Chile

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Chile Money-Saving Tips

Bring Your Own Supplies to Easter Island

Top-tier hotels like the Explora are equipped with first-aid kits, but smaller establishments rarely even have band-aids, and anything you purchase on the island is guaranteed to be at least twice the price since it is imported from the mainland. Consequently, it’s a good idea to come equipped with first-aid details like Band-Aids, Advil, insect repellant, and suntan lotion.

Negotiating Taxis on Easter Island

Most taxis are not metered, so it is wise to agree on a fare before getting in. While drivers do tend to raise their prices for tourists, be aware that gas on the island is extremely expensive as it must be imported from mainland Chile. Consequently, prices are higher than one might imagine (don’t expect your fare to be less than $10 regardless of distance).

Café con Piernas

Stand-up coffee bars where scantily-clad women serve men cortados and espressos is a rather non-PC Santiago trademark. For an upright, fully-clothed cup of joe try Café Háiti or Café Caribe on Paseo Ahumada in Santiago and avoid dark-windowed cafes.

Land of Poets

Poets Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, both Nobel Laureates, are Chilean treasures. For a glimpse into Neruda’s life and muse, visit his homes La Chascona, La Sebastiana, and Isla Negra.

Cuisine

Don’t miss paila marina (seafood stew) and pastel de choclo (a hearty casserole of meat, eggs, and corn). Top brewery Cervecería Kuntsmann produces superb beers.

Background

Since the 17-year military dictatorship ended in 1990, Chile has redefined itself. The country continues to be one of the most economically stable in South America. Chileans elected their first female president, Michelle Bachelet, in 2006.

Reciprocity Fee

U.S. citizens must pay a $100 fee upon arrival to Chile. The receipt is stapled into your passport and covers future re-entry for the life of the passport.

Bank Ahead

Banks close at 2pm. ATMs are widely available in larger cities, although you may run into state-imposed, daily $300 withdrawal limits. Break larger bills whenever possible, especially for taxis, tipping, and visits to smaller, off-the-beaten-path towns.

Tea Time

The key to holding out until after 9pm to eat dinner, like most Chileans, is the once (afternoon tea, pronounced "ohn-say"). This light snack, usually a sandwich or pastry with tea or coffee, is taken between 4 and 7pm.

Argentina También

Planning to visit Argentina, too? Consider the Cruce de Lagos, a one- or two-day, ultra-scenic, combination-bus-and-boat trip between Puerto Montt, Chile, and Bariloche, Argentina. Travel on a sunny day.

Bus Ticket

Though time-consuming, long-distance bus travel is inexpensive, safe, and comfortable. Opt for the pricier, reclining cama seats when going on long hauls. All buses are privately operated – we recommend Turbus company.

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