Chile Travel Guide

If you’re looking to be dazzled by the wonders of nature, Chile is the place to go. In the south, craggy glaciers that kiss the clouds morph into mountains that pour directly into rivers. In the north, it’s a different world altogether: red, rockier, more arid and where one of the world’s driest lands lay, evoking images of Mars or out-of-this-world lands waiting to be explored. 

The Highlights

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    November to March

    Generally speaking, Chile is a year-round destination. Thanks to its diverse landscapes, each of its main tourist regions has its own ideal season for visiting. November to early March are essentially its busiest months when the weather is in its most ideal and Chile as well as its neighbouring countries are on a summer break. The downsides are that prices skyrocket especially from December through February, and the tourist traffic is at its heaviest. If you have the budget, it’s the best time to visit the beaches and Patagonia. If you don’t, you might save some cash during the shoulder season from September through November.

  2. Low Season

    June to August

    In the wintertime, the southern Chilean region is not exactly the most ideal place to visit, unless of course you’re doing a winter expedition. This is why it’s Chile’s low season, when most of the country’s most popular attractions temporarily shut their doors. Funny enough, it’s the best time to visit the northern sections like the Lake Region and the snow-covered Andes. Frolicking in the snow – whether on skis, snowboards or snowmobiling – is the favourite pastime. If you dislike the snow, fall from March to May might be ideal. Make a beeline for the wine country for the harvest fests. Extend through April to see fall foliage in the south.

Chile Tours

FAQs about Chile

  • Do you tip in Chile?

    Though not expected, tipping (or propina) in Chile is very much appreciated. 1000 CLP per day for housekeepers and 600 CLP per bag for porters are satisfactory. At restaurants, top 10% of your bill for great service. For tour guides, 5-10% tip is ideal, and for cab drivers, round-up your fares.
  • What is the internet access like?

    The internet is accessible and reliable, if not always as great in speed especially in the rural and mountainous areas. Free WiFi zones are available in the major cities. Cafes, restaurants, bars, libraries and even gas stations offer them for free as well. Internet cafes abound.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    While tap water in the country is generally safe to drink, it has a high mineral content. Those who are not used to it or have delicate stomachs are better off drinking bottled water or boiling the tap water for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted by many big businesses, though they might charge a 6% fee. Cash is still king.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Besides the usual Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays, Chile also celebrates Navy Day on May 21, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day on June 29,  Independence Day on September 18, Army Day on September 19 and All Saints Day and November 1.
  • What are the toilets like?

    Sit down toilets are the norm, but the sewage system isn’t always reliable and public toilets are not often well-maintained. Remember to bring your toilet paper just in case, throw used ones in the bin, and keep some loose change as there are places that might charge for use.