After some weeks spent in Chile there’s some things I want to share with you. Not only things that I’ve learnt, but also advices I’ve been given for my further destinations by people who live here for a long time and other travelers.
1 – avoid anxious people.
It’s common to get robbed here. Chilean people are very clever. They know how to distract you and get your stuff when you don’t pay attention. Almost everyone I met so far had a story to share about things getting stolen from him. Laptop, Tablet, Camera, Wallet, Passport, or just a bag with every important thing inside. In the first place, never put all your important stuff in one bag. My goal is to go home without getting robbed. How? Be conscious, observe, be careful with your things, follow your feeling. If you have a bad feeling about a place, a hostel or people, leave this place. That’s always an option.
2 – money.
Chile is not a cheap place for travelers. It’s quite comparable to Germany to be honest. One Euro equals 750 Chilean Pesos. 1000 Pesos is one Luca. For a Beer you pay 3 Luca, for wine you can pay 5.000 CLP (5 Luca) for a 1liter bottle. Hostels are quite pricy. 10 Luca per night is a good price. That would be around 15 Euros. Not cheap at all, especially when compared to places like Bolivia where everything is supposed to be very very cheap. Well, can’t tell yet, haven’t been there so far. But I will get back to it!
3 – take the bus.
Even for long distance travels the bus is the best way to go over here. It’s not expensive. You can find offers for 10.000 CLP from Santiago to the very south of Chile, Patagonia for example – it’s 700km or more towards south (depending on where exactly you are planing to go). I will tell you soon how much the trip I am planing to my next destination cost me. But for now I’ll keep it a secret 😉
4 – the spanish language.
It’s quite obvious that chilean people tend to mumble. They don’t even give a damn that words like „gracias“ (thank you) are spelled with an „s“ at the end. They just say „gracia“. Basically they forget about the letter „s“ completely. It’s not the best place to learn spanish after all I’ve heard. But still it’s possible if you get used to the chilen…let’s call it slang.
5 – mobile phone?
well, if you chose to travel without a smartphone, you defenetely chose the more difficult way to go. But still, you can always go the old fashioned way. Asking people for help, and with that I’ve only had positive experiences so far. When arriving at a new place and having no idea about the map or hostels etc. it’s defenetely better to have a phone and wifi to google quickly and not get lost. But if you find an internetcafe, that’s always a good alternative option. It’s just more work. But it works.
6 – trade.
Since Chile is somewhat like an island – the Pacific Ocean on its west, the desert in the north, the Andes in the east, and the Antarctica in the south – it’s very strict with what can enter the country. So you better not bring coffee, maize or any organic souvenirs from neighbour countries such as Bolivia, Peru or Argentina with you. They might not make it through 😉
Anything else you’d like to know about Chile? Feel free to ask! Hope you could learn something new!