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TRAVELLING TO Chile

Why visit? Whether it’s delving into the rich cultural heritage of Santiago, exploring Patagonia by horseback, trekking Atacama Desert, or wining and dining in Valparaiso, Chile offers endless opportunities to explore,rendering this combination the best recipe for the ultimate escape!

Most Australian travellers start their tour in Santiago, the country’s capital. More European in feel than most Latin American cities, Santiago is a vibrant metropolis that is flanked on each side by the Andes and enjoys one of the most beautiful locations of any cities in the world.

From Santiago, you can continue your Chile tour to Calama in the country’s north and explore the driest hot desert in the world, Atacama Desert. Trekking Atacama will allow you to see the famous Atacama Salt Flats, visit Indigenous cultures or witness the incredible views over the moonlike landscape of Valley of the Moon. 

In Chile’s south, Patagonia is a place full of natural beauty with its spectacular volcanoes, ancient forests and glittering lakes and fjords set against spectacular mountain ranges. While Torres del Paine National Park has established itself as a Patagonia icon, there are many other hot spots from which you can get different perspectives of Patagonian countryside.

How to get there? Chile is now more accessible than ever thanks to increased air capacity and LATAM launching direct flights from Melbourne to Santiago last year. Two top-ranked airlines (LATAM and Qantas) now provide regularly scheduled services to Santiago. 

More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Chile and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.

Still wondering? Contact us:  You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you. 

#Livefortoday and book your Chile tour with us today. Chimu Adventures is Australia’s Latin America and Polar specialist and can put together an itinerary to suit you.

[ Continue Reading ]

Why visit? Whether it’s delving into the rich cultural heritage of Santiago, exploring Patagonia by horseback, trekking Atacama Desert, or wining and dining in Valparaiso, Chile offers endless opportunities to explore,rendering this combination the best recipe for the ultimate escape!

Most Australian travellers start their tour in Santiago, the country’s capital. More European in feel than most Latin American cities, Santiago is a vibrant metropolis that is flanked on each side by the Andes and enjoys one of the most beautiful locations of any cities in the world.

From Santiago, you can continue your Chile tour to Calama in the country’s north and explore the driest hot desert in the world, Atacama Desert. Trekking Atacama will allow you to see the famous Atacama Salt Flats, visit Indigenous cultures or witness the incredible views over the moonlike landscape of Valley of the Moon. 

In Chile’s south, Patagonia is a place full of natural beauty with its spectacular volcanoes, ancient forests and glittering lakes and fjords set against spectacular mountain ranges. While Torres del Paine National Park has established itself as a Patagonia icon, there are many other hot spots from which you can get different perspectives of Patagonian countryside.

How to get there? Chile is now more accessible than ever thanks to increased air capacity and LATAM launching direct flights from Melbourne to Santiago last year. Two top-ranked airlines (LATAM and Qantas) now provide regularly scheduled services to Santiago. 

More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Chile and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.

Still wondering? Contact us:  You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you. 

#Livefortoday and book your Chile tour with us today. Chimu Adventures is Australia’s Latin America and Polar specialist and can put together an itinerary to suit you.

[ Read Less ]

WHY TRAVEL WITH CHIMU ADVENTURES

  • We offer you flexible travel options in Latin America at an affordable price.

  • You can choose from over 400 suggested itineraries or pick and choose elements to build your own unique experience; cover the areas you want to explore at a pace to suit you.

  • We know each Latin American country by heart and will work with you to determine which activities and accommodations are best suited to your needs.

  • From your initial enquiry until your trip ends, you will be assigned a personal Destination Specialist who will offer a full service for your travel needs: we can book flights, insurance and any ancillary travel required to complete your journey.

  • We have offices across South America so you can be assured that ground staff are close at hand to assist whilst you are travelling.

FEATURED Chile TRIPS & DEALS

4 Day Tierra Atacama Adventure

3 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 3,170

Witness the spectacular Atacama Desert & Toconao village, see rare flamingos on the Atacama Salt Fla...

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Wonders of Chile & the Fjords

12 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 11,455

STELLA AUSTRALIS

Spanning from the icy south to the desert north, from the rugged Pacific coastline to the highest pe...

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Discover Santiago

3 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 769

A taster of Chile's cosmopolitan and historic capital city, its world-renowned wine-making area and ...

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Chile TOURS

BLOGS ON Chile

Whether you are looking for advice on visas and vaccinations,when to travel, best markets or beaches to visit, wildlife guides or the top restaurants in a city, Chimu blogs are likely to have it covered. The range of topics is vast, with new and fascinating blogs being added regularly. There are airport guides, Galapagos Island guides, what to pack and what not to pack, and even a blog on the most romantic locations to propose in Latin America!

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Chile REVIEWS

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Chile! We absolutely adored our trip to Chile. Everything ran smoothly and according to plan. Accommodation exceeded our expectations and the guides, transfers were amazing. We are aching to go back, and looking at where our next adventure will take us. We have already recommended you to 3 friends who are considering a trip with you in 2018! thanks Chimu!
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chile, Chile, Chile! We didn't have many expectations, as just had 3 days on our way over as a stopover. We spent a nice time at Valparaiso, and enjoyed the street art around the place. In our spare time we visited the pre Colombian museum in Santiago, and thought it was incredible. We ask Chimu include it in all their tours to Santiago, as it is well worth a look!
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unusual scenery On the whole, the trip went smoothly. However, we were given the wrong pick up time for one excursion and weren't told we needed passport details for the trip to the geysers at Tatio. We also had a free morning and we organised an archaeological you with another company.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An ambition fulfilled I have always wanted to go to Easter Island and having been to Chile before I wanted a bespoke trip rather than a package. The wine tours near Santiago were wonderful and Colchagua Museum deserves at least a few hours as they have the most amazing examples of pre Columbian art and Inca and Aztec treasures plus much more. We then went southwards to the lakes and Volcanoes which was truly beautiful and stayed in a lovely hotel right on the lake. Lots to see and do and the scenery was spectacular. Easter Island was everything and far more than I had imagined. I have wanted to go for almost 40 years. Really well explained by the guides and a wide variety of things to do so not just the statues (which were unbelievable.) Great Botanical garden and a cave walk. It was lovely to meet local people. Great guides throughout especially Terry in Santiago and such friendly people. Chile has so much to offer and really easy to get around. All the arrangements were perfect and the hotels much better than they looked in the pictures in our itinerary.
Date published: 2016-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Consider my mind blown From the hilarious, informative and caring guides, to the vibrancy of the destinations (I particularly loved the Atacama Desert) it was a faultless itinerary. I can't wait to go back!
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easter Island Everything ran smoothly, we were collected at the airport, the tours ran on time, we had a knowledgeable guide, transport was fine.
Date published: 2015-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atacama Desert and Chilean Patagonia Perfect weather throughout - great picture making opportunities and faultless organisation added up to us having a wonderful time.
Date published: 2016-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from People Places Perfect We loved South America it's so different from all the standard Asian and European destinations.
Date published: 2016-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Santiago de Chile, a must see Love this city and surrounds. At the foothills of the snow covered Andes mountains.
Date published: 2015-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Santiago & Valparaiso after Patagonia After Patagonia and Antarctica we entered another world and saw the new year in at Valparaiso. We had a replacement driver from Santiago to Valparaiso. His shift finished at 2100 but owing to an accident he stayed on but the normal travelling time of 1 hour turned into 3.5+ due to the mass exodus of people wanting to see the fireworks! As soon as we arrived, our landlady invited us to join her family and go to their friends' place for NYE. We literally fell on our feet. I'd been told to leave the tripod and big camera back at the apartment. Suddenly I was able to take them with me, so I set up on the patio. With one hand on a remote control, I used the other one to take some video with a different camera. The birds took off flying through the red and grey skies. I was glad I was able to repay our guests with photos and videos. A fantastic place to visit and the street outside our door consisted of a hundred steps! As for the colours, you'll just have to check out my photos. Back in Santiago, we met up with one of the best guides you'd arranged for us (and they were all good). Our walking tour was fantastic and we wouldn't have been able to see half of the places of interest except for our guide. Well done, Jason Dudson.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chile - a definite must see We were very impressed with the itineraries and how we could customize to suit our wants. The organization of everything, including flights, transport, transfers, accommodation, tours, and guides was exceptional. We were looked after and felt safe at all times. Everything ran smoothly but if something unexpected occurred it was sorted out straight away without fuss. The main places in Chile we visited were Santiago, the Atacama Desert, Puerto Varas, Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park. The guides who showed us around deserve special mention. They were local to the area (often having grown up there), passionate about their history and culture, enthusiastic, well educated, multi-lingual, happy to answer questions, and helpful. We would be happy to recommend Chimua Adventures to anyone thinking of visiting South America.
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chilean lakes and volcanoes From the lovely Puerto Varas and its nearby volcanoes we wanted to go to Congullio NP east of Temuco. You sent us by air to Santiago and back to Temuco -taking most of a day and then no instructions when we got there . This entailed finding your office in Santiago and getting conformation for the next day. But we could have come by big comfortable bus from P.Varas to Temuco in 4 hours.
Date published: 2019-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easter Island The tour we arranged through Chimu was excellent in every respect. From the moment we arrived at the airport, we were well looked after. We had three tours (2 x half and 1 x whole day) which covered the main aspects and sites on the island. We had the same guide throughout (Matu'a) - he was a man of Rapa Nui descent, so we had both an authentic and informative commentary. On the third day we hired a car and revisited some sites and explored more - an ideal combination. The hotel, Taha Tai, was within ten minutes walk of the town and restaurants, so we ate at a different restaurant each night - the locally-caught fish is excellent. Breakfast at the hotel was an ample selection of cold sweet and savoury dishes, plus hot scrambled eggs and sausages. Easter Island has a delightful Polynesian atmosphere. It's a pity it's so far from anywhere - or, perhaps, not! Tourist numbers are increasing, so visit before it gets too crowded!!
Date published: 2015-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Incredible Experience! In Chile we started at San Pedro de Atacama before going to Lima and then Santiago. From here we flew to Rapu Nui and then Puerto Montt and the northern part of the Patagonia. What a magnificent experience seeing the extremes Chile has to offer from desert to lakes, volcanoes and forests. An absolutely incredible experience!
Date published: 2018-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chile - vibrant & diverse & worth the visit Santiago - airport transfers good, accommodation (Aubrey Hotel) very good, local tour operator slack with advising next days pick up times & hard to contact. Day trip to Valpraiso disappointing due to lack of English by guide despite 50% of customers being English speaking. Lunch at Vina Del Mar very good.
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CHILE AND THE NIGHT SKY One of the things I did not realise is how close you are to the stars when you are in Chile, especially in the Atacama Desert. Santiago is a beautiful city and changing for the better. My only regret? I wish I had more time to experience it all. I can feel another trip coming on.
Date published: 2019-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The whole experience was breathtaking. There are probably cheaper options but because of my time frame this was perfect. Every thing ran well, I never felt rushed, my timing (early May) was perfect as there weren't too many tourists - cold destinations are not my usual choice but so happy i did this. Chile rocks!
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic experience The Atacama Desert was my only destination in Chile, but it was worth it. The various sites around San Pedro were different and all very interesting. The people were very friendly and most spoke passable English, as opposed to Santiago. Beautiful and enriching experience.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tierra Chiloe 4 night package It takes a while to get to Tierra Chiloe but it is worth the trip! A wonderful experience, fantastic value for money with all activities and guides included. Couldn't fault the service, food, staff or activities. Fabulous 4 days and a great way to start our holiday.
Date published: 2019-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Valparaiso day tour from Santiago Felt rushed and not much time to see some of the sights, I would've preferred to have stayed there rather than travelling from Santiago as there isn't much to see along the way - maybe a stop at a winery should be part of the tour.
Date published: 2015-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CTS were great We traveled in and out and around Santiago and Valparaiso using CTS for tours and transfers as booked by Chimu. CTS's performance was faultless and made our Chile experience all the more enjoyable. Thanks CTS and Chimu.
Date published: 2016-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a lifetime We had the most amazing trip with Chimu to Antarctica, Chile, Argentina and Peru. Everything worked like clockwork on the ground, excellent hotels and guides. Thank you for the most incredible experience.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Our tour was perfectly organised by Chimu Out itinerary covered a visit to the incredible Atacama Desert in Chile, the amazing Machu Picchu area and Lima in Peru. Chimu did a great job and we experienced exactly what we wanted to see and do.
Date published: 2015-03-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Chile late flights again poor airline food got hit with a reciprocal fee of $117 each on arrival fairly boring bus trip to the coast would have been better things to look at in the city
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great trip to Chile! The entire itinerary ran smoothly and on time. The Chilean drivers and local reps were very friendly, courteous and made me feel important. I would recommend this trip to anyone!
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The wonders of San Pedro de Atacama A truly unique place to visit with beautiful natural landscapes, amazing food and interesting wildlife.
Date published: 2014-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atacama well orchestrated Everything went very smoothly in the desert. Atacama
Date published: 2019-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Santiago Discovery trip! Staying in Santiago for three nights en route to Quito was the ideal way to break up the long journey from Australia to Ecuador and adjust to the time difference. Luciano K in the vibrant Lastarria area is a beautiful hotel - small and boutique but with all the comforts of a luxury hotel. The rooftop bar is a favourite for enjoying a glass of local wine or a pisco sour with views of Cerro San Cristobal to the front and the Andes to the right. The area has lots of bars and restaurants - try Liguria for authentic Chilean food and an extensive wine menu. Would recommend a walking tour of the area on arrival to get your bearings. Our guide, Hugo, was fantastic. He knew everything about the city: the politics, the history, the geology, and shared it with us with enthusiasm. Head up to Cerro San Cristobal for views of the city on the almost vertical fernacular train. Santiago is huge! The walk back down will take you into the Providencia area where there are restaurants in leafy surroundings. We really enjoyed the winding, rainbow streets of Valparaiso where the street art bounces of every wall. Climb right to the top for stunning views out to the Pacific. The trip ran so smoothly thanks to Chimu's planning and our wonderful guide, Hugo.
Date published: 2018-12-19
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The level of fitness needed will depend on the Chile tour that you choose to take in terms of places to be visited and the types of activities to be included on your itinerary. Chile offers great opportunities for outdoor activities set against spectacular backdrops. They range from hiking ad trekking to climbing, skiing, white-water rafting, kayaking and fishing. Many of the best treks are to be found in the Lake District and National Parks such as the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park where the trails range from easy to difficult, with treks ranging from a few hours to many days.

Most South American countries have now recognized that tourism plays an important part in their economies and governments have taken great steps to change South America’s poor security image. Violent crime is rare in Chile but there are the usual risks of pickpocketing in crowded areas and bag theft. 

 

To minimise security risks we recommend the following: 

 

 

  • do not show any outward signs of wealth or wear expensive jewellery
  • keep your valuables in your hotel in safety deposit boxes
  • keep any valuables that you must carry with you hidden, as pickpockets can be present in crowded areas and around tourist areas
  • use only registered taxis with official identification
  • avoid going on your own to remote areas or where tourists would not be expected to go
  • always keep your day pack and camera close to you and never leave them unattended

 

A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Chile for citizens of the following countries:

 

  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • The United States
  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • European Union
  • South Africa

 

 

For other nationalities please visit the website of the relevant consulate.

 

 

Please note that Australian citizens must pay a "reciprocity fee" to enter Chile. This is not a visa, since a visa is not required for visitors from these countries. It is a fee based upon the fees that Chilean citizens pay for visas to Australia. The fee is subject to change but can be paid on arrival in US$ cash or by credit card.

 

You could spend anything from a few days to a few weeks on your Chile travels, depending on whether you plan to explore the entire country or just focus on one experience such as Torres del Paine National Park, the Lake District or a wine tour. Chimu Adventures offers itineraries to suit every time frame.

Our Chile tours include breakfast daily and many other meals may also be included in your itinerary. As a rough guide for additional spending money based on having moderately-priced lunches and dinners and buying a few souvenirs at local markets, we suggest a budget of 30-40 USD per day per person. 

Although no specific vaccinations are required for Chile travel and no proof of any vaccination is required to enter the country, we recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those places that you will be travelling through.

 

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required for mainland Chile but it is required if you are travelling to Easter Island from yellow fever infected areas in Africa or the Americas. Measles occurs worldwide and is common in developing countries. As a general guide we recommend the following:

 

 

  • Yellow Fever - if travelling to Easter Island from an infected area
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis - Both A and B (twinrix)
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Cholera
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus

 

In Chile the standard voltage is 220V and standard frequency is 50Hz. Power sockets are of types C and L.

 

Please visit the below link for more information: http://electricaloutlet.org/

 

What you need to pack will depend on when and where you plan on travelling and on the activities that you plan to include whilst on your Chile tour.

 

The following should act as a useful checklist of essential items:

 

 

  • Passport, photocopy of passport & spare passport photos
  • Travel Insurance documents  
  • Air tickets and itinerary
  • Foreign Currency (US$) and/or debit/credit cards, traveller’s cheques
  • Money belt 
  • Small daypack
  • Basic first aid kit 
  • High UVA sun block 
  • Sunglasses & sunhat
  • Mosquito spray & insect repellent
  • Comfortable walking shoes/boots
  • Sandals 
  • Long sleeve tops and trousers 
  • Light-weight clothing
  • Warm clothing (depending on itinerary and time of year)
  • Camera with spare battery and memory cards
  • Security code padlock
  • Adaptor 
  • Small torch

 

 
The unit of currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.

Spanish is the official language of Chile with over 85% of the population speaking Spanish as their first language. The Spanish spoken in Chile differs from that in neighbouring countries due to it being distinctively accented with the use of local slang. Several indigenous languages are spoken in Chile including Mapudungun, Quechua, Aymara, Huilliche and Rapa Nui.

The official religion of Chile is Roman Catholicism, and the majority of Chileans are Catholic, with an estimated 55-60% of Chileans belonging to the Catholic Church. There are also Protestants in Chile, and some Mapuche Indians who still practice their traditional religion.