Chile travel FAQs

All you need to know to begin planning your trip to Chile

How easy is it to exchange money in Chile?
Chile’s currency is the peso. Globally, it isn’t considered a major currency, so you may struggle to find Chilean pesos available in your home country. It is possible to exchange money at airports and major hotels in Chile, but the exchange is often not favourable. Your best bet is to take money out of an ATM or in a casa de cambio (foreign exchange bureau) on arrival. Be aware that there are few ATMs along the Carretera Austral.

Do I need a power adapter in Chile?
Chile uses 220 volt, 50 hertz electricity. Plugs are typically the two-pronged flat pins used in the US, although some places also use two-pronged round pins. You’ll need a power adapter to fit European and British plugs.

What should I buy in Chile?
Chile is famous for its alpaca wool, so look for ponchos and woven blankets. The Mapuche are famous for their silverwork and clay or ceramic pots, which make excellent (if heavy) souvenirs.

For something more delicate, look for jewellery studded with the semi-precious lapis lazuli blue stone, or copper handicrafts and jewellery.

Do I need any vaccinations for Chile?
All travellers should visit a doctor before travelling to Chile, as they will provide the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and health issues. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance, as most doctors and medical facilities will require payment in cash immediately.

Is travel in Chile safe?
When compared with many other South American countries, travel in Chile is remarkably safe. As with any destination, be aware of your belongings when in crowded cities, beach resorts or bus stations, as pickpocketing and petty theft can be a problem.

It is Chile’s natural phenomena that can be a bigger problem. Earthquakes are common, although the likelihood of being caught in a major one is slim. Be aware that Chile’s beaches have strong offshore currents, so follow advice on whether it is safe to swim. Chile’s volcanoes have also become more active in recent years.

WIll my cellphone work in Chile?
Most international cellphones will work in Chile, but you’ll be subject to expensive roaming charges. If you plan in staying in Chile for any length of time, buy a local SIM card from either Entel or Telefonica.

How much should I tip?
Tipping is customary in Chilean restaurants. Expect to tip around 10% off the bill (check if it’s already included under servicio). Taxi drivers do not require tips, but it is polite to round the fare up for convenience.

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