Chile GSP2013 - gsrw2013
Welcome to Chile
Columbia Global Centers / Latin America (Santiago)
May 30, 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Quick Facts About Chile ……………………………………………………………………………..
Public Holidays for 2013 ……………………………………………………………………………..
Useful Tips …………………………………………………………………………………………...
Emergency Information ………………………………………………………………………………
Seismic Protocol ……………………………………………………………………………………...
Currency Information ...……………………………………………………………………………...
Chilean Etiquette ……………………………………………………………………………………..
Exploring Santiago ……………………………………………………………………………………
Exploring Chile ……………………………………………………………………............................
Local Food …………………………………………………………………………………………..
Useful Information …………………………………………………………………………………...
COLUMBIA GLOBAL CENTERS | LATIN AMERICA (SANTIAGO)
Location: Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3269, 1st floor. Vitacura, Santiago - Chile
Email: [email protected]
Coordinator : Paula Pacheco
Email: [email protected]
Mobile Phone: +56- 9 6 1347825
Director: Karen Poniachik
Email: [email protected]
Mobile Phone: +56-982991210
A: Ebro RentaHome.
B: Global Center Columbia (FLACSO Building).
Quick Facts about Chile
Chile is located along the Pacific Ocean on the southernmost tip of South America’s west coast. The country borders
with Argentina in the East, and with Peru and Bolivia in the North. Chile extends longitudinally for over 4,000
kilometers— but averages only 150 kilometers wide. It is a long and narrow with varied geography from North to
South. In the North, the Atacama Desert is the driest in the world. Chile’s southern region has forests, volcanoes and
mountains, as well as glaciers and fjords. Central Chile holds most of the country’s population, including capital,
Santiago. The central region enjoys a Mediterranean climate, has plenty of beaches and is home to agricultural
activities. Easter Island and Juan Fernandez Archipelago off Chile’s coast are also part of the national territory, as is the
Chilean territory in Antarctic with an area of 1,267,723 km2.
Mountains cover about 80% of the country, with the Andes Mountains running along Eastern Chile. Chile is a
seismic zone (see Seismic Protocol page 8), located along the Pacific Ring of Fire. There are more than 30 active
volcanoes, notably Lascar and Llaima.
The Country is divided into 15 geographical regions (called “Regiones”), each headed by an Intendente appointed by
the President of the Republic. The regions are further divided into provinces, with provincial governors also appointed
by the President. Finally, each province is divided into communes  who are administered by municipalities, each
with its own mayor and council elected for four-year terms.
Each region is designated by a name and a Roman numeral, assigned from north to south. The only exception is the
Santiago Metropolitan Region which is designated RM (Región Metropolitana). Two new regions were created in 2006
and became operative in October 2007: Los Ríos in the South (Region XIV), and Arica y Parinacota in the extreme
north (Region XV). The numbering scheme skipped Region XIII.
Climate. The climate of Central Chile is of temperate Mediterranean type, with the amount of rainfall increasing
considerably and progressively from North to South. In the Santiago area, the average monthly temperatures are about
19.5 °C in the summer months of January and February and 7.5 °C in the winter months of June and July. The
average monthly precipitation is no more than a trace in January and February and 69.7 millimeters in winter.
By contrast, in Concepción the average monthly temperatures are somewhat lower in the summer at 17.6 °C but higher
in the winter at 9.3 °C, and the amount of rain is much greater.
It is important to note that the Chilean Central Area is being affected by a severe drought this year.
The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38
degrees in latitude, making generalizations difficult. According to the Köppen system (http://koeppe
http://koeppen -geiger.vugeiger.vu wien.ac.at/),
wien.ac.at/ Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the north, to
alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and southeast, humid subtropical in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and
Mediterranean climate in central Chile.
There are four marked seasons in most of the country: Summer (December to
February), Fall (March to May), Winter (June to August), and Spring (September
Terrain . Low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in East.
Population: 16,136,000 (2012 census, preliminary figure)
Total Area: 756,096 square kilometers (291,930 square miles)
Capital: Santiago (5,623,000 Hab.)
Other large cities
Viña del Mar (303,100 Hab.)
Valparaíso (865,000 Hab.)
Talcahuano (252,800 Hab.)
Temuco (247,200 Hab.)
Concepción (217,600 Hab.)
Public Holidays for 2013 (June(June- September period)
Saturday, June 29: San Pedro y San Pablo (religious).
Tuesday, July 16: Día de la Virgen del Carmen (religious).
Thursday, August 15: Asunción de la Virgen (religious).
Wednesday, September 18; National Independence Day public holiday.
Thursday, September 19: Día de las Glorias del Ejército public holiday.
Friday, September 20: Fiestas Patrias public holiday.
Quick Facts about Santiago
Santiago is the capital of Chile and the center of its largest conurbation. It is located in the country's central valley, at
an elevation of 520 m (1,706.04 ft.) above mean sea level.
Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital city since colonial times. The city boasts a downtown core of 19th
Century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's
cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by elegant parks such as
Parque Forestal. The imposing Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains have
caused it to develop a considerable smog problem, particularly during the winter months. The city outskirts are
surrounded by vineyards, and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Santiago's steady economic growth over the past few decades has transformed it into a modern metropolis. The city is
now home to growing theater and restaurant scenes, extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and
a rising skyline, including the tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago. It includes several major
universities, and has developed a modern transportation infrastructure, including a free flow toll-based, partly
underground urban highway system and the Metro de Santiago, South America's most extensive subway system.
Santiago is the cultural, political, and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many
multinational corporations. The Chilean Executive and Judicial powers are located in Santiago, but Congress meets in
the nearby city of Valparaíso.
Fire Department: 132
Radio Taxi Vitacura: (+ 56 2) 226417775
Radio Taxis Las Condes: (+ 56 2) 22114470
Radio Taxi Apoquindo: (+ 56 2) 22106200
Be sure to have a valid visa in case you need one. U.S. citizens do not require one, but they do need to pay a
reciprocity fee of US$ 160 upon arriving at the Santiago airport.
General office hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (the legal work-week is 45 hours).
Banks are only open to the public from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Lunch breaks are normally one hour long, although business lunches sometimes can take up to two hours.
The local value added tax (I.V.A) is currently at 19% and is already included in the price of all goods and
Electricity in Chile is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Chile with a device that
does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. Outlets generally accept only one
type of plug with two round pins. If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter.
It will be very cold during June and July in Santiago, so make sure that you bring warm clothing, including a
heavy coat or parka.
During the winter season, Santiago will have exactly the same time as the Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Strict anti-smoking legislation has been recently enacted in Chile: Be aware that there is no smoking allowed
in restaurants or bars, public buildings and any other closed space. You can be fined by municipal authorities
if you break these rules.
As in any thriving democracy, the pre-election period is very active in terms of demonstrations by different
interest groups, including students, environmentalists, and gay rights activists. We strongly urge you do not
get involved in these demonstrations even if you sympathize with the demands of those participating in them.
Demonstrations can get violent in some occasions and you do not want to get caught by tear gas or water
Not many people speak English, so make sure to carry a card with the name and address in Spanish of the
hotel in which you will be staying to show it to a taxi driver.
We recommend you do not drink tab water in Chile. There are plenty of brands of bottled water available in
kiosks, supermarket and convenience stores.
It is very important you use sunblock and sunglasses for protection from harmful effects of UV sun rays, even
if the day is not sunny.
Hospitals. It is important to understand the terms "Hospital" and "Clinic" used in Chile. A 'hospital' is public; a
'clínica' is private. The latter offers a diversity and quality of services as good as or better than a hospital.
Generally speaking, the environment and treatment will be much better in a clínica. Both them generally have
emergency rooms that take patients by order of arrival. At an ER in a Clinica, you'll be asked to pay for the visit.
When researching private health insurance in June 2012, the author of this section was told that there are five "base"
hospitals in Santiago which each have all the medical services available in Chile. Some of them:
Hospital Clínico de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; 400m East of Metro - Santa Lucia, line 1,
Hospital Clínico de la Universidad de Chile; 500m northwest of Metro - Cerro Blanco, line 2, website:
Hospital Militar, La Reina; 3km east of Metro - Plaza Egaña, line 4, on Ave. Larraín, website:
*Clínica Alemana website: http://portal.alemana.cl/wps/wcm/connect/internet/home
*Clínica Las Condes website: http://www.clinicalascondes.cl/
*Clínica Santa María website: http://www.clinicasantamaria.cl/
(*) Main private hospitals in Chile that are accredited by The American Hospital Association and meet metro
standards. Both have international patient departments and experience with some international insurance.
Pharmacies. In Chile are a great resource for travelers, as most pharmacists are well-informed and many medications
are sold over-the-counter at relatively low cost. While it is inappropriate to abuse this system, it is helpful to know that
many drugs which require prescriptions in other countries do not require them in Chile. Note however, that
pharmaceuticals do not have directions on the box, so be sure to ask the pharmacist for complete and detailed
24 four hours Pharmacies can be found at the following website
Chile lies in an active seismic zone and is prone to major earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
An earthquake is a material event which is caused by the sudden release of energy due to the slipping of the
Earth’s crust. Some of this energy is irradiated in all directions through elastic or seismic waves, which are
perceived as vibrations of the ground.
After an earthquake, a series of other earthquakes are likely to occur, of similar or lesser intensity, near the
epicenter of the main earthquake. These little earthquakes are called “aftershocks”.
Most of the deaths and injuries during an earthquake are due to walls collapsing, pieces of glass shattering and
other falling objects. The shaking of the earth can rarely be the main cause.
Being prepared for earthquakes hazards is up to all of us. Below you will find a list of recommendations to deal
with an emergency of this kind the best way possible.
• In case of an earthquake, stay indoors until it has stopped and you are sure that exiting is not dangerous.
Most of injuries occur when people are hit by falling objects when they try to go in or try to leave.
• If you are at home, at work or at school, cover yourself by getting under a table, desk, a strong bench or in
an inside corner of the building.
• You must stay away from glass, windows and anything that could fall and injure you over. If you are in bed,
stay there and cover your head with a pillow to protect yourself from things that could fall.
• Drop, cover and hold on until the earthquake stops. Then move to a nearby safe place.
• If you are on a wheelchair, try to move to a safe place under a doorframe. If you can’t do that, lock the
wheelchair brakes and cover your head with your arms.
• Do not use the elevator. If you are outdoors, stay there. Stay away from buildings, streetlights and electricity
• If you are using public transportation (bus or subway) and you are standing, hold on to the handrail. If you
are sitting, stay that way and wait for the instructions to evacuate.
• If you are driving a vehicle, do not stop on a bridge or a tunnel. Reduce speed of the vehicle progressively
and park in a safe place away from streetlights, trees, road signs, electricity wires and stay in the car.
• If you are cooking, switch the oven off and cover yourself.
• In case you are at a crowded place (theater, movie theater, stadium, subway, etc.), keep calm and do not rush
to the doors. Wait for the instructions to evacuate.
Seismic Protocol - After
You must be prepared for aftershocks, which in general are less violent than the main earthquake but they can be
strong enough to cause additional damage to already weakened structures. These aftershocks can occur even
months after the earthquake.
• Do not walk without shoes because there can be glass and other sharp objects on the floor.
• Turn off the gas to avoid leaks and call a professional to turn it back on.
• If you are in a place that has been damaged by the earthquake, evacuate to the safe zone.
• If the electricity goes off, use flashlights. Do not use candles, matchsticks or flames indoors because there may
be some gas leaks.
• Stay away from the street. If you have to go outdoors after an earthquake, you have to pay attention because
objects from damaged structures can fall over, like walls, bridges, etc.
• Use the phone only for emergencies.
• Clean up spilled toxic elements like alcohol, oil, gasoline, etc.
• Open cabinets cautiously because objects can fall out of them.
• Stay informed through a battery-operated radio or television to listen to the instructions from the authorities.
• If you are trapped in the rubble: Do not use matchsticks. Do not move or stir up dust. Cover your mouth
with a handkerchief or with your clothes. Do not scream because you can inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
• Stay away from the damaged area, unless the Police, the Fire Brigade or other welfare organization ask you for
• Do not use the bathroom unless it is safe and the sewage system is not damaged.
Prepare yourself for a natural disaster by consulting the websites of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management
Agency (http://www.fema.gov/) and Chile's Oficina Nacional de Emergencia (http://www.onemi.cl/en.html).
More Information: http://www.onemi.cl/en/risk/earthquake.html
The peso is the currency of Chile and the symbol used locally for it is $ while its ISO 4217 code is CLP. The current
peso has circulated since 1975. It is subdivided into 100 centavos, although no centavo denominated coins remain in
The average exchange rate of the Chilean peso to the U.S. dollar was 1 U.S. dollar = $ 500 Chilean pesos as May 30,
2013. The current online exchange rate can be found at http://www.bcentral.cl/index.asp
The bills are denominated in $ 20 thousand, $ 10 thousand, $ 5 thousand, $ 2 thousand and $ 1 thousand. There are
500, 100, 50 and 10 pesos coins. .
Exchange. The automatic teller machine (ATM) network in Chile is respectable in coverage. Individual machines are
located in most malls, supermarkets and convenience stores, are all connected to the same service and enable standard
transactions. Be aware that different banks will charge you different amounts of money for extracting cash and you
will be advised on the screen of the surcharge. The normal fee is around $2,500.
You can change money upon your arrival to the airport, in your hotel or in the city because there are no significant
differences; you can also pay with U.S. dollars or foreign credit cards in a number of places.
Where. Branches of banks (recommended), money exchange houses, Chilean International Airport, hotel’s foreign
Rate The exchange rate may vary each day (not significantly) but it is displayed on the big screen of banks
with and money exchanges houses. Please note that there is a slight difference between the online rate and the rate at
Please do not forget to take your passport with you and NEVER accept offers in the street.
Account . Wire transfers in CLP and any hard currency are available from Pac Net Services offices and AccuRate Corp. The currency received by the beneficiary will be governed by the currency of the receiving account.
Typical delivery time is one business day, but delays may occur if there is an intermediary bank. To initiate a wire
transfer to Chile, the information required is the payee’s name, address, full account number, SWIFT code, branch
name and address.
Cards. Most international credit cards are accepted in Chile: Master Card, Visa, American Express, and
Dinners Card. When venturing into more remote regions it is advisable to carry sufficient cash, as ATMs with
international network access may not be available. We suggest you consult with your bank before departing to make
sure that your brand of credit card will be accepted in Chile.
Chilean Bills (Rate as of May 30)
Twenty Thousand Pesos ($ 20.000) - US$= 40,86
Ten Thousand Pesos ($ 10.000) – US$= 20,43
Five Thousand Pesos ($ 5.000) – US$= 10,22
Two Thousand Pesos ($ 2.000) – US$= 4,09
One Thousand Pesos ($ 1.000 – US$ 2,04 (Called “una luca”)
One Hundred Pesos
Note: The $1 and $5 peso coins are quite obsolete in Chile.
How to make phone calls from/in Chile?
To call the U.S. from Chile: Please bear in mind that all long-distance phone calls in Chile are routed through private
telecommunications companies whose prefixes need to be used when you place the call. Following is a list of the most
often used long-distance companies/prefixes:
So, if, for example you were placing a call to the United States using:
Movistar, you would dial 181+ 01 + Area Code in the U.S. + Telephone Number.
Entel, you would have to dial 123+01+Area Code + Telephone Number.
Main Area Codes are, Chile: 56 and then:
For Santiago: 2
For Concepcion: 41
For Valparaiso: 32
For calls to a mobile from a mobile dial: +569 + the local eight-digit mobile number which starts with 9, 8, 7 or 6.
For calls to a mobile from a fixed local line dial 09 + the local eight-digit mobile number which starts with 9, 8, 7 or 6.
phones. Prepaid cards for mobile phones and landlines are sold at most newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, gas
stations, pharmacies and phone dealers. They are called “teléfono de pre-pago” in Spanish. A basic prepaid phone
usually costs about $15,000 pesos and is most frequently charged with $10,000 pesos worth of prepaid minutes. No
ID is required to buy one.
Mobile GSM networks are ubiquitous in all major cities and most of the territory of central and southern Chile.
Money can be charged into a mobile phone from almost any ATM using a credit or debit card and from some
pharmacies (Ahumada, Cruz Verde and Salco Brand) on the counter and in cash.
Internet . In hotels and many public places you can access free Wi-Fi requesting the password. Wi-Fi hotspots are
commonly found in many parts of Chile; though people have increasingly figured out they should secure them.
plane. Chile has a rather good airport infrastructure. The main hub for flights in Chile is the Arturo Merino
Benitez International Airport (SCL) in Santiago, from where several airlines serve even the remotest corners of the
country. These airlines are all local: LAN Airlines, Sky Airline and Principal Airlines.
When travelling within Chile, please consider reserving your tickets before entering the country: flight coupons are
recommended and can be bought at LAN when you also purchase your flight to/from Chile with them. Because of the
shape of the country, many routes are subject to several time-consuming layovers. You might take this into account as
you can have up to 4 stops en route to your destination! (E.g. for a flight from Punta Arenas to Arica you may have
stops at Puerto Montt, Santiago, Antofagasta and Iquique). Domestic routes are served by Airbus 318, Airbus 319 and
Airbus 320 when flying with LAN, and Boeing 737-200s when flying Sky Airline.
The only airline flying to Easter Island is LAN Airlines from Santiago. Other remote locations are served by regional
airlines. In the Extreme South, Aerovías DAP offer daily routes from Punta Arenas to Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego and
Puerto Williams. To Robinson Crusoe Island, there are weekly flights from Santiago and Valparaiso.
bus. The bus system is pretty sophisticated and provides a cheap and comfortable way to get from town to town.
Keep in mind that local companies will usually stop at many stations along the way. However, you can always ask if
there's a non-stop or direct service. Companies that cover almost the entire country include Turbus
https://www.turbus.cl/wtbus/indexCompra.jsf and Pullman Bus (http://www.ventapasajes.cl/pullmanbus/
Santiago, you can find both terminals and more companies on Universidad de Santiago subway station. Keep in mind
that prices vary on a daily basis, so are usually more expensive on weekends and holidays tickets than on weekdays.
Ticket prices are also almost always negotiable - don't be shy to ask for a discount, especially if you are in a group.
The quality of service varies quite a lot. Check if the bus is "cama" (bed), "semi-cama" (heavily inclining seats) or
“ejecutivo” (executive - slightly inclining seat).
Micro Micro = transit/local buses. The word is the contraction of microbus. Larger cities have cross-town bus
routes at very affordable prices. Only Santiago's system, called "Transantiago", has maps
http://www.transantiago.cl/LACIUDAD/MAPAS/ with all the routes, so a little bit of Spanish and the audacity to
ask around can get you places effectively in other major cities.
To travel by "micro" in Santiago you will need to buy before a smart contactless travel-card called "BIP" and charge it
with money. You can do so in any subway station, in most supermarkets and in some smaller stores. This card also
allows you to travel by subway in Santiago. Be careful! You won't be able to travel by bus without money in your BIP
card. The card costs US$ 2.70, and a ticket costs a little over US$ 1.00, which allows you to make up to four transfers
between metro and buses within a 2-hour time period.
You only need to scan the card at the beginning of your journey and at every transfer. You should hop off the "micro"
through the back doors.
By Colectivo. A mix between a micro and a taxi. These small cars have routes indicated by a sing placed on the roof of
the car, and get around quicker and more comfortably. Fares are similar to those on the Micro, and depend on the
Taxi. Taking a taxi in Chile is safe and relatively cheap. The black cars with their yellow roofs can be hailed
anywhere. In Santiago, there is a base price of 250 pesos (USD 0.50) plus around 250 clp for each 200 m driven (or
per minute when waiting). The rates are posted on the windscreen; the meter has to be where you can see it. For
longer hauls or cross-country, you can negotiate a price beforehand. Tipping is not customary. You cannot rely on the
drivers' sense of orientation, often they barely know their way around. You can request a radiotaxi by phone to pick
you up from your house (Yellow Pages under 'Taxi').
Metro A metropolitan railway system operating in Santiago and Valparaíso. It is a reliable way to move around in
the city. You must pay the fee only once (when you enter the system) and you can ride as much as you want. There
are now more stations in Santiago because of the recent construction of two new lines. Visit the website for more
A: Nearest to Hotel Ebro.
B: Nearest to UDP.
car. All traffic signs are in Spanish only and their shapes and colors can be very different from the U.S. or
Car Rentals are widely available throughout most major cities, but not in smaller towns. Usually a credit card,
a valid driver's license and a passport, all three issued to the same person, are needed. Rental rates in Santiago
are very similar to those in the U.S., but prices can be much higher in other cities.
It's a good idea to avoid rush hours, between 7 and 9 AM and between 5 and 8 PM.
There are several reversible lanes and streets in Santiago and other cities.
Parking spaces and street lanes are narrower than in the U.S., so it's a good idea to get a small vehicle.
Fuel prices are about 1.5 times higher than the average U.S. price, yet cheaper than in most Western Europe.
Several inter-city roads are tolled and don't take credit cards, so keep some Chilean money with you.
Most inter-city roads connecting major cities are rather well designed, almost totally sealed, and well kept.
Several urban roads in Santiago have electronic free-flow tolls, so make sure that your car is equipped with an
electronic radio-transponder, commonly called “tag”, since there are no toll booths at all on those roads.
Many urban streets are not in good shape, so you must drive very carefully.
All corners are supposed to have traffic signs, and in Santiago and most major cities, actually all corners are
regulated by traffic signs. If there aren't any visible traffic signs, the preference belongs to the vehicle
approaching from your right hand.
All traffic signals and traffic lights are mandatory all of the time, there are no after-midnight concessions, such
as yielding at stop signs or red lights.
If you have one problem with the police (i.e.: misunderstanding of some traffic sign) just be humble and
explain the situation, many times an "I will be more careful" might be enough.
Supermarkets. Open late at night (until 10 or 11 pm), they are also open all day on weekends, when Chilean families
do their weekly shopping. The chains Lider and Jumbo are dominant on the market.
Malls. Instead of spending the time outdoors on Sundays, many Santiaguinos stay in the air-conditioned
shopping malls, where they shop at designer stores, eat at the Food Garden or go to the movies:
Alto Las Condes,
Condes Av. Kennedy 9001, daily 10-22 h http://www.altolascondes.cl/
Arauco Av. Kennedy 5413, daily 10-21 h http://www.parquearauco.cl/
Apumanque Av. Apoquindo, corner Manquehue, Mon-Sat 10-21, Sun 11-21 h http://www.apumanque.cl/
Center Av. Andrés Bello, corner Tajamar, daily Mon-Sun 10-22 h
Souvenirs. Typical gifts, apart from the Chilean national alcoholic drink Pisco and the world-wide famous
wine, would be papayas from La Serena, chestnut mush and "manjar" (thickened concentrated milk). They can be
purchased in the Central Market and in all supermarkets.
Shops. You can find an excellent selection of Chilean literature at the Feria del Libro (several branches), e. g. in
the Galería Drugstore, in Providencia, corner of Andrés de Fuenzalida (Metro - Pedro de Valdivia, line 1) Look for
antiquarian trophies in the street San Diego (Metro - Universidad de Chile, line 1).
Handicrafts and Antiques:
Antiques Traditional Chilean handicrafts made with precious stones, leather, wool, wood or
ceramics can be found at stores as:
Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda,
Moneda Plaza de la Ciudadanía 26
Galería del Mundo Andino,
Andino Villavicencio 395, barrio Lastarria
8 artisans' house, barrio Bellavista
The following “ferias de artesanía” (artisan’s fairs) that open almost every day:
Lucía, Alameda / Carmen, Downtown. Good and inexpensive.
Feria de Arte Indígena,
Indígena, Cerro Santa Lucía, Downtown. Authentic mapuche, rapa nui and aymara works.
Bellavista, Pío Nono 55, Barrio Bellavista. Large assortment of products, good quality, medium prices.
Dominicos, Nueva Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes. High quality handicraft in little stores located inside an old
convent. Closed on Mondays.
Markets. The largest flea market in Chile is the Persa Bio-Bio, set up all around the street Bio-Bio (Metro station
Franklin, line 2), partly roofed, partly on the street (open only Sat/Sun). You have everything here: precious antiques,
furniture, private copies of music and software, etc.
Chileans are friendly and hospitable, and they tend to be forgiving of mistakes made by foreigners. Even so, if you are
familiar with the basics of Chilean etiquette, you can avoid many embarrassing and awkward situations.
Chilean culture tends to be more openly affectionate than what you might be used to. During conversations
and when greeting one another, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, or an enthusiastic pat on the back are all
commonplace. This is especially true among close friends and relatives.
People also tend to stand closer than you might be used to, and to have more direct eye contact. You might
feel that your personal space is being invaded a little bit, but for people in Chile, this is just a sign of
friendliness, closeness, and interest in what the other person is saying.
Schedules tend to be laid-back, and in most informal situations, it is not considered rude to be late. In fact,
for informal gatherings such as a dinner or a party, the host will likely expect guests to arrive late.
Make direct eye contact with people when you meet them, or when you are having a conversation.
Address people using their titles. If you aren’t sure what title to use, address men as Señor, and women as
Tip approximately 10 to 15% in restaurants. Often a 10% service charge will automatically be added. Even
so, it is customary to tip 5 to 10% or so on top of that.
Bring some type of small gift, such as flowers, a dessert, or a wine, if you are invited to someone’s home.
Ask for the bill after your meal at a restaurant. Your waiter or waitress will most likely not bring the bill until
you ask for it.
Wait for your host or hostess to show you to your seat before sitting down. This goes for whether you are
visiting someone’s home, or out at a restaurant or other social gathering.
Etiquette. During your time in Chile, you will inevitably make many new friends. Knowing the proper way
to greet someone, and the important things to avoid doing, can help you make a good first impression, and can pave
the way for many a close friendship. A firm handshake and direct eye contact is the norm for greetings. It is common
for close friends to hug and pat each other on the back. For women, a kiss on the right cheek is a common greeting.
Greet everyone in a group individually.
Use a person’s title plus their last name. If you don’t know their title, you can use Señor for men and Señora
Some of the main attractions and places to visit in Santiago are:
Cerro Santa Lucia.
Lucia. The hill that was the original founding place of Santiago, which is now adorned with
wonderful facades, fountains and stairways including Terraza Neptuno. (Metro - Santa Lucia, line 1)
Santa Lucia Craft Market.
Market . The most traditional place to buy handicraft and souvenirs in Santiago. It's just
across from the hill that has the same name. (Metro - Santa Lucia, line 1)
Paris Londres Neighborhood.
Neighborhood. One of the oldest streets in Santiago that has still maintained its old
architecture (Metro - Universidad de Chile, line 1)
Bellavista. In the heart of the Bohemian Bellavista district, this beautiful plaza has become a meeting
place for tourists and locals alike. Here you will find around 50 shops and restaurants to enjoy as well as
frequently cultural events from music to art. It's a great place to spend an evening. (Metro– Baquedano, line 1)
Araucano The large park in Las Condes that has beautiful rose gardens with fountains, an aviary,
basketball and tennis courts, a bike park, many playgrounds from children and lots of grass areas to relax on.
It is across from the Parque Arauco shopping mall.
Plaza de Armas.
Armas . The main square of Santiago was cleared and leveled when Pedro de Valdivia founded the
city in 1541. The West flank was reserved for the church, where the Cathedral now stands. The present
building, built since 1748 - 1775, is the fifth to be constructed on the site due to earthquakes. The North side
of the Square he appointed for himself and eventually the governors of Chile and later the presidents lived
there until 1846 when La Moneda Palace was eventually constructed for them. Today the northern side
contains the Central Post Office, a museum and the Santiago city council office. Between 1998 and 2000, a
controversial renovation of the zone gave origin to the present layout, which mixes sectors for cultural
activities, especially for classic painters and humorists, gardens and a central pergola for the municipal band.
There are a few cafés around the plaza if you don't mind sipping your coffee surrounded by swarms of
pigeons. Also, if you think you game is up to it, you can challenge one of the locals to a game of chess. Be
warned, they're really good.
One of the most interesting statues depicting the Mapuche heritage is also located here in the South-East
corner of the square. At the North-West corner you will find another statue of Pedro de Valdivia riding a
Moneda The Presidential Palace is a beautiful building and there
is a formal tour. We recommend that you get your picture taken
with the Carabineros who guard the palace in there impressively
imposing uniforms. While some are unable to speak to tourists you
will find that others are there purely to help lost tourists locate the
museum below ground or other nearby attractions. The museum
hosts several different exhibitions throughout the year, mainly by
Chilean artists. If you go at 10 in the morning every second, day you
will be able to see the changing of the guard in all its glory. (Metro –
Moneda, line 1)
Cerro San Cristóbal
bal The highest point of Santiago at 880m above
sea level (323m higher than Plaza de Armas). At its peak is the statue
of the Virgin Mary which is illuminated at night as a beacon for the
city. The Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, with its great
statue at the summit of the hill, was inaugurated in 1908, by
initiative of the archbishop of Santiago, Mariano Casanova, thanks
to several private donations. The statue, visible from a large part of
the city, is considered as a symbol of Santiago. There is an open air
sanctuary at the foot of the statue where mass is offered. Pope John
Paul II visited the sanctuary in 1987. The walk up is rather long and
most travellers choose to arrive at the summit by taxi or tour bus. If
you do choose to hike with the pilgrims making their trek to the
virgin on their knees it will take you approximately an hour. There is
also a small zoo, which is more appreciated for its beautiful gardens
than the small variety of animals within it.
Chascona. One of Pablo Neruda's three houses in Chile, it is
located in the bohemian arts district of Santiago called Barrio
Bellavista. The home is open to guided tours every day of the week,
except Mondays (10am - 6pm). The home contains many of his
collections, books, and artwork by his third wife and his friends.
There are over 9,000 books in the library and here you can see the
diploma he was awarded along with the Noble Prize. From Metro –
Baquedano, line 1, cross the river and continue north along Pio
Nono. His house is located at Márquez de la Plata 0192, near the end
of Pio Nono and built on Cerro San Cristóbal itself. His other two
houses are in Isla Negra and Valparaíso.
Forestal While normally this park is quiet with more dogs
than people, on Sunday the park and neighbouring streets come
alive as they are filled with street performers such as jugglers and
actors, making it a fun environment for families as well. You will
also come across a lot of second hand stuff such as books, clothes or
handmade jewellery. The main focal point of people is around the
Museo Bellas Artes, especially behind it. Another reason to visit on
Sunday is that entrance to the museum is free that day.
Museo Bellas Artes / Museo de Arte Contemporáneo.
Contemporáneo This palace
holds two museums in one. While the museum features different
exhibitions downstairs, upstairs there is also a permanent display of
colonial art. The most stunning aspect of the museum however is
not the art, but rather the building itself, especially the front foyer
which filters in light over the marble walls and floors as well as all of
the statues throughout the room. You can take the Metro – Bellas
Artes, line 5, or you can hop off at Metro – Baquedano, line 1 and
walk along Parque Forestal.
Central The building is constructed of steel that was made
in England in 1868 and brought to Santiago. The building was
completed in 1872. Nowadays it is a favorite tourist spot for the
colorful restaurants that are located in and around the seafood
market stands. We recommend that you have lunch at one of the
small bistros. However, if you are looking to buy your groceries,
cross the river to La Vega for cheaper prices at the same quality. La
Vega also has its own form of restaurants with two or three stools
where you can have freshly prepared ceviche for a fraction of the
price, but with a rather different ambiance. (Metro - Cal y Canto,
line 2). Also while you are there, try checking out the Mercado de
Flores (Flower Market) across the river where there are dozens of
shops making flower arrangements (mostly wreaths). The bright
colors found here is a nice change from the brown river Mapocho
Dominicos . While not the cheapest of outdoor markets, this
surely one of the most orderly and high class ones in all of South
America. You will surely be impressed by all that it has to offer and
can pick up a few gifts for friends back home. Most of the products
are made on site and sold in this make believe small town.
It is a little out of the way from most of the other tourist sites, but a
trip there is well worth the bus ride as you can go from the Center of
town to upscale Las Condes. You can also take subway to the last
station (Metro - Los Dominicos, line 1).
When you come out you will see a beautiful colonial style church
called Iglesia Los Dominicos, but it is usually closed. Los Dominicos to
the right of this church.
Museo de Ciencia y Tecnología.
Tecnología. This interactive Science and
Technology museum is a great place for kids (young and old)
interested in learning a little bit about science, namely physics, while
on vacation. There a lots of hands-on games and different gizmos
that you might just find yourself getting into the spirit and learning
a thing or two. Open Tuesday to Sunday (Metro – Quinta Normal,
line 5). http://www.corpdicyt.cl/
O'Higgins . If you want to mingle with working class
Chilean families then try coming here on a weekend anytime from
Spring to Autumn and have a picnic, take a visit to Fantasilandia or
tour one of the small museums on location. Fantasilandia is Chile's
version of a roller coaster theme park.
The museums are generally lacking, although the Museo del Huaso
does stand out with the traditional Chilean cowboy's gear on
display. (Metro – Parque O’Higgins, line 2)
Bellavista. This is currently one of the hot spots for Chileans
to hang out in. It is full of different pubs, restaurants and dance
clubs at night and different artesian shops during the day. Cross the
river from Metro Baquedano and walk along Pío Nono to the outdoor
market. This is probably one of the cheaper places to buy
"authentic" Chilean knick knacks, and if you go early when few
people are there you can sometimes get good deals from the vendors.
There are also a lot of stores here overflowing with different
lapislazuli carvings. At night we recommend staying away from Pio
Nono, as the sidewalks are just chalked full of tables and plastic
chairs with bars offering two different selections of cheap beer.
Off this street you can find Plaza Bellavista. Both the restaurants and
the shops in the plaza are a bit overpriced, but it is worth at least a
walk through if you are in the neighborhood. The district is well
known for its bohemian roots; who knows which local artist you
might bump into while there.
Be careful late at night, while it is becoming less dangerous you
should still keep your eyes open and your hand on your purse at all
times while out at night. Great places to check out in Barrio
Bellavista. In the heart of the Bohemian Bellavista district, this
beautiful plaza has become a meeting place for tourists and locals
alike. Here you will find around 50 shops and restaurants to enjoy as
well as frequently cultural events from music to art. It's a great place
to spend an evening.
tnico. This trendy spot serves up great sushi platters for sharing
with the whole group. The décor is done in beautiful wood panels…
you'll have fun watching people try to figure out how to enter the
La Maestra Vida.
Vida. Although Chileans aren't renowned for their
dancing, this is one place where you can actually learn how to salsa
with the best of them. There tend to be a lot of regulars that come
every weekend and don't mind helping a gringo learn to shake it.
There are also classes earlier in the night. It is worth it to come early,
especially if you are shy about dancing and just want to get a good
table to watch all the action. Located near the end of Pío Nono,
you'll recognize the red building on the corner before the entrance to
Cerro San Cristobal where seedy looking guys normally pass out
propaganda for other bars. http://www.maestravida.cl/.
Nuñoa. The barrio itself is more of a sleepy residential area,
with a generally older population, but the plaza just off of Calle
Irrarrazaval comes alive at night. This is the perfect place to have a
beer and chill out with friends at one of the outdoor tables all along
the plaza. It generally attracts young college students looking for
cheap beer and French fries covered in onions, fried eggs and
sausage…. yum! A lot of times you will find young kids hanging out
in the middle of the plaza, no matter how cold it might be, practicing
their free style rapping, or sometimes there are even gypsy bands and
other street performers.
At night try stopping in at one of the places with Kuntsman beer on
tap, or during the day be sure to visit the artesian ice cream parlor.
The metro doesn't come close to here, so you'll need to take a micro
or cab. Check out La Batuta http://www.batuta.cl/,
http://www.batuta.cl/ one of the only
clubs in the area with regular live music, it is a little on the small side
and filled with an eclectic group of people depending on the night.
Sanhattan . Barrio El Golf is the financial heart of the city where most
of the top businesses and embassies are. Walking around El Golf and
Apoquindo Street you will being amazed by the modern architecture
of the buildings that makes this part of town on a par with any city
on the world. If you are dying for the food back home and you just
can't get into the local Chilean cuisine you can always trod on over to
this plaza where elegant Chileans somehow convert themselves into
Americans. The whole street of Isidora Goyenechea is lined with
American-based restaurants whose menus are normally written in
English too. In fact the only real difference between these chain
restaurants and the ones back home are the lack of free refills. You can
easily walk there from Metro - El Golf , line 1. If you are walking
down Avenida Bosque Norte to Plaza Peru you just might not make it.
Instead you might feel the draw to have a beer in Flannery's, the local
Irish bar. It is a favorite with ex-pats and is filled every night of the
week. Sometimes there are karaoke contests upstairs and large red
headed Irish men belting their hearts out. They have a variety of
beers, including some they brew themselves, although unfortunately
there is not Guinness.
You can find a great combination of history, natural splendors, and even
something for the artsy crowd. The Atacama Desert is one of the most
unique places in the world and the Chilean Patagonia is something not to
Desert . The most popular tourist attraction in Chile
second to only Eastern Island. The Atacama Desert is the highest
and driest desert in the world. Unique rock formations will leave
you speechless the entire time you are there; Valle de la Luna (moon
valley) death valley, and dinosaur valley, to name a few. You could
literally spend an entire week exploring the area (it would be time
well spent), look for accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama.
Island. One of the most isolated places on Earth, it’s still an
enigma to most people. The lineage of the people in Easter Island is
actually traced back to Polynesia and Micronesia, not the migration
originally thought. It is very easy to get around on the island and
some tourists like to bike around the island. Only LAN Airlines flies
to Easter Island from Peru or Santiago.
Patagonia (Torres del Paine)
Paine). Patagonia in Chile is one of the
reasons why they call Chile the Switzerland of the South. There are
gorgeous snowcapped mountains where the Andes tower over the
border of Chile and Argentina. The lake country in Chile is also
very impressive, make sure to check cities off the beaten path like
Chiloe. The Torres del Paine National park is the most popular
attraction in this region. You can access the park via Calafate,
Argentina, or Puerto Natales in Chile.
Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.
Mar. These two cities sit 1 hour from each
other on the coast of Chile, roughly 2 hours from Santiago.
Valparaiso can be described as an artsy town and one of the great
things to see is the graffiti that defines the city. Make sure to explore
the Pablo Neruda museum in the city.
Just a short bus or taxi ride away is Viña Del Mar where you can find the famous flower clock. The city
doesn’t have that many attractions but you can find the beach if you are in the mood for some sun.
www.albumdesierto.cl is a deserted former nitrate
mining town in the far north of Chile containing rusting industrial
equipment and abandoned homes, visitors will feel the haunting
sense of emptiness and eeriness of this UNESCO World Heritage
Juan Fernández Islands.
Islands. Re-trace the footsteps of the real-life
Robinson Crusoe in the little known Juan Fernández Islands
(650km/ 403 miles) west of Valparaíso. Scotsman Alexander Selkirk
was marooned here in the early 18th century, forming the
inspiration for Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.
Here is a list of typical Chilean food and what their equivalent is in English:
Bistec a lo pobre.
pobre Beefsteak, French fries, fried onions, topped with a couple of fried eggs.
Carbonada. Meat soup with finely diced beef and all kinds of vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots,
broccoli, green pepper and parsley.
Chancho en Piedra.
Piedra A typical Chilean seasoning with tomatoes, garlic, and onions grounded together in a
Charquican . Ground or diced meat cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes and pumpkin all mashed. It is a
mushy dish but great.
Cazuela de Ave.
Ave Chicken soup with pieces of meat, potatoes, green beans or peas, rice or noodles.
Cazuela de Vacuno.
Vacuno Beef soup with pieces of meat, potatoes, corn on the cob, carrots, onions, green beans,
garlic, chunks of pumpkin, rice or noodles.
Costillar de Chancho.
Chancho Baked spare (pork) ribs.
Empanada de Pino.
Pino Typical turnover (pastry) filled with diced meat, onions, olive, raisins and a piece of
hard-boiled egg, baked in earthen or plain oven.
Empanada de Queso.
Queso. Typical turnover filled with cheese until dry then added to minced cooked potatoes and
flattened to a bread-like form then baked or fried. This is one of the ingredients that can be found in a typical
Parrillada Different kinds of meat, sausages and sometimes entrails grilled over charcoal and served with
potato salad or rice.
Pastel de Choclo.
Choclo A typical Chilean summer dish. Ground corn and meat, chopped onions small pieces of
chicken, pieces of hardboiled egg, olive raisins - baked in clay or regular oven. Similar to a shepherd pie.
Pebre. Seasoning of tomatoes with chopped onion, chilicoriander, and chives. Usually served in a little clayion
and sliced carrots.
Granados Fresh bean dish with ground corn and pieces of pumpkin served hot.
Somewhere along the way, in adopting the idea of "sandwiches", Chileans missed the part about "pick it up and eat
it". Most Chilean hamburgers and other sandwiches, though served between pieces of bread, are architecturally not
suited to being picked up. Therefore you have to eat most Chilean sandwiches with knife and fork.
Jarpa. A political-namesake sandwich named after an obscure attorney, traditionally made with nearly
tasteless hand-kneaded bread called "pan amasado". If no pan amasado is available, any old bread will do, and
often does. It is a hot ham and cheese sandwich, with the cheese often served hot enough to burn your lips
and tongue. It usually takes a lot of salsa de ají to make this sandwich interesting.
Luco Hot meat sandwich, usually beef, with melted cheese. It got its name from a former Chilean
President Ramón Barros Luco, in office 1910 to 1915, who reportedly ate a lot of them.
Chacarero. Another "sandwich" you have to eat with knife and fork. Beef slices, green string beans, tomato
pieces, and usually the chili sauce called "ají". Chileans, often delusional when it comes to food, like to think
of it as their greatest contribution to international sandwich cuisine.
Completo. The main Chilean fast-food staple. It is basically an American hot-dog (wiener) and bun, with
several toppings. Common toppings include sauerkraut, chopped tomato, ketchup and lots of mayonnaise.
There are variants such as the "Italiana", which have avocado paste. Just as there are hot-dog eating contests
in the U.S., there are completo-eating contests in Chile.
Lomito. A large hot pork sandwich. The pork usually is in strips on a large hamburger-type bun. The usual
additions are mashed (or pieces of) avocado, slices of tomato, and mayonnaise. Eat it with knife and fork.
U.S. Embassy in Chile Emergency Contacts:
U.S. Department of State Factsheet on Chile:
Centers for Disease Controls Health Information for Travelers to Chile: