Official name : República de Chile
Foundation : September 18, 1810
First President : José Miguel Carrera Verdugo
Current President : Sebastián Piñera Echenique
Type of Government : Representative democracy, presidential regimen in which the powers
of the state are separated and independent from each other.
Capital : Santiago
Surface: 756.950 de Km. including the Easter Island and the islands Salas and Gomez.
Seaside Extension : 6.435 kilometers
Population: 15.116.435 people. From which 7.447.695 are men and 7.668.740 are women.
Official language : The official language is Spanish which is spoken without regional variations.
Population density: 19,9 inhabitants per kilometer square.
Geography: Chile occupies a long, narrow stripe of land on the southwestern part of America,
between the Andes Range, where the rivers that flow to the Pacific Ocean are born, and the Pacific Ocean.
Besides a part of the Antarctic and over 5.800 Islands.
The major fluvial resources include the River Loa, in the north, the Maule and BioBio in the south-center
and the Balcer river way south.
Limiting countries : Chile limits to the north with Perú, a frontier divided by the, so called "Línea de la Concordía"
(1.600 kilometers). In the east with Bolivia and Argentina through a line that passes the highest
summits of the Andean range. The south limit consist in the Antarctic and the west the Pacific Ocean.
Marine zone : Continental plateau : 200 miles
Exclusive economical zone: 200 miles
Territorial Sea : 12 miles
Administrative Division : The country is divided in 12 regions plus the great Santiago 51
provinces and 335 municipalities.
13 Regions: I Tarapacá; II Antofagasta: III Atacama; IV Coquimbo; V Valparaíso;
Metropolitan Region, VI del Libertador Bernardo O´Higgins, VII Maule, VII Bio Bio,
IX Araucania, X Los Lagos, XI Aisen, XII Magallanes y Santiago de Chile.
Political System : Representative democracy constituted by the three powers of the state:
Executive power, Legislative power and Judicial power.
Suffrage : Chileans from 18 years up and foreigners with more than five years of residence in the country
who are registered in the Electoral Service Sensus have the right to vote.
Official Currency :
The official currency of the country is the peso. 1 peso = 100 céntimos.
Bills : There are 10.000, 5.000, 1.000 and 500 pesos bills.
Coins : There are 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 peso coins
Currency Exchange : In banks and exchange houses or "cambios" and authorized stores like
restaurants, hotels and clubs. It is recommended not to change money in the black markets.
Traveller Checks : It is recommended to cash Traveller Checks before 12:00 as well as to cash them
in dollars to avoid additional fees.
Tipes of Exchange :
Approximately: 1 euro = 694,57 pesos; 1 dollar = 469,46 pesos.
Restrictions : There is no restriction as to the import or export of national money or currency.
Credit Cards : Accepted cards are: Diners Club, Visa and American Express.
Airport Fees :
- International: 22 US dollars
Weather : The weather in Chile is very varied and depends on the geography.
In the northern part it has desert and subtropical weather. In the central valley region
the weather is template to cold with well defined seasons and rainy in the far south.
The temperatures in the summer vary between 13C and 32C and in the winter from 2C to 15C.
Currently no vaccines or medical test are required to enter Chile; however, it is recommended to get
shots against Hepatitis A and Typhoid fever.
Health formalities :
Chile applies an integer health legislation by the Agricultural and Livestock Service (S.A.G), which
prohibits to take along any vegetal or animal products or sub products into the country. However,
some products are admitted as long as they have the Official Health
Certificate granted by the country of origin. Tourist may bring their pets,
like dogs or cats, with the Certificate of Vaccination against distemper and rabies which must be
endorsed with a visa by the Chilean consulate.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 5Hz. The plugs are three pin plugs and bulbs have screw sockets.
International Telephone codes:
* Code of the country: 56. Direct International Connection available.
Time reference: The continent and Juan Fernandez Islands: GMT -4 (GMT -3 from the 2nd. Sunday of
October to the 2nd. Saturday of March). The Easter Island: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from the 2nd...)
Labor Schedule :
* Commercial Schedule: From 10:00 to 20:00 from Monday to Friday; and from 10:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays.
The main shopping malls open from 10:00 to 21:00 during the whole week. In Santiago : In Providencia,
with boutiques, malls and exclusive stores, Monday to Friday 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00. The malls,
Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 21:00, Sunday 10:00 to 21:00.
* Bank Schedules: From 9:00 to 14:00 from Monday to Friday
* Exchange House Schedules: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 17:00.
* Subway Schedules: 6:30 to 22:30, Sunday and holidays from 8:00 to 22:30
Public Transportation : The use of subway is very common because it is very efficient and safe. Also there are buses, trucks, taxis and cars you can rent.
* Taxi: Most of them have taximeters, but the fares for long trips should be negotiated previously.
On Sundays after 21:00 an additional 50% is charged. Fares vary in the different cities
(in Viña del Mar the cost is twice that of Santiago). The taxis in Santiago are black and yellow.
It is not necessary to give a tip, but you should round up the price
* Car Renting: It is possible to rent a car from the airport or in the principal cities. The price
is the sum of the basic fare per day plus an extra for mileage and 20% taxes. Often you are asked to
deposit a high amount as warranty.
* Urban Transporte: Santiago has two metropolitan lines (with the third in construction),
autobuses, minibuses and 'taxibuses' (a service of shared taxis with fixed route). There are lots of taxis in Santiago,
almost one taxi by each 100 habitants. They are possible to be taken directly from the street, in all of them the different applicable tariffs are visible.
The taxi drivers are not customary to receive a plus. The buses and minibuses have flat tariff,
but always cheaper that the "shared taxis". Almost all the cities count with services of buses and taxis.
January 1 : New Year
March or April : Holy week and Sunday Eastern
May 1: Work Day
May 21: Naval Glories Day or Iquique Naval Combat
June : Corpus Christi
June 29 : San Pedro and San Pablo
Julio 16: Virgen del Carmen day
August 15: the Virgin Asunción
September 18 : Independence Day
September 19 : Day of the Army
October 12: Day of the Race or Discovery of America
November 1 : : All the Saints Day
December 8: Immaculate Concepción
December 25: Christmas