Chile

Snaking its way along South America’s western coast, Chile flows across parched deserts and glacial plains, collecting all the hallmarks of this remarkable continent on its way. From smooth Santiago to remote southern lands, the world’s longest country has an even longer list of essential experiences.

Chile Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Chile

Departing Days Price USD
19 Mar 2016 Best of Chile & Argentina 8 $2188
8 Apr 2016 Best of Chile & Argentina 8 $2188

All our Chile trips

DAYS
40
FROM
USD $5,560
CAD $6,195
AUD $6,515
EUR €4,595
GBP £3,380
NZD $7,145
ZAR R61,255
CHF FR4,695
Journey through South America, from Lima to Buenos Aires, and explore stunning landscapes, buzzing cities and ancient...
DAYS
17
FROM
USD $19,995
CAD $27,330
AUD $26,800
EUR €18,200
GBP £13,600
NZD $29,845
ZAR R268,265
CHF FR22,325
Travel to the ends of the earth to witness the dramatic beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula and discover the...
DAYS
21
FROM
USD $7,345
CAD $8,190
AUD $8,595
EUR €6,070
GBP £4,455
NZD $9,245
ZAR R80,810
CHF FR6,215
DAYS
8
FROM
USD $8,995
CAD $12,385
AUD $13,000
EUR €8,200
GBP £6,000
NZD $14,260
ZAR R122,230
CHF FR9,400
Visit Antarctica and travel through the Drake Passage and the South Shetland Islands.
DAYS
11
FROM
USD $14,595
CAD $20,005
AUD $21,000
EUR €13,300
GBP £9,800
NZD $23,035
ZAR R197,445
CHF FR15,185
Embark on an adventure of a lifetime while crossing the Antarctic Circle. Discover South Shetland’s King George...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $10,995
CAD $15,055
AUD $15,800
EUR €10,000
GBP £7,400
NZD $17,330
ZAR R148,555
CHF FR11,425
This voyage of a lifetime gives you unparalleled access to the white shores of Antarctica. Fly from Punta Arenas to...
DAYS
17
FROM
USD $19,995
CAD $27,440
AUD $28,800
EUR €18,200
GBP £13,400
NZD $31,590
ZAR R270,785
CHF FR20,830
Travel to the ends of the earth to witness the dramatic beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula and discover the...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $11,595
CAD $15,910
AUD $16,700
EUR €10,600
GBP £7,800
NZD $18,320
ZAR R157,015
CHF FR12,075
Cruise through the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, then catch a flight back to...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $11,995
CAD $16,420
AUD $16,100
EUR €10,900
GBP £8,200
NZD $17,930
ZAR R161,160
CHF FR13,410
Embark on an adventure of a lifetime while crossing the Antarctic Circle. Discover South Shetland’s King George...
DAYS
27
FROM
USD $10,165
CAD $11,330
AUD $11,895
EUR €8,405
GBP £6,165
NZD $12,790
ZAR R111,840
CHF FR8,600
DAYS
63
FROM
USD $7,376
CAD $8,228
AUD $8,636
EUR €6,104
GBP £4,476
NZD $9,472
ZAR R81,200
CHF FR6,244
Prepare yourself for the ultimate South American adventure starting in Ecuador. From the dizzying heights of the...
DAYS
4
FROM
USD $712
CAD $832
AUD $875
EUR €617
GBP £452
NZD $960
ZAR R8,227
CHF FR632
Visit South America and travel to Easter Island to discover the history of one of the most remote islands on Earth.
DAYS
3
FROM
USD $485
CAD $565
AUD $595
EUR €420
GBP £295
NZD $655
ZAR R5,590
CHF FR430
Get under the skin of Santiago on this adventure that takes in vibrant backstreet bars, unsurpassed neighbourhoods on...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $3,670
CAD $4,095
AUD $4,295
EUR €3,035
GBP £2,225
NZD $4,710
ZAR R40,390
CHF FR3,095
Visit South America and travel to Patagonia to experience the 'W' Trek in Torres del Paine National Park. Experience...
DAYS
20
FROM
USD $3,010
CAD $3,355
AUD $3,520
EUR €2,495
GBP £1,825
NZD $3,860
ZAR R33,090
CHF FR2,545
Get off the tourist trail on this extraordinary adventure through Bolivia and Argentina. Visit historic Potosi,...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $4,570
CAD $5,350
AUD $5,615
EUR €3,850
GBP £2,910
NZD $6,160
ZAR R52,775
CHF FR3,940
Trek through South America's Patagonia region on an overland trip to Chile and Argentina. Discover the beauty and...
DAYS
21
FROM
USD $2,030
CAD $2,419
AUD $2,534
EUR €1,774
GBP £1,303
NZD $2,726
ZAR R23,742
CHF FR1,920
Travel from La Paz to Buenos Aires and discover the heart of South America. This vacation has it all, from a Salar de...
DAYS
23
FROM
USD $2,300
CAD $2,722
AUD $2,854
EUR €1,996
GBP £1,471
NZD $3,072
ZAR R28,009
CHF FR2,154
Adventure through the wilds of Patagonia on a journey that begins in Ushuaia in the south of Argentina and travels to...
DAYS
23
FROM
USD $2,300
CAD $2,722
AUD $2,854
EUR €1,996
GBP £1,471
NZD $3,072
ZAR R26,834
CHF FR2,064
Tour Patagonia and discover one of the world's most amazing regions. Travel from Santiago to Ushuaia and explore...
DAYS
36
FROM
USD $5,530
CAD $6,165
AUD $6,470
EUR €4,570
GBP £3,355
NZD $7,095
ZAR R60,830
CHF FR4,680
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Visit Potosi, Salar de Uyuni, Buenos...
DAYS
3
FROM
USD $447
CAD $522
AUD $550
EUR €387
GBP £285
NZD $602
ZAR R5,170
CHF FR397
From Santiago's historical centre to a celebrated nearby winery, this captivating stopover shows you the wealth of...
DAYS
21
FROM
USD $1,996
CAD $2,373
AUD $2,485
EUR €1,735
GBP £1,277
NZD $2,671
ZAR R16,057
CHF FR1,882
Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Tour Santiago, Mendoza, Cafayate and Salta....
DAYS
34
FROM
USD $3,360
CAD $3,978
AUD $4,172
EUR €2,919
GBP £2,152
NZD $4,490
ZAR R40,965
CHF FR3,151
Visit South America and travel through Argentina and Chile, from Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia. Experience...
DAYS
21
FROM
USD $2,044
CAD $2,438
AUD $2,545
EUR €1,782
GBP £1,313
NZD $2,742
ZAR R23,909
CHF FR1,937
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina and Chile from La Paz to Santiago. Visit Potosi, Salar de...
DAYS
112
FROM
USD $11,690
CAD $13,915
AUD $14,596
EUR €10,230
GBP £7,508
NZD $15,701
ZAR R134,276
CHF FR10,870
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...
DAYS
112
FROM
USD $11,600
CAD $13,805
AUD $14,486
EUR €10,150
GBP £7,448
NZD $15,581
ZAR R134,906
CHF FR10,925
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...
DAYS
34
FROM
USD $3,360
CAD $3,978
AUD $4,172
EUR €2,919
GBP £2,152
NZD $4,490
ZAR R39,060
CHF FR3,186
Discover penguins, glaciers and eye-popping cities on an epic South American adventure. Travel from Buenos Aires to...
DAYS
60
FROM
USD $6,770
CAD $8,078
AUD $8,469
EUR €5,939
GBP £4,350
NZD $9,114
ZAR R77,737
CHF FR6,271
Go Overland from Lima to Rio with Intrepid Travel. Uncover hidden treasures from Peru to Brazil via Bolivia and...
DAYS
42
FROM
USD $4,680
CAD $5,581
AUD $5,854
EUR €4,107
GBP £3,006
NZD $6,293
ZAR R54,827
CHF FR4,421
Visit South America and travel through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina from Lima to Buenos Aires. Follow the Inca Trail,...
DAYS
36
FROM
USD $11,410
CAD $12,520
AUD $12,280
EUR €7,580
GBP £6,670
NZD $13,675
ZAR R122,910
CHF FR9,175
Spend over five weeks travelling through the delights of South America – from the elegant capital of Ecuador, through...

Chile trip reviews

Our Chile trips score an average of 4.59 out of 5 based on 201 reviews in the last year.

Chile, Argentina & Brazil , January 2016

April Jess Siegel

Patagonia Trekking , January 2016

Caroline Wilke

Articles on Chile

Chile is South America’s unsung hero

Posted on Thu, 18 Dec 2014

If you could trace a beaten track through South America, there’s a good chance you won’t find the wilds of Chile anywhere near it.

Read more

Seven essential things to do on any Chilean holiday

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014

We went to Chile and searched high and low for unmissable adventures for anyone passing through this incredible country.

Read more

Getting a taste of Chile festivals on holiday

Posted on Wed, 10 Jul 2013

Sean Kennaway experiences a delicious Chilean lunch during the country's Fiestas Patrias celebrations...

Read more

Change of pace in Patagonia

Posted on Wed, 14 Nov 2012

"It gives you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention privilege, to be in a hard to reach place..."

Read more

About Chile

At a glance

Capital city: Santiago (population 4.6 million)
Population: 16.7 million
Language: Spanish
Currency: CLP
Time zone: (GMT-04:00) Santiago
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type L (Italian 3-pin)
Dialing code: +56

Best time to visit Chile

The best time to visit depends largely on your chosen activities and destinations as Chile’s substantial length ensures that the climate is incredibly varied. Summer (December to March) is possibly the best time to visit Chile, as the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine and lakes region are reasonably warm. The trade off however, is that the Atacama Desert can be very hot during this time. Summer is also festival time, so it's a good chance to experience Chile’s unique culture. For the central and northern regions, autumn is a comfortable time to visit, however during this time it can be quite cold in the south, especially at night. Snow fall is common during winter (July to September) in the south of the country, so this is the ideal time for a skiing or snowboarding holiday.

Chile weather chart

Geography and environment

Chile Easter Island
Chile is a land of quirky geographical characteristics, most noticeably its incredible length. Measuring in at over 4600km long, yet only 430km wide, Chile covers a massive geographic scale that includes a variety of unique landscapes as well as an impressive coastline. Straddled by the epic Andes, this gigantic mountain range acts as a natural border with Argentina in the east, while the Pacific Ocean - including the remote Chilean territory of Easter Island - forms Chile’s western coastline. The capital and largest city, Santiago, lies inland, roughly in the centre of the country. Further north, Chile shares a border with Peru and Bolivia, as well the largest section of the parched Atacama Desert, one of the world’s driest places. South of Santiago, Chile unfolds into the wilderness playground of Patagonia - a largely uninhabited, prehistoric landscape brimming with forests and enormous glaciers.

Top Picks

Peppers

Top 10 Must-Try Foods in Chile

1. Empanadas de Pino

This scrumptious portion of pastry stuffed with meat, olives, raisins and onions is a budget street food favourite.

2. Caldillo de Congrio

This famous Chilean stew is made from deep-fried, seasoned or baked eel. While not to everyone's taste, this is popular with locals… so popular that Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda once wrote an ode to the dish.

3. Pan de Pascua

This sweet Chilean cake is usually eaten around Christmas. Flavoured with ginger and honey and packed with fruit and nuts, it was brought to Chile by German migrants.

4. Humitas

Popular throughout most South American countries, this popular vegetarian dish features mashed sweet corn baked in a corn husk with spices and butter.

5. Pastel de Choclo

This succulent casserole of beef and/or chicken and vegetables, topped with corn batter is a local favourite in Chile.

6. Asado Chileno

A method of cooking that involves grilling meat over hot coals. Traditionally includes delicacies such as intestines and udders, but for the regular traveller, chicken and beef is just as tasty.

7. Paila Marina

With a coastline this huge it's no surprise that Chile has some of the freshest seafood in world. This aromatic shellfish stew spiked with garlic, cilantro and other herbs and spices is cooked and served in an earthenware bowl.

8. Flan de Lucuma (Custard Flan)

This tasty Mexican dish is also popular in Chile, where locals and visitors love to savour its delicious sugary goodness.

9. Merken

This aromatic seasoning made from dried peppers is a common ingredient in Chilean cuisine. Be warned, one sprinkle of this is all it takes to turn a meal from mild to searing hot.

10. Charquican

Although dried llama meat might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this famous dish is well worth a try. Fried and served with boiled potatoes, white corn, hard-boiled egg and fresh cheese, the charquican is complemented by a delicious sauce made from tomato and chilli.

FAQs on Chile

CHILE RECIPROCITY TAX:
All passengers with passports from Australia and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering Interpol control. The amounts are as follows:
Australia - US$117
México - US$23

This tax applies only to travellers entering Chile via its international airport in Santiago. This tax doesn't apply to those entering Chile by another form of transport.
Leaving an extra 10% on top of your restaurant bill is considered polite in Chile, as is tipping porters and other service workers. Feel free to leave spare change or tip extra if the service is particularly good.
Internet access is widely available in cities and tourist areas where there are many internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots. Internet access is less frequent in rural and remote areas.
You'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Chile, although some of the more remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Chile.
Toilets in Chile will vary depending on what area you are travelling in. Flushable, western-style toilets are common in the cities, large hotels, malls and clubs but more modest squat toilets are the standard in rural areas and while camping. Either way, carrying a supply of toilet paper and soap is a good idea, as these aren’t always available in public toilets.
City bus fare = 350 CLP
Cup of coffee in a café = 400 CLP
Beer in a bar = 900 CLP
Simple lunch = 2,000 CLP
Dinner in a restaurant = 8,500 CLP
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Chile. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in Chile. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Chile.
ATMs are found widely throughout Chile, so withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic in most areas. Some smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so prepare for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Mar 30 Holy Saturday
May 1 Labour day
May 21 Navy Day
Jun 29 St Peter and St Paul *
Aug 15 Assumption
Sep 18 Independence Day
Sep 19 Army Day
Oct 12 Discover of Two Worlds Day
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas Day
* If these holidays fall on a weekend, then they are observed on the following Monday.

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Chile/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Chile Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Chile

1. Be considerate of Chile’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel LittinGabriel Garcia Marquez
The History of ChileJohn L Rector
The Obscene Bird of NightJose Donoso
My Tender MatadorPedro Lemebel
The Mermaid and the DrunksBen Richards
Desert Memories: Journeys through the Chilean NorthAriel Dorfman
My Invented Country: A MemoirIsabel Allende