CHILE COUNTRY INFORMATION
Country Name: Republic of Chile
Area: 292.500 Square Miles (750.000 Square Km.)
Population: 14.025.000 (growth rate: 1.7% annual)
Capital City: Santiago de Chile
Capital Population: 5.000.000
Chile Country Code: (56) Santiago (2) Cell Phones (9)
Language: Spanish prevails throughout the country. Several native languages are also spoken, including Aymara (The Far North and the Altiplano); Mapuche: 9th Region near Temuco) and Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Religion: Over 90% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant
Currency: Chilean Peso
Time Zones: Mainland and Juan Fernandez Islands: GMT – 5 (GMT – 4 from
second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March). Easter Island: GMT – 7 (GMT – 6 from second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March).
Measures System: Decimal Metric System. 1 meter equals to 3.3 feet. 1.6 kilometers equals to 1 mile; 1 Kilo equals to 2.2 pounds and 1 liter equals to 0.26 gallons. Temperatures are measured in Celsius Degrees: 0 Celsius equals to 32 Farenheit and 100 C equals to 212 F.
Electricity: 220V / 50 Hz.
Water: Potable, drinking water is available in most locations throughout Chile, with the exception of remote rural or wilderness areas. However, for sensitive organisms, it is recommended to drink bottled water.
Transportation: Chile is easily accessible by its main International Airport, located in the country’s capital city of Santiago de Chile. Other international, regional and local airports serve the vast extension of territory of the country, including Easter Island, Patagonia and the North. Several sea ports are a popular access means for visitors coming on large cruise ships. A good network of roads provides the facilities for land travel in Chile. The underground metro rail in Santiago and good public bus services in the capital and major cities complement the transportation facilities to move around in Chile.
Communications: Telephone communications for local, national and international calls are widely available at public cabins and booths, as well as hotels (some surcharges may apply) and other tourist venues. Prepaid phone cards are also widely available and can be good money savers. Make sure to use reliable carriers. Cell or mobile phones are extensively used and can be rented by tourists. Internet services are also widely offered at hotels (usually free for guests); Wi-Fi zones at most tourist venues, and the popular and abundant cyber cafes. Chile also offers an efficient and reliable postal service.
Opening Hours: Offices are open 09:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday. Banks open from 09:00 to 14:00, Monday to Friday.
Currency Exchange, Credit Cards & Banking Facilities: Foreign exchange transactions can be made at banks, exchange houses or authorized hotels, restaurants and clubs. Exchange houses are open daily from 09:00 to 19:00. Visitors are not recommended to be tempted by the premiums offered by street black marketers.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at most tourist locations and facilities. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are most commonly accepted. Do check with your credit or debit card companies for details about acceptability and possible restrictions.
Shopping and Souvenirs: There are several shopping areas and Malls in Santiago and other major cities. Most shops open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:00. Shopping Centers and Malls normally open Monday to Sunday, from 11:00 am to 23:00 pm, though some stores may close at 22:00. Malls and shopping centers are closed only on Christmas Day (December 25) and Labor Day (May 1st). Handicrafts in Chile are great bargains and offer a variety of good souvenirs. Local jewelry made of lapis lazuli is one of the most popular and beautiful souvenir options.
Tipping: Tipping, even though customary, is a personal matter, related to your impressions of how you were served. To express your satisfaction, the following international guidelines, per person, can be followed:
$ 10, per day, for guide
$ 5, per day, for driver
On cruises, the suggestion is $ 15 per day, per person, for the entire crew.
Restaurants and bars add 10% to the bill. However, waiters will usually expect a 10% cash tip, in addition.
Health and Medical Facilities:
Santiago, the capital, as well as other major cities, do have international-level hospitals and medical facilities. The major hotels offer on-call medical assistance on the main cities and in the most developed tourist centers. Travelers are suggested to seek the advice of their physicians prior to travelling for dietary restrictions; altitude precautions; vaccines, etc. The local tour operator should be informed in advance of dietary restrictions and medical conditions which might require special care.
Chilean wines are among the world’s best, gaining an increasing number of accolades in traditional winemaking countries such as France, improving its reputation worldwide and thus the country’s export volume. A pisco sour is a popular drink, especially common as an aperitif. It is a white grape brandy served with lemon juice, egg white and powdered sugar.
- Restaurant Azul Profundo – Sea Food
- Coco Restaurant – Sea Food
- El Galeon Restaurant – Sea Food
- Como Agua para Chocolate Restaurant – International & Chilean Cuisine
- El Mestizo Restaurant – Typical Cuisine
- Balihai Restaurant – Typical Cuisine
- Turri Restaurant – Typical Cuisine
- Pasta & Vino Restaurant – International Italian Cuisine
VINA DEL MAR
- Delicias del Mar Restaurant – Sea Food
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
- Adobe Restaurant – Chilean & International Cuisine
- Estaka Restaurant – Vegetarian Cuisine
- Ibis de Puerto Varas – Sea Food
- La Olla Restaurant – Typical Cuisine
- Sotito’s Restaurant – Regional & International Cuisine
- El Cormoran de las Rocas Restaurant – Seafood
- Afrigonia – Traditional Cuisine
By Alonso de Ercilla (1569)
By Pablo Neruda (1950)
A Companion to Easter Island
By James Grant Peterkin
06 Apr – Maundy Thursday
07 Apr – Good Friday
01 May – Labor Day
22 May – Chilean Navy Day
02 Jul – Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
16 Jul – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
15 Aug – Assumption of Mary
18 Sep – National Independence
19 Sep – Armed Forces Day
15 Oct – Columbus Day
28 Oct – Municipal elections
01 Nov – All Saints Day
02 Nov – National Protestant Evangelical Churches
08 Dec – Immaculate Conception
25 Dec – Christmas