Skiing in summer? Nothing is impossible in Chile – 10 snowy resorts with excellent pistes are at your service. There are also excellent beaches on the Pacific coast, the mysterious Easter Island, lakes, geysers and Patagonia, praised by Verne. All about Chile: tours, vacations, photos, map.
This is a partial list of things tourists come to Chile for: skiing in the summer, solving the mysteries of Easter Island all year round, enjoying great wine and incredible views.
On top of that, Chile offers excellent hiking and mountain climbing and ski resorts with modern hotels and quality service (for which Chile is ahead of all of Latin America). But the cool thing is that you can ski in Chile from June through October, when it’s off-season in Europe.
The only drawback, which, apart from Chile, applies to the entire continent and can partially mar the pleasure of the trip is a long flight.
But there is a pleasant bonus: Chile gave “dear Russians” the right of visa-free entry for 3 months – more than enough time to explore Patagonia and Easter Island, and the beaches of Iquique, and relax over the mirror-like surface of Seven Lakes of Chile.
- 1 Cities and regions
- 2 Visa to Chile
- 3 Customs
- 4 Hotels in Chile
- 5 Banks and exchange offices in Chile
- 6 Chile’s Climate
- 7 Tourist Safety
- 8 Transport in Chile
- 9 Rent a car
- 10 Shopping Chile
- 11 Cuisine and Restaurants of Chile
- 12 Sights and attractions in Chile
Cities and regions
The capital is Santiago. The main resorts are Viña del Mar, La Serena, Valle Nevado, El Colorado, Portillo.
Visa to Chile
You do not need a visa to enter Chile if your stay in the country does not exceed 90 days. Medical insurance is not required at the border crossing, but you should not fly to South America without it.
Import and export of national and foreign currency is not limited, amounts over 10,000 USD need to be declared. 400 cigarettes or 500 gr. of tobacco or 50 cigars or 50 cigarillos, 2.5 liters of spirits can be imported duty-free.
The import of weapons, plants and seedlings, soil, insects (including bees, honey and wax), narcotic substances and non-canned products is prohibited.
It is prohibited to export without special permission items and things of historical, artistic or archaeological value, as well as weapons and rare species of flora and fauna.
Hotels in Chile
All hotels in the country meet international standards and correspond to the assigned “star” category. The mains voltage is 220 V, 50 Hz. The plugs are round, with two or three pins.
Banks and exchange offices in Chile
The country’s monetary unit is the Chilean peso (CLP), with 1 peso representing 100 centavos. Current exchange rate: 1 CLP = 0.1 RUB (1 USD = 735.3 CLP, 1 EUR = 878.46 CLP).
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Exchange offices are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. You can exchange money at banks or exchange offices (casas de cambios).
Large stores, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards from the world’s leading systems.
Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at banks (departments dealing with traveler’s checks are usually open until noon) or exchange offices. It is practically impossible to pay with a credit card or even more so with a check in the provinces.
Chile stretches from north to south (or south to north?) along virtually all of Latin America. So the climate here is extremely varied.
In the north, a tropical desert type prevails, with average monthly temperatures ranging from +12°C (May-August) to +26°C (December-March).
The climate to the south changes to the subtropical, with summer temperatures ranging from +22 … +24 ° C and winter temperatures ranging from +12 … +18 ° C. The weather is the same on the islands of Easter and Juan Fernandez.
The most popular sights of Chile are the lake Chungara, Patagonia, volcano Parinacota, geysers El Tatio, lake Miskanti, archeological sites Copaquilla and Zapauira and the mysterious Easter Island.
The middle part of the country is dominated by a temperate oceanic climate.
Temperature there ranges from +3 … +12 °С in winter to +22 °С in summer. In alpine areas of the country is much colder: in some places it does not exceed +3 ° C even in summer, in winter it can fall down to -27 ° C.
In the area of the Magellan Strait and on the island of Tierra del Fuego the climate is polar, the temperature in winter ranges from -16 to -4 ° C, in summer it does not exceed +18 ° C.
Chile has the lowest crime rate in Latin America.
Fraud or petty theft can be encountered in the capital and other major cities, but in rural areas it is unthinkable to swindle or, worse, to steal from a guest.
Smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages on the streets are considered at least a sign of bad manners, and in some cities, it is simply forbidden.
Since 2006, Chile has banned smoking in public places.
Transport in Chile
The most popular connections between outlying cities are by air or by ferry. There are several companies offering intercity bus transportation. Service is good and schedules are kept.
Trains of the state railroad transportation system (Sistema Estatal de Ferrocarriles) run from Santiago to Temuco. They all have several types of carriages with different levels of comfort and are inexpensive. However, problems on the tracks or with the trains are common, so the journey can be delayed.
Cabs are popular in the country and are easily recognized by their bright coloring: black bottom – yellow top. Each car has a registration number and meter, and cab drivers are polite and courteous.
Rent a car
It is not difficult to rent a car in Chile. You must be 21 to 75 years old, have an international license.
The roads in Latin America are of the highest quality in Chile. Seat belts are compulsory for the driver and all passengers.
Smoking, use of cell phones or music players while driving is prohibited.
License and car documents should always be with you: checks on the roads of Chile are not uncommon.
In the markets and private stores in Chile it is possible to bargain. However, the prices there are already low. It is worth bringing back wood carvings and paintings, musical instruments, ceramics, bronze and silver jewelry, and glassware.
One of Santiago’s largest souvenir markets, Pueblito los Dominicos, offers quality copperware, silver and crystal jewelry, Indian handicrafts, alpaca and llama wool products.
Cuisine and Restaurants of Chile
The cuisine of Chile is quite exotic, but at the same time delicious and not harmful to the spoiled borscht Russian stomach.
The country is famous for its excellent wines. Another drink that makes Chileans proud is a 40-degree liqueur pisco. Pisco is not drunk just like that: it is diluted with various fizzy drinks such as Schweppes or Coca-Cola.
Tips are usually 10% of the bill, and are often included in the total. Cab drivers do not expect tips, you can just round up the fare.
Sights and attractions in Chile
The most popular attractions in Chile are Lake Chungara, Patagonia, Parinacota Volcano, El Tatio Geysers, Lake Miskanti, the archaeological sites of Copaquilla and Zapahuira, and the mysterious Easter Island.
The oases of the famous Atacama Desert preserve the memory of the ancient Chinchorro and Aymara civilizations. It is also worth visiting the ancient city of San Pedro de Atacama, the port city of Antofagasta, the nearby Lunar Valley with its fantastic landscapes, the regional capital Iquique with its famous beaches, numerous villas of the century before last century, and a theater.
No less interesting national park Volkan-Isluga, rock massifs Bahia Ingles, lying in the middle of the desert town Kalama and abandoned mining town Humberstone.
The island of Chiloé, in the center of the eponymous archipelago, lures travelers with its picturesque fishing villages and UNESCO-listed wooden churches.
Puerto Montt is one of the most interesting cities in Chile, north of which lies the picturesque Seven Lakes region. The most popular lakes are Rinco, Villarrica and Llanquihue. On the shores of Lake Neltumé lies Chile’s highest waterfall, Hilo Hilo.