Helpful Tips When Visiting Chile

Clothing

Excursions require comfortable sports clothing. Given the powerful sun in this part of the world, we strongly recommend that you carry all necessary items for protection against sunburn, sunglasses, sun block, and lip protection.
Dress Code
None of the Restaurants/ Excursions required formal clothes, tie, jackets, etc. Informal wear during the day and smart casual for evenings.

Cross Cultural Tips
The famous expression “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” is an excellent bit of advice. Remember that you are travelling to a foreign country where you are the visitor, and need to adapt to the culture and customs of the local people, not vice-versa. It is common for events to arise that place your own cultural beliefs in contrast with those of your hosts. On a short trip, you probably will not learn all, or even most, of the cultural differences. It is possible, however, to learn enough to better understand these differences, and to attune your behaviour to that of the people around you. A lot of the comforts you are accustomed to may not be available to you, and time flows at a different pace. Patience and respect are the crucial ingredients for a successful trip and an enriching experience. Info: www.thisischile.cl

Climate

Santiago, due to its position in the central region, has a Mediterranean climate with well-defined seasons. Spring, between September and November is mild, which contributes to the flourishing green color of the plants and trees. Summer, between December and February, is dry and hot with temperatures that can reach over 30°C (87º F) and cooling down at night and on the coast this temperature drop can be much more extreme. On the coast and in the mountains the difference in temperature is much more extreme. Autumn falls between March and May, and temperatures decrease gradually. In winter, mornings are cold, some as low as -2º C (28º F) and although the temperature rises at midday it rarely exceeds 15°C (60ºF).

Health

Tap water
Throughout the country is safe to drink. However due to the change in the composition of the water, we recommend drinking only bottled water. Traveler’s diarrhea is a fairly common occurrence, resulting from changes in every day microbes present in all food.

Dehydration
From November to March, we recommend to drink minimum 500-750 ml of water per day to prevent dehydration.

Warning
Fruits (fresh or dried) may not be brought into Chile. This includes everything from an apple in your carry-on to the dried fruit that may be tossed into trail mix, or a box of raisins. If found the fruit will be confiscated, and a fine may result (starting around $70 and up).

Currency
Chile’s currency is the Chilean Peso. The exchange rate will be better in Chile than the official rate available in the United States or Canada. It is recommended to bring a small amount of small bills ($1’s and $6’s) for tips and small purchases. Your trip leader will advise you of the best way to exchange US Dollars to Chilean Pesos (CLP)

Gratutities

Restaurants
There is a 10% minimum tip.

Taxis
There is no tip, but if you are happy with the driver you could give him/her a tip.

Guides and driver
It is customary to tip your local guides if you feel they have gone the extra mile to accommodate you.