Destination guide: Punta Arenas, Chile
Located on the southern tip of South America, Punta Arenas Chile offers adventurers and businessmen a hub of activity within the surrounding Tierra del Fuego. Fly to Punta Arenas to begin an arctic cruise or boat tour, and you'll have a rare opportunity to see one of the most amazing places on Earth.
Punta Arenas receives an increasing number of visitors want to see the hatcheries for Magellanic penguins that are native to the area and explore the historical elements of the town.
Punta Arenas - Practical Information
Nationals of the US, Canada, Australia and the EU do not need a visa to visit Chile. Passports are obligatory and are essential for cashing traveler's checks, checking into hotels and other routine activities.
The Chilean government collects a US$132/56/132 'reciprocity' fee from arriving US/Australian/Canadian citizens in response to these governments imposing a similar fee on Chilean citizens applying for visas. The payment applies only to tourists arriving by air in Santiago and is valid for the life of the passport. Payment must be made in cash; exact change necessary. It is advisable to carry your passport: Chile's police can demand identification at any moment, and many hotels require you to show it upon check-in.
If your passport is lost or stolen, notify the police, ask them for a police statement, and notify your consulate as soon as possible.
Shops in Chile open by 10am, Government offices and businesses open from 9am to 6pm. Banks are open 9am to 2pm weekdays. Tourist offices stay open long hours daily in summer, but have abbreviated hours in the off-season. In many provincial cities and towns restaurants and services are closed on Sunday. Museums are often closed Monday. Restaurant hours vary widely, but most places are open from noon till 11pm. Many restaurants do not open for breakfast and quite a few close for the lull between lunch and dinner.
Weights & Measures
Check the website for Chilean customs (www.aduana.cl) if you're concerned about what and how much you can take in and out of the country.
There are no restrictions on import and export of local and foreign currency. Duty-free allowances include purchases of up to US$500. Travelers should consult the Chilean Customs website information for foreigners at www.aduana.cl/prontus_aduana_eng/site/edic/base/port/foreign_travelers.html (in English) for information on allowances.
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