Area: 748 800 km2
Population: 17 million inhabitants. (Growth rate 1.2%)
Capital: Santiago (pop 7,000,000).
People: 95% European descent and mestizo (mix race), 5% Indians
Language: Spanish and several native languages, including Aymara, Mapuche and Rapa Nui
Religion: Catholic 89%, 10% Protestant, less than 1% Jewish
Major industries: Copper, Lithium, Fishmeal, Wine
Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain
Currency: Chilean Peso
Health risks: Cholera, altitude sickness
Local time: GMT-4
Electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz
Weights and measures: Metric
The revaluation of the Chilean peso and the tourist sector inflation, have increased substantially the costs of travel in recent years, so that Chile is no longer inexpensive. Although it is possible to travel on a low budget, because housing, food and transportation are still cheaper than in Europe, North America or even Argentina. You must calculate a minimum of $ 40 dollars per day to eat and stay, but buying food in markets or eating in modest restaurants can make your budget even cheaper.
Travelers’ checks are without doubt more secure than cash, but in small towns and remote from the tourist routes, it can be difficult to find a bank to redeem them, so it is a good idea to keep a sum in cash. Only in the most important cities of the country, the ATMs are compatible with international systems and debit cards. Credit cards are accepted in most shops and establishments.
In restaurants it is customary to leave a 10 percent tip, should be borne in mind that the waiters receive a modest salary. It is not necessary to give a tip to taxi drivers, although rounding is appropriate. Rates for long distance coaches or shared taxis are negotiable. In the craft markets it is usual haggling. If you are staying in hotels during the off season or for longer stays, it is advisable to negotiate prices.