Chile Budget Travel Guide: Chilean Altiplano
Chile is a country of great contrasts, and with this Chile, you embark on a mersmerizing journey to explore it region by region, visiting every city and every sight. I hope my description of Chile will help you get to know it better, particularly if you are planning your next vacation there.
Chile is a long and narrow country in South America. It measures some 4,200 kilometers from north to south, but is never more than 180 km at its widest. It is bordered by Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage to the far south. It is just one of two countries in South America - the other being Ecuador - that does not share a border with Brazil.
Parinacota Volcano, Chile
The Pacific Ocean forms a 5,000-km-long coastline to the west of the country. Due to the great difference in latitude, Chile is a country where you can experience the hottest, driest deserts as well as frigid fjords and snop-capped mountains. In between, you can find a Mediterranean climate in the center, and a temperate climate to the south.
According to the 17th century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the name Chile may have been derived from the name of a Pichunche tribal chief called Tili, who ruled the area during the Incan conquest of the 15th century. That is just one of several theories as to how the country got its name.
With an urban area population of 5.6 million people, Santiago de Chile is the largest city as well as capital of Chile. Other notable cities include Concepción, Valparaíso, Antofagasta and Punta Arenas.
Fast Facts about Chile
victor san martin
Planning your trip to Chile
The nationals of the following countries may visit Chile for up to 90 days without a tourist visa: Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the United States, EU Countries except Greece, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Surinam, Switzerland, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela and Serbia & Montenegro.
Nationals of the following countries may visit Chile for up to 60 days without a tourist visa: Peru and Greece
Nationals of the following countries may visit Chile for up to 30 days without a tourist visa: Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The main international airport for Chile is the Santiago Airport (www.aeropuertosantiago.cl), also known as Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL). The national flag carrier is LAN Airlines.
Preparing Money for your trip to Chile
The currency used in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Planning your travel within Chile
Chile has a good public bus system enabling you to explore the country town to town. The main bus companies are Turbus (www.turbus.cl) and Pullman (www.pullmanbus.cl).
You can - if you are able to spend the money - take domestic flights to explore the country. Chile has good airport infrastructure (although at time of writing, May 2010, it may have been disrupted by the 2010 Earthquake) that allows you to take domestic flights to the many major cities in the country. The major domestic airlines are LAN, Sky Airline, Aerolineas del Sur and Principal Airlines.
Travel WarningThe 2010 Chilean Earthquake struck the coast of the Maule Region of Chile on 27 February, 2010. The epicenter of the magnitude 8.8 quake is 100 km from Concepción, the second largest city in Chile. The death toll of the quake stood at 521 persons as of 15 May, 2010. Verify with the local tourism authorities before making your trip to Chile.
Playa Concón in Viña del Mar, Chile
Places of Interest in Chile
Towns and Cities of Chile