What to see and do in Chile - Itinerary and travel guide
The country can be traveled from end to end, but you will have to consider some of the things to decide how to travel to Chile. If you have a limited budget, your transportation will be the bus and sometimes you will spend many hours traveling. If you will visit the country in an itinerary that includes other South American countries, you will have to keep in mind some important things about traveling to Chile by land.
For example, Chilean customs at land border crossings is very strict and controls the luggage of all passengers. That means that traveling to Chile by land (from Argentina for example) can last much longer than expected. The flights for a backpacker are very expensive. For example, traveling to Santiago de Chile from Mendoza by plane is a half-hour trip, but the ticket is usually so expensive that most travelers make the trip by bus. We have not taken any flights (only to go to Easter Island), but we have also visited it in different stages, since many times we go out and enter its neighbor, Argentina.
When to travel to Chile
The only time we can enjoy the wonders of Chilean Patagonia is the summer of the southern hemisphere. So if you want to visit this area, the best time to travel to Chile for you will be between December and the beginning of March. Even so, you will find cold and unforeseeable weather everywhere, many times you will be able to find all the stations on the same day. The central part of the country (Santiago de Chile, the capital and its surroundings) can be visited throughout the year, in summer it will make better weather, but we were in winter and we did not get very cold. In the north, visiting the Atacama, you will find the same climate throughout the year, plenty of heat during the day and cool at night and certainly without a drop of water. If you leave Patagonia outside, you can travel to Chile and find acceptable time throughout the year.
Vaccines and medicines that I need to travel to Chile
As we have said before, Chile is the most developed country in South America and the truth is that there is no special vaccine that is among the requirements to travel to Chile. The tap water is not drinkable in all places, we also advise you to inform yourself beforehand. In any case, it is always better to go to the International Traveler Service Center of the city where you live, where they will advise you on this subject and they will remove your doubts.
Requirements to travel to Chile - passport and visas
Spaniards and citizens of the vast majority of European countries do not need a visa, among the requirements to travel to Chile only has a valid passport for at least 3 months. Always fill in the immigration form and your passport will be stamped without fees. According to official sources in theory it is possible that at the border they ask you for other things as a ticket to leave the country and they can make other complaints demanding that you have enough money for the trip, etc. However, we were never asked for anything apart from the passport.
As we have already mentioned, we crossed the border many times between Argentina and Chile and we saw that traveling to Chile by land is always a bit complicated. Customs are usually quite good, especially if you enter by land from Argentina or Bolivia. They are protecting themselves from food contaminated by bacteria or fungi and they also control the flow of drugs, so in many places you will have a good time at the border crossing while checking the luggage very carefully.
How much does it cost to visit Chile
Chile is the most developed country on the continent and it is also the most expensive. Prices are around European prices and in some things they even go well above what we pay for the same thing in Spain. But that was seen more in the restaurants and bars of the capital. Still, traveling through Chile keeping the budget seemed easier than in Argentina. The transport here is also very expensive, while the accommodation can be found for acceptable prices. There is a lot of variety of food and you can eat cheap. In many places they have a daily menu with very rich food and good prices. Fish and seafood are also available at an affordable price. Then here there are also empanadas and bocatas as in Argentina to survive (although they are less good).
Apart from some places quite far from civilization, in almost all accommodations and many restaurants offer Wi-Fi, so you will not have connection problems during your trip to Chile.
As in most of South America the official language is Castilian with vocabulary and accent typical of the place, of course. Chileans are able to talk to each other very quickly using colloquial forms. It may cost you a bit to understand them completely. As in South America in general, here too you will not get much with English, so although it is not mandatory of course, one of the requirements to travel to Chile that we recommend, if you want to enjoy the trip to the fullest, is to learn a little Spanish before the trip.
The Chilean currency is the Chilean peso, a relatively stable currency, right now a euro is worth 700 pesos. Find out the xe.com page to find the current changes. If you plan to travel to Chile from Argentina and do not plan to return to the latter, we advise you to get rid of your Argentine pesos, since in Chile they will change fatally.
How to travel around Chile
Chile safely is considered the safest country in South America. In fact we have not seen, nor have we heard of violent acts that happened to travelers while we were there. They say that in certain areas of the capital robberies happen quite often, but where we moved; Chile we found a quiet and safe place. In fact visiting Chile your security is much more in danger by the natural elements than by anything else. In Chile, earthquakes are quite frequent and a large one occurs every few years. Besides being a country with a very long coastline, earthquakes are always followed by tsunamis that have also caused many damages during history. The country is also full of volcanoes that usually erupt and cover nearby places with ash. In many places we saw signs that showed the evacuation route in the case of some natural catastrophe. One of the requirements to travel to Chile is to have some device (smartphone, etc.) to be aware of the news of possible natural catastrophes.