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Holidays in Chile

Understanding Chile


Prior to arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while the indigenous Araucanians inhabited central and southern Chile Although Chile declared independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818 In the War of the Pacific 1879–83, Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanians were completely subjugated Although relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted South America, Chile endured the 17-year military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet 1973–1990 that left more than 3,000 people, mostly leftists and socialist sympathizers, dead or disappeared

Pinochet was widely reviled worldwide for his methods and legacy, but no clearly left-wing Chilean administrations came into power even after he stepped down after a free democratic election , nor after his death This means that present-day Chile still harbors an overall free-market economic bent and its accompanying political tilt Despite enjoying a comparatively higher GDP and more robust economy compared to most other countries of Latin America, Chile currently has one of the most uneven distributions of wealth in the world, ahead only of Brazil in the Latin American region and even lagging behind most developing sub-Saharan African nations Chile's top 10 richest percentile possesses almost one-half 47 percent of the country's total wealth In relation to income distribution, some 62% of the country populates the upper economic income bracket, 15% the middle bracket, 21% the lower middle, 38% the lower bracket, and 20% the extreme poor

Chile is a founding member of both the United Nations and the Union of South American Nations and is also now in the OECD, the group of the "most developed" countries by current international standards, becoming the first country in South America with that honor

Argentina's and Chile's claims to Antarctica overlap Chile also voices a claim to a 125 million square kliometre portion of Antarctica, but given the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, no country's territorial claims to Antartica are ever recognised or permitted to be exercised at any time


Chile's unusual, ribbon-like shape — 4,300 kilometres long and on average 175 kilometres wide — has given it a varied climate, ranging from the world's driest desert—the Atacama—in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a rainy temperate climate in the south The northern desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper


In Chile there is no restriction on religion Nearly 70 percent of the population which is above 14 years of age are identified as Roman Catholic and nearly 15 percent as evangelical

Talking in Chile

Spanish is the official language and English is widely understood in large cities Various indigenous languages are spoken in Chile like Mapudungun, Quechua and Rapa Nui

Buying stuff in Chile

There are no restrictions on bringing foreign currencies into Chad Although travel guides for Chad are hard to come by, some sources claim dollars in some places and the CFA franc and therefore also the Euro to which it is pegged are accepted

Food and eating in Chile

  • Pastel de choclo: corn casserole filled with ground beef, onions, chicken, raisins, hardboiled egg, olives, and topped with sugar and butter
  • Empanada de pino: a baked pie filled with ground beef, onion, raisins, a piece of boiled egg and a black olive Watch out for the pit!
  • Empanada de queso: a deep-fried pastry packet filled with cheese Found everywhere, including McDonald's
  • Cazuela de vacuno: beef soup with a potato, rice, a piece of corn and a piece of squash
  • Cazuela de ave or de pollo: same as above, but with a piece of chicken
  • Cazuela de pavo: same as above, but with turkey
  • Porotos granados: stew made with fresh beans, squash, corn, onion and basil
    • con choclo: with grains of corn
    • con pilco or pirco: with corn thinly chopped
    • con mazamorra: with ground corn
    • con riendas: with thin sliced noodles
  • Curanto: lots of seafood, beef, chicken and pork, potatoes, cheese, and potato "burguers," prepared in a hole in the ground "en hoyo" or in a pot "en olla"; a dish from Chiloé
  • Southern sopaipillas: a fried pastry cut as 10-cm 4-in circles, with no pumpkin in its dough see Northern sopaipillas in the desserts section They replace bread They are known South of Linares
  • Lomo a lo pobre: a beefsteak, fried potatoes, a fried egg expect two in restaurants and fried onions

Besides typical foods, you should expect food normally found in any Western country The normal diet includes rice, potatoes, meat and bread Vegetables are abundant in central Chile If you are concerned about the portions, consider that the size of the dish increases the farther south you travel

With such an enormous coastline, you can expect fish and seafood almost everywhere Locals used to eat bundles of raw shellfish, but visitors should be cautious of raw shellfish because of frequent outbreaks of red tides Chile is the world's second largest producer of salmon, as well as a number of other farmed sea products, which include oysters, scallops, mussels, trout and turbot Local fish include corvina sea bass, congrioconger eel, lenguado flounder, albacora swordfish, and yellow fin tuna


  • Hotdog or completo Not similar to the American version This one includes mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, tomato, mashed avocado palta, sauerkraut chucrut and chili ají These ingredients make a full sandwich, called un completo With mayonnaise, tomato and avocado it's un italiano with the colors of the Italian flag
  • Lomito Cooked pork steaks served with anything that can go in a hotdog Italiano is the preferred form but German purists prefer it with sauerkraut chucrut
  • Chacarero: a thin beefsteak churrasco with tomato, green beans, mayonnaise and green chili ají verde
  • Barros Luco: Named after President Ramón Barros Luco Thinly-sliced beefsteak with cheese
  • Choripán: Bread with "chorizo", a highly-seasoned pork sausage Named that way because the contraction of "Pan con Chorizo" or "Chorizo con Pan"

A common combination is meat with avocado and/or mayonnaise, eg Ave palta mayo chicken with avocado and mayonnaise or Churrasco palta thinly-sliced beefsteak with avocado The strong presence for avocado is a Chilean standard for sandwiches that influences the fast food franchises to include it in their menus


  • Northern sopaipillas: a fried pastry cut as 10-cm 4-in circles, which includes pumpkin in its dough, and normally is eaten with chancaca, a black treacle or molasses It's customary to make them when it rains and it's cold outside Sopaipillas as a dessert are only known north of San Javier From Linares to the South, they are not dessert and pumpkin is left out, so, when it rains, Chilean Southerners must cook picarones In Santiago, Sopaipillas can be served covered with a sweet syrup as a dessert, or with spicy yellow mustard
  • Kuchen or cújen, pronounced KOO-hen is German for pie In the South ask for kuchen de quesillo, a kind of cheesecake
  • Strudel pronounced ess-TROO-dayl A kind of apple pie
  • Berlín When they translate John Kennedy's famous quote often mistakenly thought of as a gaffe they say it's a “jelly doughnut” The Chilean version is a ball of dough no hole filled with dulce de membrillo, crema pastelera or manjar Powder sugar is added just in case you have a sweet tooth
  • Cuchuflí Barquillo tube of something crunchy like a cookie filled with manjar The name originally comes from cuchufleta wich means deceipt or trickery, as they used to be filled only at the tips of the barquillos, leaving the middle part empty


Central Chile is a major tempered fruit producer, you can easily get fruit for dessert, including apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries, chirimoyas, and several other varieties

Temperate fruit is of very high quality and prices are usually much lower than in most of the US and Western Europe, while tropical fruit is rather rare and expensive, except for bananas

Drinking in Chile

  • Wine: Chile produces some excellent wines, competing with France, California, Australia and New Zealand for world markets Notable are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere in red, along with whites from the Casablanca valley
  • Mote con Huesillo: A delicous summertime drink made of wheat seeds mote and dried peaches huesillos boiled, sweetened, and served cold Typically sold on sidewalk or park stands11
  • Chilean Pisco: Brandy made from Muscat grapes Popular brands are Capel, Alto del Carmen, Mistral and Campanario**
  • Pisco Sour: One of Chile's most popular mixed drinks, this consists of Pisco mixed with lemon juice and sugar It has a delicious tart sweetness
  • Mango Sour: Pisco mixed with mango juice
  • Piscola: Pisco mixed with Coke
  • Borgoña: Red wine and strawberries
  • Terremoto: "Earthquake": a typical Chilean drink that consists in a mix of pineapple ice cream with pipeño like white wine
  • Schop: Draught beer
  • Fan-Schop: Beer mixed with orange Fanta or Orange Crush soft drink A refreshing alternative on a hot summer day
  • Beers: Cristal and Escudo are the most popular light lagers Royal Guard is a fair bit tastier, Kunstmann is on pair with European imported beer
  • Jote*: wine and Coke
    • There's a very known conflict between Chile and Peru about the origin of Pisco Although Pisco was registered as a chilean drink for some countries in the last century, it is historically peruvian in origin for much longer Further, chilean and peruvian drinks are not the same product, they have different manufacturing procedures, different varieties of grape and not the same taste

Unlike other latin-american countries, in Chile it's illegal to drink in unlicensed, public areas streets, parks, etc The laws also restrict vendor hours depending on the weekday in no case after 3 AM or before 9 AM

Accommodation in Chile

Chile has many types of hotels in the cities: some of the most prevalent chains are Sheraton, Kempinsky, Ritz, Marriott, Hyatt, and Holiday Inn Several hostels and little hotels of varying quality wait to be discovered On the backpacker trail, a local hostel version can be found in every small city residencial There is also a variety of accommodations in the mountain ski centers,such as the world-class resort Portillo, 80 km 49 mi north of Santiago; "Valle Nevado" in the mountains approximately 35 km 22 mi away from Santiago, and the "Termas de Chillan" ski resort and hot springs, which lies about 450 km 280 mi south of Santiago

Working in Chile

Foreigners need to apply for a work visa before arriving it can be done after, but it is a lot harder to get one Temporary permits are issued to spouses and people with a contract Under-the-table jobs are normally not well paid, lack the mandatory health insurance and retirement plans, and are a reason to get deported

Cities in Chile

ancud  angol  antofagasta  arauco  arica  buin  bulnes  cabildo  cabrero  calama  calbuco  calera  calera  canete  carahue  castro  cauquenes  chiguayante  chillan  chimbarongo  coihaique  coihueco  collipulli  concepcion  constitucion  copiapo  coquimbo  coronel  curanilahue  curico  diego de almagro  el monte  freire  graneros  illapel  iquique  laja  la ligua  lampa  la serena  la union  lautaro  lebu  limache  linares  llaillay  loncoche  longavi  los andes  los angeles  lota  machali  melipilla  molina  monte patria  mulchen  nacimiento  nueva imperial  osorno  ovalle  paine  panguipulli  parral  penaflor  penco  pitrufquen  puerto montt  puerto varas  punta arenas  purranque  quillota  quilpue  rancagua  rengo  rio bueno  salamanca  san antonio  san bernardo  san carlos  san clemente  san felipe  san javier  santa cruz  santiago  san vicente  talagante  talcahuano  talca  taltal  temuco  teno  tocopilla  tome  traiguen  valdivia  vallenar  valparaiso  victoria  vicuna  vilcun  villa alemana  villarrica  vina del mar  yumbel  

What do you think about Chile?

How expensive is Chile?
(1 CLP = 0 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant2.97 CLP
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)19.2 CLP
McDonalds meal2.94 CLP
Local beer (0.5 draft)0.99 CLP
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 0.97 CLP
Cappuccino1.1 CLP
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)608.71 CLP
Water (0.33 bottle)624.28 CLP
Milk (1l)754.23 CLP
Fresh bread (500g)618.62 CLP
White Rice (1kg)827.2 CLP
Eggs (12) 0.97 CLP
Local Cheese (1kg) 5.7 CLP
Chicken Breast (1kg) 2.85 CLP
Apples (1kg) 741.95 CLP
Oranges (1kg) 834.94 CLP
Tomato (1kg) 886.38 CLP
Potato (1kg) 702.08 CLP
Lettuce (1 head) 620.74 CLP
Water (1.5l)680.88 CLP
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 3.32 CLP
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)826.18 CLP
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 1.1 CLP
Cigarettes2.21 CLP
One way local bus ticket688.75 CLP
Monthly pass for bus31.99 CLP
Taxi start332.1 CLP
Taxi 1km1.11 CLP
Taxi 1hour waiting11.06 CLP
Gasoline (1 liter) 975.6 CLP
Utilities for a "normal" apartment65.8 CLP
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 8.46 CLP
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 234.9 CLP
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 246.19 CLP
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 492.1 CLP
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 425.6 CLP, your travel companion

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