Geography - Chile has a unique geography: its territory includes Easter Island, in Polynesia, 3,700 km from the mainland, as well as territory in Antarctica (Chile Antártico, 1,250,000 km2). Continental and insular Chile, which includes the mainland and offshore islands and archipelagos, covers 756,096 km2. Chile's capital is Santiago.
People - There are 18 million Chileans. Chileans of the 21st century are the product of a blending of European heritage beginning with the Spanish conquistadors and the area's native peoples. About 93.4% of the population is mestizo, while 6.6% identify as members of the native peoples. The official language is Spanish.
Weather - The average temperature in springtime is 20ºC. Chile's central region has a Mediterranean climate and in this part of the country the climatic conditions are moderate. The rains tend to fall during winter (May - July) and the climate is dry and temperate in summer (December - February).
Information about Visas - To enter Chile, all passengers have to show their identification documents (identity card or passport) and the stamped visa (depending on country of origin). Citizens of South America, the European Union, the United States, Canada and Australia do not require a visa. Although, some passengers have to pay a reciprocity tax (in cash) when they arrive to the airport in Chile [ more ].
Flying to Santiago - The country's largest airport is Aeropuerto Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL), which offers international connections to North and South America, Europe and Oceania. Seventeen airlines offer regularly scheduled flights from Santiago's airport. To enter Chile, all passengers have to show their identification documents (identity card or passport) and the stamped visa (depending on country of origin).
Devices and communications - The electrical current in Chile is 220 Volts and 50 Hertz. Three-terminal electrical adapters are not common, but two-terminal converters can be found at stores that sell electrical equipment. Meanwhile, communications in Chile are ample and varied, including public telephones, mobile phones and satellite phone service. You can find broadband Internet almost anywhere in the country, and WiFi service is available in the main cities.
Safety - As in all parts of the world, the primary safety precautions apply to big cities. Avoid going out with visible jewelry, cameras or electronic devices, as you could be the victim of a robbery (especially at night and in remote neighborhoods and streets). Do not exchange dollars or any other currency on the street. Always use authorized exchange houses.
Earthquake - In the event of an earthquake or strong tremor, remain calm. If you're inside a building, remain inside. If you're outside, remain outside. Entering or leaving building can only lead to accidents. If you are inside of a building, seek out strong structures – under a table or bed, underneath a doorway, next to a pillar, master wall, or in a corner – and protect your head. Never flee hurriedly towards an exit or use an elevator. If you find yourself on the street, watch out for electrical wires, cornices, glass and falling tiles.
Currency - The currency is Chile is the peso, with coins of one, five, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos and bills of 1,000, 2,000, 50,000, 10,000 and 20,000 pesos. The exchange rate for the U.S. dollar is approximately 700 pesos, while that of the Euro is 750 pesos.
Tips - Tipping is optional for all services, although a 10 percent gratuity is recommended.
Service Hours - Offices are open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Exchange houses are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Stores (both big and small) are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (with no interruption in service). Most businesses are closed on holidays.
Source: Chile.travel The official travel guide to Chile.