Chile travel advice
The sheer size and diversity of Chile means it is something of a feat to cover all elements (possibly including Easter Island too) in one trip.
Our specialist knowledge ensures that whatever your preference for sights and activities, we will strike the right balance between you seeing as much as possible without spending too much time on the road or in the air. We will advise you on the ideal sequence in which to organize your trip, according to internal flight schedules, climate, sailing days of cruises, or entry days of hotels, if applicable.
As well as knowing the classic highlights in considerable depth, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of lesser-known regions and properties, and are pleased to discuss specialist interests such as golf, wine, astronomy or skiing.
Combining Chile with other countries
Due to the length of their shared border, Chile lends itself perfectly to being combined with Argentina, and we can tell you about the many options for crossing from one to the other from the desert in the north, Santiago, the Lake District, or Patagonia, dependent upon your preferences and plans.
The official language is Spanish. English is widely understood and spoken by many in the tourist industry.
Food and drink
Understandably, considering the length of Chile's coastline, there is much fine seafood. The delicious congrio fish is a national dish, and caldillo de congrio (a soup served with a massive piece of congrio, onion and potato balls) is very tasty. Another typical Chilean dish is cazuela de ave, a nutritious stew containing large pieces of chicken, potatoes, rice and maybe onions and green peppers. Other traditional dishes are humitas - mashed corn, wrapped in corn leaves and steamed - and pastel de choclo, a pie made of chicken topped by sweetcorn and sugar and baked in the oven.
Tipping for good service is an accepted fact. Amounts are obviously discretionary. It is common to be expected to tip the service you receive whilst eating in a restaurant. A tip of around 10% is acceptable for good service.
Money and expenses
The currency is the peso. There is a shortage of change so keep a supply of small denomination coins. If you want to obtain currency before you travel, we would recommend taking US dollars to change into pesos once in Chile; the smaller the denomination the better. The easiest way to obtain cash is by using ATMs (in major cities) which operate under the sign Redbanc, they take Cirrus, Visa and Mastercard. Regarding credit cards Diner's Club, Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted. American Express is less recognized.
Our certified country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the State Department website.
When to go to Chile
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Chile.
15 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Santiago)