The name of the Republic of Chile almost certainly comes from the native language, in which ‘chili’ means “land at the end of the world”.
Chile stretches for a total of 4,300 km along the Pacific coast to the Strait of Magellan and the notorious Cape Horn. The mean width of the country is on average around 190 km, in some places even only 90 km. In the north, the west-east extension is greatest at 450 km. Chile’s neighbors are Peru in the north, Bolivia in the northeast, Argentina in the east, and the Pacific in the west. The Strait of Magellan connects the Pacific with the Atlantic. South of the Strait of Magellan is the island of Tierra del Fuego, whose western part belongs to Chile, the eastern part to Argentina. In addition, the Easter Islands in the Pacific and the Juan Fernández Islands also belong to Chile.
The highest mountain in the country is also the largest volcano in the world. It is the Ojos del Salado with 6,893 m altitude, on the border between Chile and Argentina. It is considered a dormant volcano with only occasional emissions of water and sulfur vapors. In total, Chile has around 130 active volcanoes, all of which are in the Andes.
In summer the time difference to Chile is -6 hours, in winter -4 hours, because Chile switches to summer time during our winter months (in Chile summer).
From an economic point of view, Chile has many valuable mineral resources, such as saltpetre, copper, silver and gold. When saltpetre is broken down, iodine also falls whose main supplier Chile has become in recent years. Despite the many industrial establishments, the population of Chile is still poor, as unemployment is high and the governments have made bad economic decisions over the decades (first expropriation, then restitution and finally again nationalization of farmland and industrial plants). There is a lack of trained, specialized personnel, both in agriculture and in mining. Many companies work uneconomically and have to close over time. Chile has created a new growth sector with viticulture and salmon farms.
Chile is a member of the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Andean Community and the Community for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as other South American economic associations.
The Republic of Chile has 16.6 million residents, 90% of which are mixed race between Indians and Spaniards. The proportion of pure-blooded Indians is now only 10%, as most of the indigenous people have been exterminated. Of the original population, only the Araucans, or Mapuche, are actually left, left over. They get their name from the araucaria, the monkey tail tree, the seeds of which were their main source of food in winter. Even today, these seeds are still collected by families in need. The Araucans have retained their customs and traditions and claim their place in the state of Chile in our modern world. The political actions of this warlike tribe, which has already caused huge problems for the Spaniards, are not always calm and peaceful.
The majority of the population are followers of the Roman Catholic Church. In recent years the number of Protestant believers has increased. 20% follow another religion, e.g. the Mapuche, who still adhere to natural religions.
The official language of the Republic of Chile is Spanish. In some parts, especially in the “Längstal” and “Little South” areas, English or German is also understood. Some of the indigenous people, Mapuche, still speak their old tribal language, Mapudungun.
Food and drink
Especially hearty home cooking with plenty of meat from beef or chicken with potatoes and rice to arrive in Chile on the table, but also lots of seafood and fresh fish. The following Chilean dishes are not to be missed:
– Pastel de Choclo (corn casserole with meat filling)
– Empanadas (dumplings filled with meat, cheese or mussels)
– Cazuela (stew with beef or chicken, corn, potatoes and rice)
– Asado (grilled beef, pork or chicken)
Europeans tend to enjoy Chilean coffee with caution, as it is mostly just soluble coffee powder. Even if an espresso machine is in sight, the coffee quality is usually not outstanding. A traditional brandy from Chile is the pisco. This is a grape brandy that is often drunk mixed with cola.
To enter Chile, travelers need a passport, which should be valid for at least 6 months after arrival. A tourist card is usually handed out on the plane and must be presented on arrival. The card and passport should always be carried with you during the trip. No visa is required for stays of less than 90 days. Visit petwithsupplies for Chile Travel Guide.
You can get the latest information from your family doctor or on the website of the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM).
The voltage of Chile corresponds to ours of 220 V, but the sockets are partly different. It is therefore advisable to carry an adapter with you.
Security / drugs
At https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/ you will find the current travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office for Chile.
The consumption and trafficking of drugs is strictly forbidden, even in the smallest quantities. Sentences must be served in Chilean prisons.
Embassy of the Republic of Chile
Further general and honorary consulates in Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Munich and Bremen.
Embassy of the FRG
Casilla 220, Correo 30
Santiago de Chile
Tel: (0 30) 50 00-0
In Austria: https://www.bmaa.gv.at/
In Switzerland: https://www.eda.admin.ch/
Frequently asked questions about Chile
What are the entry requirements for Chile?
If the stay does not last longer than 90 days, German citizens need a passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry.
What vaccinations do I need to travel to Chile?
We recommend vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A, and hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid fever if you stay longer than four weeks. A valid vaccination against yellow fever for all travelers is required when entering the Easter Islands from a yellow fever area. It is always advisable to take out health insurance abroad with repatriation.