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Money & Costs

The currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CH$). Bank notes are available in denominations of CH$20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, and 1,000. Coins are available in denominations of CH$500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 (although the smaller coins are less common).


A 10% tip is customary in all restaurants and bars. The tip is usually not included in the bill but if you want to check, ask, ‘la propina esta includio?’ Carry small change to leave for tips. Carry notes in small denominations especially when taking a taxi, as it’s not uncommon for taxi drivers to be without change.


Chile is one of the most expensive countries in Latin America, but still cheaper than Europe, North America and Australia. Backpackers can live comfortably on $30 USD per day. This should cover food and drink in budget restaurants, hostel accommodation, entry into a tourist attraction and public transport. If you want to stay in a mid-range hotel, eat and drink in decent restaurants and take the occasional taxi, budget for around $110 USD per day.



Sample Costs

Metro ticket (one way): CH$400

Bottled water: CH$390

Bar of soap: CH$450

Toothpaste: CH$500

Bottle of shampoo: CH$1900

Bottle of wine: from CH$1800

Soft drink or coffee in a café/restaurant: CH$1000

Draft beer in a bar: CH$1500

Glass of wine in a bar: CH$1200

Lunch in a budget restaurant: CH$3000

Men’s haircut: CH$7000

Woman’s haircut: CH$12,000

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Chile by numbers, Wiring Money, Chile Mail, Shipping and Customs, Credit Cards , Economy, Communications and Media , Rock Art, Chile Phones, Chilean wine and When to Go to Viña del Mar.

By Noleen Turner
I'm originally from Northern Ireland but have lived in Santiago de Chile for over two years. I work in marketing communications and as a writer and...
17 Jun 2009

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