USEFUL INFORMATION

About your destination

Behind the magnificence of this beautiful bodyguard of snow, the impacting Cordillera de los Andes, there is a country that has an economy increasingly stable and has a infinity of natural beauties: deserts, lakes, volcanos, beaches, glaciers and lovely cities. Its population is approximately 16 million people.

The literacy rate is 96%, 6% unemployment. The current inflation is around 1.5% and the minimum wage is about $ 400 dollars.

Chile has one of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, but that does not mean that has many mineral, plants and animals resources. Its main products are fruits, fish, wine, copper and lithium. Chile does not have many industries and has to import almost everything. The low import taxes make Chilean supermarkets and shops close relatives of the duty free shops.

The country is divided into federal states, but in 12 regions numbered in ascending order, from north to south. Arica and Iquique, for example, that are far north near the border with Peru are in I Región. The capital, Santiago, is in RM or Región Metropolitana. Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, V Región. Puerto Montt, Osorno and Valdivia, where most of the lakes are on the X Región, and Punta Arenas is in the extreme south of the country, in XII Región.

 

The capital  Santiago

Santiago is a city full of wonders, discover them and surprise yourself!

Santiago is not the city to stay a day or two. Who comes for this short days, get the risk of being limited and confined to historic downtown attractions, the shopping experience, Viña del Mar and Valparaíso and urban winery. It´s a pity because the city has much more to offer, and, like the Santiaguinos, is shy and shows up gradually.

The first secret  to uncover is its distribution around the Mapocho River, which divides north and south, the shores of which the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia settled in 1541, to found the city. Santiago is compact if taken by neighborhoods, and almost everything is done on foot. Therefore surprising that the neighborhoods of the capital are actually comunas with own municipality – 36 of them form the city. In Santiago live about 6.5 million inhabitants.

comunas-santiago

 

The Plaza Italia which is in Baquedano metro station on Line 1, divides the city into east and west, or as they say the Chileans , Oriente and Poniente . The main road that connects a band the other is the Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins ( known as Alameda  in downtown) and is changing its name to Avenida Providencia , and further east to Avenue Apoquindo.

Each of these districts , or comunas  has its peculiarities . The Civic Center is  historical , popular and authentic . It’s where you walk by boardwalks commercial as Ahumada and you’ll come across the traditional Cafes con Piernas where the waitresses serve coffees in mini skirts.

Around the Plaza Italia are the hipsters Bellavista and Lastarria. The first is the bohemian neighborhood. From pubs full of intellectuals to trendy restaurants , dawn santiaguina is there, around Calle Constitución . Lastarria is now the area of ​​art museums, quaint restaurants and full of charm , the shops of new designers , all around the Plaza Mulato Gil.

Ends there the Santiago chilean and opens up the doors of a Santiago globalized. The transition geographic and socioeconomic starts in Providencia, which is the first of the high neighborhood (east elevation increases until reaching the Andes, where there are ski resorts like Valle Nevado). Providencia is very commercial full of office buildings, shopping arcades, bars and great restaurants are there. After that you reach Las Condes, the financial center of the country, where we also call this region “Sanhattan” an allusion to the immense and modern buildings of Isidora Goynechea Avenue.  Vitacura is the following comuna and where is  Alonso de Córdova Avenue, where you can find all the fancy designer shops and restaurants of renowned Chefs.

Understanding this mosaic and capture the soul of each particular neighborhood is the great magic of the Chilean capital.

 

Currency

It is the Chilean Peso. Do not be alarmed by the amount of zeros. To convert to dollar, $ 1 dollar is worth about $ 500 pesos, so , divide everything by 500.

The bills are $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000 and $ 20,000. The coins are $ 1, $ 5, $ 10, $ 50, $ 100 and $ 500.

 

Weather

The weather in Santiago is Mediterranean, with four distinct seasons.

Spring with sunny days and pleasant temperatures and cold nights, and can reach up to 8 degrees.

The summer is extremely dry, with no sign of rain from November through April.

The winter and fall temperatures are cold and rainy, so always take a coat with you during this time of year.

 

Transportation

The best way to get around Santiago is on foot, bike or subway. Enjoy walking through the wide streets and get to know all its details. For bike lovers, a good tip is to rent bikes in Providencia. There are several points with bikes available, click here http://www.bpp.cl to find them, this site has all the information you need to get out with yours

The metro system is very good, there are 5 lines that cross the city at various points. You can buy individual tickets or buy a BIP card and charge it with the amount you want and then you can use the integrated transport (if you pay metro buses need not pay within maximum time of 30 minutes). The underground passage costs during peak and normal hours $ 670 $ 610.

 

Electricity

In Santiago is 220v and the sockets are according to the L drawn

voltage

Security

We may say that Santiago is a calm capital in terms of safety.

This is due to levels of violence in the city are low and also, the fact the Carabineros (military police) are spotless tract tourists and incorruptible. They are a great example of an institution that really works.

However caution is always good and welcome. Watch your purse and small objects when you go to the city center, the pickpockets can be faster than a ray of light.

 

Tips

Here is common and usual to tip for all kinds of services. From the housekeeper, manicure to the waiter. Usually the tip is not included in your bill and you can offer what you think is right for the service. In restaurants, usually  is 10% of the total amount.

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