Chile is 2600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide. From the main north/south highway it’s easy access to fantastic wilderness.
Chile should be a tourist destination as good as New Zealand.
But it’s not. 😦
I’ve spent about 2 months total in Chile traveling most of the 2600 miles. Costs are similar to Canada … but quality of goods and services are poor by comparison.
If you find something of quality – Casa Azul hostel, for example – chances are it’s run by a foreigner. Probably German.
Most of the expats I met in Chile were frustrated by Chilean society.
People on the trail are good. But I’m not much impressed with the interactions I have with Chileans in the towns and cities.
A currency exchange guy tried to give me only half my money one time. (I’ve seen scummy practice like this in Italy recently, too.)
The World Health Organisation (2013) says over 40% of Chileans smoke, compared with 27% of Argentines and 17% of people in Brazil, where curbs on smoking began in the late 1990s. Chile’s health minister, Jaime Mañalich, says that treating tobacco victims takes a quarter of the $10 billion public health-care budget.
Chile’s smokers are getting younger. According to the Tobacco Atlas, a study of the industry, nearly 40% of girls aged 13-15 in Santiago, Chile’s capital, smoke cigarettes. That is up from just 20% in 2003, and is the highest rate in the world. …
The population looks unhealthy. Walking the streets reminds me of walking in Mexico. A very high percentage of people are conspicuously overweight. This is new to these nations.
Chile ranks 23 on a 2007 list of fattest countries with a percentage of 65.3% of its citizens with an unhealthy weight …
The diet is poor, I think. They still love hotdogs in Chile.
It’s a land that still (mostly) drinks instant coffee.
Internet access is slow Or non-existant. This is a land without enough competition between corporations.
The best reasons to visit Chile are outdoors adventure. And wine.
Otherwise, there are plenty of better destinations for the foreign tourist. I like southern Spain much better, for example.
I liked Chile better my 2004 visit.
related – Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile (1999) by Sara Wheeler