The south of Chile is sheep country, and the rustic look of the knitted items from the island of Chiloé are popular gifts. Terracotta, earthenware crockery for cooking. Lapis Lazuli, the distinctive blue stone found in Chile often made into jewellery with silver. Copper is very important to the Chilean economy, and while most of it is exported, this art form often takes the shape of plates designed as hangings.

Chile has a distinctive cuisine, one in which the influences of Europe and indigenous traditions are both prominent. Chile is known for its fantastic seafood along the coastal regions, grilled meats, stews and soups in the Patagonian region, and the staple snack is empanadas, corn, beans, and potatoes.  Chile produces excellent wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere.

The perfect outfit depends on the destination: visitors to Atacama, Chile Patagonia or the Lakes District should use regular outdoor wear, protecting against the wind and rain; visitors to Santiago and the coast should use summer clothes but be prepared for the changes of temperature from day to night.

In general, the spring and summer seasons in the Southern Hemisphere (October-March) are characterized by long days when weather is warmer and drier. The climate in Patagonia is similar Tasmania; in the summer you can expect some warm sunny weather, as well as cold, rainy and windy days. Geographical diversity throughout the rest of Chile gives rise to several distinct climatic regions with wide extremes of temperature, sunlight and rainfall. Although the season for adventure travel in Patagonia is limited, you can travel in many areas of northern Chile throughout the year. The prime season in Patagonia is October-March when average daytime highs range from 18°C in the sun to low 4°C. Night temperatures are typically in the mid to upper -1°C but occasionally -7°C.  The weather is extremely erratic in Patagonia. It varies from warm sunshine to drizzle, rain and/or sleet in a matter of minutes and returning to sunshine just as quickly. Wind is a constant factor ranging from strong breezes of 24-32km/h to gale forces up to 96km/h. Clothing should be adaptable outdoor gear. The climate in Santiago is temperate and moderated by maritime air. Expect warm sunny days during summer (21-27°C in Dec-Mar) and cool cloudy weather in winter (10°C in June-August). The Andes region including the Lakes District from Puerto Montt to Bariloche (Argentina) has a cool mountain climate from October to April (10-13°C). The high Andes region of northern Chile is typically dry and clear especially in May-September. The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is always dry and suitable all year round.

The opening hours are not regulated by law. Banks are open from Monday till Friday, 1000 – 1400 hours, shops between 0900 – 1930 hours and on Saturdays from 0900 – 1400 hours. During the siesta, around 1300 – 1700 hours many shops are closed. Big supermarkets and shopping malls are often as well open on Saturdays and Sundays, during the whole day.

220V alternating current, it is recommendable to bring a multi-adapter.

Australian Nationals require a Tourist Card to enter Chile. This is obtained on arrival, for a fee of US $118 payable locally.