As one of South America’s most economically and socially stable nations, Chile is a country with a variety of climates. On the east side is Andes, and on the west side is the Pacific Ocean, which offers a variety of activities to do and list of things to see. In year 2016 and 2017, it was awarded for being the World Travel Awards Leading Adventure Tourism. Not only does it offer endless opportunities for activities, it also offers amazing views such as stargazing in northern Chile. In addition, the Atacama Desert is one of Chile’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites! The opportunities offered by this culture allows one to truly indulge in the different experiences Chile has to offer.
Cuisine is influenced by the environment and different cultures such as Spanish and Chilean Indigenous Mapuche culture. In later times, other influences include European cuisines. There are a variety of seafood, beef, fruits, and vegetables because of the different climate. Chile is one of the world’s largest producer of wines, which is why some recipes will be enhanced by local wines. Their food tradition and recipes are flavored with the ingredients from their geography (east and west). Chile is the place to experience the coast to coast cuisine.
- Curanto a la olla (Pulmay) — Typically prepared in a hole that is covered with stones. It is a dish that has a little bit of everything such as shellfish, meat, potatoes, chapaleles, vegetables, and milcao.
- Licor de oro — It translates into gold liquor. A typical Chilean liquor.
- Kuchen — A German word for cake. It is usually made by ingredients such as eggs and flour and/or some form of sweetener. In Chile, the people would add in fruits.
- Ceviche — In Chile, it is made with fillets of halibut or Patagonian tooth fish. It is typically marinated in lime, grapefruit juices, minced garlic, and red chili peppers. After the dish is prepared, it is garnished with fresh mint and cilantro.
Not only does Chile offer cuisine that ranges from coast to coast, but the different climate allows for various activities. From enjoying life in the city, to trekking glaciers, or even enjoying tranquility in their Southern region.
Their capital, Santiago, is the largest city that is highly populated. The city is filled with 19th century neoclassical architecture, art decorations, and other beautiful styles that will leave you in awe.
It captures the difference influences due to them being bordered with different parts of Latin America, the beautiful views, and coast to coast cuisine. The various activities that you can do here are endless!
- Atacama Desert — Covering 600 mi of land, it is one of the driest desert in the world. It is considered one of the best stargazing locations due to their dry air and altitude.The air is so clear that you would be stunned.
- Chiloé Island — One of the second largest island in Chile. It covers 118 mi in length! A great getaway place with stunning landscape and spectacular views.
- Strait of Magellan — This strait is the most important travel route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is narrow and have unpredictable winds and currents, which makes it one of the hardest route to navigate! Mesmerizing view if you are up for the challenge.
- El Tatio — It is located within Andes Mountains at 4,320 meters above sea level. It is the third-largest geyser field that makes you feel as if you are on another planet. There’s a great view of sunrise, but make sure to dress warm.
Chile is the place where clubs will be filled and the shows come out! Be prepared for a long day ahead of you as they party until the early mornings! Once the sun goes down in Santiago, it’s like a whole different place compared to the daytime! Gathered here will be university students, young professionals, and international tourists. In addition, night in Chile offers different types of styles such as bohemian, rockstar, and many more. It is suitable for all types of people.
The main currency of Chile is peso (CLP). Banknotes were introduced in 1840 and comes in denominations of 4 and 8 reales. Since 1880s, other denominations included 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 pesos. The exchange rate is $600CLP = $1USD, with rates fluctuating.
Customs & Languages
The official language of Chile is Spanish. However, there are other languages from native and immigrant communities, and some extinct. There are some people that are able to understand or speak English to a degree due to the English migrants in the 19th century. Their culture is a reflection of their geographic location and being heavily influenced by Spanish colonial and indigenous (Mapuche) culture. Since they are so culturally diverse, different locations will have different customs, such as having their own folk music and dance. Some advice is: do not forget to tip (even in supermarkets for those bagging your stuff), do not pass the salt (leave it on the table for them to pick it up), and pedestrians do not have the right of way. Always make sure to check both sides of the street because they will not stop.
Here are some helpful words/phrases:
- Hello — Hola
- Please – Por favor
- Thank you — Gracias
- How much? — ¿Cuánto cuesta?
- Where is the bathroom? — ¿Dónde está el baño?