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I grew up and live in Santiago

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Americas > Chile > Useful Info
Submitted on Aug 12, 2020 Useful Info

How much money to budget traveling in Chile (and how to save money)

  • Chile is not the cheapest place to travel to. We are the most developed country in South America and our prices reflect that. In the posh neighborhoods of Santiago, price levels are sometimes the same as what you would find in London and Singapore. But this is rare, as a whole costs to travel in Chile are still low compared to Europe, though noticeably higher than other South American countries like Brazil and Argentina
  • How much to budget for Chile depends largely on your travel style. If you travel on a budget, it can be very affordable. On the other hand, if you want to be pampered and go everywhere hassle free, expect to pay for the comforts
  • Here's estimated budget for you in pesos and US dollars, depending on your travel style. This budget includes accommodation and local transportation, but does not include flights to/from Chile and any domestic flights you will need to take:
  • Backpacking/budget travel: CLP$35000-55000 per day (=USD$45-70)
  • Average travel: CLP$60000-110000 per day (=USD$75-140)
  • High end travel: CLP$250000-500000 per day(=USD$300-$600)
  • To break it down a bit more, below are the specific price ranges for Chile for the main travel expenses that you can use as reference in your travel planning. These prices are based on 2020 price levels in Chile, so they are subject to increase in the future. Fortunately our inflation is quite low, so these prices should be applicable for a number of years:
  • Food:
  • Fast food and cheap local eats: CLP$4500-6500 per meal (=USD$6-$8)
  • Mid tier sit down restaurant: CLP$9000-18000 per person (=USD$11-23)
  • Upscale restaurants: CLP30000-50000 per person (=USD$40-65)
  • Bottle of wine from the supermarket: CLP2000-4000 (=USD$2.5-5)
  • Bottle of domestic beer: CLP1500 (=USD2)
  • Sandwich from supermarket for a quick lunch: CLP4000-5000 (USD$5-6.5)
  • Accommodation:
  • Hostel:
  • CLP$6000-12000 per night (=USD$7.5-15) for a bed in a shared dorm-style room
  • CLP$20000-30000 per night (=USD$25-$40) for a private room
  • Hotel:
  • 3 stars: CLP$40000-55000 per night (=$USD50-70)
  • 4 stars: CLP$60000-120000 per night (=USD$75-150)
  • 5 stars: CLP$150000-250000 per night (=USD$190-320)
  • Airbnb:
  • Private room: CLP$15000-40000 per night (=USD$20-50)
  • Eentire apartment: CLP$40000-80000 per night (=USD$50-100)
  • Transportation:
  • Taxi: CLP$5000-10000 for a typical trip within Santiago (=USD$6-12)
  • Uber: CLP$3000-6000 for a typical trip within Santiago (=USD$3.5-8)
  • Private airport transfer in Santiago: CLP$15000-40000 (=USD$20-50)
  • Car rental: CLP$30000-70000 per day depending on car class (=USD$40-90). Compact sedans are going to be on the lower end of this range, ans SUVs will be on the higher end of this range
  • Metro in Santiago: CLP$830 (=USD$1)
  • Domestic flights: 30000-40000 one way when cheap, sometimes double this amount (USD$40-50)
  • Tour attractions:
  • Tickets for attractions:
  • Private attractions like Sky Costanera and national parks: CLP$8000-20000 (=USD$10-25)
  • Public attractions like museums: CLP$800-1600 (=USD$1-2)
  • Tours: day trips typically cost CLP$60000-120000 (=USD$75-150) per person for a private group. A spot on a group tour will cost CLP$20000-30000 (=USD$25-40)
  • Here are my top money-saving tips for visiting Chile:
  1. Use public transportation wherever possible in Santiago. We have a very convenient metro system that spans the entire city and many major tourist attractions are located very close to one of the stations. Medtros are very cheap, costing just 1USD each time you ride it. Also, from the airport, there are shuttle buses coming directly to the main transportation nodes in the city, which you can take to avoid the costly taxis
  2. Use Uber instead of street taxis. Uber prices are approximately 1/2 of a regular taxi for the same distance. Uber is technically illegal in Chile but they are very popular. You will need to get a SIM card but it's well worth it
  3. Make use of long distance coach buses wherever possible. There are many coach buses going from Santiago to other cities in the country, particular the coastal town of Valparaíso and San Antonio. These buses are much cheaper than booking private transfers. We don't really have a railway network, so it's relatively hard to travel by train here. Also, buying coach bus tickets ahead of time through bus companies websites can be cheaper than buying at the station on the day of your travel
  4. Drink local and get it from supermarkets. Locally-produced wines and beers are much cheaper than imported ones, and buying them from supermarkets can save you tons of money rather than from restaurants and bars. We have excellent wines that are exported around the world, so why not enjoy some amazing Chilean wine AND save money at the same time?
  5. Visit during the non-peak season of April to October. While the best time to visit Chile is during our summer of November to March, it's also the most popular time to visit and the price of everything goes up by leaps and bounds during this time. Winter is obviously not the most ideal time to travel, the northern parts of our country including Santiago is not that cold in the winter (a sweater and jacket will do), or you can consider visiting during the shoulder months April, May, September, and October, when the weather is still warm and tourists peak season has not quite arrived yet
  6. Don't eat out all the time. This is not unique to Chile, but one of my favorite things to do when traveling is to buy most of my food from local supermarkets. You can buy either ready-made food like sandwiches for much cheaper than eating out, or to save even more money you just buy the groceries and make the meals yourself. Supermarkets here will often run promotions, so you can really save lots of money this way. The added benefit is that using supermarkets makes you experience the country more, because you get to see what locals buy and eat everyday
  7. If you do want to eat out, go for Menú del día, meaning "menu of the day", which is a lunchtime special that restaurants here offer. These are full meals that come in multiple courses and usually cost CLP$3500-6000 (=USD$4.5-$7.5) for the meal. They are very filling and nutritionally balanced. So if you don't want to cook this is a great way to save money while still eating well. You can find these menu around lunchtime everyday, and often advertised by the restaurant, like this:User submitted photo of Chile