Not much stands out in Chile, one of the more generic countries in South America. Get ready for some sticker shock if you are coming from other countries because it is more expensive here. While it is not as expensive as Brazil, expect to drop at least $60 a day here for things you can do in other South American countries for 20% less.
Chilean girls are not very attractive: homely faces, pale brown skin color like Tiramasu ice cream, and extra pounds with gigantic hammy arms that make you long for Argentina. Even though the girls in Chile are on par with ones in Peru, they act like they are Argentine with their cold attitude and prudish nature. Don’t bother.
Basic set lunch: $4.00
Bottle of big beer: $2.50
Internet per hour: $1.00
Hostel dorm bed per night: $12.00
Nice steak dinner: $9.00
Short taxi ride: $3.00
Postcard stamp: $0.90
Chile is arguably the safest country in the continent, but keep in mind you are still in South America. Watch for petty muggers who grab your bag when you are distracted and take note of the bad areas in Valparaiso.
If you're only going to visit only Chile then I recommend you get this guide, which is far more detailed than the continental guide above, with options that cater to a range of budgets instead of only the shoestring backpacking crowd. Also it gives more respectable treatment to small cities and towns that the larger guide breezes over with a paragraph or two.
South America On A Shoestring Guidebook
This is the guidebook that I used in my six month trip in South America. The maps are excellent, the information is complete and thorough, and the reviews are accurate, which is why it's often called "the bible" by many travelers. The only problem is that everyone else has this book so if you are the type of person that wants to hit the isolated small towns you will be disappointed. My advice is to use this book for its maps and information on getting from city to city, but talk to the locals and other travelers for those isolated gems that Lonely Planet for some reason didn't find worthy to include.
Spanish For Beginners
My copy of this book is so beat up and weathered it's disintegrating before my eyes. I took it with me to South America because I loved how it was organized in a logical way that kept me motivated to keep studying. Lessons start short and easy and increase in complexity as you tackle frustrating readings that help take you to the next level. The only downside of this book is that it was originally published in 1957 so some of the vocabulary is very dated. Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a modern equivalent of this book whose teachings approach the same quality. Last time I checked you can grab a used copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.
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