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ChileChile

Chile is a country of beautiful contrast. From gorgeous, white sandy beaches with stunning azure waters to the driest desert in the world, the abounding vistas will captivate any traveler. Let the warm sunshine encompass you as you roam the streets of Santiago, absorbing the city’s eclectic vibe. Wander around Easter Island, where more than 800 ancient Moai statues have puzzled archaeologists for centuries. Indulge in scrumptious freshly-caught jaiba (crab) or ostiones (scallops) as you peruse a local fish market. The scenes and sounds of Chile await you.

Highlights

  1. Santiago

    Bordered by the Andes Mountains on the East and the Chilean Coastal Range on the West, Chile’s capital city exudes a natural beauty that perfectly complements the grandiose architecture and ornate designs of its buildings. The Plaza de Armas is a great place to start exploring the city – some of its most iconic structures are located just a few blocks from one another. You can see first-hand the variations of architectural styles that fuse together, creating a grand and elegant aesthetic. From the neoclassical design of the Metropolitan Cathedral, to the French design of the Central Post Office, you will be awestruck at every turn.   
  2. Valparaiso

    The historic yet modern city of Valparaiso is truly the city of artists. From the colorful houses that dot the hillsides to the larger-than-life graffiti that adorns the exterior of buildings, the city tells the stories of its people through art. The charming historic quarter, with its cobblestone streets and oceanfront backdrop, look as though it was plucked out of a storybook. The walls of cafés, restaurants, and bars are canvases for street artists, whose work gives life to the city. There are ample ways to experience the color and energy of Valparaiso, from climbing the notoriously steep steps to admiring the scenic landscape from inside a funicular railway car. 
  3. San Cristóbal Hill

    Call it the sibling of Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue, just with the Virgin Mary. The hill was named to honor St. Christopher, and rises 2,890 ft. above Santiago, and the statue of the Virgin Mary ascends another 72 ft. From the top, you can get a spectacular panorama of the city. Known as Cerro San Cristóbal to the locals, there is also a memorial to St. John Paul II, who visited the site and said Mass at the top of the hill in 1987. If you’re in favor of a less strenuous route to the top, you can take a funicular or cable car.
  4. Magdalena Island

    This remote island in Patagonia is home to Chile’s largest Magellanic penguin colony. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on the waters of the Strait of Magellan, the only way to access the island. Disembark and walk along the rocky terrain, where you will witness more than 350,000 penguins playing and digging burrows. These adorable creatures aren’t even 3 ft. tall! They are very friendly, so don’t be surprised if they just come right up and say hi. You’ll also have the chance to see sea lions, seagulls, South American fur seals, and the island’s famous red and white lighthouse. The best time to visit is from November to March.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Chile? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Santiago
Population: 17.91 million
Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)
Languages: Spanish
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: UTC -3

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for the period of their stay, though we strongly recommend at least six months. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa for entry into Chile for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

More information about passport, visa & entry requirements.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no health requirements to enter Chile, including no risk of malaria. Ask your doctor about possible vaccinations for typhoid and hepatitis.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

The best time to visit Chile is October thru March. It seldom rains during that time and humidity is low. May thru August is the cold and rainy season from Santiago south. Temps range 70-90 F year round during the day, except the far south. Nights can be cold, so take a sweater or jacket.

Tipping

10% in restaurants and hotels. Do not tip taxi drivers, though you may leave them change from the fare. Tip bellhops Ch$500-$1,000 per bag.

Money & Credit Cards

ATMs are everywhere.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Chile is best known for blankets, wool rugs, pottery, wines, lapis lazuli, models of Easter Island statues, shell necklaces, bronzes, purses, silver jewelry, ceramics, and copper items. Bargaining is not common where prices are posted, but can be tried in markets and smaller villages, especially if you have to ask for the price.

Electricity & Power Adapters

220 volts. Plugs C & L. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Did you know?
  • Chile holds the world record for number of fireworks exploded in one night – 16,000.
  • There has never been a drop of rain in the Atacama Desert.
  • Sopaipillas (aka pumpkin fritters) are a popular street food that can be either sweet or savory.
  • A wine variety called "carménère" was originally from France and was thought to be extinct, but was later rediscovered in Chile!
  • Nobel Prize winning poet and politician Pablo Neruda hails from Chile.
  • The layout of the streets and buildings of Santiago was designed so that citizens could take shelter if the city was attacked.

Articles

Tours & Packages

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Small Group Tour Patagonian Explorer by Sea
Buenos Aires & Ushuaia, then a 4 night cruise to Tierra Del Fuego, Cape Horn & the penguins of Magdalena Island; plus Santiago & Valparaiso, Chile; optional pre-tour extension to Iguazu Falls
from $6099 w/ Flights 12 days
per person, double occupancy*

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* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, hotels, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, hotels, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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