In this Page we wanted to give you a few tips and neccesary information that you must to be aware of prior your visit to Chile. Any Info that you need, that is not posted please don’t hesitate to contact through the contact form.
Area of Chile
292.285 sq. miles. Including Chilean Antarctic Territory, 772.842 sq. miles
Catholic (69, 3%)
Chilean Peso. In Chile there are bank notes of $20.000, $10.000, $ 5.000, $2.000, $1.000 and $ 500: and coins of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 and $500.
Exchange Rate: (updated at August 2011)
One American dollar is equal to $ 450 Chilean pesos.
Tip from Alex: Change your money in banks and money exchange offices, NEVER on the streets. You can also get cash from ATM’s located in Banks, malls, and the main commercial areas. You will see them with the sign RedBanc, is very important after entering your PIN push the button FOREIGN CLIENT for the correct operation on cashiers.
Tellers just give you Chilean currency; the best rates are in money exchanges offices in town better than Airports, Banks needs a minimum amount to exchange and is not so low , so before to line up in a bank …ask first!
You don’t need passport in a money exchange house in Chile unless you are exchanging over 500 dollars
All credits cards are widely accepted in most of the stores, US Dollars and travellers Checks are accepted just in some tourist places.
Tip from Alex: The best deals are always in Chilean Pesos, and lately we are encouraging people not to bring travellers checks or too many USD 100 notes because they are too difficult to exchange, also they are very picky about the notes if it’s ripped or scratched , is not acceptable
Due to mutual visa requirements, the citizen of USA, Canada and Australia are required to pay a reciprocity tax of USD 131, USD 132, and USD 61 respectively when they pass through Immigrations at the airport.
Tip from Alex: Reciprocity Tax can be paid in cash, dollars and credit card, please consider this in your travel budget and arrangements
A value- added tax (IVA) of 19 % is added to your purchases and is already included in the final price. If you are a foreigner and pay your hotel bill in US dollars (cash, credit card or traveller’s Checks) the IVA is automatically discounted.
Tip from Alex: This discount applies just for Hotels, no others services.
Although there is no legal requirement, if you are well served in a restaurant, pub, bar or coffee shop, it is customary to add 10% of total value of your check as a tip for the waiter. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers, but you can round numbers up if you want.
Banks are open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 2pm .
Money exchange offices operate Mon to Fri from 9am to 7pm and Sat from 9am to 3pm in downtown. In Providencia area they open Mon to Fri from 9am to 6pm and Sat\from 10 am to 1pm. On Sunday you can change money at the exchanges offices located in Malls.
Malls are open Mon to Sun from 10am to 9pm. Shops open Mon to Fri from 9am to 8pm, and Sat from 9am to 2pm. Most of shop in downtown and Providencia close 1 hour for lunch (Around 1:30pm to 2:30pm )
Chile ‘s official time changes twice a year for daylight saving purposes. Clocks are set one hour ahead on the second Saturday of March and one hour back on the second Saturday of October. What time is it in Chile now? —Click here—
220 V, 50 Hz
Tip from Alex: We use European type of plug three holes in a row
Drinking Water :
Although tap water is treated and is totally safe, it is advisable to drink only bottled water.
Mediterranean Climate, with hot summers (over 86 F on some days), and winters with heavy but brief rainfall in the city and snowfall only in the mountains. The mean annual temperature is 57 F and the annual average rainfall is 17 inches. See how is the weather today in Santiago–Click Here–
Telephone : Chile ‘s code is 56 and Santiago ‘s area code is 2 and 9 prefix for mobiles.
International phone calls from Chile are excellent quality even from public booths. You can pay your calls in cash using prepaid telephone cards and, in some cases, with credit cards. Calls can be made through, and it is useful to ask which the most convenient fare is. Rent a Cellular Phone, Free Incoming Calls
Internet : You can access the Internet from your hotel or cyber cafe
Tip from Alex : Broadband and fast-speed Internet is very common in Santiago Nowadays, if you want call someone you have to dial: 56 city code without zero and then the number, if you want reach someone’s cell phone you have to dial 569 and the number.
Mail : The Chilean postal service is very efficient and has offices all over the country. The main post office is located on Plaza de Armas ( Main Square ) and opens Mon to Fri from 8:30 to 7pm , and Sat from 8:30 am to 3pm . To find out where the nearest post office is from you, call 800 362 236. Postage for a postcard is around U$ 0.90 to USA , Mexico and South America .
Closing some deals? Business trip?
The best place to do business in Chile is at a restaurant. Never go straight to the point. Chileans like to chat during drinks and set up a social relationship prior to talking business, especially around a Pisco Sour
Unless you are on totally informal terms with the person (s) you are with, avoid talking about sex, politics and religion, because some people are oversensitive about these topics, yet. Talking about politics, we had presidential elections last December and Mr Sebastian Piñera won 52% in second round agains Mr Eduardo Frei with 48%.
If you are from Asia bear in mind that businesses cards are not as important as they are in your country and they are simply considered as a reference.
Santiago is a safe city but, as in every metropolis, it is advisable to take some precautions: don’t display expensive jewellery or be careless of your purse or your camera, especially in a crowd such as on the pedestrian streets downtown. Don’t walk alone in parks like the Santa Lucia Hill at night. Use the safety deposit box at your hotel.
Tip from Alex: Make a photocopy of your passport prior your visit, also make copies of your credit cards and leave them at home with someone of your trust, in case you loose them in Chile you can block them quickly.
Earthquakes are common in Santiago, and generally in the whole country, don’t be afraid that you will suffer any damage apart from the scare, because buildings in Chile conform to high anti-seismic standards. If you are walking on the streets, look for shelter under a roof to avoid getting hurt by falling objects such as flowers pots.
Trust the police (Carabineros) in any problem situation. 133 in Chile is equal to 911 in USA
By law, all new buildings are equipped with facilities for disabled people, and in many districts, especially in the barrio alto (upper city), the sidewalks have been refurbished to carter to wheelchairs. Malls have special parking spaces, bathrooms and telephones for their needs and there are special taxis available.
Tip from Alex: Although is law not every hotel have this facilities please call or mail in advance to your hotel if this is key for you
To rent a car, you need to have a driving license from your country of origin or an international one, and to be older than 21 The maximum speed in the city is 60 km/hour (31 mph) and on highways it is 120 km/ hour (62 mph), unless otherwise posted. You should respect the speed limits, otherwise Carabineros will fine you. Don’t ever attempt to bride them, please!
If you have rented a car and have an accident or are robbed, you must report it as soon as possible to the nearest police station. You will need the record (“Constancia”) given to you by the police to notify the car rental firm. To submit an insurance claim, some companies only require you to telephone to let them know, but others require you to go personally.
Agricultural Sworn Statement
In the last few moths a lot of travellers have been fined, sometimes over 200 dollars for bringing just an apple or a bag with peanuts, m&m’s and almonds and not declare it .
Because of sanitary issues, the airport control about any organic item that you bring is extremely tough, so declare everything ….where do I declare this?
Upon arrival an agricultural sworn statement will be given to you, some time is given on the plane, especially if you travel by LAN , be sure to declare there .
Tip from Alex : If you want to see the sworn statement form click here
If this is not clear for you yet, click here and please watch this video (read subtitles)