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

All our Chile trips

Easter Island

4 days from
USD $987
CAD $1,020
AUD $1,000
EUR €687
GBP £577
NZD $1,112
ZAR R10,010
CHF FR832

Visit South America and travel to Easter Island to discover the history of one of the most remote islands on Earth.

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Easter Island

4 days from
USD $1,045
CAD $1,110
AUD $1,155
EUR €805
GBP £690
NZD $1,370
ZAR R10,515
CHF FR990

Visit South America and travel to Easter Island to discover the history of one of the most remote islands on Earth.

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Chile & Argentina Discovery

13 days from
USD $1,500
CAD $1,625
AUD $1,595
EUR €1,095
GBP £885
NZD $1,775
ZAR R15,965
CHF FR1,330

Take an active adventure tour from Santiago to BA. Visit Pucon and Ancud in Chile before exploring Argentina's Lake...

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Road to Rio

29 days from
USD $3,910
CAD $4,035
AUD $3,955
EUR €2,720
GBP £2,285
NZD $4,405
ZAR R39,590
CHF FR3,295

Uncover the many faces of South America on a tour through Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Cities, beaches and...

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Road to Rio

29 days from
USD $3,910
CAD $4,035
AUD $3,955
EUR €2,720
GBP £2,285
NZD $4,405
ZAR R39,590
CHF FR3,295

Uncover the many faces of South America on a tour through Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Cities, beaches and...

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Santiago to Ushuaia

23 days from
USD $2,365
CAD $2,480
AUD $2,530
EUR €1,728
GBP £1,437
NZD $2,799
ZAR R23,419
CHF FR2,090

Tour Patagonia and discover one of the world's most amazing regions. Travel from Santiago to Ushuaia and explore...

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Santiago to La Paz

21 days from
USD $2,100
CAD $2,272
AUD $2,257
EUR €1,534
GBP £1,287
NZD $2,486
ZAR R15,072
CHF FR1,855

Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Tour Santiago, Mendoza, Cafayate and Salta....

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Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia

34 days from
USD $3,365
CAD $3,485
AUD $3,557
EUR €2,579
GBP £2,126
NZD $4,112
ZAR R35,269
CHF FR2,935

Visit South America and travel through Argentina and Chile, from Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia. Experience...

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Torres del Paine Hiking

6 days from
USD $1,640
CAD $1,692
AUD $1,660
EUR €1,142
GBP £960
NZD $1,847
ZAR R16,615
CHF FR1,382

Venture into the wilds of Chilean Patagonian on a hiking trip through Torres del Paine National Park. Witness vast,...

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Patagonia Trekking

10 days from
USD $3,480
CAD $3,770
AUD $3,695
EUR €2,540
GBP £2,055
NZD $4,115
ZAR R36,985
CHF FR3,075

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia to experience the 'W' Trek in Torres del Paine National Park. Experience...

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Chile Argentina & Brazil

15 days from
USD $4,835
CAD $4,985
AUD $4,890
EUR €3,365
GBP £2,825
NZD $5,445
ZAR R48,945
CHF FR4,075

Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Brazil on a tour from Santiago in Chile to Rio de Janeiro...

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Santiago Stopover

3 days from
USD $320
CAD $342
AUD $355
EUR €247
GBP £212
NZD $420
ZAR R3,230
CHF FR305

From Santiago's historical centre to a celebrated nearby winery, this captivating stopover shows you the wealth of...

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Best of Chile & Argentina

8 days from
USD $2,390
CAD $2,545
AUD $2,645
EUR €1,840
GBP £1,580
NZD $3,135
ZAR R24,075
CHF FR2,270

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the amazing landscapes and captivating cities of Chile and Argentina. Tour...

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Chile trip reviews

Our Chile trips score an average of 4.53 out of 5 based on 53 reviews in the last year.

Chile & Argentina Discovery, June 2014

Chile & Argentina Discovery, April 2014

Articles on Chile

Getting a taste of Chile festivals

Posted on Wed, 10 Jul 2013 by Sue Elliot

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

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Change of pace in Patagonia

Posted on Wed, 14 Nov 2012 by Sue Elliot

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

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About Chile

At a glance

Trips Available: 13
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

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
CHILE RECIPROCITY TAX:
All passengers with passports from Australia, Canada and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering Interpol control. The amounts are as follows:
Australia - US$117
Canada - US$132
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. CHILE TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required

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