Destination guide: Santiago de Chile
Useful information about Santiago de Chile
Santiago's cuisine brings together the best dishes and widest variety of flavors from every corner of the country. Traditional dishes from the Chilean countryside include empanadas (a bread pocket filled with ground beef, onion, olives, raisins and hard-boiled egg), porotos granados (a flavorful bean soup), humitas and pastel de choclo (made with cornmeal); Chilean salad (a refreshing combination of tomato and thinly-sliced onion rounds, seasoned with salt, olive oil and a touch of spicy green chili) and curanto (an exquisite combination of beef, chicken, sausage and shellfish in the shell, generally served with roasted potatoes).
Beef in all its forms is generally tender and full of flavor. The fish and seafood - harvested from countless points along the Chilean coast and regularly available in all its forms - are simply exquisite whether served hot or cold. The same goes for crustaceans and scallops such as crab, king crab, mussels, abalone or the unbeatable lobster from the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.
We mustn't forget about the accompaniment of Chilean wines whose quality and selection have garnered broad international recognition. And cocktail hour wouldn't be complete without pisco, a Chilean liquor that can be served a variety of ways but is traditionally blended with lemon juice, ice and sugar in a concoction called the pisco sour.
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.
Keep in mind that a 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) is added to all goods and services in Santiago and throughout the country. However, foreigners are exempt from paying this tax on hotel lodging, provided they show overseas identification.
The official language spoken in Santiago and throughout Chile is Spanish.
In your travels to Santiago and other cities on mainland Chile, you should adjust your watch to GMT -4.
Electrical outlets in Chile operate at 220 volts and 50 Hertz. If any of your electronic devices operate at a different voltage, you are encouraged to travel with a power adaptor.