DESTINATION CHILE

Basic Stats

Conventional Name: Republic of Chile

Short Name: Chile

Surface: Chile is the longest and narrowest country of this continent, covering an area of 746,767 sq km It’s 4,329 km long and an average of 177 km wide. Chile borders with Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Population: Approximately 17 million inhabitants, most Caucasian or mestizo.

Capital: Santiago de Chile

Local Hour: - 4 hours GMT

Electricity: The voltage used in Chile is 220 volts 50 cycles (220V 50Hz), which will require 110V users to have an adaptor. However, laptops and portable electronics usually have a transformer (110V – 240V) that adapts to Chilean voltage.

Language: Official language is Spanish.

Currency: The Chilean peso ($ or CLP) is printed in bills of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 10,000 and 20,000 pesos and in coins in the amount of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 pesos. Personal checks are another commercially accepted form of payment, but require ID. Most shops and restaurants accept credit cards.

Banking & Shopping hours: Banks are open from 9 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday. Stores are open from 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, though malls and supermarkets are also open on Sunday.

National Holidays:

  • Jan 1st – New Year's Day
  • March/April – Easter Week
  • May 1st – Labor Day
  • May 21st – Naval Glories
  • June – Corpus Christi
  • June 29th – St. Peter & St. Paul
  • Aug 15th – Assumption of the Virgin
  • Sep 18th – Independence Day
  • Sep 19th – Armed Forces Day
  • Oct 12th – Columbus Day
  • Nov 1st – All Saints Day
  • Dec 8th – Inmaculate Conception
  • Dec 25th – Christmas Day

Geography and culture: “A long and narrow strip of land” are the words often used to define our stunningly beautiful country. Chile possesses endless wonders that surprise and amaze many travellers. These wonders include:

  • Chinchorro – the world´s oldest mummies
  • Atacama – the world´s driest desert and the clearest starry skies
  • Pacific beaches and stunning waves for surfing
  • Great skiing resorts and hiking trails in the Andes Mountains
  • World class wines
  • A unique culture on Easter Island
  • Pristine forests, crystal clear lakes and snowcapped volcanoes in the south
  • The mystic island of Chiloe
  • 1100km of genuine adventure at the Carretera Austral
  • Wide, wild Patagonia with glaciers, endless hiking trails and majestic fjords


Chile is also home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  •  Inca Road (shared with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru)
  •  Ghost Towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura
  •  Historic Centre of Valparaíso
  •  Easter Island
  •  Mining Town of Sewell
  •  Wooden Churches of Chiloé

(Status: 12/2015)


Food & Beverages: In all cities, excellent restaurants with great variety of dishes of national and international cuisine can be found. Typical Chilean dishes are barbecue (based on beef), “empanadas”, (mass stuffed with ground meat, ground onion, olives and boiled egg), Chicken “cazuela” (Chicken broth with potatoes, pumpkin, corn and green beans), “pastel de choclo” (meat, and chicken baked in the oven with a corn paste ). Within traditionally Chilean plates on the basis of fish and seafood, nothing better than a “paila marina” or a “pastel de jaiba” and of course, salmon. One of the typical dishes of the Island of Chiloé is the traditional Curanto (a mixture of fish, seafood, potatoes and different types of meat and sausages), that is cooked in a pot of clay in a hole in the ground.

The traditional aperitif in Chile is the Pisco Sour, made from pisco (grape liquor), lemon, egg, ice and sugar. The Chilean wines are known world-wide, especially the Carmenère, which is almost only found in Chile today..

The usual gratuity in restaurants is 10%.

Communications:

Wifi is available in almost every hotel or hostel. Additionally, there are internet cafes in the city centres, which mostly include public phones.

Public telephones are also found in the Metro stations, they operate with coins of $100 or phone cards, which are available in the newsstands.

Customs: You can bring up to USD 10.000 or its equivalent in other currencies. Higher amounts have to be declared.Two and a half litres of alcoholic drinks or perfume can be transported tax-free.

You cannot bring fruits, vegetables, dairy products or plants into the country .

Vaccinations: No vaccination is required to enter Chile.

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