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Tipping is not mandatory however it is considered polite to leave some tip to service workers. In restaurants, if the bill already includes the service charge there is no need to tip.
In Chile, the common voltage is 220 V. The frequency is 50 Hz. The plugs and sockets are C/L type.
Chile is becoming one of the more progressive countries in South America considering it is still quite a conservative Catholic country. As of 2015, same-sex couples now have legal civil partnership rights, service bans in the military have been lifted and transgender people can change their name and legal sex. The last Saturday in June, the city of Santiago holds Marcha del Orgullo (Santiago Pride) and in November, the Open Mind Fest (a gay electronic street party).
Chilean residents are very open and helpful to those travelling as a family, making it a wonderful destination for a family trip. Throughout the country, there are many child-friendly activities.
Chile’s main forms of local transportation include buses, taxis, and the metro located in Santiago. There are domestic flights between most cities, which is the fastest way to travel within the country.
Chile is a year-round destination and the best time to travel is dependent on the activities and regions of interest. Chile’s summer season (December – March) is the driest and warmest season in most regions and is considered the high season which allows for more activities and adventures. For travellers interested in visiting the Atacama desert, June and August are the best times to visit. For wine lovers, September to November and March to May are harvesting times and many wine festivities can be found in Santiago and in the main wine regions like Colchagua. The peak season for Patagonia region is November to April with February being the best month as the wildlife is most active and the foliage is at its peak.
For British Citizens visas are not required to visit Chile for up to 90 days. A passport with a minimum 6-month validity beyond the date of entry is required.
The Chilean peso is the main form of currency in Chile. US dollars are accepted in most places throughout the country. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas but cash is still preferred and recommended for local markets. ATMs are common in the country and can be found easily. Official currency exchange centres are well signposted and easy for tourists to find.
English is spoken by some locals in tourist areas, however, do not assume every individual you meet will be able to speak in English. It is always polite to ask.
Spanish is the de facto official and administrative language of Chile.
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