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.

Top Chile travel deals

Departing Days From ZAR
1 Dec 2018
Best of Chile & Argentina
8 R35,360
View Trip
16 Dec 2018
Best of Chile
8 R28,150
View Trip
10 Mar 2019
Patagonia Trekking
10 R44,420
View Trip

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Articles on Chile

Chile travel highlights

Chile holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Chile

Geography and environment

Top 10 Must-Try Foods in Chile

Health and safety

Further reading

Chile travel FAQs

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

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 14 Apr Good Friday
  • 15 Apr Holy Saturday
  • 19 Apr National Census Public Holiday
  • 1 May Labour Day
  • 21 May Navy Day
  • 26 Jun Saint Peter and Saint Paul
  • 16 Jul Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • 15 Aug Assumption of Mary
  • 18 Sep Independence Day
  • 19 Sep Army Day
  • 9 Oct Columbus Day
  • 27 Oct Reformation Day
  • 1 Nov All Saints Day
  • 19 Nov Presidential Election Public Holiday
  • 8 Dec Immaculate Conception
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Chile go to:

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.