From the eclectic sprawl of Santiago to the glacial fjords of Chilean Patagonia, the world’s longest country is jam-packed with adventure.

In a land of contrasts, be treated to a Mars-like experience travelling to the Atacama Desert. Wander through a family estate tasting wine in the Casablanca Valley and travel to the coastal town of Valparaiso – made famous by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Fulfil a trekker’s dream to Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park. Get around in the capital of Santiago, strolling through museums and park up at one of the many hip restaurants in the graffitied neighbourhood of Barrio Bellavista. Just follow the flow of Chile and collect the best of South America along the way.

Top Chile travel deals

Departing Days From NZD
12 Jan 2019
Best of Chile & Argentina
8 $3,690
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Chile tour reviews

Articles on Chile

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Chile holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Chile

Culture and customs

Eating and drinking

Geography and environment


Festivals and events

Health and safety

Further reading

Chile travel FAQs

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information. 

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.

Mobile phone coverage is good in Chile’s cities, but may not be available in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.

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

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Chile, though some may get an upset stomach from the different mineral content. If you have a delicate stomach, you may want to opt for filtered water to avoid this. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring a reusable water bottle that can be filled with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.

Major credit cards are widely accepted in Chile’s large cities and towns but may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as family restaurants and markets stalls in small towns and rural areas. Make sure to carry enough cash when visiting these parts in case credit cards are not an option.

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

  • 1 Jan: New Year’s Day
  • 19 Apr: Good Friday
  • 20 Apr: Holy Saturday
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 21 May: Navy Day
  • 1 Jul: Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul
  • 15 Aug: Assumption
  • 18 Sep: Independence Day
  • 19 Sep: Army Day
  • 1 Nov: All Saint’s Day
  • 8 Dec: Immaculate Consumption
  • 25 Dec: Christmas

For a current list of public holidays in Chile go to:


Most people can start to feel the effects of altitude at over 2000 m (6561 ft) regardless of age, gender or fitness level. Santiago is well below this elevation, but travellers heading to San Pedro de Atacama and the northern and central Andes might experience symptoms of high altitude. It’s important to take it easy, drink plenty of water and speak to your group leader at once if you feel unwell.

We recommend seeing your doctor if you have any health concerns before undertaking the trip. Particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition or take any medication.

No vaccines are required in order to enter Chile but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4–6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.

Chile is a relatively hassle-free destination for LGBTQI-travellers. Though traditionally a very Catholic and conservative nation, attitudes are increasingly changing. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015 and people are now more open about their sexuality. Santiago hosts an annual gay pride parade and has an active gay scene, particularly in Barrio Bellavista. Beach resorts, such as Vina del Mar, also have a number of gay clubs.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or Smartraveller before you travel.

Responsible Travel

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.

Men playing checkers in Santiago

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.