Angola - Argentina - Australia - Austria - Baleares - Belgium - Brazil - Bulgaria - Canada - Cameroon - Caymans - Chile - China - Cuba
Denmark - Egypt - France - Germany - Greece - Ireland - Italy - Japan - Ivory Coast - London - Malasya - Martinique - Mexico
Portugal - Russia - Saudi Arabia - Spain - South Africa - Sweden - Swiss -Thailand - Turkey - Russia - Usa - Venezuela - Vietnam

Chile Welcome
Guide for living, study and working in Chile
A guide, information, advice and useful addresses to be able to leave well-informed.

Chile Welcome

Personalized solutions for expatriates
Pensions, life insurance, economic disability, medical expenses, ..

Links partners

Free quote request
(moving, relocate, insurance, health, Visa, Aparthotel, Hotel, Housing; concierge, home management, sitting services, ..)

Relocation and Removals :
Free quote request


Geographical situation
Economy & statistics


Other sectors
Weights, measures and voltages
Main towns


Working in South Africa
Entry formalities:
Health & medicine


Connections with France
Time differences
Car rental
Hotels & restaurants
Your suitcase
Your car
Schools & schooling
Cost of Living
in Johannesburg :

Usefull Addresses
International School
Aparthotel Santiago Hotels

Chili Welcome pour les Expatriés Francophones pour le déménagement, relocation, Mobilité, ..

International Corporate Services Provider SET UP AN OFFSHORE COMPANY IN SEYCHELLES
Professional offshore services provider specializing in Seychelles Jurisdiction, bank accounts, yacht registration


City Ville Guide

Political Status
Chile is a democratic republic.
The President, at present Mr Ricardo Lagos Escobar who was elected on 11th March 2000, serves in office for 5 years.
The National Assembly is made up of the Chamber of Deputies with 120 members and the Senate with 47 members (38 are elected and 10 are designated).
It sits in Valparaiso.
The constitution dates from 11th March 1981, later modified in 1989 and 1991.

Geographical situation

Chile is part of South America, bounded by Peru in the north and Argentina and Bolivia to the east.
The Pacific Ocean runs down the whole length of Chile, which is a long strip of land (4300 kms long by 200 kms wide) between the sea and the Andes.
There are islands and islets all down the coastline.
From the Peruvian border in the north to the Tierra del Fuego in the south Chile encompasses the impressive Atacama desert, the Andes, volcanoes, lakes, natural parks, glaciers and Cape Horn (424 m high) on Horn Island in the extreme south.

Economy & Statistics
After having gone through its first recession since 1983, the country is showing signs of revival and should stabilize its growth rate from 2000 on, due to a tightening up of its monetary and budgetary policies, improvements in its trading terms and a more competitive exchange rate.
On 2nd September 1999, the Central Bank put an end to its policy of fluctuation on internal profit margins which had been set up in 1984, the exchange rate is now determined by the market.


Chile uses its different resources according to the way the country is divided geographically. In the north because of the extremely dry climate there is hardly any farming, the central area is mainly used for raising livestock, and most of the forests are in the south where the temperatures are low.


The Chilean economy is still dependent on the mining sector.
The country is the biggest producer of copper in the world, and it accounts for 40% of exports.
If you add that figure to the other minerals, essentially silver, but also sulphur, zinc, natural gaz, coal and iron ores, this proportion reaches 55%.
The rise of over 40% in the market value of copper from 1998 to the beginning of 2000 represented an enormous growth.

Other sectors

The IBD (the InterAmerican Bank of Development) has approved its first private loan to Chile : a financing of 25 million dollars to the CTR telecommunications company.


The official language is Spanish, the second language is English, used in business.
There are also several Indian dialects spoken, like Mapuche.

Religious Affiliations

The country is predominantly:
Catholic 85% , with 11% , Protestants, 3% Jews and 1% Muslims.

Weights, Measures and Voltage
Weights and measures are on the metric system.
Electrical current is 110 v. Plugs have flat prongs, like American ones.
Take an adapter if you want to use your electrical appliances.

The national currency is the Chilean peso, 1 peso = 100 centavos
1 Peso (CLP) = 0.0124 FF
1 euro = 529.1465 pesos
It is a good idea to have American dollars with you as most of the prices are indicated in dollars.
Also in many of the hotels and tourist sites only foreign currency is accepted.
Travellers cheques and American credit cards are not accepted.

Main towns
Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541 on a vast plain surrounded by mountain peaks and watered by the Mapocho.
The town is perched at an altitude of 1000 meters and situated at 140 kms from the beaches at Valparaiso.
Santiago, the capital of Chile, with 5.5 million inhabitants, is not a tourist town, there are only a few of the monuments from colonial times that it is still possible to visit.
It was a small town for years and in 1647 and 1730 two earthquakes destroyed several of the buildings.
The colonial city is organized around a large rectangular square, the Plaza de Armas (1541), where there is the Correo Central (the post office), a pink building built in 1882, and next to it the Museo Historico Nacional. There is also the biggest church in the country on this square, Santiago Cathedral (1748-1789) with its wonderful baroque nave.
The Palacio de la Mondena (1805) is situated on the Calle Morande.
It is in this imposing Mint, which later became a presidential palace that Salvador Allende was killed during the military coup in 1973.
The San Francisco church (1586) is built on the Alameda Bernardo O'Higgins, which is 18 kms long.
The church cloister contains the Museo de Arte Colonial San Francisco with a collection of paintings and religious objects as well as a collection of ancient locks.
Most of the theatres and concert hall are situated around the Plaza Mulato Gil.
The Mercado Franklin is a flea market which is on during the weekends, lodged in the buildings of an old slaughterhouse.
Fresh foods are found on the Mercado Central, which is on the banks of the Mapocho.
The sea pavilion is reputed for its generous and reasonably priced seafood dishes.
You can also find very nice clothes in Santiago at very competitive prices.

Valparaiso, Chile's main port has 276,000 inhabitants.
It is a museum-town with the atmosphere of a whaling port at the beginning of the 20th century.
It was discovered in 1536 by the conquistador J de Saavedra who named it Valparaiso (Paradise Valley) after his home village.
The port has been repeatedly rebuilt after being destroyed several times by earthquakes and tidal waves. With a rapidly growing population, the houses, often built of bits and pieces, have gradually climbed the 42 hills, hanging on on their piles, defying the laws of balance.
Fifteen funiculars, symbol of this voyage back through time, classified as historical monuments since September 1998, climb the hills straight up. Each of these funiculars is unique.
The local population uses them every day to go to work and come back home.
The Plaza Sotomayor is the historical heart of the town, where numerous massive official buildings are congregated, like the Court House, the headquarters of the navy, the central post office and the railway station.
To visit : the Calle Condell and its bourgeois residences with carved doors, the Turri clock, the port district known as the Chinese district, the Bellavista area with its open air museum, the Sebastiana which is the house of the poet Pablo Neruda, the Museo del mar Lord Cochrane which was the first astrononomical observatory in Chile and which houses today splendid models of boats.
Every day on the Plaza Italia, at the edge of the Avenida Pedro Montt, there is a handicraft market offering a variety of objects coming from all over Chile.

Other big towns are Concepción, Viña del Mar, Talcahuano (247,300 inhabitants), Antofagasta (218,000 inhabitants), Temuco (211,000 inhabitants), Punta Arenas (113,000 inhabitants), Puerto Montt, Orsono.


The climate in Chile varies depending on the latitude and the altitude.
The seasons are inversed compared to Europe.
In the north where there is the dryest desert in the world, the Atacama, the weather is often cloudy and cool.

Insects and Animals

The biggest animals to be found are the puma, the guanaco (Andes wolf) and the huémul (a large reindeer), there are also the chilla (a kind of fox), two types of wild cat and mountain rodents - amongst which is the chinchilla, a disappearing species. I

Working in Chile

The language :
It is advisable to take Spanish lessons or improve your level.
The possibility of finding a good job will depend on how well you speak the language.
There are several language institutes in France which can quickly bring you up to a decent level.

Formalities to be completed
You need a valid passport, which is still valid for at least 6 months.
You have to have a tourist card which is delivered by the airline company or the consulate, the cost of this card is 22 euros.
If you are staying less than 3 months it is not necessary to have a visa.

Health & Medecine

Hygiene condition in the country :
Generally the climate is healthy. There is a risk of viral hepatitis.

Copyright © 2010 Expats Welcome [Home] [Contact Us] [Directory]
De] [It] [En] [Es] [Fr] [Pt]