ENCOUNTER CHILEAuthentic South American Voluntary
HOME TO A RANGE OF DIVERSE,
Chile is a sliver of a country wedged between the Pacific, bordering Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Offering a wonderful mix of native cultures, mesmerizing landscapes, and a wide variety of wildlife, Chile is one of South America’s must-visit destinations.
Chile, extending over 3,000 miles from north to south, occupies over half the length of South America, north to south. This north to south stretch results in incredible landscapes includes deserts, glaciers, trees, and mountain ranges. Although Chile is lengthy, it is a mere 100 miles wide in most areas of the world, making the contrasts much more dramatic as you tour Chile.
A wide range of species reside in Chile, including alpacas, pumas, and foxes; bird spotting in Chile is just as impressive, with the giant Andean Condor and adorable Magellanic Penguins. Explore the Atacama Desert’s Mars-like landscapes, the driest place in the world, and experience natural wonders such as flamingos, surrounded by volcanoes, steaming geysers, and salt lagoons.
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BEST TIMES TO
Due to its sheer range, the variety of terrain, altitudes, and latitudes, Chile’s climate varies considerably as you move from north to south. The best times to visit Santiago and its surrounding vineyards are Spring (September to November) and Fall (March to May), and the best time to visit the Atacama Desert is summer (December–February).
From November to early March, fly to Chile’s Patagonia to enjoy the Spring and summer months; the weather is perfect for exploring the Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego, even though it is the peak season with a large number of tourists in the region. Spring, which runs from September to November, is a lovely time to visit the Chilean Lake District, as colorful wildflowers cover the surrounding mountains.
Fall (March-May) is another time of year that we love to explore Patagonia with beautiful autumnal reds and oranges as it springs into life. As well as fewer visitors, both times of year have milder temperatures.
During the winter months in Patagonia (June-August), most attractions and activities are put on hold, so we usually suggest that you avoid traveling to that specific area during these months. Pack plenty of layers to keep you warm from the ice-cold Patagonian winds, even if you visit Patagonia in spring or summer.
AT A GLANCE:
SEASONS & PEAKS
March is a lovely time to travel across Chile, particularly to the Lake District and winelands, as the crowds in Patagonia ease off and accommodation prices drop a little. In Patagonia, in particular, April to August are much quieter in terms of tourist numbers, with many hotels closing for the season. For those who want to encounter Torres del Paine at its wildest, however, the park remains open and unique opportunities for wildlife spotting are available.
September is a wondeful tim to visit Santiago, the central valley and Atacama Desert, there are smaller crowds, and the days start to warm up. Moving into October, spring flowers in the Lake District start making an appearance, however at this time of year you can expect more rain . November is the beginning of the summer in Chile and crowds across the country – particularly in Patagonia – are beginning to increase in size. In December, Chileans like to take their holidays, so coastal areas such as Valparaiso can get busy, so it’s also a common time to visit Torres del Paine National Park.
COSTA RICA INFO
Capital City: Santiago de Chile
Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
It is recommended that one brings cash in Dollars and/or Euros as these are easy to exchange anywhere in the country. Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express and Visa are all used in Chile, with Visa being the most widely accepted one. There may be difficulties in changing traveler’s checks outside Santiago.
We recommend visiting the website XE Currency Converter to get current exchange rates.
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Chile is among South America’s safest nations, but we still suggest that you take some precautions in large cities and towns. Opportunistic crimes take place in the larger cities of Chile, such as Santiago. Therefore, we recommend that you leave all valuables in the safe of the hotel and take only what you need for that specific day with you.
Especially when you are in busy areas such as markets and bus terminals, you will need to be wary of pickpockets using diversion techniques to choose your pockets. If you’re traveling some real distance, Uber is available in Chile and should be your go-to for getting around at night.
When flying to Chile, the Chilean authorities do not require a vaccination certificate, but it is always good to take appropriate precautions. Before traveling, please search the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention Guidelines and visit your local doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to seek detailed guidance and check what vaccines you have already earned.
Rare dengue fever outbreaks have occurred on Easter Island. There’s no vaccine available, but by avoiding mosquito bites, you can protect yourself. By bringing along mosquito spray or creams that ward off these little pests, you can do this.
Tap water is OK to drink in Chile’s major cities, but it has a high mineral content that can cause mild upsets for sensitive stomachs. A smart idea for tourists to more remote areas is bottled water. For some individuals in San Pedro de Atacama and some areas of the Altiplano region, altitude sickness may be a concern. On the famous W Trek or Paine Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, it shouldn’t be an issue as these are both low altitude treks.
We do recommend visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to make sure everything is up to date.
All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following their departure date from Chile. However, we highly suggest traveling at all times with a validity of 6 months on your passport.
With a full range of expedited passport facilities, including new passport applications, passport renewal, and any necessary visas, VisaHQ can assist people of most nationalities. Chile also specifies that you have sufficient unused pages in your passport, enabling the arrival and departure of any required stamps.
Check with your airline if you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Chile, as it may be the case a separate transit visa may be required for countries you travel through en route to your destination.
There are two types of outlets in Chile, type C (two round pins) and type L (three round pins), both working at 220V. You can first check your device’s compatibility with the voltage if you need a plug adapter (changing your plug’s shape to match the outlet) or a voltage converter. North American travelers will typically use only a plug adapter for devices such as laptops, as they usually use about 120-220V.
FAMILY TRAVEL IN CHILE
It’s a fantastic experience traveling to Chile with your children; if your kids love nature, then penguins, whales, pumas, and condors will fall head over heels in love with the country. There are plenty of nature treks as well as opportunities to go kayaking and river rafting in Patagonia if your kids want to burn off steam and discover the great outdoors. There are also plenty of educational moments, such as learning about the way of life of the Chilean gauchos (cowboys) and learning about the universe while stargazing at the Atacama Desert Milky Way. If you take your kids to Easter Island, they can have an extraordinary travel experience as they discover the Moai culture and broad stone heads. A trip to Chile provides you and your family with absolutely limitless opportunities.
GETTING AROUND ARGENTINA
Chile is relatively inexpensive, convenient, and safe to travel around Chile. To get around the country, locals use long-distance buses as an affordable and reliable means of transportation, helping to fit more highlights into your itinerary and less time in transfers and airports. We typically recommend travelers to use flights for key cross-country transition flights.
Airfares can be a bit more expensive in Chile, so keep an eye on promotions and offers, especially from the country’s leading airline, LATAM. LATAM is also the only airline that will take you to Chile’s remote and exclusive Easter Island, offering the most comprehensive range of domestic and international flights.
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