Living in Chile
You can find several ex-pats in Chile telling you that they enjoy living in such a clean, modern city with an excellent public transportation system. This vibrant metropolis offers the advantage of not having to drive a car. You will soon discover how true that is if you spend a few days in the city.
Santiago, Chile’s capital
Santiago, Chile’s capital, is one of the largest cities in the Americas, with a population of almost 7 million. Although it seems significant, it has dozens of unique neighborhoods and an efficient public transit system that allows people to move from one to another quickly. Travel is affordable regardless of whether you take a taxi, bus, or subway. Santiago, a coastal resort city, is less than $10 for a two-hour bus ride.
Agricultural communities developed along the Mapocho River in 800 AD when the region’s first inhabitants arrived. Pedro de Valdivia, a Spanish conqueror, was not responsible for founding the city until 1541. Chile’s capital, Santiago, has been a country-wide cultural, political, and financial center ever since colonial times and home to the largest population of ex-pats in the country.
There are numerous parks, winding side streets, and 19th-century neoclassical buildings in the downtown core. Many gardens and trees in the city are immediately noticeable to visitors. Chilean artists have created 30 sculptures within the Sculpture Park (sculpture park). Besides the forested parks along the Mapocho River, the island hills that rise from the city center are also covered in forested parks.
The Center of the city is San Cristobal Hill
In the Center of the city is San Cristobal Hill, home to a funicular dating back to 100 years that takes both residents and tourists to the top of the steep slope. For more energetic hikers, it takes about an hour to get to the top, where they can enjoy 360-degree views of the city below and the Andes Mountains in the distance. Also located at the top is the Chilean National Zoo.
A metro station named Santa Lucia is adjacent to Santa Lucia’s hill. A large park on top of the mountain has ornate facades, stairways, and fountains that make for great photo opportunities. Experiencing the 16-acre park and the remnants of the two 19th-century forts on the site will take you an hour or two.
Santiago has four seasons, with warm and dry summers from October to March and cool, humid winters from April to September. Daytime temperatures can reach higher than 80 degrees on some of the hottest days of the year. The nights are pleasant and relaxed throughout the year, but morning temperatures can plummet to near freezing on some of the coldest mornings of the year.
Cost of living in Chile
It is not comparable to neighboring countries like Peru or Bolivia regarding living costs. For that reason, if you are planning to move to Chile, be sure that you have a sufficient budget, since, contrary to popular belief, the cost of living there is almost the same as in western countries. It isn’t easy to live on US$ 780 in Santiago despite the average salary in Chile being US$ 780.
This is an overview of the cost of living in Chile based on Santiago. Those who live in a rural area can quickly reduce their budget by 30%, especially if they buy a house there, which is cheaper.
Santiago, Chile’s capital, has an average price per square meter of US$ 2300. It can range between US$ 1600 and US$ 3000, depending on where the property is located and the season. Chileans use a unit of account called the UF for calculating real estate prices: in April 2019, one UF equals $ 27,500 = US$ 42. House and apartment prices in Chile are typically expressed in UFs. The same applies to some properties that rent incredibly more upscale properties.
Price of the rental
- In Santiago, a furnished room would cost between $250,000 and $300,000 (US$ 370-450), including all charges.
- Between $ 420,000 and $720,000 (US$ 630-1130) for an apartment in Providencia.
- In Vitacura, a 2-bedroom apartment has a price range of $ 1,300,000 to $ 2,000,000 (US$ 1970-3040).
- There are unfurnished houses in Vitacura that range in price from $ 1,500,000 to $ 3,500,000 (US$ 2250-5300).
You can consult dedicated articles, where prices and procedures are outlined if you want to buy or rent a car in Chile. There is a gasoline price of approximately US$ 1,20 per liter in Chile.
Santiago’s public transportation requires that you first purchase a metro pass, which costs about US$2.25 and is called the BIP card. Once the BIP card is reloaded, you can use it as you wish. Depending on the day, a metro trip costs about US$ 2.25 roundtrip.
Food is available at supermarkets both locally and internationally. There is a wide variety of options at Jumbo, but it is also the most expensive. Except for imported products, prices at other supermarkets (Lider, Unimarc) are slightly lower. In contrast, fresh products purchased at Santiago’s primary market, La Vega, are cheaper: you can buy cheap fruits and vegetables there.
In Chile, there are many bars and restaurants.
Chile’s bar prices range from US$3.4 to US$3. It usually costs US$3 to drink a coffee on a terrace. Concerning prices, the choice is extensive. There are affordable traditional restaurants such as Tip y Tap, which has no less than ten local employees in Santiago, and where the specialty is crude, a beef tartare served on bread with lemon juice, herbs, mayonnaise, and herbs; as well as Karai, the first Chilean restaurant of Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, the chef of Maido in Peru, which ranked 8th in the world in 2017.
As for free sport, the Chilean government has introduced CicloRecreo, which closes several streets in Santiago to traffic each Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm to host sports and recreational activities. A walker, a runner, or a cyclist should take precedence over a car. Among Santiago’s paid sports clubs are many private clubs whose annual dues and membership fees vary widely. At Los Leones Golf Club, the entrance fee alone is tens of thousands of dollars, making it one of Santiago’s most elegant and expensive private clubs.
Most municipalities in Santiago offer workshops for those on a budget, both for adults and children, at steep discounts (for instance, about $5,000 in Las Condes per month). There are activities such as art (pottery, mosaics), dances, sports (volleyball, pilates, taekwondo), and personal development workshops (memory stimulation, cognitive exercises). The Municipality of Las Conde’s courses includes cooking, languages, gardening, music, and art classes.
Vacation / Travel
Make sure you have a significant budget when traveling with a very touristy agency, such as Patagonia or the Atacama desert. Choosing your accommodation in Chile will be no problem! Hotels for less than 23 dollars a night, including breakfast, can be found locally.
The best ways to get around the country are by bus and by plane due to the country’s geography. Buses are the most popular means of transportation in Chile, as they are very well developed. An average bus trip costs only US$ 30 for 1000 km, so this is quite advantageous! If you are traveling by plane, you can purchase tickets at a discount during Black Friday. You need to add US$ 15 for gasoline for every 100 kilometers of driving to the car rental cost (US$ 34 for a city car).
- How much does it cost to live in Chile?
For ex-pats, Chile is generally a pretty affordable place to live. Even so, its political and economic stability allows it to remain one of the most expensive destinations for ex-pats in South America, although prices fluctuate from region to region.
- Are Chilean living expenses low?
The cost of living in Chile is low, and the lifestyle is first class.
- How much money would you need in Chile per day?
Generally, you should budget CL$79,909 ($96) a day for your vacation in Chile, which is the average price per day based on other travelers’ expenses.