Chile - Useful information for your trip
Discover Chile with Vivitravels. It is an amazing country in South America. It will fascinate you thanks to its beautiful natural landscapes and archeological sites.
Welcome to the country at the end of the world!
Chile is a country in South America between the Andes Cordillera and the Pacific Ocean, and it borders with Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
At the birth of the country, Chile was inhabited by local indigenous populations, which had a very diverse cultures and traditions. After the conquest and colonization by the Spanish in 1520, Chile had to endure several centuries of foreign domination, up to 181, when it became independent.
Chile enjoys one of the most stable economies in Latin America, and it’s considered one of the 30 safest countries in the world.
Its breath-taking landscapes and its wild nature are remarkable experiences for those who wish for an unforgettable travel.
Discover everything you must know about your holiday in Chile: what to see, when to go, what to eat, and much more.
When to go to Chile
Since Chile is in the Austral hemisphere, seasons are inverted compared to those in Europe and North America.
Chile has a very long territory, so it’s hard to define a specific climate, every region is characterized by a different weather and temperatures with micro climates. Generally speaking, the northern area of the country is very dry, the central one is similar to a Mediterranean climate, and the southern one is very rainy.
So when is it the ideal period for visiting Chile?
The warmest period is usually from October and April, and the coldest on from May to September. The more you get close to the Antarctica, the lower the temperatures drop.
In the North, the temperatures during daytime are stable, but they drop during the night.
In the central zone the climate is Mediterranean; in the South, the climate is colder and it rains often.
Flights to Chile
The main airport is called “Aeropuerto Internacional Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez” in Santiago del Chile. There are several air companies that fly to Santiago: the main companies are Air France, Iberia, British Airways, Alitalia and Qatar. It’s important to pay attention to the safety to personal items at the airport in Santiago del Chile: during our partner’s tours you will always be welcomed by a local representative that you can identify from a sign with the traveler’s name and surname. Don’t trust anybody else that offers you a ride on a taxi or car: they often are scammers who will force you to pay up to twenty times more the real price of a ride. Relying on a tour operator or an organized tour is the safest way to embark on a quiet and enjoyable itinerary.
Visa and vaccinations
To visit Chile you must have a passport. No visa is needed for tourism up to three months of staying.
Upon entering in the country, you will be handed an immigration document you must fill: it is mandatory to return back to your country, so be careful and don’t lose it!
We recommend you to talk to your doctor for optional vaccinations, especially in case of allergies. We advise you to travel with a first aid kit with basic medicines and insect repellent.
What to see in Chile
Chile has a very long and narrow territory, that unfolds itself on uplands, a desert considered to be the driest in the world, and a temperate forest, and finally incredible glaciers.
Moreover, Chile owns territories in Polynesia and Antarctica, which include islands like the Juan Fernández Islands, Sala y Gómez, Desventuradas islands and the mysterious Easter Island.
There are many archeological sites in Chile, like Ahu Akivi with its seven stone Moais, and the Tahaki Ceremonial Complex, declared Unesco’s World Heritage on the Easter Island, and the Atacama Giant, a huge anthropomorphic geoglyph.
In the northern region, or Norte Grande, there many points of interest:
- Atacama Desert: the driest desert in the world, you can find the small city of San Pedro Atacamara on its borders, a town with marvelous monuments and the Licancabur Volcano, a sight you must see.
- Iquique: facing the ocean, this city has wonderful beaches where you can practice water sports. A vital and touristic city, it’s a shopping paradise.
- Alto Loa: a lush valley where you can visit the archeoastronomy observatory of Paniri Caur or participate to the Guadalupe Virgin’s festival which is held on September.
In the central region, some of the places you can visit are:
- Valparaiso: a colorful city, it’s a Unesco’s World Heritage site.
- Santiago: Chile’s capital is a big cosmopolitan city where you can discover Chile’s soul, have a stroll among the typical markets or admire the country’s most modern side.
In the southern region, you can’t miss:
- Chiloé: this fascinating place, dotted with stilt houses and colorful buildings, is a place where you can cross canals with a kayak.
- Puerto Montt: a port city with a rich culinary tradition and a fascinating architecture.
Lastly, you can’t miss a journey through the Chilean Patagonia and the Tierra del Fuego, unique places where you can admire millenary glaciers, trek among forests and waterfalls, and reach the “end of the world”, Capo Horn, the last southern city before the Antarctica continent.
What to eat in Chile
Typical Chilean cuisine is the result of different cultures’ fusion: the indigenous one, the Spanish one and the French one.
The result is a diverse cuisine, where meat, fish, spices, fruit and vegetables are used, and sometimes remind you of the Mediterranean cuisine.
Some of the typical dishes are:
- Cazuela: considered Chile’s most representative dish, it’s a chicken or beef based soup with corn, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, onion and spiced with cayenne pepper and coriander
- Empanadas: a classic of Latin American cuisine, they look like calzones and are either baked or fried, filled with meat or veggies
- Paila marina: another soup, based on fresh fish, it’s usually a mix of seafood like mussels, clams, machas and congrio
- Cheviche: this dish is based on raw fish prepared with lime juice, red onion, salt and coriander
- Pastel de choclo: a corn and beef based pie, enriched with black olives, raisins, onion and eggs
- Pan con pebre: a side dish you can find almost in every Chilean restaurant, these are small, warm bread rolls accompanied by a “pebre” sauce (made of tomatoes, garlic, onion, vinegar, coriander and cayenne pepper)
Apart from the typical dishes, Chile is famous for its wine production, and it’s rich in land cultivated with vineyards, especially in the area around Santiago.
A typical alcoholic beverage is the “Pisco Sour”, a cocktail made with 3 parts of Pisco (a liquor similar to schnapps), 1 part lime juice and 1 part sugar syrup.