About Chile

The first thing you will notice arriving in Chile will be the two natural barriers, the majestic Andes Mountains to the east and the grand Pacific Ocean to the west. This makes the country somewhat isolated but very rich in its culture.
As it is a very long and thin country, you can find different types of climates from the desert in the north, passing through the jungle, to the arctic in the south. This provides a vast array of products, diverse types of cattle, and, as the floor is very rich in nutrients. All this have made Chile famous for its food, like seafood, wines and the exportation of different fruits.
The most significant economic activity is copper exports, and both domestic and international companies have found in Chile an excellent place to invest. Its political and economic stability has provided an excellent base for business deals and constant immigration.

About Santiago

Santiago is the Chilean capital, it was founded by the Spanish colonizers in 1541, and since then has been through a significant transformation but always maintaining its natural essence.
Now, it is emerging as one of the most recommended cities for tourism, conventions, and business trips in South America. It is a city of syncopated cultural currents, with vivid nightlife, expansive museums, and top-flight restaurants.
The center of the city it’s proof of the history of the country. The history, artistic and civic tradition are spread throughout its museums, art galleries, and artisan centers. The multiple university campuses within the city confirm its leadership as a major seat of higher education in the country.
Santiago lies in the heart of the Central Valley, nestled between the Coastal Mountain Range and the high Andes mountains, home to the many fertile farms with agriculture crops and vineyards that are the base of internationally renowned Chilean wine production. In the Andes Mountains, you will find various ski centers as Valle Nevado, La Parva or El Colorado.
Santiago is also the capital of the Metropolitan Region, which extends over an area of 6 provinces ranging from the heart of the city to the mountains and valleys that are bathed by the rivers that give rise to pleasure and recreation for its visitors. A must-see experience in the outskirts of the city of Santiago is the famous wine tour that allows tourists to visit famous vineyards located in the outskirts of the city. Other popular excursions include the Cajón Del Maipo and Pomaire.
The Cajon de Maipo is a beautiful Andean valley, ideal for spending a quiet and relaxing day or weekend out of the city , whereas Pomaire boasts some of the finest handcrafted pottery and other handicrafts, as well as being a center of traditional gastronomy, including local dishes such as “empanadas” or “pastel de choclo” (corn pie).
The climate in Chile is very varied because of the length of the South American country of about four thousand kilometers (from north to south). For example, the northern part of Chile is characterized by desert climate with minimal rainfall (average temperature in the region is 15-20 °C, 59-68 °F). But in the south of the country, the amount of rainfall is ten times bigger and the average temperature is lower for about ten degrees.
Spring in the country begins in September and ends in November. The climatic conditions in autumn and spring in Chile are almost identical. For example, the average temperature is about 20 °C (68 °F) in September, from 20 °C (68 °F) to 24 °C (75 °F) in October and about 26 °C (79 °F) in November.

The National Currency

In Chile, the national currency is the Peso. In the following webpage, you will find the actualized price of the dollar in Chilean pesos.
http://www.valor-dolar.cl/
To exchange money, it is better to use official money exchange institutions, such as banks and official currency exchange houses or just ATMs. It is unlikely that foreign currency will be accepted, except at some hotels, so it is important to have enough cash in Chilean currency. However, most places accept credit cards such as Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express.
Throughout the city, you will find a lot of ATMs, which dispense Chilean pesos the whole day to cardholders of most major international networks (including Cirrus, Plus, and Maestro). This machines can be found not only in banks, but also many stores and shopping malls, gas stations, and pharmacies.
The Value-added TAX (VAT) in Chile is 19% and is typically included in the price of goods. Tipping is customary in all restaurants and is usually about 10% of the whole amount of the check. Tips for taxi drivers is not mandatory.

Visa Information

Arriving to Santiago:
After getting your plane ticket, it is important to check that your passport or identity card has not expired. If your nationality is from the following countries you can travel with your national id card:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  •  Ecuador

The rest of the countries are required to present their passports with a visa for people staying more than 30 days.
For more information, you can visit the following site:
https://serviciosconsulares.cl/tramites/site/tax/port/all/taxport_14___1.html

Reciprocity fee

Due to a reciprocity system, the Chilean Government levies a special tax which has to be paid in cash (American dollars) when entering the country before immigration officer. Participants holding passports from the following countries have to pay taxes before entering the country:

  • Mexico US$ 23
  • Australia US$ 117

Customs

International travelers have to pass for the Chilean customs before leaving the airport. Foreign tourists are unlikely to have any customs problems if they travel with their personal articles only. However, travelers cannot enter the country with:

  • Fruits vegetables, seeds or unprocessed goods of animal origin.
  • Firearms, ammunition or explosives.
  • Illegal drugs.
Useful note: Animal products and vegetables can only be allowed to enter the country with prior authorization from the Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile

Discover interesting places around Santiago City