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Home / FAQ / Packing and equipment tips for visitors to Chile

Packing and equipment tips for visitors to Chile

The peculiarities of Chile’s geography and climate make it a perfect destination for travellers with a sense of adventure and pioneering spirit – but we’ve found that the most-satisfied visitors are those who have planned ahead and made sure to bring the proper gear.

The distance between Chile’s northern border with Peru and the Strait of Magellan is similar to that between Spain and Norway – with the corresponding climatic differences compounded by deserts, high mountains, and the Westerlies of the far southern latitudes. The central valley, where Santiago and the primary wine-producing regions lie, enjoys a Mediterranean climate; on the other hand, the dramatic Atacama Desert in the north endures hot days and frigid nights, and while during the summer months (that is, December through April) the south is relatively temperate, strong winds and stormy weather are always a possibility. Outside of the central region and the coastal cities of the north, unpaved roads are common, and while Chile is rapidly modernizing, travel conditions are very different than one would find in Europe. travelArt’s personalized attention helps to minimize unexpected inconveniences, but flexibility – combined with the proper equipment – is highly recommended.

travelArt has assembled the following packing list as a basic guide for our customers; please keep in mind, though, that every visitor may have his or her own individual needs or requirements. Furthermore, particular programmes may require special equipment, so please don’t hesitate to contact your travelArt representative with any questions or concerns.


  • Light fleece sweater with zip
  • Rain jacket (ideally Gore-Tex or similar)
  • Comfortable travel shirt, short-sleeved if visiting central or northern Chile during the summer months
  • Trekking trousers: long or zip-off
  • Light summer trousers if spending time in Santiago
  • Short pants or short sport trousers if visiting central or northern Chile in the summer
  • Layered undergarments, especially if visiting the south; remember that cotton is not ideal if cold or wet weather is a possibility
  • Trekking socks, wool or synthetic
  • Swimming trunks / bikini (Don’t forget – Chile is full of hot springs!)
  • Head gear: wool or synthetic cap for cold nights, and a brimmed hat for protection from the sun (especially if travelling to the north)
  • Light gloves and extra layers if travelling to southern Chile


  • Light trekking shoes with Gore-Tex or similar
  • Trekking sandals (such as Teva), recommended for northern Chile


Everyone has individual requirements in this category. In Chile, visitors will find that even small towns have pharmacies selling a wide range of common toiletries and medicinals. We do, however, recommend that visitors remember to bring:

  • Suntan lotion with a high SPF rating
  • Lip guard cream
  • For contact lenses users: lens case, extra set of lenses, and associated care products
  • Spare pair of glasses

For resting

  • Light travel pillow (can also be used on longer journeys as a seat or back pad)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleep mask – usually one is distributed free-of-charge during the airline flight to Chile; we recommend that visitors take it along for the rest of their trip

Papers and Money

  • Valid passport
  • Vaccination card
  • Driving license (For self-drive-tours, please bring an international driving license)
  • Credit cards, which are accepted throughout Chile
  • Cash money: Euros are accepted in the bigger hotels and in all exchange offices, while US dollars are even more-widely accepted
  • Private address list (if necessary)
  • Copies of all documents + information for an emergency (waterproofed – for example, in a Ziploc bag – and preferably one copy in each item of luggage)
    • Photocopies of passport, flight and other tickets/vouchers, and driving license
    • Name, address, nationality, and contact person at home
    • Blood type, allergies, illnesses
    • Credit card issues, emergency phone numbers, in case of loss or theft
    • All relevant insurance information, including contact phone numbers


  • Sewing kit and safety pins
  • Sticking plaster
  • Pocket knife (But during airline flights, store in checked baggage, not in hand luggage!)

Technical equipment

  • Extra batteries
  • Chargers for electronic equipment
  • Adapters are generally not necessary, but they can be purchased in Chile if necessary
  • Small binoculars (optional)
  • Number/combination lock for travel backpack and/or suitcase
  • Extra camera memory card(s): Chile is a very photogenic country!

Bags, etc.

  • Small day-pack; rain-proofed if trekking tours are planned
  • Neck pouch for important documents and money, recommended in particular for Santiago
  • Suitcase securing-band, to ensure that luggage does not open during transport
  • Soft travel bag (duffle bag or similar) for overland travels in which rigid suitcases can complicate vehicle loading
  • Sunglasses
  • Torch
  • Lighter
  • Trekking poles, depending on program

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