Chile Travel Advice

From: Chile Travel Guide

See also: Travel InformationChile Travel Tips

Chile Travel Advice
As with any travel destination try to be as prepared as possible.

Travel Safety
If you plan to drive while in Chile you will require an International Driving licence and it is highly advisable to also take out insurance. Many of the roads in Chile are well maintained especially in and around major cities, however other areas are not quite so car friendly so choosing a 4WD vehicle is preferred if you are planning to venture into desert regions, the countryside or into the mountains where you may well meet difficult driving conditions varying from snow and ice to undulating arid deserts. Road tolls abound so keep a supply of change ready.

The driving culture is somewhat erratic with little care to road signs, indicating and speed limits. In rural areas road signs are few and far between and the roads themselves are often poorly maintained.

Pay close attention to warning signs and your surroundings and be as vigilant as possible with yourself and your possessions:

Trekking and Mountaineering
Chile has vast mountainous regions for exploring and if this is your chosen pursuit ,then notify the local authorities of your plans and ensure you are well prepared with the correct safety equipment.

Chile Laws
When in Chile it is worth knowing that trying to bribe the National Police is severely punished.

Travel Insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is an absolute must when travelling to Chile and ensure that you have emergency evacuation cover, which is especially important if you plan on visiting Easter Island or Robinson Crusoe Island as medical resources are limited on these islands.

Seek medical advice well before travelling to Chile to ensure that you are up to date with relevant vaccinations.

Food and Drink
The food and drink in Chile is generally very good and prepared in hygienic conditions, especially within major cities, however take care to ensure that all products are piping hot and avoid eating raw vegetables, fish and shellfish. The tap water is considered safe especially within major cities, however it may be preferable to drink bottled water instead of tap water in rural locations and be wary of food items that may have been washed in tap water before being served.

The Peso is Chile's currency and there are plenty of ATM machines within the major cities.

The climate in the south especially and also in some central areas of Chile is very unpredictable with precipitation and strong winds frequently occurring. One of the best times to visit this area is during the summer months as during the winter the trails are often closed due to snow and ice. In the north the temperature is exceedingly hot during the summer although during the night the temperatures often drop considerably so pack accordingly.

Natural Disasters
Chile is subject to earthquakes with central areas most affected especially around Santiago and Chillan. Chile also has several active volcano's, especially in the south of the country around the Lake District.