Chile Travel Guide: Overview

Just like Argentina, Chile has beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities and rich culture. Countries in South America are separated only by borders and they are somewhat similar to one another. Chile however, is one of the most developed. The country offers a different kind of high for the adventurous souls and it is also considered as a land of extremes because of its size and location. One can experience dry dessert, beaches, and snow capped mountains in Chile. We hope you get a lot of inspiration and information out of this Chile Travel Guide

Table of Contents

Chile Travel Guide: Top Destinations in Chile

Santiago – Santiago, located in the center of the slender country, has been the capital city since the first European settlement was established there in 1541. It’s a vibrant and modern city with tons of things to do and see!

Easter Island – There are several hundred miles between this ancient indigenous island and Chile’s main coast. Many people want to visit it because of the large Moai sculptures that are scattered throughout the islands landscape. These giant figures continue to be a mystery til this day.

Patagonia – A vast region that actually splits the southern halves of both Chile and Argentina. Here you can find the Andes Mountain, remote villagies, lakes, glaciers and thick forestry. It’s truly an adventure seekers bucketlist item.

Valparaíso – A historic seaport city and is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The amazing view and the cool Bohemian vibe make it one of the top spot to visit for locals and tourists alike. There are cafes everywhere and the vibrant, colorful houses in the hills that surround the port are a cool site to see.

Arica – Nicknamed the City of the Eternal Spring, Arica is the northernmost city in Chile and the gateway to the archaeological and natural wonders of Lauca National Park.

Chile Travel Guide: When to Visit Chile

The Atacama Desert, Central Valleys and the country’s capital city, Santiago can also be visited all year around. For those who who want to tour the Chilean Patagonia, it’s best to visit during between January and February, the peak of summer. However, this is also a crowded season for tourists. South American locals also go and have their vacation during this time of the year.

For those who want the convenience of the “off-season”, it’s best to travel during the months of March to June or September to November. The weather during these months are just right and top destinations are less crowded. You can snag a good deal on accommodation during the off-season too.

Chile Travel Guide: How to Reach Chile

The Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport or the Santiago Airport is the point of entry for most international flights going to Chile. It is also possible to reach Chile by bus if coming from other South American countries like Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Chile Travel Guide: Getting Around

The easiest way to go around Chile is by plane and by bus. There are domestic airlines that offer flights from one city to another. LAN Airlines, the flag carrier, has direct flights from Santiago to Easter Island. Traveling by bus is pretty convenient too but prices and services vary so check a site like Rome2Rio for current info. It’s best to book bus tickets in advance because it’s much cheaper and you can save up to $10 to $20.

In Santiago, public transportation is very reliable and cheap. Research before traveling and brush up on your Spanish.

Chile Travel Guide: Chile Travel Tips

Do spend time at Santiago. There is a lot to see and do. The city has just the right mix of modern and traditional. Explore the cafes and the Eat and Drinks, enjoy the sceneries, and visit the churches and cathedrals for some history lessons.

Do bring appropriate clothes for various activities. Prepare hiking clothes if you are planning to hike a volcano like the famous Ojos del Salado located near the Andes. Also bring a hat when exploring the desert. For those who want to go on a historic tours (visiting churches and museums), don’t forget to bring a conservative set of clothes.

Learn some simple Spanish phrases. Most locals will love you for it. Say “Como Esta” (How are you) when meeting someone for the first time.

Do shake hands of people you just met. This is customary and a more formal way of greeting. Remember to be polite with locals.

Don’t be surprised with customary tipping in Eat and Drinks. It’s between 10-15% in Eat and Drinks and sometimes 20% in bar.

Don’t get offended when locals call you “gringo”. Locals and most Spanish people would address foreigners as “Gringo”. It’s normal and it’s not meant to offend.

Don’t throw your trash everywhere. The mountains, the lakes, the desert, and the wildlife are treasures we should all respect.

Don’t be afraid to take the bus or train. When traveling from city to city, this can be very efficient. They are cheap and comfortable – especially during long travel.

Chile Travel Guide: Chile Typical Costs

Price Range for Hotels

Price ranges for hotels in Chile are somewhat similar to other famous South American countries, however some might think that prices are a bit high in exchange for the type of service they are getting. A decent dorm costs about $16 to $20 a night while a private room with a double or twin bed and a bathroom costs about $40 to $150. A five-star hotel accommodation in cities like Santiago starts at $150 which is a great deal. Santiago is probably the only city where you can stay at the Ritz-Carlton for as cheap as $250 a night.

Cost of Meals

A decent meal in Chile is both affordable and delicious. A complete lunch in a local Eat and Drink can cost between $4 to $10. There are loads of options available, especially if you want to discover local delicacies. Cost for dinner varies but a sumptuous and complete meal starts at around $20. For those working with a budget per day, it’s best to buy from grocery stores and prepare your own meal. The cost for this is around $5 to $15.

Popular Destinations in Chile


Easter Island



Top Places to Visit in Chile

Sceneries Of Valparaiso

Sceneries Of Valparaiso

A historic seaport city and is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The amazing view and the cool Bohemian vibe make it one of the top spot

Sky Costanera
observer tower

Sky Costanera

Sky Costanera has one of the most impressive views of the city boasting a 360 panoramic view of the city! Tickets are $10 for adults and can

San Cristóbal Hill

San Cristóbal Hill

Take a ride up with the funicular (costs about $2.50 roundtrip) to the top of San Cristobal Hill where you can get awesome view from way above

Cerro Santa Lucia

Cerro Santa Lucia

Cerro Santa Lucio is a hill top park located just on the outer edge of downtown. It’s very beautiful and has castle like architecture. Hike up to

La Vega Market

La Vega Market

La Vega Market is the central market in Chile and you’ll find locals setting up their shops and purchasing their groceries. On the second floor is a

Barrio Brasil

Barrio Brasil

Located in the center of the city if was once home to the wealthiest people of the country. Just wonder around Barrio Brasil an take in the

Top Places to Eat in Chile

Dining 1

Restaurante Giratório

Rated one of the best restaurants in the city. You’ll have an amazing experience with a high-rise view and incredible food. Be sure to make a reservation

Clos Apalta

Clos Apalta

Clos Apalta has opened up to organics in the most mild manner imaginable because the terroir is a living thing. From that point forward, it was of


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