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Practical information about Chile

Practical information about Chile

Practical information about Chile

1. Climate

As Chile is an extensive country, stretching more than 4,000 km, it features a number of different climate zones. In the north lies the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest places in the world and has a subtropical climate. The central region around the capital Santiago also has a subtropical climate, but with a fair amount of rain during the winter months. The southern part of Chile enjoys a temperate climate, while the climate at the southernmost tip is almost polar.

Weather statistics for Santiago de Chile:

Day temp. 30 29 27 23 19 15 15 17 19 22 25 28
Night temp. 13 12 11 8 6 4 4 5 6 8 10 12
Precipitation, mm 0 1 3 10 42 70 87 52 22 13 9 2
JAN 30 13 0
FEB 29 12 1
MAR 27 11 3
APR 23 8 10
MAY 19 6 42
JUN 15 4 70
JUL 15 4 87
AUG 17 5 52
SEP 19 6 22
OCT 22 8 13
NOV 25 10 9
DEC 28 12 2

Weather statistics for San Pedro de Atacama (Northern Chile):

Day temp. 24 24 23 21 19 17 17 17 18 19 26 27
Night temp. 17 16 16 15 13 12 12 12 13 14 14 16
Precipitation, mm 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
JAN 24 17 3
FEB 24 16 0
MAR 23 16 0
APR 21 15 0
MAY 19 13 0
JUN 17 12 0
JUL 17 12 0
AUG 17 12 0
SEP 18 13 0
OCT 19 14 0
NOV 26 14 0
DEC 27 16 0

Weather statistics for Torres del Paine National Park (Southern Chile):

Day temp. 20 19 16 13 9 4 3 5 10 14 17 18
Night temp. 9 6 2 3 1 -1 -1 -1 0 4 6 7
Precipitation, mm 3 3 3 9 18 9 12 6 17 3 3 6
JAN 20 9 3
FEB 19 6 3
MAR 16 2 3
APR 13 3 9
MAY 9 1 18
JUN 4 -1 9
JUL 3 -1 12
AUG 5 -1 6
SEP 10 0 17
OCT 14 4 3
NOV 17 6 3
DEC 18 7 6
2. Form of travel

Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.

3. When is it best to travel to Chile?

It is best to travel to Chile during the North European winter months, i.e. from October to April, as the weather will normally be good in both the north and south of the country during this period. It is also pleasant to visit Northern Chile during the North European summer, although it would be rather cold to visit Santiago de Chile, where the weather is warmest in the period December to March. The temperature in the Torres del Paine National Park can dip below freezing during the North European summer months.

4. Terms and conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from Llamatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

5. Assistance with taking out travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

6. Language

Spanish is the language spoken in Chile, but the people are very helpful and love the chance to use the English words they know. In more rural regions, however, English speakers may be few and far between, which is why we use bilingual (English/Spanish) guides. It is a good idea to end questions and queries with the words ‘por favor’, which mean ‘please’. Another good word to know is ‘gracias’ – which means ‘thank you’ and is sure to prove useful in many situations.

7. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

8. Visa

UK citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days, although you must be in possession of a valid passport – in the same way as for other international travel. The requirements on the validity of the passport may vary, but as a rule of thumb your passport must be valid for at least six months after you return home.

If you are travelling via the US, the following applies to British citizens:

To travel via the United States, you must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Without ESTA, you will not be allowed to travel through the United States. Apply for the travel authorization in good time at least 72 hours before your departure to the US. ESTA costs 14 USD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your ESTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.

If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.

If you have you travelled in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on 1 March 2011 or later, you must apply for a visa at the American Embassy. You cannot apply for ESTA. The same applies if you have dual nationality in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.

If you are travelling via Canada, the following applies to British citizens:

To travel via Canada, you must apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Without eTA, you will not be allowed to travel through Canada. Apply for the travel authorization in good time. eTA costs 7 CAD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.aspYou should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your eTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.

If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new eTA.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Of course, you are also welcome to ask us for advice.

9. Currency

The unit of currency in Chile is the peso. Go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ to view the currently applicable exchange rate. We recommend that you bring some US dollars with you in cash, and then exchange these for local currency at an official bureau de change. There are cashpoint machines (ATMs) almost everywhere. You can also use most common credit cards at hotels and in many shops and restaurants. Once again, however, the farther out into the country you travel, the harder it may be to use your credit card.

10. Price level

Prices are generally lower in Chile than in the European countries. It is usually cheaper to eat out, although you can naturally find drinks and meals in all price classes. Prices are generally also lower outside the large towns and cities. You can normally enjoy a good meal for around EUR 10–15.

11. Tipping

In restaurants, you should not usually tip more than 10%. You do not need to tip taxi drivers. However, it is customary for each guest to give the guide USD 5 and the bus driver USD 3 per day. Please note that while tipping is always voluntary – i.e. not compulsory – it is customary and usual practice in Latin American countries.

Our tipping guideline is in USD, but tips should be calculated in the local currency at the destination.

12. Time difference

The difference between Central European Time (CET) and the time in Chile varies depending on whether Europe is on summer or winter time.
Summer time: – 6 hours. This means that when it is noon CET, it is 06.00 in Chile.
Winter time: – 4 hours, when Chile is on daylight saving time.

13. Electricity

The Chilean grid operates on 220 volts. The plugs are round, three-pin plugs and we recommend that you take an adapter with you.

14. Telephone and Internet

The international dialling code for Chile is +56. It can be expensive to call home to Europe from Chile. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges.
There are internet cafés in most large towns and cities, although the connection may not be as fast as you are used to in Europe.

15. Safety

Whenever you travel to a poor country anywhere in the world, it is important to be discreet. It is not a good idea to flaunt your valuables or to leave them unattended. We work exclusively with properly trained, experienced and certified guides, who can always provide you with good advice about safety, and know precisely where it is safe for you to walk/visit. If you follow your guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble. As a rule of thumb, take especial care in big cities such as Santiago de Chile.

16. Food and drink

With its extensive coastline, Chile is famous for magnificent fish and seafood dishes. The Chilean recipes for fish and seafood are ranked among the finest in the world. When travelling in the country, however, it is always a good idea to make sure that the food is thoroughly cooked to prevent stomach complaints. Another dish you are sure to encounter in Chile is the local favourite ‘Lomo a lo pobre’. This consists of a large steak with two fried eggs on top, served with a pile of French fries.

As regards drinks, Chile is home to a great many wineries that produce truly magnificent wines. Otherwise, you will find that Pisco is very popular in Chile. This is a type of spirits that the Chilean people like to mix with soft drinks such as cola. It may be a little sour, but it tastes a bit like rum and cola. Do not drink water from the taps – buy bottled water instead.

17. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

18. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you find any mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

19. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

20. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

21. Your luggage

We work with many different airlines that fly to Chile, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.

22. Transfers to and from airports

On arrival at the different airports in Chile, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will naturally also be driven to the airport on departure. When you arrive in Chile, you will be given a set of vouchers stating the pick-up times for the different events and excursions.

23. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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