinean coast to date: hedges provide wind protection, the heated showers (despite being old) were nice and clean, hot water was plentiful, and even the toilets were kept at their best. some picnic tables and several asados, just a few too many lights for our liking... unfortunately some inconsiderate fellow campers spoilt the place for us.
strong power from outlets on posts, plenty of power points, and - as mentioned before - really enjoyable showers (cost: $3 if you're not staying here - recommended for people boondocking!) and toilets.
past Puerto Santa Cruz
in quarry off Ruta 288
S 50°06.757'
free we went this way specifically to find some quiet sleep, away from Ruta 3 - and it worked out nicely. this quarry by the river is almost at the end of the road (just before km post 1), protected from the road and wind by a cutting. coarse pebbles, level in places.
no facilities.
Laguna Azul off Ruta 3
just before border with Chile
S 52°04.402'
free Reserva Provincial - about 6 km before the border with Chile, well sign-posted. it's worthwhile driving off Ruta 3 just to see the crater lake. lower parking lot is quieter and more level, but very exposed to wind. when we arrived the upper lot was packed with cars, but all left and we had a nice quiet night here.
no facilities.
Camping "Hain"
S 54°31.541'
$20 p.person
second time only:
$15 p.person
campground below town by the lake. a unique owner provides a unique set-up: what initially looks like a trash yard is a well thought out assembly of recycled materials and drift wood to provide various shelters from the cold winds blowing from Lago Fagnano - we liked it! covered asado shelters, special shelters for tents, communal kitchen with wood fire and gas stove, old, but o.k. toilet block w. hot shower (only curtained off). all water comes straight from the lake. quiet o/n.
weak power, use of bathroom w. hot shower.
others have camped wild by the shore of the lake - same general direction from town, at the resort turn right and find a nice spot (though: colder near the water).
Camping "La Pista del Andino"
S 54°48.757'
$18 p.person +
  $6 for power
a travellers' meeting point at the west end of town on a hill (below glacier) overlooking the bay. drive along Magellanes until you cross a creek, then turn right, then left into Av. Leandro N.Alem, and look for sign. small camping bays divided by flower beds, one section more for tents, the other for camping vehicles, almost level grass (we needed some blocks), light posts w. power points, some wooden benches and tables. heated communal room. two toilet blocks either end of main building, clean enough, small showers (only curtained off), dishwashing and laundry sinks. distant traffic noise and barking of dogs all day & night, but we slept o.k.
power, use of bathrooms w. hot shower, tap w. hose (near entrance) to fill w. water.
outside Ushuaia
Rio Olivia picnic area
S 54°45.257'
free drive ca. 5 km out of town along Ruta 3, turn off at the red-and-white radio tower on the left, down the hill. grassed, but a little bumpy and muddy, level spaces to be found by the river. traffic noise from the highway reflects off the cliffs, yet overall o.k. to sleep. busy on weekends.
no facilities.
RT3, town entrance
S 54°47.405'
Sartini Gas easy to find, a little tricky to get in: when you drive into town from Tolhuin you come to a large roundabout, the gas place is right across from it (blue gate) - has own adapter for foreign bottles, and fills fixed tanks too.
EA Haberton
Ruta J nr. Ushuaia
Rio Varela camping
S 54°52.572'
free you're supposed to register at the estancia first - no dogs allowed (though nobody cares). there are 3 official campsites, all w/o any facilities. this is the first past the estancia (ca. 3km), by a river. treed, very bumpy grassed ground, but we found a level spot. trust the Argentinians: a family, who arrived after us, brought their own chain saw and used it whenever their fire went down - until almost midnight. it could be so nice and quiet here...
no facilities.
EA Haberton
Ruta J nr. Ushuaia
Rio Cambaceres
S 54°53.041'
free you're supposed to register at the estancia first - no dogs allowed (though nobody cares). there are 3 official campsites, all w/o any facilities. this is the last camping area past the estancia (ca. 10km), by a river. also very bumpy grassed ground, but we found a level spot. more exposed to wind. here we had a quiet night.
no facilities.
off Ruta 40
between Tapi Aike and El Cerrito
S 50°55.572'
free this part of Ruta 40 is not fenced in - here we found a small side track running parallel to a hill which provided some good wind protection. almost level sand or grass. one passing vehicle between 22:00 and the morning meant we had a quiet night.
no facilities.
TIP: the fuel station at Tapi Aike is not charging any foreigner surcharge on Diesel (a friend with a modern NISSAN complained about the quality!). there is no fuel at El Cerrito!
PN Los Glaciares
Camping "Lago Roca"
S 50°31.723'
free to get into this part of the park you don't have to pay any fees; the access road can be rough in some parts, muddy in others. hilly terrain overlooking the lake with mountains in the background, groups of small-ish trees provide some shelter. trust the Argentinans to bring loud music on weekends, but lovely and quiet at other times... unfortunately from here to the glacier and back is a round trip of over 100 kms!
no facilities.
PN Los Glaciares
Moreno Glacier
Upper parking lot
S 50°28.163'
free when we arrived it was grey and raining, and we were directed to the lower lot (because the upper was full with buses). we drove up to this lot after 17:00 when it started to empty - officially camping, even inside self-contained vehicles, is not permitted anymore, but nobody bothered us. imagine waking up with a clear and sunny view of his magnificant glacier through your camper windows!
parking lot is not quite level (you'll need a few blocks), quiet over night aside from all the noise the glacier is producing (some internal cracking sounds almost like gun fire), fairly cold (no surprise with that much ice around).
no facilities, except toilets at the snack bar during their business hours.
El Calafate
near "Laguna Nímez"
S 50°19.261'
free it's a bit of a zig-zag (starting before the bridge when you get into town - then partly sign-posted) to get to this laguna, a bird watcher's paradise just outside town - best get a map from the (unfriendly) tourist info. camping option is just west of the laguna, off the road in some small shrubs (and some trash - but not too bad). windy from the lake, almost level sand in most places, quiet o/n.
no facilities.
there are several camping places in town - by now you might know that we don't fancy anymore camping next to noisy Argentinans...
Diesel around El Calafate   Information current
February 2009
there's no station in El Calafate willing to sell Diesel to vehicles with foreign registration without the foreigners surcharge, so you'll be paying $3.35 per litre instead of the local price of $2.06 at YPF, $3.50 at Petrobras.
ways around this: buy your Diesel in jerry cans, which can be tedious, or fill in other towns: south at Tapi Aike $2.38/litre (warning: some people complained about dirty Diesel from this station), or to the north El Chalten $3.00, Tres Lagos $2.89, Bajo Caracoles $2.89 = all these options are at least cheaper than the price with surcharge in El Calafate - and you don't support this rip-off system!
outside El Chalten
Ruta 23 by the bridge across Rio Electrico
S 49°13.590'
free this is along the road to Laguna Desierto - rough pebbles along the edge of the river, almost level. very windy at times and one of our coldest nights. there's a good amount of traffic along this road until early evening hours, quiet o/n, traffic starts again after 8:00 in the morning.
no facilities.
off Ruta 40
~130 kms south of Bajo Caracoles
small side track
S 48°41.330'
free don't use this spot in rain - it could be muddy! we don't know where this track leads to - it was fairly well maintained, but w/o recent tire tracks. level pebble site well away from main road, but not protected from wind.
no facilities.
Perito Moreno
Camping Municipal
S 46°35.744'
$25 p.vehicle +
  $5 p.person
at the southern end of town, away from main road (but not completely away from local traffic noise, and the town's power generator is near by). small compound occupied with many cabañas (for rent) and a large enclosed common room, not much space for tent camping, only 2 or 3 sites for camping cars. level dirt, which could turn muddy. large clean bathroom block, plenty of hot water in showers, several power points provide weak electricity.
use of bathrooms w. hot showers, power.

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11. Chile South

 (from Tierra Del Fuego north) [P = Prices in Pesos - January-April 2009 --- Electricity: 220V/50Hz]
Town / Camp Site GPS Price p. Night Description / Our Impression
Ruta 287
space off the road near pipe line
S 52°44.013'
free somehow the border crossing took far too long, we were too late to make it in reasonable time back into Argentina, so we stopped here (initially only for a short break). level gravel lot with an oil pipe line running through (stay away from it!), a good distance from the road (something which you don't find much - normally all is fenced off). guanacos and lots of sheep. light traffic until a little later than we had hoped for, almost until 1:00 at night, but we slept o.k. here.
no facilities.
RNY 71
Bahía Inutíl
S 53°20.502'
free this is the only spot along this road where there are some trees for a little wind protection... gravel turn off, almost level, with a small concrete structure and a bit of rubbish (not too bad) - we slept well here, hardly any traffic, none o/n.
no facilities.
Punta Arenas
Ferry Parking Lot
S 53°07.311'
free level concrete parking lot (don't stand at the water's edge - you might be in the way of other ferries arrving over night), relatively quiet o/n, though a few cars with thumping stereos had to make their round through the lot. in the morning the ferry and a taxi stand create a lot of coming and going.
no facilities.
Punta Arenas
Residential area near Zona Franca
S 53°08.232'
free going south on Av.3 Oriente turn right where the fence enclosing the Free Trade Zone ends, at the end of this cul-de-sac on the left is a grassed area with a concrete driveway; level grass. a very quiet place to sleep, and no hassle with residents.
no facilities.
Punta Arenas
Manuel José Grella
S 53°08.984'
Gasco off Gral. Estanislao Del Canto - open on Saturdays into the afternoon (lucky us) - their cylinders have US-style valves... filling from large cylinder into ours.
Estancia Rio Verde
RNY 50
no reading free Ruta 50 (ripio) is a more scenic drive between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. we were invited beforehand by the owner's wife, Josefina, to visit and camp at this place; it's a working estancia with posada and a lovely restaurant. there are several other options along this road to camp wild...
no facilities.
Puerto Natales
Residential street
S 51°43.945'
free we found the so-called campground (Josmar 2) in this town too crowded and too expensive for what it offered, so we went searching for street parking with some wind protection... this place was at the southern end of town: a small gravel road connecting two residential streets. almost level, we slept o.k. despite some disturbances, mostly by roaming dogs.
no facilities.
Torres Del Paine NP
nr. Rio Serrano
S 51°13.673'
free the campground "Rio Serrano" was closed (and would be too exposed to wind anyhow), so we drove to the parking lot at the end of the road and camped right next to a "no camping" sign, behind some low trees for wind protection; almost level grass and quiet o/n apart from a quad-bike racing past in the middle of the night at around 1:00.
no facilities.
Torres Del Paine NP
parking Hotel "Grey"
S 51°07.403'
free bumpy gravel parking lot, but we got level with a few blocks. trees offer some relief from the strong wind. quiet apart from the constant (24 hours) distant drone of the hotel's generator. free good WiFi from the hotel.
we didn't use the hotel facilities, but there is a water tap along the service road.
others have camped near the ranger station at the end of the road, where you can find a clean toilet block.
Torres Del Paine NP
Camping "Lago Pehoe"
S 51°06.465'
P 4,000 p.person large new-ish campground, both sides of the road, overlooking Lago Pehoe and the mountain massif (if you have clear weather, which we didn't have). almost all slopey ground, difficult to get even semi-level, the few sites which are more level are totally exposed to the wind. all sites have shelters (for tents) and picnic tables, though many of these are facing the wrong way and catch the wind. if tenting or with a camper vehicle: we recommend to walk around, pick your site first and then sign in. nice clean bathroom blocks with supposedly hot showers (mine was only luke warm, Yasha was more lucky and enjoyed a hot one).
use of clean bathrooms with showers, taps to fill w. water, but no power.
Torres Del Paine NP
Camping "Laguna Azul"
S 50°52.400'
P 4,000 p.person in the northern part of the park: this campground is on a peninsular jutting into the laguna and rather cold o/n. on a clear day you can get an excellent view of the Torres - we saw mostly low grey cloud and rain. some sites are sheltered by a small hill and/or clumps of small trees, there are also some small lattice walls as wind protection (for tents) and several picnic tables. the very small and crowded bathroom block looks old but clean, shower water during restricted hours was hot. quiet o/n.
use of bathrooms with hot showers.
outside Chile Chico
road to Bahía Jara
sand pit
S 46°32.419'
free could be very muddy in rain! small sand pit on fenced in land (gate was open) a bit off the road, level in places, very quiet o/n. nice scenery with mountains around, a little protected, but fairly windy.
no facilities.
we didn't realise: for the first 20-30 kilometers along the main road towards Puerto Guadal you will find several nice spots to pull off the road and camp - later all land is too steep or fenced in.
east end of Puerto Guadal
parking near beach
S 46°50.826'
free it looks like this was the old road (which later was moved a bit further away from the shore): almost level packed dirt, very exposed. we were surprised that some traffic passed well into the night. still slept well.
no facilities.
side road of Carretera Austral
just by the road
S 46°09.764'
free away from main road we found this small bumpy grass bit next to the small gravel road - all together (from late afternoon into the next morning late) 5 cars, 11 cows and 1 gaucho on a horse passed by, so it was very quiet to sleep.
no facilities.
off Carretera Austral
Lago Elizalde
S 45°46.516'
free early in the day, on our way to Coihaique, we met some friends (Jürgen + Eli, see our first Bogotá entry) going the other way - so we quickly decided to get off the road and find a nice place to spend the day chatting and relaxing... this was perfect, and the lake is really beautiful! small parking lot a little above the lake, part gravel, part grass, easy to get level, some wind protection, and quiet.
no facilities.
Reserva Nacional Coyhaique
Camping Laguna Verde
S 45°32.283'
P 4,000 this might be a nice spot to go camping with a tent, but for larger camper vehicles this site is not suitable (nowhere even near level)! we were running out of day light and options, so this was our last try. it was very quiet and wind protected in the forest. the access road is very steep and bad in parts.
normally gates close at 17:00.
don't know what facilities exist - we didn't check.
TIP: there's free (municipal) WiFi around the town center of Coyhaique (though: weekdays you'll have to pay for parking).
south of Coyhaique
Carretera Austral
S 45°37.216'
Lipigas open Mo. - Sa. 8:00 - 13:00 - very friendly and helpful staff filled our bottles in the afternoon.
Los Maitenes 949
S 45°59.719'
Mechanic Laurato Adriazola Orellana - the son, working here, speaks good English. all brand workshop with high entry gate. Phone:(67)232913, Cel: (09)8889715
Puerto Chacabuco
near play ground
S 45°32.283'
free almost at the end of the road, above the small port. residential street overlooking play ground and port, level on grass edge. after traffic died down around 23:00 it was very quiet. the view (apart from container stacks) was quite pleasant. we managed to pick up weak free WiFi here.
no facilities.
Carretera Austral
next to river
S 44°33.404'
free blink and you'll miss this narrow dirt track turning off the road towards the river. once it opens up at the river there are probably 4-5 almost level spaces on packed dirt. still close to the potholed road (not yet re-constructed), but a waterfall across the river muffles most traffic noise.
no facilities.
Camping "La Sirena"
S 44°33.404'
P 2,500 p.person by the shore of the fjord, residential area, small gate opens into a small lot, soft in places so we sank in, ended up standing right in the middle of the lot. several wooden shelters, one with tables and benches, where a wood stove burns almost all day, small simple ensuite style bathrooms (one each sex), kept very clean, with tiny shower cubicles, but nice hot water. quiet. very friendly owner always ready for a chat.
use of power and bathrooms w. hot shower.
Carretera Austral
sideroad nr.Rio Palena
S 43°48.479'
free this is an old track of the Carretera Austral where a bend had been made less sharp - road is fenced off one end. government farm with cattle (who came past the camper early night) and other animals. almost level road surface, quiet until the first rattly trucks passed by on the main road around 7:30 in the morning.
no facilities.
Carretera Austral
Puente El Oeste
nr.Villa Vanguardia
S 43°39.727'
not used there is a decent sized level grassy spot just south-east of this bridge, where you could get a bit away from the road...
no facilities.
another spot, which we had passed that morning, is another bend which had been re-aligned; here too you can use the old the road - this time going through some forest, west side of the carretera. roughly half way between the above listing at Rio Palena and this one at Villa Vanguardia.
ferry parking lot
S 42°54.687'
free we came into Chaitén shortly after the second major eruption in February 2009, the town was almost completely evacuated and at first police didn't want to let us in - embarcadero parking is one of the 2 evacuation points for the town. coarse gravel parking lot, not easy to get level, very quiet over night, but somehow we didn't sleep well.
no facilities.
outside Puerto Montt
Coihuin Bajo

near ocean
S 41°29.337'
free for being near a major city this is a real find! follow the coast road north-east, for about 7 kms out of town, until you see the signposted turn-off for Coihuin Bajo, drive through the small village, before the small bridge keep right. well over a kilometer of grassed open paddocks next to the marshy sea - pick your site, but be careful with broken glass and some boggy soft spots. very quiet apart from some dogs. nice vistas across the bay towards the mountains.
no facilities.
Chiloe: Ancud
mirador Cerro Hueihuen
S 41°51.889'
free not recommended! we found this mirador in other people's list. ugly telephone towers, humming electrical transformers, and over night a constant coming and going of vehicles (some of course with loud music; middle of the week) - the last left at 5:45 in the morning!
no facilities.
Chiloe: Ancud
Camping "Arena Gruesa"
S 41°51.636'
P3,500 p.person on the hill above the town's beach (where you probably cound stand for free), large property with cabañas and grassed camping area divided into small plots enclosed by hedges (not many you can get into with a larger vehicle). there's also a large lawn, overlooking the beach, better suited for campers (we didn't want to use this because too windy). old-ish bathroom block, could be a little cleaner, hot water only form 20:00 to 23:00. power points at sites, many water taps throughout camping area. quiet o/n.
use of bathrooms, power, water.
near Cucao
on the way to PN Chiloe
lagoon by beach
S 42°36.264'
free even though this is past the entrance gate for the national park you don't have to pay the entrance fee to stay here! drive out of Cucao, before the second bridge (which is shaped like a boat) turn left; there's a water crossing which should be easy at most times - we had quite an adventure crossing it through high water (wait to read the update)! either camp on the grassed area along the lagoon, where the wind blows, or seek shelter in the gravel quarry. no shade. quiet over night.
no facilities.
a second night we stayed near the turn-off by the small (closed) tourist office. this was quiet too, despite being closer to the road and bridge.
Puerto Varaz
parking by the lake
S 41°18.693'
free a bumpy dirt lot right by the lake shore, lovely view across the lake towards the volcanos. a little too much coming and going over night for really undisturbed sleep, but o.k. for a night. walking distance into the pleasant town.
no facilities.
just north of Frutillar
by the lake
S 41°07.351'
free just off the road, below road level; narrow, but long beach stretch, tight to turn a larger vehicle around w/o getting into the loose sand. nice vistas towards the volcanos. little traffic over night, but lots of vehicles passing from 7:00 in the morning onwards. some dust, morning sun (if there is some), afternoon shade, so it's cool.
no facilities.
Please note: north from Puerto Montt we didn't travel much as tourists anymore - our major concern was to sell our camper, and on four seperate occasions we enjoyed invitations to stay at peoples houses -
so the following part of this list is not very comprehensive!
NOTE re. Road Fees: keep your road fee receipts as at most exits with toll gates you don't have to pay an extra fee if you can show your receipt from the last pay-station payment.
service lane Ruta 5
S 40°35.641'
Abastible west side of hwy. / there's a Hiper Lider near by, too! open Mo. - Sa. 8:00 - 13:00 and 14:30 - 16:45 (not sure about Saturday afternoon) - they filled our bottles in the afternoon.
service lane Ruta 5
S 40°35.895'
Gasco east side of hwy opposite Abastible. open Mo. - Sa. 8:00 - 13:00 - they did NOT fill our bottles in the afternoon.
Rio Bueno
parking by river
S 40°19.771'
free at town entrance follow the signs to the Balneario Municipal (with camping) - this is the parking lot for it. large sign prohibits camping, probably in interest of the adjoining campground (closed out of season, and we couldn't enter in any case because it's too slopey). some gravel, some grass, a few trees w. low branches, level in a few spots. some bbq grills, nice view, very quiet over night.
no facilities.
Lago Panguipulli
Camping "Gerber"
S 39°40.686'
P5,000 for the 2 of us almost at the end of the road, easy walking distance to the lake shore. we were the only guests, but campground is open all year. the friendly proprietor immediately made sure that the table and benches at our site and the bathrooms were clean = nice! grassy lot in a valley, small plots divided by plants, not many level spots, some trees provide shade. laundry sinks, clean bathrooms, hot water usually only in the evenings. some disturbances o/n by roaming dogs.
use of power at site, clean bathrooms w. hot showers, water hose to fill tank near gate.
outside Loncoche
Ruta 5
service area opp. police
S 39°21.503'
free level bitumen lot next to Ruta 5, a little too much traffic noise for our liking...
no facilities.
San Gregorio
off Ruta 5
edge of village
S 36°17.041'
free not far off the highway, turn right at the plaza of San Gregorio. bumpy dirt field at the edge of the village, lots of fill being tipped here (no idea about future use), quiet over night with only distant traffic noise from Ruta 5.
no facilities.
Agua Frio
near San Fernando
dirt road
S 34°34.774'
free we went off Ruta 5 in search of a quiet place, but for several kilometers couldn't find anything suitable, so we finally ended up on this bumpy bit of dirt (not very level) between a ripio road and a small creek - no traffic over night, quiet sleep. the next morning, when we wanted to leave, we were held up by road works for almost an hour.
no facilities.
near Los Andes
"Las Moras" picnic area
S 32°50.750'
P10,000 for the 2 of us *) we found this picnic area on a local tourist map and assumed it was a public place; by the time we arrived it was dark, but the property turned out to be a private concern, and overnight camping was not part of the set-up (more for weddings and family parties).
*) we had to bargain to pay this high price!
almost level parking, owner's dogs disturbed us a bit over night, use of power, water to fill, and clean bathrooms with hot showers (in cold air).
Playa El Boco
S 32°55.168'
free it was nice to be back at a beach with loud surf lulling us to sleep, although one night we were woken by a drunk group starting a small party close to our camper (second night was quiet). almost level sand, beware of soft sections, some sea mist, overall quiet out of season (probably too busy during peak season). some roaming dogs.
no facilities.
18kms from Lo Orosco
by a creek crossing
S 33°09.296'
free once again the search for a quiet place took us further from the highway than we wanted to travel (bloody fences everywhere in Chile); a small earth mound seperated this rather roomy vacant lot from a narrow gravel road. almost level, some trash laying around (not too bad), quiet over night (only 2-3 cars during daytime hours), cool in the morning.
no facilities.
Maipú outside Santiago
[street:] Cerro Sombrero
S 33°31.670'
PROPANE we forgot to take an exact reading... if you need to fill with propane in Santiago your choice is limited: all three companies, Gasco, Lipigas, Abastible, have their Santiago plants in the same road = this one!
That's it from us - enjoy your trip! ...and remember to be nice to future travellers: publish your camping locations on the internet!

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