Just back from Chile...happy to answer questions!

Old Nov 10th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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We are leaving for Chile in 2 question is, do the ATMs work, and do they take any kind of travelers checks? (I had an experience in Colombia where I only had AMEX checks, but they only took VISA...and the ATMs all tried to eat my card)Thanks!
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 11:12 AM
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ATMs did work for my Citibank card throughout Santiago. Don't know about the travelers checks.

To go to Chile from the US, you need to pay a $65/per person fee for a visa at the airport. They do make change within $5-10 in US currency.

I enjoyed Santiago very much. We met the most people by the University Catolica and in the neighborhoods of Providencia, El Golf and Las Condes (very nice places). We are vegetarians, so not sure how great my dining recommendations are going to be for carnivores. I would highly recommend at least one day trip to Valaparaiso/Vina del Mar, and another to the wine country (try Vina Santa Maria).

Old Nov 20th, 2002, 01:42 PM
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Sorry to bring up your Volcano Osorno nightmare again, but I used to live in Puerto Varas and I always recommend climbing the volcano. Could you please give us the name of the guide and/or company that you went with? There used to be an outstanding guide there but I think he's in Peru now. I would really, really appreciate any details you could relay.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 01:46 PM
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If you see this e-mail, don't stay at the O'Higgins Hotel -- it is pretty gloomy. Stay if you can at the Hotel Monterilla, you will love it. If you stay in Valparaiso, stay at the Hotel Robinson Crusoe, it's new and a secret spot. Very nice boutique hotel, incredible breakfast and unbelievable view: [email protected]. About 8-block walk to downtown though, down and uphill.
Good luck!
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I got switched to the Gala Hotel (supposedly 5*) due to something called the Air Force Congress taking place possibly at the O'Higgins Hotel.
Old Nov 24th, 2002, 09:59 AM
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Has anyone stayed in Santiago in the (Chilean) winter before? I'm thinking of visiting some time in June-August for a language holiday. (Work commitments might limit my options for travel dates to July or August.) Not a hot weather person, so cool temperatures are fine - but I read somewhere that the smog is really bad in Santiago in July-August. Has anyone experienced this?
Old Nov 27th, 2002, 06:14 AM
Paul Leonard
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Thanks for the information offer. We will be traveling with another couple, we're all Seniors. After several days in Santiago, we need to get to Valpariso to catch a cruise ship. Are there vans that could take us, and what should we expect to pay? I hear Valpariso is worth walking and seeing.
Old Nov 27th, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Chilean entry fee for US citizens is now $100.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 12:06 PM
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My husband and I just decided to go to Chile at the end of the month and we have absolutely no idea where to start planning. We only have 8 days but feel we can see "enough" in that time frame. Any suggestions as to where to stay, what to do or even how to go about researching a trip like this would be extremely helpful. Thanks so much!
Old Dec 7th, 2002, 10:36 AM
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As a beginning, read the above.
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 04:40 AM
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Wife and I will cruise Valparaiso-Buenos Aires, Feb.18-Mar6, w/4 days in Santiago prior to cruise. Would appreciate hotel suggestions, Providencia area near a subway, restaurants.Suggestions for local Santiago guide(airport pickup, Santiago tours?)? Chile hotel reservations service that is reliable?We live near Napa, so wine country tours would probably be superfluous;want to visit Vina del Mar.Other Santiago area suggestions? Thanks.
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 04:42 AM
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I mistyped e-mail address,should be: [email protected]
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 09:33 AM
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Old Jan 7th, 2003, 08:11 AM
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I just returned from a two week trip to Chile with my family. Visited the lake district, Patagonia, Atacama, and many locations inbetween. Chile is a wonderful country with great people and more to see than we had time for. Since we flew in and out of Santiago but didn't want to spend time in the city, (the prevailing advice was to avoid it)we looked for alternatives near the city to spend our time.

As such I have to mention the fantastic time we had at a small ecostyle resort about an hour east of Santiago in the Andes called "Cascada de las Animas" that is owned and run by a local family. Great people and service in an incredibly beautiful setting, with lots of adventure tours out the front door. We particularly enjoyed the horseback riding and rafting, and the hiking available on their huge private nature sanctuary. We rented a log cabin at a very reasonable rate (booked on the internet directly with the resort Our original plan was to spend a night here before heading elsewhere, but had such a great time we cut our travels short and returned for four more days before flying out of Santiago. We ended up having a better time here than any of the other destinations we visited...a big surprise since we had heard so much about the other places. Highly recommended.
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