Destination guide: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama is an old village located in northern Chile, 105 kilometers from the city of Calama, in the middle of the Atacama desert. This oasis is the starting point for visiting several attractions, such as the hot El Tatio geysers, Moon Valley and Death Valley (the latter with its dunes, popular with sandboarders), the Atacama Salt Flat (home to beautiful flamingos), the Pukara de Quitor, the Puritama hot springs and the Padre Le Paige Archaeological Museum, as well as others.
San Pedro de Atacama - 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.
European plug with two circular metal pins