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Travel Tips in Chile

When to go

The summer months of December to February are usually considered the best time to travel to southern Chile as the temperatures are the warmest. Since this is the busy tourist season though, prices will increase, sometimes even double. October, November, March and April have lower temperatures and fewer tourists making these months a good time to visit Chile.


Before your trip

Make sure to register with your country’s embassy and submit your itinerary. As a precaution, the embassy will send emails informing travelers of various dangers and annoyances that occur in the country. It’s recommended to see your health care provider about 4 to 6 weeks before your trip in order to have enough time for any vaccines to take effect. No vaccines are obligatory for Chile, but it is a good idea to be up to date on routine shots like polio, rabies, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus).


Drinking Water

Even if the water is safe to drink in various regions of Chile, it will still be different from the water your body is used to drinking. Just in case, it’s good to stick to drinking only bottled or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If you purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, wash them with bottled water before eating.



Daily spending money should be carried in a different and more accessible pocket or bag than the rest of your trip money. As a back up to cash, credit cards with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Diner’s Club logo are accepted at most locations that take credit cards. Traveler’s checks can be difficult to cash in Chile. Carry a separate folder or scan the following information into your email account: a copy of your passport, the number of your credit cards, traveler’s checks, bank accounts, airplane tickets, and emergency phone numbers. Remember an additional ten percent for service will be added to restaurant and bar tabs and the I.V.A. (Impuesto al Valor Agregado or Value Added Tax) is 19 percent and normally included in the price of purchase.


Business Hours

Private businesses and government offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a two hour lunch breaks from noon to 2 p.m. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and closed on weekends. Shopping malls are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Supermarkets are open Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Highlights of the Carretera Austral and Northern Patagonia, When to go, Safety in San Pedro de Atacama, When to Go to Iquique, San Pedro de Atacama Services, When to Go to Coyhaique, Safety, When to Go to Southern Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego, When To Go and When to Go to the Lakes District.

By Michelle Lillie
I am currently living on my fourth continent. I think that backpacks are one of the greatest inventions of all times. I adhere to the idea that if...
02 Apr 2009

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