Chile is a nature lover’s dream, however, it is also filled with culture and a little something for everyone. The following are simply a few possibilities to do and see during your time in Chile:
1- Chile’s Tourist Attractions
The Atacama Desert is the highest desert. It is also the the driest non-polar desert in the world. Some parts of this desert have not received rainfall in over 400 years and much of the desert goes without rainfall for years at a time. The desert has fascinating rock formations and a shocking lack of any life. This will leave you in awe of this vast desert plain.
Easter Island is an isolated place, but it is quite tourist friendly. You can explore the island by foot or bike. Between the volcanic rock statues and the fascinating wildlife, you will not disappointed.
Patagonia – Torres del Paine
The Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. While in the national park Torres del Paine, you will have limitless possibilities. You will find hotels, dining, and shopping. Outdoor activities are available such as fly fishing, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, trekking, and more. If you prefer a less active visit, you can tour the park by a vehicle and take part in photography tours.
Santiago del Chile
Santiago del Chile (Santiago) is the capital city. It has all the modern conveniences of any other cosmopolitan city. It also has top dining and shopping, walking tour or history lesson. You will find efficient and affordable public transportation alongside private chauffeurs and posh hotels. Santiago has something for everyone.
Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Both of these towns offer something unique and extraordinary. The stunning parks and gardens of Viña del Mar will provide a memorable experience for all. The eclectic eccentricities of Valparaiso’s architecture and roads provide ideal photography. The Pablo Neruda Museum is also in Valparaiso. Both towns can be explored on a day trip from Santiago or longer if you prefer.
2 – The Foodie Scene
When discussing the foodie scene in Chile, one must mention best wine in the world. It is now common for top restaurants to provide a sommelier and the general public is even taking more of an interest in ordering wine by the glass rather than a traditional pisco sour, the national drink. It was not so long ago that wine in Chile was taken for granted. Taking a tour of a vineyard in Chile is a definite must for any foodie adventure in Chile.
The food and an interest in food is also evolving alongside the wine movement. The chefs in Chile are aspiring to create more authentic local cuisine. Younger chefs in Chile are eager to experiment with fusion techniques as they are exposed to more diverse products and ingredients through the many FTA partnerships Chile has created. Artisanal products and street markets are also exploding in popularity. Chileans cook with the season as awareness for sustainable agriculture continues to grow.
3 – Fun and Interesting Facts about Chile
- The current and first woman President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, was elected in 2006.
- Chile has more than 2,000 active volcanoes one of which is the world’s highest.
- The country has more than 100 wineries making it the 5th largest exporter of wine.
- Chileans eat four meals a day. The third is called “once”, which means eleven, and it is teatime at 5:00pm.
- The official name of the Chilean futbol team is “O’Higgins a Patriot of Chilean Rule.”
- The largest fireworks display in South America is in Valparaiso during the New Year’s Pyrotechnic Festival.
- Chile is the longest country, from North to South, in the world.
- Chile is a part of the three continents of South America, Antarctica, and Oceania.
4- Public National Holidays
Please note that more local and seasonal holidays may exist. Many of the following national holidays are celebrated over the weekend including the whole of Easter weekend in April.
- 1 Jan – New Year’s Day
- 25 March – Good Friday (Varies from year to year)
- 26 March – Holy Saturday (Varies from year to year)
- 1 May – Labor Day / May Day
- 21 May – Navy Day
- 29 June – Saint Peter and Saint Paul
- 16 July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- 15 August – Assumption of Mary
- 18 September – National Day
- 19 September – Army Day
- 12 October – Columbus Day
- 31 October – Reformation Day
- 1 November – All Saints’ Day
- 8 December – Immaculate Conception Day
- 25 December – Christmas Day
5 – Safety
Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America but, just like any country, some criminals are ready to take advantage of tourists. It is important to be mindful of your country’s travel warnings about the country you visit. Most of the warnings are moderate compared to most Latin American countries.
Keep your personal belongings with you at all times especially in popular tourist areas, public transportation, at bars and cafes. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and muggings do occur with regular frequency. If your tourist card is lost or stolen, you will need to replace it to be able to leave the country. You can do this at the International Police Office or at the Santiago International Airport. If you choose the airport, which is not recommended, you should arrive at least an hour before the two hours early for your scheduled flight.
Landmine fields still exist near the borders of Peru, Bolivia, and the extreme South of Argentina. Most fields are well marked but not all. Stay on well-marked roads and follow all warning signs. If you must travel in rural areas, it is best to contact local authorities to determine the best routes. If you plan to take part in mountaineering, contact local authorities before your departure. Protests do occur and do turn violent on occasion. As with any country, it is best to avoid any protest area at all times for your personal safety.
6 – Emergency Numbers
- Police Emergency – Tel: 133
- Police Department – Tel: 134
- Fire – Tel: 132
- Sea Rescue – Tel: 137
- Air Rescue – Tel: 138
- Mountain Rescue – Tel: 699 4764
- Information – Tel: 103
- Public Ambulance – Tel: 131
7 – Primary Hospitals and Medical Facilities In Case of Emergency
If you do require medical assistance in Chile, it is best that you have travel health insurance prior to arrival as private health care is very expensive.
Santiago – Private Hospitals
Av. Vitacura 5951, Vitacura, Santiago.
Tel: 210 1111
Clínica Universidad Católica:
Camino Alba 12351, Las Condes, Santiago
Tel: 754 8700
Av. Santa Maria 1810, Providencia, Santiago.
Tel: 362 5555
Clínica Santa Maria:
Av. Santa Maria 0500, Providencia, Santiago
Tel: 913 0000
Clínica Las Condes:
Lo Fontecilla 441, Las Condes, Santiago
Tel: 210 4000