Destination guide: San Pedro de Atacama
Useful information about San Pedro de Atacama
About ten years ago, a revamp of the food offered in the Atacama area visited by tourists began and the results can especially be seen in San Pedro.
Here, creative touches are added to dishes and desserts that have Andean flavors, condiments from the desert and which follow native recipes, thus complementing the more traditional options available.
The main ingredients used in this area are corn, beef, lamb, rabbit, potatoes and quinoa, as well as typical Chilean food, including empanadas (pastry stuffed with a variety of fillings), pastel de choclo (corn pie), porotos granados (beans), charquican (a type of stew) and humitas (seasoned corn paste wrapped in corn leaves).
Chile's official currency is the chilean peso (CLP) but it isn't divided into cents. Bills come in denominations of 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000 or 1,000 pesos and coins in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 or 500 pesos
Bear in mind that in San Pedro de Atacama – and in the rest of Chile – products and services include a Value Added Tax (known as IVA), equivalent to 19% of the cost of what is being purchased. Foreigners, however, are exempt from paying this tax in hotels on presentation of their ID.
The official language used in San Pedro de Atacama and all of Chile is Spanish. People working in tourism in the area can also communicate easily in French, English and German.
On your flight to San Pedro de Atacama or to other places in continental Chile, you’ll have to change your watch to GMT -4.
In San Pedro de Atacama, the voltage used is 220 V/50hz, so if any of your electrical appliances use a different voltage, it’s a good idea to bring an adaptor with you.