Useful information

Government: Democratic Republic. The President is head of the executive power.

Surface Area: Chile’s territory is approximately 470,167m2 ; 1,243,189m2 including the Antarctic territory.

Length: 2,690 miles

Population: 15 million people live in Chile (2002), 6 million of which live in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago.

Literacy Rate: 96%

Religion: 76.7% of the population is Catholic.


Summer: GMT (–) 3 hours

Winter: GMT (–) 5 hours

Official Language: Spanish. In the business and tourism areas most people speak English.

Currency: Chilean Peso. 1 US$ = $ 750 pesos (Oct 2002). There are 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 y 20,000 peso bills and 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 peso coins.

Credit Cards and Travelers' Checks : The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, Diners and American Express. Travelers' checks are also widely accepted.

Electricity: 220 Volts, 50 Hz.

Immigration/ Visas: Visitors from the majority of countries need only have a current passport. A 90-day tourist visa is issued upon arrival.

Health Regulations: There are no compulsory vaccines required.

Customs: It is not permitted to bring fruit or perishable goods into the country.

Business Hours: From Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturdays from 9am a 2pm. (Shopping Centers are open every day of the year from 11am to 9pm, except New Year's Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Tax: The VAT (Value Added Tax) in Chile is 18% and it is already included in the purchase prices. A foreigner paying hotel bills in dollars will have the tax automatically discounted.

Bank Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm.

Tourist Information: National Tourism Service Office SERNATUR (Avda. Providencia 1550, Santiago) opens Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Telephone: (56 2) 7318336/ 7318310. Web sites and guide books:;; Chile Experience Guide –available in all book shops.

Chile is a country of great beauty and contrasts that offers tourists a safe and stable environment, stunning nature and first class services to enjoy incomparable and unforgettable holidays full of adventure and exciting experiences.