Chile Travel Guide
Information • Advice • Tips

From: South America Travel Guide

See also: Chile Travel Information Chile Travel Advice
Chile Travel Tips

This incredibly diverse country has a unique setting which offers a varied topography that ranges from its formidable lunar landscape and arid desert to its dramatic snow topped mountains that are surrounded by the solitude of dense green forests, waterfalls and pristine lakes.

The landscape in Chile lends itself perfectly to a variety of adrenaline fuelled sports and leisure activities that take advantage of this countries outstanding natural beauty while Chile's remote Easter Island provides its own culture, history, intrigue and charm, with the impressive Moai statues providing a stark reminder of how great the Rapa Nui culture was in its prime.

Chile has an immensely rich history and culture which really comes to the forefront during festival time where Chileans can be found rejoicing more often than not with plenty of traditional music, dance and a great deal of enthusiasm.

Due to the length of Chile the climate varies year round depending on where and when you are visiting. The summer months of December through to February are ideal for visiting most of Chile unlike during the winter months of June through to August where you may find certain areas in the south of the country to be unaccessible due to the more severe weather conditions. Spring runs from September through to November and the Autumn from March through to May, both the spring and autumn are very pleasant times to visit much of Chile although the weather can be changeable at times.

Travel Guide
Chile offers a somewhat haphazard approach to transport options, in places such as Santiago the public transport infrastructure is excellent with a modern and efficient Metro system and an abundant supply of busses and taxis. On the other hand more remote areas of Chile require a plane, hire car or bus travel to successfully access, with areas such as those found in southern Chile practically impossible during the winter months.

A wide range of products and shopping experiences await visitors that range from modern malls and designer labels to all manner of handicrafts in local markets (ferias artesenales) and small boutiques. The products are more often than not of good quality with items such as beautiful woven garments made from alpaca and unique blue jewelry made out of Lapis Lazull and of course carved Moai figures amongst the most most popular items.

Santiago is well known for its shopping 7 and you can pick up all manner of souvenirs, food and clothing items. Easter Island is the best location for picking up your souvenir Moai statue but if you don't get a chance to visit the island then you'll find them in all sorts of locations throughout Chile.

If you plan to visit Southern Patagonia and the Torres de Paine National Park then Puerto Arenas is the best place to pick up anything you may need for your hiking trip or souvenirs as prices here are the most reasonable.

This long slender and incredibly diverse country can be roughly split into northern, central, southern and islands, with each one offering its own flora, fauna and dramatic landscape:

Islands Of Chile

Northern Chile

Central Chile

Southern Chile

Chile Festivals and Events
Religious and cultural events take place throughout the year along with plenty of sporting, craft and music events where you'll be able to enjoy a vivid array of colour, endless enthusiasm and superb all-round entertainment... more about Chile Festivals and Events

Adventure Travel
There is plenty here to keep you thoroughly entertained from hiking or cycling through stunning valleys to enjoying world class surf. The rivers and valleys lend themselves perfectly to white water rafting and the snow capped peaks are the perfect adventure playground for skiing and snowboarding where you can even snowboard down the side of volcanoes... more about Chile Adventure Travel

Chile's traditional cuisine offers a wholesome selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. The countries long coastline has no shortage of fresh fish and seafood and regularly on offer are the likes of Prawns, Lobster, Sole and Squid. Popular sea food dishes include Paila marina a colorful fish soup, chupe de marisco which are spicy scallops and Lenguado a la plancha a grilled Sole dish.

Traditioanla dishes containig meat include Pato Relleno a poultry dish, Bifes al sarten, a steak dish and Estofado de chancho a stew containing pork and vegetables.

Snacks such as pasties known as Empanades, Tortillas and bread called Marraqueta are widely available as are a wide variety salads called Ensaladas and Sopaipilla which is a pastry dish served with a variety of fillings. On the desert front Chile has a wide range of Kuchen or cakes on offer often with various fruit fillings.

The city of Santiago has a cosmopolitan selection of food choices available from traditional Chilean dishes to Italian, Indian and Chinese restaurants and of course all the usual well known fast food outlets.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages the Chilean wines are obviously a great choice either on their own or mixed with fruit to make a Borgona and liquor drinks known as Licor de Oro and Murtado are also widely available as is Pisco another alcoholic drink that can be widely found and the variation of adding lemon makes a refreshing Pisco Sour. The fermented apple or grape Chicha is a southern speciality which is mostly available during celebrations such as Independence Day and Fiestas Patrias.