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Practical information Chile
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Area

292259  sq.mi

Languages

Spanish is the official language. The Mapuche Indians speak their own dialect of the same name.

Population

16,454,143 inhabitants

Flights

  • Chile :

    Santiago: Average flight time of 15 hours, often with a stop-over in Madrid. Santiago is 7226 miles from the United Kingdom.

  • Easter Island :

    29 hrs with connections in Miami and Santiago. Easter Island is 8,467 mi from the United Kingdom.

Required travel documents for Chile

For EU citizens, no visa is required for a stay of less than three months. A passport valid for six months after your return date is enough.

Religion

89% of the population is Catholic. The rest is shared by Protestants, Jews, and Mormons.

Currency

The currency is the Chilean Peso. Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in most hotels and restaurants. You will have no trouble finding an ATM machine in the towns (although there is only one on Easter Island, in Hanga Roa), but travellers cheques in Dollars are the best option as they are more widely accepted. Bring cash with you if you are visiting Easter Island (Dollars or Pesos). Banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

Transport

Taking the plane is expensive in Chile. The most practical way of getting around is on the bus. For trips involving a night, it is better to take the saloon night bus (equipped with very comfortable reclining seats). The company often offers a restaurant service on board and the screening of a video. The train is ideal for getting to the neighbouring countries in the north, such as Bolivia and Peru. To get to the south of Chile, the Santiago-Puerto Montt line is the most used.
In Chile, an international driving licence is compulsory to drive there. All the large car-hirers are represented here. The roads are in perfect condition, however, note that the distances here are enormous (example of the Arica-Puerto Montt, the "Pan-American Highway": almost 1,800 miles!). The immense roads make you feel drowsy, and the circulation of thousands of heavy goods trucks makes it important to remain vigilant.

Health

There are no vaccinations required to travel to Chile. There are no risks of yellow fever or malaria. However, it is preferable to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, and against typhoid. Away from the cities, choose to drink sealed bottled water. Sanitary conditions are the same as in Europe, there is no risk of serious infection.

Electricity

Voltage is 220 V. Bring an adaptor.

Attendance

In total, there are just over 2 million international tourists to this destination.

Taxes

All consumer products are taxed at a rate of 18,5 %. In bars and restaurants, service is not included. Add a 10% tip to the bill. On your way out, the airport tax on international flights is $19 (about £13).

Landmark

Chile, 2 Regions :

Chile : Useful addresses in the country

Before leaving

Chilean Embassy:
12 Devonshire Street, London W1G 7DS. Tel.: 020 7580 6392.

01 47 05 46 61.

01 30 45 09 09.

On the spot

British Consulate
Avda. El Bosque Norte 0125 Las Condes, Santiago
Tel.: 56 2 370 4100.
Chilean Tourist Office:
1 550, Avenida Providencia, Piso 2, Santiago. Tel.: (02) 731 84 19.