Chile: Santiago(5 Posts)
Going for work later this month.
I haven't flown for 20 years so I'm clueless.
I'm even tripping over needing an ESTA just to change planes in the US en route to Chile.
I'd been told I'd need US dollars but other places say Chilean peso is the currency you need.
Where should I be looking for good advice?
I travelled overland to Santiago so not 100% on the ESTA situation. I'm pretty sure you get a tourist visa on arrival so if you can fly from somewhere like, say, Spain, you may not need to do the ESTA for the U.S.
Bring USD definitely as everywhere in Latin America will exchange them and also try and order some Chilean pesos too. You'll be able to get Pesos out at any ATM over there but good to have some to start with.
Santiago is a pretty modern city with a great vibe, and great wine!
Check out the Lonely Planet advice for Santiago, that's always really helpful.
Take both currencies. Be careful of bag-snatching scams and the air pollution can be pretty bad but otherwise Santiago is an OK city. Drink lots of pisco sours and you will be fine!
I take it as read that you are a British Citizen.
You will need an ESTA to transit through the USA even if you do not leave the airport in question. The US government states that eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program require either a travel authorization or a visa to transit the United States. If a traveler is only planning to transit through the United States en route to another country, when he or she completes the travel authorization application in ESTA, the traveler should select "Yes" to the question "Is your travel to the US occurring in transit to another country?".
Only use the US government official website esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ as there are plenty of people who charge a lot more and/or will scam you in the process. You need to apply for this at least 3 days in advance of your travels to Chile.
Do read the Foreign Office's travel advice to Chile also, this is a useful resource.
If you are travelling from the UK, you can fly direct with BA. It’s long - 14.40 hours but saves faffing about in the USA and Estas. Probably too late now?
I went last summer. Yes. Be careful about bag snatching. Especially in Bella Vista. Lastarria too. They grab your bag and there will be a waiting car. DH lost a bag this way. So keep a body bag close to you. At all times! Don’t put a bag on the ground. DHs was slid out from under his feet!
Apart from that it’s got some interesting buildings but it will be hot. The Pre Columbian Museum is exquisite and there are excellent restaurants in the areas above (Barrios).
We took $ and didn’t use any. Get Pesos and go with them. No one priced in $ so you would be checking the exchange rate all the time. Pay by card too. Halifax Experion is one of the best - according to MSE website.
If there is anything else you might want to know, pm me. Yes to Lonely Planet. Where are you staying? Are work colleagues taking care of you?
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