Information for foreign tourists
VISAS AND DOCUMENTS
In order to enter Chile, it is necessary to present identification documentation (national identity card or passport) and the stamped visa (depending on the country of origin). Citizens from South America, the European Union, United States, Canada and Australia do not need tourist visas. However, some countries must pay a rate in cash (reciprocity fee) upon arrival in Chile’s airport. These are American, Canadian, Australian, Mexican and Albanian citizens.
Tourists from the European Union and New Zealand do not have to pay any rate when entering the country.
When entering the country a 90-day permit is granted, this can be renewed for 90 additional days.
ELECTRICITY AND COMMUNICATION
Electric current in Chile works at 220 Volts and 50 Hertz. Electric 3-terminal adaptors are not commonly used; however, 2-terminal converters can be purchased in any store selling electric pieces. Communication means, on the other hand, are vast and varied in the country: there are public, mobile and satellite telephone service. There is broadband Internet in almost every location in the territory and Wi-Fi connection in the main cities of the country.
CURRENCY, COSTS AND TIPPING
Chile’s currency is the peso. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos, and bills of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos. An American dollar is the equivalent of approximately $500 pesos and a Euro is the equivalent of $670 pesos.
Low budget: between 3 and 5 dollars.
Average budget: between 5 and 20 dollars.
High budget: from 20 and up to 100 dollars.
Low budget: between 10 and 20 dollars.
Average budget: between 20 and 35 dollars.
High budget: starting at 35 and up 300 dollars.
Tipping is optional in all services; however, 10% is usually suggested.
HEALTH AND PHYTOSANITARY INFORMATION
Vaccines: Currently, no type of vaccine or medical exam is required in order to enter Chile.
Water: Generally, water is completely safe for ingest. However, during the first days drinking mineral water is suggested.
Raw food consumption: Intake of uncooked vegetables is not recommended, especially those growing near the soil (for example: lettuces, carrots) unless purchased in an established supermarket that complies with all sanitary regulations in order to sell these products. Preferably eat cooked meat, fish, and shellfish.
Public Health System: Hospital and emergency services of the health system in Chile have the obligation to receive any person in need of emergency attention. There are high quality medical centers, clinics and private hospitals.
SAFETY AND NATURAL HAZARDS
The main safety concerns are in big cities – as in every other city around the world – due to which it is suggested to go out wearing jewelry, cameras or other electronic devices at sight, since you may become the victim of a robbery, especially at night and in remote neighborhoods or streets. The same happens if you are carrying a backpack, do not carry photographic or video cameras or any other object of value in the external pocket, especially in crowded places or while using the urban public transportation. Never exchange dollars or any other type of currency on the street, do it in authorized money exchange bureaus.
In case of earthquakes or strong quakes, please stay calm. If you are inside a building, stay inside, if you are outside, remain in the same place. Entering or exiting buildings can only cause accidents.
Inside a building look for strong structures, under a table or bed, under a door’s lintel, next to a pillar, supporting wall or in a corner, and protect your head. Never hastily run away towards the exit or use elevators.
Offices provide services to the public from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00.
Money Exchange Bureaus are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
Commercial shops, big or small, start providing services from 10:00 until 20:00 during continuous hours. On holidays, most of businesses are closed.
HOLIDAYS IN CHILE
• New Year – January 1st
• Good Friday and Holy Saturday (variable date. Friday 18 and Saturday 19 of April, 2014)
• Easter Sunday (variable date. Sunday April 20, 2014)
• Labor Day – May 1st
• Battle of Iquique – May 21
• Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul – June 29
• Our Lady of Mount Carmel Day – July 16
• Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15
• National Holidays – September 18
• Day of the Glories of the Army- September 19
• Columbus Day (Encounter of Two Worlds) – October 12
• National Day of Evangelical and Protestant Churches – October 31
• All Saints’ Day – November 1
• Immaculate Conception – December 8
• Christmas – December 25
Some of these holidays were changed to Monday of the same week.
TYPES OF TRAVEL AND TRAVELERS
Chile is classified as a tourist country of special interests (TIE) which makes reference to those activities that provide an added value. Activities such as ecotourism, adventure tourism, astronomic tourism, ethno-tourism, rural and cultural tourism are currently the main attractions of the country.
Chile’s geography and culture, with distinctive characteristics between the different zones of its vast surface, allows opening a panorama for each visitor and their personal likes.
Chile adds a wide range of offers in this sense, being the main reference zones the northern zone and Patagonia.
Equally, it is possible to carry out sun and sea tourism in the extensive Chilean coastline with full hotel infrastructure and services for all budgets.
Santiago, the capital city, is well known internationally for being the venue of important economic conferences, business meetings, trade shows, seminars and corporate events. Business tourism has its headquarters here with five star hotels, important rooms for events and conferences, in addition to luxury gastronomic sectors.