Latinamerica Collection
Tourist Information About Chile

Passport and Visas

The following information is subject to change and should be verified by contacting the nearest diplomatic or consular office of Chile. Violations of entry and exit requirements may result in serious penalties.

 

i. United States Tourists
A valid U.S. passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Chile and to return to the U.S. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Chile, U.S. citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Chile and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Chile in the case of dual citizenship, all U.S. citizens must use a U.S. passport when returning to the U.S. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in the U.S. or Chile.

 

An administrative fee of US$100 is due upon arrival in Chile, and will not be required again for the life of that passport. Visitors are issued a tourist card, which must then be presented upon departure.

 

All U.S. tourists traveling within Chile should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Chile.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Chile requires documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present.



ii. Canadian Tourists
A valid Canadian passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Chile and to return to Canada. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Chile, Canadian citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Chile and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Chile in the case of dual citizenship, all Canadian citizens must use a Canadian passport when returning to Canada. Certificates of Naturalization, Certificates of Canadian Citizenship, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Canada or Chile.

 

An administrative fee which may range from roughly US$100 to US$132 is due upon arrival in Chile, and will not be required again for the life of that passport. Visitors are issued a tourist card, which must then be presented upon departure.

 

All Canadian tourists traveling within Chile should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Chile.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Chile requires documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present.



iii. European Tourists
A valid European passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Chile and to return to Europe. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Chile, European citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Chile and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Chile in the case of dual citizenship, European citizens may be required to use a European passport when returning to Europe. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Europe or Chile.

 

All European tourists traveling within Chile should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Chile.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Chile requires documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present.



Airport Taxes and Customs
Apart from any applicable visa fees mentioned in the above Passports and Visas section, there may also be certain airport taxes. Though these taxes are generally included in the price of the airline ticket, it may be a good idea to check with your airline to be sure beforehand.


iii. Health and Vaccinations
All tourists should be sure that their routine vaccinations are up to date whether traveling or not. This information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies vaccinations are recommended, but not required, for all those traveling to Chile. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

To avoid infection of any diseases, transmitted by mosquitoes, such as dengue, it is recommended that you wear long sleeves or pants or have in your possession mosquito repellant.



Safety and Security
Chile is a developing country, and travelers should exercise caution as criminal activity continues to be an active problem. Tourists should avoid carrying with them valuables that may jeopardize their safety.



Clothing and What to Bring
Given Chile's unique geography, running such a long distance from north to south, the clothes needed can vary from each extreme. In the northern desert, the temperatures change very much depending on the altitude. Therefore, it may be good idea to bring a few light layers which can be added or removed depending on the temperature. Also, be sure to have sunglasses and sunscreen in this area of the country. The northern coast is generally pleasant all year round while the southern coast can be wet and windy. If planning to partake on any treks or other outdoors activities in this area, it is recommended that a rain jacket or equivalent is brought. All in all, the clothing to be brought depends heavily on whether you are planning to enjoy the warm or cold areas of the country.



Currency, Banks, Credit Cards
The currency used in Chile is called the Chilean peso, or just the peso. Currently, the exchange rate has been roughly 515 pesos for every US$.

 

A good option is to bring US$ into Chile as they can be exchanged in the airport or banks. Upon departure, any surplus may be exchanged back. Canadian dollars may be difficult to exchange in Chile and US$ are preferred.

 

In addition, international debit and credit cards may be used to withdraw money from local ATMs. Also, most major credit cards are accepted in Chile, especially in tourist destinations. It is always a good idea to check with your credit card companies to find out what, if any, foreign exchange fees exist.

 

Bringing US$ traveler's checks to Chile for exchange is also another viable option. Canadian dollar traveler's checks may be difficult to exchange and US$ traveler's checks should be used.



Taxes and Tips
It is customary in Chile to add 10% to 15% for good service to the bill in restaurants. Generally speaking, tipping taxi drivers is uncommon.



Time Zone
The time zone used in Chile is four hours before Coordinated Universal Time, or (UTC-04:00). This means that during summer (daylight savings time) Chile is the same time as New York City and three hours ahead of Los Angeles. The time zone on Easter Island is six hours before Coordinated Universal Time, or (UTC-06:00).



Telephone Calls
When calling from Chile to the United States or Canada visitors must dial the following: 001 City Code Local Number.

 

When calling from Chile to another international country visitors must dial the following: 00 Country Code City Code Local Number.



Electricity and Voltage
Electricity in Chile is 220V/50Hz with the same style of plugs as continental Europe. Therefore, any other type of plugs will require an adapter. Also, any devices that are not compatible with this voltage and frequency will also require a voltage adapter.



Local Newspapers
Chile is home to many dozens of newspapers offered throughout the country. Many cities have their own local newspapers in Spanish as well as editions or other newspapers in English as well.



Transportation and Getting Around in Chile
i. Planes
Because of Chile's immense length, the most realistic mode of transportation is by domestic airline. The country has a few well known airlines that provide an affordable option to seeing all the destinations you would like to see during your visit.



ii. Cars
Car rental is generally only an affordable option if planning to stay close to the area and do some sightseeing. For trips across country, domestic flights are generally more realistic and obviously take much less time. Drivers should use caution in Chile as conditions may be slightly different from back home. Many North American car rental agencies maintain offices in Chile though local agencies may sometimes be cheaper. Roads vary in Chile from well-paved to washboard-like.



iii. Taxis
Taxis are an excellent means of transportation within the different Chilean cities. The cars are black with yellow roofs and must be licensed. Also, the taxis are required to a use a meter that can be seen by the passenger. For longer trips, a price may be negotiated beforehand.



iv. Buses
Buses are also an excellent option for getting around in Chile. The buses themselves are efficient and clean, but this option can become a bit much if considering long trips through the country. However, when traveling generally short distances, the bus is a very good option. Some semi-long trips will go through the night and include stops at restaurants, etc.



v. Boat or Ferry
Another option in Chile is to take a multi-day cruise or ferry ride along the coast to your next destination. Although, this obviously takes much longer than flying, it can be a very enjoyable and relaxing option, an attraction in itself.



Business Hours
Generally speaking, private businesses and government offices are open from 8:30AM to 6:00PM on weekdays. It is not uncommon to observe a two hour lunch break from 12:00PM to 2:00PM. Other businesses, such as retail stores, are open from 10:00AM until 8:00PM during the week and have shorter hours on Saturdays closing perhaps around 2:00PM. Banks are generally open from 9:00AM until 2:00PM.