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
5 Sep 2015 Best of Chile & Argentina 8 $2520
18 Oct 2015 Patagonia Trekking 10 $2662

All our Chile trips

DAYS
10
FROM
USD $11,395
CAD $15,340
AUD $15,300
EUR €10,400
GBP £7,700
NZD $17,040
ZAR R151,375
CHF FR11,645
Cruise through the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, then catch a flight back to...
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10
FROM
USD $11,995
CAD $16,420
AUD $16,100
EUR €10,400
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...
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17
FROM
USD $19,995
CAD $27,330
AUD $26,800
EUR €17,400
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
8
FROM
USD $8,995
CAD $11,910
AUD $12,500
EUR €8,200
GBP £6,000
NZD $13,440
ZAR R117,525
CHF FR9,040
Visit Antarctica and travel through the Drake Passage and the South Shetland Islands.
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11
FROM
USD $14,595
CAD $19,340
AUD $20,300
EUR €13,300
GBP £9,800
NZD $21,830
ZAR R190,865
CHF FR14,680
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 $14,575
AUD $15,300
EUR €10,000
GBP £7,400
NZD $16,455
ZAR R143,855
CHF FR11,065
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 $26,485
AUD $27,800
EUR €18,200
GBP £13,400
NZD $29,895
ZAR R261,380
CHF FR20,105
Travel to the ends of the earth to witness the dramatic beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula and discover the...
DAYS
4
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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20
FROM
USD $2,465
CAD $2,670
AUD $2,620
EUR €1,720
GBP £1,510
NZD $2,905
ZAR R25,725
CHF FR2,080
Get off the tourist trail on this extraordinary adventure through Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Visit historic Potosi...
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20
FROM
USD $2,865
CAD $3,355
AUD $3,520
EUR €2,485
GBP £1,825
NZD $3,785
ZAR R33,095
CHF FR2,545
Get off the tourist trail on this extraordinary adventure through Bolivia and Argentina. Visit historic Potosi,...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,870
CAD $4,205
AUD $4,125
EUR €2,785
GBP £2,295
NZD $4,585
ZAR R41,300
CHF FR3,370
Trek through South America's Patagonia region on an overland trip to Chile and Argentina. Discover the beauty and...
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13
FROM
USD $1,605
CAD $1,655
AUD $1,625
EUR €1,095
GBP £940
NZD $1,810
ZAR R16,285
CHF FR1,330
Take an active adventure tour through Chile and Argentina's spectacular Lake District. Visit Pucon, San Martin de los...
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29
FROM
USD $3,990
CAD $4,115
AUD $4,115
EUR €2,720
GBP £2,330
NZD $4,495
ZAR R40,380
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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21
FROM
USD $2,130
CAD $2,306
AUD $2,298
EUR €1,560
GBP £1,310
NZD $2,525
ZAR R22,634
CHF FR1,884
Travel from La Paz to Buenos Aires and discover the heart of South America. This vacation has it all, from a Salar de...
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48
FROM
USD $6,805
CAD $7,025
AUD $6,890
EUR €4,350
GBP £3,980
NZD $7,675
ZAR R68,955
CHF FR5,265
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. Visit Potosi, Salar de Uyuni,...
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23
FROM
USD $2,381
CAD $2,577
AUD $2,555
EUR €1,740
GBP £1,448
NZD $2,818
ZAR R23,615
CHF FR2,150
Adventure through the wilds of Patagonia on a journey that begins in Ushuaia in the south of Argentina and travels to...
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23
FROM
USD $2,389
CAD $2,586
AUD $2,564
EUR €1,746
GBP £1,453
NZD $2,828
ZAR R25,405
CHF FR2,112
Tour Patagonia and discover one of the world's most amazing regions. Travel from Santiago to Ushuaia and explore...
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3
FROM
USD $502
CAD $535
AUD $555
EUR €385
GBP £332
NZD $657
ZAR R5,052
CHF FR475
From Santiago's historical centre to a celebrated nearby winery, this captivating stopover shows you the wealth of...
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21
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USD $2,096
CAD $2,268
AUD $2,253
EUR €1,531
GBP £1,284
NZD $2,481
ZAR R15,029
CHF FR1,852
Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Tour Santiago, Mendoza, Cafayate and Salta....
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32
FROM
USD $4,000
CAD $4,125
AUD $4,125
EUR €2,730
GBP £2,335
NZD $4,505
ZAR R40,485
CHF FR3,300
Discover the very best of South America on this awesome travel adventure. Explore the ever-changing landscape and...
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112
FROM
USD $12,170
CAD $13,187
AUD $13,107
EUR €8,900
GBP £7,478
NZD $14,426
ZAR R129,421
CHF FR10,768
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...
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34
FROM
USD $3,565
CAD $3,861
AUD $3,819
EUR €2,604
GBP £2,160
NZD $4,221
ZAR R37,887
CHF FR3,152
Visit South America and travel through Argentina and Chile, from Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia. Experience...
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21
FROM
USD $2,134
CAD $2,311
AUD $2,297
EUR €1,562
GBP £1,309
NZD $2,531
ZAR R20,614
CHF FR1,859
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina and Chile from La Paz to Santiago. Visit Potosi, Salar de...
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112
FROM
USD $8,642
CAD $9,362
AUD $9,220
EUR €6,320
GBP £5,162
NZD $10,251
ZAR R91,888
CHF FR7,645
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...
DAYS
34
FROM
USD $3,565
CAD $3,861
AUD $3,819
EUR €2,604
GBP £2,160
NZD $4,221
ZAR R37,862
CHF FR3,147
Discover penguins, glaciers and eye-popping cities on an epic South American adventure. Travel from Buenos Aires to...
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60
FROM
USD $6,935
CAD $7,515
AUD $7,484
EUR €5,073
GBP £4,288
NZD $8,219
ZAR R73,736
CHF FR6,134
Go Overland from Lima to Rio with Intrepid Travel. Uncover hidden treasures from Peru to Brazil via Bolivia and...
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42
FROM
USD $4,880
CAD $5,288
AUD $5,264
EUR €3,570
GBP £3,014
NZD $5,786
ZAR R51,891
CHF FR4,318
Visit South America and travel through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina from Lima to Buenos Aires. Follow the Inca Trail,...
DAYS
6
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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64
FROM
USD $6,990
CAD $7,572
AUD $7,526
EUR €5,111
GBP £4,299
NZD $8,280
ZAR R74,285
CHF FR6,180

Chile trip reviews

Our Chile trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 102 reviews in the last year.

Chile & Argentina Discovery, July 2015

Chile & Argentina Discovery, July 2015

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 savor 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