GO BEYOND HORIZONS
 Travels in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru

 

 

Chile

What travel documents are mandatory for your journey in Chile, which climate and health precautions you have to count with, what to keep in mind with regard to safety, which currency you have to deal with, etc., you will read it here.

Brief introduction

Chile is the most southern of the south American countries on the west side of the continent. Chile extends the crow flies more than 4,200 km long along the Pacific Ocean and has a width of least 64 km up to 350 km. The total length of the coastline is 6435 km. The population count almost 18 million. About 50% of the population is of European descent, 45% mestizo 3% is of Indian origin.

Best travel time

Due to its long coastline, clearly Chile’s weather is extremely diverse and unpredictable although it is seasonal in much of the country. Summer runs from December to February, and winter from June to August.

It is difficult to pinpoint temperatures ranges for the country as a whole as they’re so variable. There’s the dry, arid Atacama Desert in the north where temperatures reach a maximum of 32°C and can drop to -2°C. Chile’s central region has a Mediterranean feel in its central region with a colder, wetter season (May to August), while it is usually cool and damp in the south. Easter Island has its own humid sub-tropical temperatures, while much of the south, from Region VII down has a very high annual rainfall.

In terms of visiting Patagonia and further south, the summer months from December to March are ideal as it is warmer for trekking and other outdoor activities. November and April are quieter times in terms of tourism but the weather is less dependable. It isn’t advisable to visit the south from the end of autumn to the end of winter - May to September - as many trails close due to bad weather and strong winds and waterways ice over. However, places in the north, such as the Atacama, can be visited all year round.

Traveldocuments

Check passport- and visa regulations with the embassy of the visiting country in your country. You are responsible to carry the right documents with the right expiration dates. Be aware that rules can change. You should note that for most nationalities the passport on leaving the visited country must have a validity of 6 months.

Time in Chile

Chile normally is - 4 hours GMT and counts with summer- and wintertime. In 2017 Chile changes to summertime 12 of August. Keep in mind that the far south of Chile, Magallanes, stays with summertime all year around and Easter Island is always 2 hours ahead of the mainland.

Finance 

The Chilean currency is the Chilean peso. Bring a debit- and credit card and some cash money in US dollar of Euro. Be sure the international blockade for your debit card is cancelled. Most ATM charge commission. Bring the emergency phone numbers of your cards.

Healthy travelling

Take the medications you use at home and you need during your journey. Not all medications can be bought in south America. If you carry a lot of medicine, you better carry a doctor's certificate. Visit before travelling a doctor to see if you need vaccinations or prophylaxis. Tap water is drinkable, although glacier water can cause mild stomach problems. Food is usually clean and healthy and wil not cause any problems. 

Altitude sickness

Traveling on high altitude can cause altitude sickness. Signs and symptoms that may indicate altitude sickness are headache, insomnia, nausea, lethargy and unusual fatigue. Usually these symptoms disappear within days. If the symptoms persist, you should consult a doctor and descend. To prevent altitude sickness, please contact your doctor to discuss the use of a prophylaxis. Show respect for altitude and altitude sickness, if symptoms are ignored, it can be deadly.

Insurance

It is highly recommendable to take out a travel insurance in combination with your public health insurance. The first is important in case of theft, and in combination with a public health insurance in case of accident and illness and can save you a lot of problems. Go Beyond Horizons cannot be held responsible for any problems caused by lack of such insurance.

Culinary

Chiles best food is the fish and seafood from the fresh waters of the Pacific Ocean. There is a great variety of shells, crabs and lobsters which creates great dishes. Try paile marina or king crab. In the south, you will find the great lamb BBQ. But for the meat lover there will be great steaks as well. Let all this be preceded by a great pisco sour. Enjoy your food with a good glass of Chilean wine. The carmenere, the typical Chilean grape, is the basis for a nice and spicy wine.

Language and culture

Chile speaks Spanish. The people are mestizos with a small population of pure Indians. Chileans are football admirers.

Safety

Take care of your belongings. There is a lot of quick pickpocket and bag snatching in the big cities, Santiago de Chile is disreputable for its quick pickpocket and bag snatching and gunk-scams. Someone smear a dirty gunk on you, another tries to clean it up. Don`t let him, he belongs to the scam and tries to rob you. Take 3 steps back and gane time thinking what to do. Leave your valuables in the safe at your hotel. Take with you only what you really need. Don`t hang bags on back rests. Keep your belongings close to you. Be careful in trafic. Move streetwise. Avoid unnecessary theft.