Conventional Name: Republic of Chile
Short Name: Chile
Surface: Chile is the longest and narrowest country of this continent, covering an area of 746,767 sq km It’s 4,329 km long and an average of 177 km wide. Chile borders with Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Population: Approximately 15 million inhabitants, most Caucasian or mestizo.
Local Hour: - 4 hours GMT
Electricity: The voltage used in Chile is 220 volts 50 cycles (220V 50Hz), which will require 110V users to have an adaptor. However, laptops and portable electronics usually have a transformer (110V – 240V) that adapts to Chilean voltage.
Language: Official language is Spanish.
Currency: The Chilean peso ($ or CLP) is printed in bills of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 10,000 and 20,000 pesos and in coins in the amount of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 pesos. Personal checks are another commercially accepted form of payment, but require ID.
Banking & Shopping hours: Banks are open from 9 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday. Stores are open from 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, though malls and supermarkets are also open on Sunday.
Jan 1st – New Year's Day
March/April – Easter Week
May 1st – Labor Day
May 21st – Naval Glories
June – Corpus Christi
June 29th – St. Peter & St. Paul
Aug 15th – Assumption of the Virgin
First Monday of September – Day of National Reconciliation
Sep 18th – Independence Day
Sep 19th – Armed Forces Day
Oct 12th – Columbus Day
Nov 1st – All Saints Day
Dec 8th – Inmaculate Conception
Dec 25th – Christmas Day
Geography: “A long and narrow strip of land” are the words often used to define our stunningly beautiful country. Chile possesses endless wonders that surprise and amaze many travellers.
These wonders include: visiting the Atacama Desert – the world’s driest desert and a center of ancient indigenous cultures, swimming at gorgeous coastal beaches, skiing at the Andean winter resorts - located only one hour from the capital of Santiago, and savoring the famous Central Valley wines. These are only some of the treasures that can be experienced in our captivating land.
3,790 km from the mainland, Easter Island provides visitors with a unique culture and landscape characterized by the Maori sculptures whose origin can still be considered one of the great world wonders.
In the south of Chile, the exuberant nature protected by national parks leaves even the most indifferent traveller in awe. Sports lovers will be fascinated by the volcanoes, lakes, and rivers. In Chiloe, which is considered by some to be a paradise, travellers will find a friendly town home to many Chilean legends.
In Patagonia, travellers will see majestic fjords and glaciers, as well as other attractive sights in the Tierra del Fuego region and along the Austral highway - not to mention the hiking trails of international fame in Tierra del Fuego.
Food & Beverages: In all cities, excellent restaurants with great variety of dishes of national and international cuisine can be found. The Chilean cuisine that is recommended is the barbecue (based on beef), the typical “empanadas”, (mass stuffed with ground meat, ground onion, olives and boiled egg), Chicken “cazuela” (Chicken broth with potatoes, pumpkin, corn and green beans), “pastel de choclo” (corn and very similar to a tamale). Within traditionally Chilean plates on the basis of fish and seafood, nothing better than a “caldillo de congrio” or a “chupe de loco”. One of typical dishes of the South zone of the country is the traditional Curanto (a mixture of fish, seafood, potatoes and different types of meat, beef and pork), that is cooked in a pot of clay in a hole in the ground.
Finally, the production of fruit in Chile exceeds the one of any tropical country. The traditional drink in Chile is the Pisco Sour, made from pisco (grape liquor), lemon, ice and sugar. The Chilean wines are known world-wide, specially the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The usual gratuity in restaurants is 10%.
Communications: Telecommunication system in Chile is one of the most modern. In 1994, the multi-carriers system was introduced. Users can choose their contractor for their long distance call services. Telephone companies have call centers in addition to fax services available. Public telephones operate with coins of $100 or phone cards, which are available in the newsstands.
Customs: There are no restrictions to the amount of Chilean pesos you can bring into or take out of the country. Two and a half litres of alcoholic drinks or perfume can be transported tax-free. You cannot bring fruits, vegetables, dairy products or plants into the country.
Vaccinations: No vaccination is required to enter Chile.
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