Chile Factsheet


Chile stretches though over half the entire length of the South American continent making it the longest country in the world.

From the far north of the country still within the tropics, to its southern tip, reaching into Antarctica, Chile is home to the highest stretches of the Andean mountain range, volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, and the driest desert on earth. From its capital Santiago, you can surf in the Pacific Ocean in the morning and ski down an Andean piste in the afternoon.
Chile is a safe and welcoming country with good infrastructure, excellent hotels, abundant fresh seafood and cheap, delicious wine. Chile will present itself as the most trouble-free country in the whole of South America.

Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Time Zone: GMT/UTC -4
Dialling Code: 56
Climate
Summer is from December through to March, and Spring from September to November.

Conversely, Chilean ski resorts are best during the northern summer months of June through to August.
The Easter Island is cooler, slightly cheaper and much less crowded outside the summer months. The same is true of the Juan Fernandez archipelago, which can be inaccessible if winter rains erode the dirt airstrip. March is an ideal time for a visit.
Festival Calendar
Last week of January –National Festival del Folklore (Santiago)
March - International Air Show (Santiago)
March – April - Semana Santa - holy week
May 1st - Labour Day
May 21st- Glorias Navales - Commemorates the naval battle of Iquique
May 30 th - Corpus Christi
June 29 th - San Pedro, San Pablo Day
August 15 th - Asuncion de la Virgen
September 18 th - Independence Day
September 19 th - Armed Forces Day
October 12 th - Columbus Day
Last 2 weeks in November - International Book Fair (Santiago)
Last 2 weeks in November - Feria Indigena Cerro Huelen - Chile’s indigenous people congregate at the south side of Cerro Santa Lucia in Santiago. Features musicians, dancing and crafts.
December 8 th - Immaculate Conception
December - Fiesta de la Virgin del Rosario (Andacollo) A festival featuring horse-racing, cock-fighting and processions.
Currency

The currency of Chile is the peso. The US dollar is the preferred international currency, but should you be arriving via Argentina, you can easily exchange the Argentinean Peso anywhere. US cash will always get you a better rate of exchange than travellers’ cheques, but you should have no problems exchanging them or using credit cards. ATMs are becoming more popular, especially in Santiago. Commissions and surcharges vary from bank to bank and from casa de cambio to casa de cambio. Banks are generally open between 10am and 4pm Monday through to Friday, and closed on Saturdays.
Visas
Citizens of Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealanders and most other Western European countries do not require a visa, although US citizens will be asked to pay a 45USD entrance fee, Canadians a 55USD entrance fee, and Australians a 25USD entrance fee

Health

There are few health risks and the water is adequately treated in Santiago. Bottled water is advised elsewhere in the country.
Best time to go
Like Argentina, Chile has four distinct seasons. Summer, which extends from December to March, is best for visiting the southern tip regions like Parque National del Paine. Spring and autumn are quite enjoyable as well, especially in the northern regions.

Upon arrival

Once you’ve reclaimed your baggage and cleared customs, you will be warmly welcomed you to Chile, assisted you with your luggage and taken you to your hotel by private air-conditioned minivan/bus. Please do not leave the airport terminal building unless you have made contact with Amazing Peru staff. Food and drink

Drink only bottled water. Pasteurised milk is widely available. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Avoid street food vendors and the cheaper restaurants.
What to eat To try some typical foods, here is a selection of what we recommend.

Empanadas de pino - Pastry-style turnovers stuffed with olives, meat, raisins and onions.
Humitas - Mashed sweet corn mixed with spices and butter and baked in sweetcorn leaves.
Pastal de choclo - A traditional dish of vegetables, beef and chicken, baked in a casserole.
Parrilla - A mixed grill of almost all types of meat, cooked over charcoal.
Arroz con leche - Rice pudding
Flan – A caramel custard
What to drink
Wine - Chilean wines are superb.
Beer - Escudo and Cristal are the most popular.
Guindado - Made with brandy of Guinda (a local fruit) cinnamon and cloves.
Gol - Another alcoholic favourite made with butter, sugar and milk


 
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