Practical Information

Practical information

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Passport and Visa
Argentines, Brazilians, Uruguayans, Paraguayans can travel to Chile with their identity card; people of other nationalities must have a valid passport. A tourist visa of 90 days is issued for all visitors who come, and it is renewable for another 90 days from the Department of Immigration. Thus, a visa is not required to stay in Chile less than or equal to 90 days, depending on nationality.

Vaccines: There is no specific vaccine to enter the country.
Water: The supply of drinking water in cities can absolutely be trusted; it is only recommended that sensitive people drink from bottles of mineral water during the first days. These are available anywhere in the country.
Food: Generally, it is not recommended to eat vegetables that have not been previously cooked, it is wise to peel fruits, and to buy in supermarkets (Jumbo, Lider, Almac, etc..). In these you will find a wide variety of packaged products, which is a guarantee of safety, but also mineral water, just as in restaurants.

The official currency is the Chilean peso, which exists in banknotes of $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 20,000 and coins, $ 5, $ 10, $ 50, $ 100 and $ 500. The value is approximately of 484 pesos for 1 dollar (March 2012).
Foreign currencies: In general they are not used except in a few hotels, which will deduct taxes (IVA) only if you are a foreigner and you pay in U.S. dollars or credit card.
Credit cards: Credit cards are widely used and there is no surcharge for their use. The most used cards are Visa, Master Card and Diners Club. American Express is also used; the exchange rate for credit cards is pretty good. Some places (few) do not have distributors, so it is good to have cash on you.
Cash Points: They are available throughout the territory, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They work with cards of all local banks and also with the Cirrus system, which has an acceptable exchange rate.
Change: The Chilean government does not regulate the market for foreign currencies, so you can change your cash in approved exchange points. These exchange points are common in commercial areas of Santiago (central and Providencia) and also in shopping malls.

The typical Chilean diet is based mainly on potatoes, meat, corn, fruits and salads, and along the coast fish and seafood, such as conger, trout and shrimp among others.

In restaurants, bars, taxis and hairdressers it is common to give 10% on top of the price as a tip.

Time Zone
Chile Standard Time is the time GTM-04: 00 (Greenwich Mean Time). The time format is as follows: 3:00 and 15:00.

Temperate days and cool nights are common in most parts of the country except in the South, where temperatures are lower and the rain more frequent.
To visit the North and Easter Island, it is recommended to take light clothes, sunglasses with UV protection, hats and other protection against the sun; in the central region take a windbreaker, but also a windcheater and clothing for a night out: it obviously depends on the period you travel to Chile. In Patagonia, you can experience the four seasons in one day, therefore it is necessary to be prepared accordingly, and to take good walking shoes.

January, 1st: New Year
March / April (varies): Easter
May, 1st: Labour Day
May, 21st: "Glorias Navales"
June (variable): Corpus Christi
June, 29th: Saint Peter and Saint Paul
August, 15th: Assumption of the Virgin Mary
First Monday of September: Day of National Reconciliation
September, 18th: Independence Day
September, 19th: Army Day
October, 12th: Day of the Race
November, 1st: All Saints
December, 8th: Immaculate 'Concepcion'
December, 25th: Christmas

In general, shopping centres, restaurants and cafés, public transport and leisure work on holidays, except on May 1st, when services are very limited.

Working Hours
Offices: Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00
Banks: Monday to Friday 09:00 to 14:00 / 16:00
Shopping Centres: Monday to Sunday 11:00 to 21:00 / 22:00
Stores and shops: Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 20:00.
Supermarkets: Monday to Sunday 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. / 23:00.

Lunch Time: 13:00 to 15:30.
Dinner Time: 20:30 to 24:00.