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
112 days from
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...View trip details
34 days from
Visit South America and travel through Argentina and Chile, from Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia. Experience...View trip details
112 days from
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...View trip details
34 days from
Discover penguins, glaciers and eye-popping cities on an epic South American adventure. Travel from Buenos Aires to...View trip details
11 days from
Embark on an adventure of a lifetime while crossing the Antarctic Circle. Discover South Shetland’s King George Island...View trip details
15 days from
Uncover the sublime white beauty of Antarctica on this Southern Expedition. Travel across the Drake Passage to the...View trip details
20 days from
Visit Antarctica and travel through the Beagle Channel to the Falkland and South Georgia islands for a magical journey...View trip details
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...Read more
At a glance
- Trips Available:
- Capital city:
- Santiago (population 4.6 million)
- 16.7 million
- Time zone:
- (GMT-04:00) Santiago
- Type C (European 2-pin) Type L (Italian 3-pin)
- Dialing code:
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.
Geography and environment
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.
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.
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.
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
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
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
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
All passengers with passports from Australia, Canada, United States and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering Interpol control. The amounts are as follows:
Australia - US$61
Canada - US$132
United States - US$131
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 New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
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.
|Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin||Gabriel Garcia Marquez|
|The History of Chile||John L Rector|
|The Obscene Bird of Night||Jose Donoso|
|My Tender Matador||Pedro Lemebel|
|The Mermaid and the Drunks||Ben Richards|
|Desert Memories: Journeys through the Chilean North||Ariel Dorfman|
|My Invented Country: A Memoir||Isabel Allende|