Are you planning a trip to Chile? You are very welcome to one of the countries with the most extensive variety of landscapes and weather. Here is a guide with seven useful tips about Chile you should know before landing:
Where to go?
- The most amazing landscapes of Chile are in the extreme north of the country and the extreme south of the country. At the north, you will find San Pedro de Atacama and at the south the Patagonia where you can see the National Park Torres del Paine. The capital, Santiago, has nice touristy stuff, museums, buildings, a good party scene, etc., but in the end, is just a big city.
- Our first language is Spanish, not English. Some of us do speak English, but most of Chileans won’t. Learning some basic words in Spanish will be super-helpful for your stay: “Hola”, “Buenos días” (good morning), “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon), Muchas gracias (thank you), Chao (goodbye). Talking about language… We speak a very fast Spanish. The Chilean Spanish is considered one of the most ‘difficult’ ones to learn it. We use A LOT of slang and colloquial words in every phrase!
- People outside of the capital city are said to be more relaxed, chill, warm, than the people from Santiago, this might be just a prejudice, but it’s what everybody says. So you have an example, my landlord chose me to rent her apartment, just because I was from the south of Chile. Might be a bit silly, but people from the capital are very stressful and fast-paced.
- Chile is one of the most expensive countries in South America. When we travel to Peru or Bolivia, we feel a bit fortunate with the exchange rate! So, if you come from Europe, prices will be pretty much the same for you.
- Our currency is the “Chilean Peso (CLP)”. So consider exchanging your money to CLP once you arrive in Santiago. We have tons of exchange shops available; the best option is to go downtown and trade your money there. Dollars and euros are very welcome!
- Chile counts with a decent public transportation. Sadly, the public transport is collapsed in the capital. In Santiago, you can use the subway (METRO) and or bus; you must buy a BIP! Card first. The BIP! is our local version of the “Oyster” (England) or Acess (Sweden). You can buy it from local stores or at any subway station. Don’t forget to charge it! Some other cities like Viña del Mar, have their metro system. Same as Concepción, that has their own Bio Train. The rest of towns, just buses.
- Taxis are available, but most of the Chileans hate them. So that’s why we use services such as Cabify or Uber. They are not legal, but everyone uses them anyway! Just make sure to sit in the co-pilot seat, I prefer Cabify, the cars and the drivers are way more professional.
Is there anything else you need to know before landing in Chile? This is just an easy Seven useful tips about Chile guide; I’m sure there are some I’m leaving behind. Please leave your question in the comment section, and I’ll update my post! 🙂