WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO CHILE
• December to February – Summer
• March to May – Autumn
• June to August – Winter
• September to November – Spring
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear, keep in mind that the trick is to pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket. Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.
The opening hours for the majority of our stores are from 10:00 to 21:00, and there are several options including big malls and department stores.
The currency in Chile is Chilean Peso (CLP). All cities have ATMs, including the more remote ones such as Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas and San Pedro de Atacama.
Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP). CLP1 = 100 Cents.
Credit Cards are widely used in Chile. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, Master Card and Diners Club, followed by American Express. Some merchants will add a surcharge when paying by credit card. Note that if you travel to the countryside, paying by cash may be the only option.
The tap water in Chile's cities is generally safe but has a high mineral content that can cause stomach upsets; bottled water is a good idea for delicate stomachs and in the north.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
• Hotels Maids should get around 1000 pesos per night (per person); 500-1000 pesos per bag to the porters, and 5,000-10,000 pesos for the concierge.
• Restaurants & Bars leave a gratuity of at least 10% of your restaurant bill. Some establishments will include 10%, in which case you should still give at least 5% directly to your server. They make very low wages and can really use the extra money.
• Taxis You're not really expected to tip, but in most cases you won't receive any change. Basically, just round up your fare. Politely tell the driver to keep the change. It will make it easier for your driver since change doesn't have much value in Chile, and is more of a hassle than anything.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills.
• Spanish is the official language. English isn’t spoken widely.
• South African citizens do not require a visa to enter Chile, you will receive a visa stamp valid for 90 days upon arrival.
• Chile is located on the continent of South America. They are 5 hours behind S.A
• For Chile there are two associated plug types, types C and L and type L is the plug which has three round pins.
• Chile operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
WHAT THINGS COST
• Inexpensive restaurant meal : +- 5,500.00 CLP
• Meal for 2 people Mid-range Restaurant, 3 Course : +- 30,000.00 CLP
• McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal): +- 4,000.00 CLP
• Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : +- 2,500.00 CLP
• Imported Beer (0.33 Lit Bottle) : +- 3,000.00 CLP
• Cappuccino (Regular) : +- 1,784.72 CLP
• Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : +- 817.14 CLP
• Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : +- 633.33 CLP
• A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.