GUIDE FOR COMING TO CHILE 2017: PART 2
Almost there: 1-7 days to go!
What to bring?
Depends on where you’re planning to go and at what time the year. Chile is the longest country in the world and weather conditions vary between desert and glacial climates. Basically, the further north you go, the hotter and drier it gets, the further south you head to, the colder and rainier it is.
The central zone, where Santiago, Valparaíso and Viña del Mar are located, is characterised by a Mediterranean climate with temperatures rising up to 35 °C in the summer. Night temperatures may drop to 15 °C (60 °F) so it’s a good idea to pack some warmer clothes as well. For the hottest time of the day, we recommend to bring lightweight clothes that protect you from the heat and don’t take up much space in your luggage.
From June to August it’s winter in Chile and rain increases significantly.The temperature is an average of 8 °C (35 °F), although there can be quite a lot of variation and you might witness spring-like weather conditions and temperatures climbing up to 25 °C (77 °F). Thick, waterproof, warm clothing is the choice for this season. Unless you’re going to the North where there’s an eternal summer.
Spring months from September to December and autumn from March to June are mostly sunny, nevertheless there is a chance of rain and cool weather. Be prepared for some chilly days but also expect to see the sun!
In Chile the power sockets are type C and L, voltage 220V and frequency 50 Hz.
Travelling from the North America? You need a power plug adaptor and a voltage converter. In many cases you can find both in one device.
Travelling from the UK? You need a power plug adapter.
Travelling from the EU? You need a power plug adapter for your appliances with plug F.
Travelling from Australia? You need a power plug adapter.For other countries, please check the map below.
A growing number of companies (including La Bicicleta Verde) and almost all ATMs accept foreign credit cards. You can use your card to withdraw cash, but be aware of possibly high fees that your bank and Chilean banks charge. You may end up paying even up to 10 % of your withdrawal as fees, so be sure to ask your local bank about the tariffs before starting your trip. Also, remember to notify your credit card company and your bank about your trip, as this will ensure your foreign transactions won’t be declined.
Although it feels like there is a pharmacy on every corner in Santiago, it’s safest to bring any medicine you think you might need from your own country. Some medicines that are prescription free elsewhere require a visit to a doctor’s office in Chile. Having this said, if you can handle a little Spanish, you can get your basic ibuprofen and vitamins easily, even in small towns.
What NOT to bring?
Chile is a geographical island with Andes in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Atacama desert in the north and glaciers in the south. Thanks to these barriers, Chile is able to cultivate certain plants that are extinct in other parts of the world. One of these is the world famous Carmenère grape, but more about that on our Bike+Wine tour.
In order to protect the native flora and fauna, Chile has restricted the importation of certain products to the country. However, if you wish to bring souvenirs or for some other reason enter with organic products, declare them at your arrival. It doesn’t take long and it will save you from a lot of explaining and luggage searching. As a rule of thumb, declare anything that once was alive (this includes handicraft).
Leave these products home :
Yogurt or any cultured dairy product
Anything without an label
Large amounts of alcohol (>2.5 litres), tobacco, cigarettes or cigars
If you didn’t remember to pack your flip flops, deodorant or a towel, don’t worry. Chile (especially Santiago) is pretty modern and it’s easy to find western products in supermarkets, pharmacies and shopping centres. Local products meet western standards too, so whatever you forget can be purchased after arrival.
Check out Part 3 here!