Many of us dream of overlanding in far off places. Unfortunately, the constraints of home and work often keep this dream at arms length. The time needed to drive a rig to South America is likely the biggest barrier to taking the plunge. One solution would be to fly and drive, but finding a trustworthy rental car company to provide a reliable vehicle to drive off into the sunset can be daunting. The other solution would be to hook up with a reputable touring company. Uniland Chile is one such company. Founded in 2014, Uniland Chile has been putting the local touch on touring the beautiful country of Chile.
In addition to guided tours, Uniland Chile offers repair and maintenance services as well as driver instruction. Needless to say, no matter what your need, if you are in the area these guys have you covered.
Known for it’s spectacular vistas of mountain peaks, wildlife and incredible remote areas Chile is an absolute paradise. Follow along as Hans Weber tells us a little more about what they do.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: Well, my name is Hans Weber, I am a journalist from Chile! 34 years ago I was born in Barcelona, Spain. My parents were studying in Barcelona, and surprise I came to this world hahaha. I love nature and outdoors and specially the Patagonia. Married two years ago.
Q: How did you get started in overland travel?
A: My father bought his first Unimog 10 years ago. It is a second hand 1300L with a Langer & Bock camper. Its is only for two passengers, so a couple of months from that I bought an 416 double cab Unimog. With this two rigs we started to perform nice family trips in the chilean mountains, national parks, etc.
Q: Do you have any special training (medical/offroad/recovery/etc.)?
A: Yes, we have WAFA medical training. To perform first aid in remote areas. Also our mechanic use to work for 25 years in Kaufmann (Mercedes Benz in Chile) in the unimog area.
Q: How did Uniland Chile come to be?
A: 5 years ago I was working as journalist in the capital from Chile, Santiago. But always with the unimogs in my mind! So my father tell me that he wants to work with me with the unimogs. Every time when we made a trip, a lot of people ask us for guided trips in Chile. Or maybe if we rent the unimogs. That’s when we realized that there is a business opportunity with the rigs. And so Uniland Chile was founded!
Q: What are the various vehicles in your fleet? How many do you have?
A: Now we have 2 unimogs. One is a 1300L for 12 passengers. It has a cabin for 10 people in the back, and also 3 more can travel in the front with the driver. Also we have a 416 double cab for 4 passengers and the driver.
Besides those two rigs, we have 3 more 1300L unimogs in case we need to expand or capacity or maybe build a camper on them and sell them. We also have mechanics and restoration area in the company.
Q: What made you choose to use this particular vehicle? Did you consider others first?
A: We strongly believe that the Unimog is the perfect vehicle for overland adventures. Of course there are also other good vehicles, but none of them with the unique capacities of the Unimog. For example in the chilean Patagonia you will face enormous rivers and deep enough that only a Unimog can cross them.
Q: What upgrades or changes have you made?
A: In the unimogs we use for tourism with passengers we install brand new winches, new heavy duty springs and shock absorbers.
Q: What systems do you use for navigation?
A: We use for navigation GARMIN GPS system.
If you are interested in booking a tour, contact Uniland Chile.
All photos courtesy of Uniland Chile.