Chile Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Santiago tourist information, Chile food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Santiago. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Chile Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Chile
Area: 756,102 sq km
Population: 16,7 milion (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Santiago
Language: Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English
Religion: Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3%
Government: Unitary presidential republic
Time Zone: GMT (UTC) - 4
Dialling Code: 56
Electricity: 220V 50 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 14,700

Budget: $5-11
Mid-range: $9-25
High: $25+
Budget: $10-40
Mid-range: $40-100
High: $100+

Geography: The Republic of Chile is located in South America, bordering Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Drake Passage. The country has an unusuall shape – it extends 4,270 kilometers from north to south, and only 177 kilometers from east to west. About 80 percent of Chile's landscape is mountainous with beautiful valleys throughout the country.

Climate: The climatic conditions of Chile are variable. There is hardly any rain in the northern part of the country, but as one moves further south, the average rainfall increases. The climate in central Chile is Meditterainean. Temperatures are moderate along the coast throughout the year and more extreme inland. The average temperature for the hottest month, February, is about 22 C (72 F), whereas the coldest month, July, has 16 C (60 F).

Recommended clothing: If you are planning to visit Chile in summer (December – February), pack light summer clothes and beachwear. A light sweater is advised to have, since the evenings get a bit chilly. Don't forget your sunglasses and a sun-block lotion. It gets colder already in late March or April, but officialy the winter period lasts from May to September. It is recommended that you bring warm winter clothes, like an overcoat, a jacket or coat made of wool. Winter shoes/boots are essential.

Social conventions: Handshaking is the ussual form of greeting between men, but women like to greet their friends with a single kiss on the cheek, especially on informal occasions.

Health: No vaccinations are required when entering Chile, but a typhoid vaccine is recommended for long term travellers. Visitors should take precautions (use repellents, mosquito net) against mosquito bites, because dengue fewer is on the increase in Chile. Tap water is generally safe to drink, however, it should be boiled before drinking in rural areas. Since hospitals and clinics in Chile are very expensive, health insurance is strongly recommended.

Food & Drink: Since Chile is a country with a long coastline, seafood is plentiful throughout the country and there are many restaurants offering various seafood dishes. Howeve, the local Chileans are more into meet. Various meet dishes, especially beef and chicken, are usually prepared on a grill. Owing to the fact that Chile is one of the greatest wine prodcers, the food is always accompanied by wine. The coffee culture in Chile has improved, however, many simple bars still serve Nescafe, therefore you have to look for an espresso machine.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day - Ano Nuevo
Varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Good Friday - Viernes Santo
May 21 Navy Day - Día de las Glorias Navales
Jun 29 St Peter and St Paul - San Pedro y San Pablo
Aug 15 Assumption of Mary - Asunción de la Virgen
Sep 18 National Independence Day - Fiestas Patrias
Sep 19 Army Day - Día de las Glorias del Ejército
Nov 1st All Saints - Día de Todos los Santos
Dec 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Inmaculada Concepción
Dec 25 Christmas Day - Natividad del Señor

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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