Credit/debit cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard and sometimes American Express) are widely accepted in towns and cities, where Redbanc ATMs are also largely available.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two circular metal pins are used.
Restaurants and bars add 10% to the bill. However, waiting staff will expect a 10% cash tip in addition.
FOOD - NATIONAL SPECIALITIES
- Empanada (combination of meat, chicken or fish, with onions, eggs, raisins and olives inside a flour pastry).
- Fish and seafood, including clams, sole, sea bass and oysters, are very good, particularly in fishing villages on the coast.
- Cazuela de ave (soup with rice, vegetables, chicken and herbs).
While many restaurants and hotels offer entertainment, there are also a number of nightclubs. Santiago gets lively at the weekends, especially in the zonas of Bellavista, Providencia and Nuñoa. Bands and acts frequently perform; listings sections can be found in Friday’s La Tercera and El Mercurio. Things don’t usually get going until around 2200 or 2300 in restaurants, and 0100 in clubs and bars. Visitors should be aware that the English word ’nightclub’ means ’brothel’ in Chile.
Special purchases include textiles such as colourful handwoven ponchos, vicuna rugs, alpaca jumpers and copper work. Chilean stones such as lapis lazuli, jade, amethyst, agate and onyx are all good buys. Camping and other outdoor equipment can be bought in Santiago as well as in areas where the activity is practised.