Useful information on Chile with all the things to know for a trip or a holiday in this state, what are the necessary entry documents and the best times to go.
Chile in short
Chile is a Republic of South America with the capital Santiago and the Spanish language spoken.
It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia and Argentina to the east, occupies a narrow and long territory between the Pacific Ocean and the Cordillera of the Andes, corresponding to about 4200 km in the sense of latitude, and about 180 km on average in the sense of longitude.
Chile is a country of great beauty with attractions ranging from the volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of the Lake District.
There are numerous natural parks and many opportunities for adventure travel.
Chile is famous all over the world for the naturalistic destination of Torres del Paine, one of the most beautiful areas in South America.
The Massif del Paine is a small mountain group belonging to the Torres del Paine National Park located in Chilean Patagonia, 400 km north of Punta Arenas and over 2,500 km south of the capital Santiago. L
the highest peak is Cerro Paine Grande which reaches 2,750 meters above sea level, while the best known are the three Torres del Paine. Torre Sur Di Agostini, 2,500 meters high, is the largest of the three.
Chile is located in the southern hemisphere therefore it has the seasons reversed compared to ours, and very varied climatic conditions due to the vast extension in latitude.
Its narrow and long territory, characterized by the desert and arid northern regions, and by the southern territories, with a very cold climate, offers in the central regions a warm temperate climate, which towards the coast becomes Mediterranean.
When to go
The best time to visit southern Chile is summer, from December to March, while for the Atacama Desert, located in the north, the months from March to December are better.
To go to central Chile we recommend spring, from September to November, or autumn from late February to April.
The Pacific islands, Islas Desventuradas, Juan Fernández and Easter Island also belong to Chile, as well as the islands of the Canal Beagle including those of Picton, Nueva and Lennox.Recommended readings
- Easter Island (Chile): where it is located, territory, population
- Chile: useful information for travel and holidays
- Santiago de Chile: 10 things to see in the capital
Cordillera of the Andes
The western side of the mighty chain of the Andes dominates the whole territory of the country, and develops near the coast in a lower alignment called Cordillera della Costa, between the two mountainous alignments a long depression extends, which in the central part widens and forms the Valle Central or Valle del Chile, a fertile area that hosts a large part of the population of the country located in the main urban areas of Santiago, Valparaíso and Concepció.
Atacama desert is located at the northern end of Chile, in the Antofagasta region, one of the driest areas in the world, with very spectacular natural sceneries and a mineral-rich subsoil.
The largest open-cast copper mine on the planet, the Chuquicamata mine, is located in this region, where the important Paranal astronomical observatory also stands.
From the tourist point of view, in this area the town of San Pedro de Atacama and the archaeological museum Gustavo Le Paige are very visited, which preserves an interesting archaeological collection concerning the people of the Atacameni.
In this region there is also the Parque Nacional Llullaillaco, crossed by a network of paths that allow you to admire fascinating landscapes.
For Italian and European Community citizens, a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of arrival in Chile and a valid return ticket is required.
An entry visa is not required up to a maximum stay of 90 days for tourism.
The time difference between Chile and Italy is -4h, while when in Italy summer time is in effect, the difference is -5h.
Easter Island is -2h from the mainland.
The electric current is 220 V / 50Hz.
To call from Italy to Chile the international prefix is: 0056
To call from Chile to Italy the international prefix is: 0039
As for mobile phones, local SIM cards are widespread.
The official currency of Chile is the Chilean peso.
In Santiago and in the main cities it is possible to change the euro into the local currency, and withdraw cash from ATMs.
For larger payments, US dollars are recommended.
In medium and luxury hotels, unlike Chileans, foreign tourists who pay in dollars are exempt from paying 18% VAT.
Credit cards are especially useful for proving that you have sufficient credit.
No mandatory vaccination is required to enter Chile.
Consult your local health authority for any recommended vaccinations.
How to get
Chile is connected with Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand through international air flights, which largely land at Santiago Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport.