Chile Information page to help you get the feel of this beautiful, friendly, country. This is an unsponsored page and represents too much time meandering the web !
Things are rapidly changing as Chile surges into the 21st century, Modern cities, historical Valparaiso, great road network, a huge central valley area brimming with farm produce, beaches, mountains, world class skiing, or windsurfing, in the same day.
My favorite unmentioned point never brought out in the tourist brochures is that we have a dry med climate, that means no Caribbean humidity, warmth without air conditioning and two showers a day!
Oh and I bet your friends have never been here! Truly one of the last undiscovered friendly holiday destinations. Come on down, you´ll love it.
Food,Glorious food,and Chile has lots of it!
Lets start with some great tastes.
Pastel de choclo: corn casserole filled with ground beef, onions, chicken, raisins, hardboiled egg, olives, and topped with sugar and butter.
Pastel de Jaivas:Another pastel dish, but this time filled with crab in a creamy sauce, our local favorite at the Miramar restarant! Chile is full of wonderful and varied seafood.
Empanada de pino: a baked Pasty filled with ground beef, can be a lot of onion, raisins, a piece of boiled egg and a black olive.
Empanada de queso: a deep-fried pasty filled with cheese. In fact you can find many different Empanadas, including seafood!
Cazuela de vacuno: beef soup with a potato, rice, a piece of corn and a piece of squash.
Cazuela de ave (or de pollo): same as above, but with a piece of chicken.
Cazuela de pavo: same as above, but with turkey.
Porotos granados: stew made with fresh beans, squash, corn, onion and basil. con choclo: with grains of corn. con pilco or pirco: with corn thinly chopped. con mazamorra: with ground corn. con riendas: with thin sliced noodles.
Curanto: lots of seafood, beef, chicken and pork, potatoes, cheese, and potato "burguers," prepared in a hole in the ground ("en hoyo") or in a pot ("en olla"); a dish from Chiloé.
Southern sopaipillas: a fried pastry cut as 10-cm (4-in) circles, with no pumpkin in its dough (see Northern sopaipillas in the desserts section). They replace bread. They are known South of Linares.
Lomo a lo pobre: a beefsteak, fried potatoes, a fried egg (expect two in restaurants) and fried onions.
Besides typical foods, you should expect food normally found in any Western country. The normal diet includes rice, potatoes, meat and bread. Vegetables are abundant in central Chile. If you are concerned about the portions, consider that the size of the dish increases the farther south you travel.
With such an enormous coastline, you can expect fish and seafood almost everywhere. Locals used to eat bundles of raw shellfish, but visitors should be cautious of raw shellfish because of frequent outbreaks of red tides.
Chile is the world's second largest producer of salmon, as well as a number of other farmed sea products, which include oysters, scallops, mussels, trout and turbot. Local fish include corvina (sea bass), congrio(conger eel), lenguado (flounder), albacora (swordfish), and yellow fin tuna. I must mention the Laguna Azul restaurant in Boyeruca, talk about fresh oysters, last time I was there , I was told to hang on a minute as they went out and caught them while we waited .Twenty minutes later I was eating Fresh Oyster, so fresh they were still bursting with flavor, never tasted better!
Hotdog or completo. Almost a staple food here,and found in numerous franchises through out Chile. This one includes mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, tomato, mashed avocado (palta), sauerkraut (chucrut) and chili (ají).These ingredients make a full sandwich, called un completo. With mayonnaise, tomato and avocado it's un italiano with the colors of the Italian flag.
Lomito: Cooked pork steaks served with anything that can go in a hotdog. Italiano is the preferred form but German purists prefer it with sauerkraut (chucrut).* Chacarero: a thin beefsteak (churrasco) with tomato, green beans, mayonnaise and green chili (ají verde).
Barros Luco: Named after President Ramón Barros Luco. Thinly-sliced beefsteak with cheese. Usually served with French fries, fattening and delicious!
Choripán: Bread with "chorizo", a highly-seasoned pork sausage. Named that way because the contraction of "Pan con Chorizo" or "Chorizo con Pan". A frequent starter to the Barbeque in Chile,
A common combination is meat with avocado and/or mayonnaise, e.g. Ave palta mayo (chicken with avocado and mayonnaise) or Churrasco palta (thinly-sliced beefsteak with avocado). The strong presence for avocado is a Chilean standard for sandwiches that influences the fast food franchises to include it in their menus.
Crudos : Minced raw fillet steal served on a slice of white bread and accompained by different sauces. Try it at Hausmann,s in Valdivia, with a local Torobayo beer! Or at the annual Beerfest in Saval Park.
Northern sopaipillas: a fried pastry cut as 10-cm (4-in) circles, which includes pumpkin in its dough, and normally is eaten with chancaca, a black treacle or molasses. It's customary to make them when it rains and it's cold outside. Sopaipillas as a dessert are only known north of San Javier.
From Linares to the South, they are not a dessert and the pumpkin is left out, so, when it rains, and it does a lot, Chilean Southerners must cook picarones. In Santiago, Sopaipillas can be served covered with a sweet syrup as a dessert, or with spicy yellow mustard.
Kuchen (or cújen) is German for pie. In the South ask for kuchen de quesillo, a kind of cheesecake.
Strudel . Apple pie.
Berlín, is a ball of dough (no hole) filled with dulce de membrillo, crema pastelera or manjar. Powder sugar is added just in case you have a sweet tooth.
Cuchuflí. Barquillo (tube of something crunchy like a cookie) filled with manjar. The name originally comes from cuchufleta wich means deceipt or trickery, as they used to be filled only at the tips of the barquillos, leaving the middle part empty.
Apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries, chirimoyas,the list is endless .You just plant it round here and it grows! You will find many roadside stalls in season, selling the local produce fresh from the farm and cheap.
Wine :- see our wine link for a taste of the real thing!
Mote con Huesillo: A delicous summertime drink made of wheat seeds (mote) and dried peaches (huesillos) boiled, sweetened, and served cold. Typically sold on sidewalk or park stands.
Chilean Pisco: Brandy made from Muscat grapes. Popular brands are Capel, Alto del Carmen and Valle Elqui.
Pisco Sour: One of Chile's most famous and popular mixed drinks, this consists of Pisco mixed with squeezed pica lemons and sugar. It has a delicious tart sweetness.
Mango Sour: Pisco mixed with mango juice. Some new Pisco mixes include Piña Colada, Cherimoya, the list grows daily including toffee flavour, makes great cocktails.
Pisccola: Pisco mixed with Coke.
Boron: Red wine and strawberries.
Eremite: ("Earthquake"): a typical Chilean drink that consists in a mix of pineapple ice cream with pigpen (like white wine).
Schop: Beer on tap.
Fan-Schop: Beer mixed with orange Fanta soda. A refreshing alternative on a hot summer day.
Beers: Crystal and Escudo are the most popular (light lagers). Royal Guard and Kunsman (too expensive!) are a popular alternative. Heineken and Stella Aroids are made here under license, plus a large selection of imported beers and lagers. There is a growing number of artisanal breweries setting up, like Valbier in Valdivia making a fine amber ale .
Joe : wine and Coke (no comment!)
República de Chile
Motto: Por la razón o la fuerza
"By reason or by force"
(and largest city) Santiago
33°26′S 70°40′W / 33.433°S 70.667°W
Ethnic groups White (52%), Mestizo (44%), Indigenous (4%).
Government-- Unitary presidential republic.
President- Sebastián Piñera.
- Total 756,950 sq. km ---
292,183 sq. miles (UK 242,900 sq.km---California 423,970 sq.km)
Credit cards are widely accepted in Chile. Many larger businesses accept Visa and Mastercard, while fewer accept American Express and Diners Club. ATM machinse readily available in most areas. However 94% of small business still prefer cash! Handling credit cards for small business can be expensive, so keep plenty of cash handy!
- “Fiscal prudence, Low debt, Resilience”.
Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Chile’s government bond ratings to Aa3
from A1, citing: (i) the government’s strong fiscal position; (ii) a favorable debt profile; and (iii)
the country’s demonstrated economic and financial resilience despite adverse shocks.
Chile’s strong financial position is
evidenced in an average debt-to-GDP ratio of 6%. (United Kingdom - Debt/GDP: 409% ! )
Chile performs strongly in consumer infrastructure led by a high penetration rate of mobile and fixed broadband. The country was the first in the region to embrace new technologies such as mobile WiMAX, IPTV, wireless VoIP, triple play, EDGE, and mobile voice-to-text, among others. Chile also has a high availability of international bandwidth, and strong penetration of personal computers, leading to its top-notch performance in business infrastructure.http://www.connectivityscorecard.org/countries/
Just click the green link to open page.
Maps First thing you need when you arrive is a good map . COPEC the nation-wide service station, provides the best,it was only 1500 clp! Buy one when you arrive,at your local COPEC station. It will save you a lot of time! An example is on the link below ,and in fact you can print out the pages for free.
You will find all the major international car rental companies at the airport.
However here are a few locals for comparison. Prices at the airport are as cheap as you will find anywhere . Rosselot Car hire
International flights arrive at “Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez” airport and is 26k from town , there are,plenty of taxis available, but you can just pop out the front entrance,where you will see a TurBus stand. This bus goes every half hour, directly to Teminal Santiago, Terminal Alameda is right next door. Below the bus station is the Underground railway and you can connect easily to many destinations in Santiago. Buses in Chile are cheap, comfortable and offer a regular service.
A well written travel blog full of quality photos, from a young english teacher traveling through Chile,visiting family and finding many new adventures on the one way ticket to Chile trip!!
Reciprocal fee on Entry
There is a one-time-per passport fee of US$140 dollars for US-passport holders to enter the republic. Several other nationalities also pay a reciprocity fee (Australia, Canada, Mexico and Albania) though the amount varies by country.This is a most unfortunate tax only levied at Santiago International airport, and represents the cost of Chileans getting a corresponding visa.
On the other hand for a US tourist visa, Chileans actually have to go to the US embassy in Santiago, pay US$ 140 application fee, miss a day at work, and apply and hope. There must be a better way!
National Parks and Ecology
Conaf (National Forestry Corporation) Governmental organization whose objective is to recover and protect the natural heritage of Chile, minimizing the deterioration of forest ecosystems.(Spanish)
Siete Tazas National Park,Curico A local National Park, famous for the Seven cups,waterfalls. Puyehue National Park Information about the recreational activities, news, links, picture galleries, park trails and location.(Spanish/English) Torres del Paine National Park Information about the national park, picture galleries and videos, maps, services in the park and the surrounding area.
(Spanish/English) Pumalín Park Information about the largest private park in the world, services, characteristics, trails, and project objectives (Spanish/English). Chilean Union of Ornithology Organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of birds and their environments.(Spanish) Terram Foundation
Site with articles about the environment, contamination, natural resources, etc., with the objective of creating a sustainable development proposal for the country.(Spanish/English)
History and Culture
The heart of Chilean traditional dance is the Cueca .
Emulating the courtship dance of the chicken and the rooster, ladies dressed in flowered dresses and the men in full huaso (Chilean rodeo) attire, including the brave wearing spurs! The caballero approaches his partner and gallantly offers his arm, the señora places her hand discreetly on the arm as they parade across the floor, and begins the dance. The couple never touch during the dance, the dance continues with a series or twists and turns, the caballero vigorously waving his handkerchief in the air ,as they follow the courting dance of the chicken and the rooster. Its moves fast and is a wonderful colorful spectacle to watch especially as many of the caballero have developed their own unique moves in both interpretation and the art of handkerchief waving ! Cueca Chilena, wonderful site full of video, music and links
Esmeralda (BE-43) is a steel-hulled four-masted barquentine tall ship of the Chilean Navy, currently the second tallest and longest sailing ship in the world .The Chilean navy has a fine museum in Valpariso.
RODEO After football Chile´s second favorite sport, and a completely different challenge from North American Rodeo.
The Chilean Horse A great detailed resource by Randall Arms, I have used AS THE REFERENCE. However page seems down, but I will leave it just in case as its a great site
Llico is a well known windsurfing stop in Chile, in fact from Pichilemu down, our local coastline is one of the best surfing, winsurfing, and kite surfing destinations. For personnal attention, by windsurfers we recomend
A site that claims to transmit and promote bicycle tourism. Tour consultations, tour dates, galleries, food and nutrition and everything related to bicycle tourism.(Spanish) Dive Shop Center
Here you will find sales for scuba diving equipment, excursions inside and out of Chile, also courses for the experienced, recreational, and professional levels.(Spanish) Kiteboarding
General information about kite boarding, forums, destinations, pictures, articles, where to buy equipment and much more.( Spanish) Paracaidismo.net (Skydiving)
Sport Skydiving School of Friends site. Information about its courses, services, articles, videos and pictures of the jumps and places they go to.(Spanish) Surf Chile
Site dedicated to surfing in Chile and the world. Sections on news, destinations, reports, pictures, etc.(Spanish) Ultralight Airplanes ULTRASPORT
Company offering flying classes and flights in different variations of ultralight airplanes.(Spanish)
Windsurfing site for Chile. Sections on news, destinations, reports, pictures, etc.(Spanish)
Information about the cinema billboards, performances and articles on literature, theatre, and gastronomy. Classified by age group.(Spanish) Chilean Casinos
Site dedicated to the casinos and Horse Racing around Chile.(English) The Coliseum
Site of computer games. News, reviews, demos of the latest games and arenas to play online.(Spanish) Santiago Municipal Theatre
History and general information about the Municipal Theatre, yearly calendar, seasons, news, prices, and online reservations.(Spanish)
State Railway (EFE) Company site with information about the destinations, itineraries, hours, varieties of services and making reservations. (Spanish) UK in Chile British view of living in Chile US State Dept Chile info Chile specific info for US citizens CIA world factbook for Chile Well detailed resource for economic activity Chilean Meteorology Information about the climate and weather in Chile, the meteorological forecast of the day and topics of interest such as ultraviolet radiation, El Niño, La Niña, Agrometeorology, satelite pictures, and more. (Spanish) National Tourism Service (Sernatur) Site about tourism in Chile: attractions, services, agencies, hotels, transportation companies, circuits, routes, tour guides, statistics, etc.(Spanish/English) National Fishing Service (Sernapesca)
Organization in charge of implementing national fishing policies and overseeing the carrying out of the laws and regulations for the activity.(Spanish) Chilean Antarctic Institution
National Institution to communicate plans, coordinate, orientate, execute, publish and control all the antarctic scientific, technological, logistical, environmental activities.(Spanish) Chile Inside
Intercultural management agency specialized in the organization of professional internships, working holiday programs, voluntary work projects, Spanish language courses and accommodation throughout Chile.(Spanish) Mapcity
If your lost. Arturo Merino Benítez Airport
Site about the main airport in Chile. Information about airlines, flight arrivals and departures, arrangements, airport stores, transfer services, meals, etc.(Spanish) Chilean Meteorology
Information about the climate and weather in Chile, the meteorological forecast of the day and topics of interest such as ultraviolet radiation, El Niño, La Niña, Agrometeorology, satelite pictures, and more.(Spanish)