Santiago de Chile, Chile

Santiago de Chile

Santiago is an intimate city, embraceable, accessible and familiar. It can be explored in just a few days, and then rediscovered and recognized again. It is a place where one might run into the same people time and again. It is not easily stereotyped city, but instead and magical place full of secrets, corners, and hidden details. Therein, lays Santiago´s attractiveness: nothing is given, everything is to be discovered.

The majestic Andes Mountains can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. Due to its geographic location, Santiago is one of the few capitols cities in the world which has easy access both to ski resorts and beaches. Tourists may also visit the nearby vineyards and try a delicious Chilean wine.

Our private city tour in Santiago can be just the classic 5 hours tour with the highlights of the city or also it can be followed by an outdoor or cultural experience outside the city. Our first option is to tailor made a visit to a local vineyard. Today Chile is in the enviable position of being the only wine producing country in the world where grapes are still consistently grown on original, ungrafted Vitis Vinifera rootstocks. The wineries we can visit are Conchay Toro, Santa Rita or Cosiño Macul Costo.

The second option, is inviting you to renew a sense of wonder enjoying a diverse trekking and/or horseback riding activities.

For shore excursions to or from Valparaiso, please click on Valparaiso private tour.

Suggestions for your trip

Taxis: Taxis in Buenos Aires are black with yellow roof. Most of them belong to different Radio Taxi companies, the phone number is written at the backdoors; these cars tend to be more secure than the others (private owned), and they can be called from hotels, restaurants and cafes. In other smaller cities any taxi is fine.

Healthcare: There is a mixed system , public and private , and you can literally go to a public hospital, with no costs and no inquires...but probably you will have to wait a lot. Private hospitals usually are affordable to foreigners /tourists. Check also with your travel insurance before.

Rush Hour: In BA offices work from 9am to 6 pm , banks are open to the public from 10 am to 3 pm, Mon-Fri . Using public transportation and cars can be very difficult at rush hours (7am to 10 am and 5pm to 8pm). In smaller cities rush hour is not complicated.

Lunch/Dinner: People in Buenos Aires and in most of Argentina eat very late, so don't get surprised if the lunch is not served before 1pm and dinners at restaurants start no sooner than 9 pm, and you can even order something fresh at 11 pm!

Traffic/Crossing streets: Never follow a local crossing the streets without watching the traffic lights first. In Buenos Aires poeple seem to be always in a hurry , and they don't care about the lights and sometimes...drivers either! If you are about to drive, don't think that other drivers would do always the obvious maneuver, sometimes, logics don't work.

Public Transportation Card (SUBE): It is a card that allow you to travel by bus , subway and local trains . It is easy to get with your passport, specially at terminals and different stations generally in light blue and white stands. The card is run by the national government . www.sube.org.ar

Transfers: The Ministro Pistarini International Airport or more commonly known as Ezeiza International Airport is located 37 km away from the City of Buenos Aires. In order to visit the city you should previously hire a transfer or else take one of buses of the “Manuel Tienda Leon” company which has a half an hour frequency between 5:00 am and 8 pm (bear in mind that these buses do not cover different hotels, but they only stop directly in a spot downtown Buenos Aires.

Tax refund on purchase of national products: Most of the stores in the main shopping malls of the city of Buenos Aires have the “global refund” system. By means of this system, part of the VAT – Value Added Tax- of your purchase is refunded. For this, you must submit the purchase ticket or invoice in any of the global refund premises, located in the main Airports of the country. The average refund is between 10 and 15 percent.

Differentiated fares: Fares of aerial tickets among destinations within the Argentinean territory are different for residents and for non-residents. The National State keeps fares down for residents in exchange for inexpensive fuel for aero-commercial companies. For this reason, a non-resident may pay up to 50 percent more for the same ticket. A way to fly at a lower cost within Argentinean territory is by acquiring an Airpass in your country of origin. Inquire here about the closest Aerolineas Argentinas offices in your country to be informed about the Airpass, its cost and conditions.

Safety preventions and tourist assistance:

Tourist Police Station: Av. Corrientes 436, (C1043AAR) Buenos Aires. Tel. 4346-5748, 4328-2135 ó 0800-999-5000, e-mail: turista@policiafederal.gov.ar

Tourist Ombudsman: Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835 (Museo de Bellas Artes de La Boca "Don Benito Quinquela Martín"), (C1169AAC) Buenos Aires. Tel. 4302-7816, Fax: 4302-7816, e-mail: turista@defensoria.org.ar

Means of payment: Although the US Dollar and the Euro are generally accepted, the currency exchange to national currency is carried out in banks and authorized premises.

Mobile phones: In order to use your abroad cell phone in Argentina, bear in mind the following:

1 The cell phone should be unlocked, that is to say that it does not have any of the following restrictions:
SIM Lock: the cell phone will not accept a simcard from another operator until customer requests the unlocking to the company of origin
SP-Lock: the cell phone reads any simcard but does not work for another company

Bricked (for Iphone only): In this case, it may occur that the customer is able to insert a chip from another company but configuration of some functions such as the Internet it is not allowed.

2 Check with your operator whether the phone is compatible with Argentina frequency (850-1900 Mhz in most areas).

3 Purchase a simcard of some of the local operators, and a card with phone credit.

Voltage and adaptors: In Argentina the voltage is 220 V, remember to bring an adapter for the net, you can check www.voltagevalet.com for additional information.

Taxis: Taxis in Chile are black with yellow roof and they stop at every place and they are metered. Also you can ask for Radio Taxis, these cars tend to be more secure than the others (private owned), and they can be called from hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Healthcare: Public Hospitals are only free in some emergency cases. We recommend you to go to a private clinic for a better quality attention although is more expensive. Check also with your travel insurance.

Rush Hour: Banks are open to public from 9am to 2pm. ATM are located in several stores. In big cities, the schedule for commerce is from 9am to 7pm. In small towns there is a lunch break, generally from 1pm to 3pm.

Lunch/Dinner: People eat late, so don't get surprised if the lunch is not served before 1pm and dinners at restaurants start no sooner than 8 pm.

Traffic/Crossing streets: Red lights are always respected but be aware at pedestrian crossings , look to both sides .

Public Transportation Card : The BIP card in Santiago allows you to travel by bus and subway. It is easy to get, specially at terminals and different subway stations. In the rest of the country generally you pay in cash for buses.

Transfers: The distance from the airport to downtown Santiago is 15 kms / 9 miles and there several companies offering shared transfer services to hotels in a minibus for up to 7 people. The most recognized are Transvip and Delfos, with a 30 minutes frequency.

Tax refund : The only tax refund occurs at mayor hotels (registered at the Internal Taxes Services). They don´t charge the Value Added Tax (VAT, IVA in Spanish) of 19 % , and foreigners must prove their condition, by showing their passports when doing the checkout. Also you can pay with dollars or abroad credit card for extra charges of the hotels, and the tax won´t apply.

Safety preventions and tourist assistance: The SERNATUR (Tourism National Agency) provides orientation and help to tourists.Carabineros (the police) are helpful as well

Means of payment: Although the US Dollar and the Euro are generally accepted, the currency exchange to national currency is carried out in banks and authorized premises.

Mobile phones: In order to use your abroad cell phone in Chile, bear in mind the following:

1 The cell phone should be unlocked, that is to say that it does not have any of the following restrictions:
SIM Lock: the cell phone will not accept a simcard from another operator until customer requests the unlocking to the company of origin
SP-Lock: the cell phone reads any simcard but does not work for another company

Bricked (for Iphone only): In this case, it may occur that the customer is able to insert a chip from another company but configuration of some functions such as the Internet it is not allowed.

2 Check with your operator whether the phone is compatible with Chile frequency (1900 Mhz in most areas).

3 Purchase a simcard of some of the local operators, and a card with phone credit.

Voltage and adaptors: In Chile the voltage is 220 V, remember to bring an adapter for the net, you can check www.voltagevalet.com for additional information.

Taxis: Taxis in Montevideo are black with yellow roof, or, the new ones, are white and yellow. Most of them belong to different Radio Taxi companies, the phone number is written at the front-doors; they are usually called from hotels, restaurants and cafes, but you can take it safely from the street or taxi post along the streets. They are metered and in any case you can check the prices at the price-list available in all of them at the backseat.

Healthcare: There is a mixed system , public and private , and you can literally go to a public hospital, with no costs and no inquires...but probably you will have to wait a lot. Private hospitals usually are affordable to foreigners /tourists. Always check your travel insurance before.

Rush Hour: In MVD offices work from 9am to 6 pm , banks are open to the public from 1pm am to 5pm, Mon-Fri . Using public transportation and cars can be difficult at rush hours (8am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm).

Lunch/Dinner: locals eat very late, so don't get surprised if the lunch is not served before 1pm and dinners at restaurants start no sooner than 9 pm, and you can even order something fresh at 11pm!

Traffic/Crossing streets: Is suggested to cross the streets by the corner, on the pedestrian path. Visual contact with drivers is suggested and is well sight if you say thank you when a driver let you cross.

Public Transportation: is slow and delayed. Bus ticket is URY21 (only local money accepted). You can check routes and times on www.montevideo.gub.uy/aplicacion/como-ir (only spanish)

Transfers:
Port: is near old town/down town, and so easy to find it.
Airport: Carrasco Airport is out of the city, so it could take near 45 minutes driving. There are also medium-distances buses that covers the track.

Tax refund on purchase of national products: some of the stores in town have the “global refund” system (Tax Free). By means of this system, VAT – Value Added Tax- of your purchase is refunded. For this, you must submit the purchase ticket or invoice in any of the global refund premises, located in the main airport and port. Please, ask at the shop at the time of paying. The average refund is 22 percent. When paying with credit cards for restaurant bills and other touristic services, a 9 percent is refunded (no further action required).

Safety preventions and tourist assistance:
Montevideo Port, Colonia Port, Carrasco Airport and downtown in Punta del Eate has their own Tourist Ministery office.www.uruguaynatural.com
Montevideo:Rambla 25 de Agosto s/n (Ministerio de Turismo - Port) - Telephone:(0598) 2 1885 int.111/155
Colonia: (Port) telephone: (0598) 52 24897 - colonia@mintur.gub.uy
Punta del Este: Gorlero 942 (downtown) - Telephone (0598) 42 441218 - puntadeleste@mintur.gub.uy

Means of payment: Although US dollars, euros and major credit cards are generally accepted, you can find local currency at any exchange desk.

Mobile phones: In order to use your abroad cell phone in Uruguay, bear in mind the following:

1 The cell phone should be unlocked, that is to say that it does not have any of the following restrictions:
SIM Lock: the cell phone will not accept a simcard from another operator until customer requests the unlocking to the company of origin
SP-Lock: the cell phone reads any simcard but does not work for another company

Bricked (for Iphone only): In this case, it may occur that the customer is able to insert a chip from another company but configuration of some functions such as the Internet it is not allowed.

2 Check with your operator whether the phone is compatible with Uruguay frequencies (1900 Mhz, 1800Mhz and 850 Mhz).

3 Purchase a simcard of some of the local operators, and a card with phone credit.

Voltage and adaptors: In Uruguay the voltage is 220 V, remember to bring an adapter for the net, you can check http://www.voltagevalet.com for additional information.

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