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Weather Forecast

Hostal Melmac Patagonia

Puerto Varas - Chile

Important Numbers

Hospital: 2232336
Ambulance: 131
Fire Department: 132
Police (Carabineros): 133
Forest Fire hotline (CONAF): 130
Investigations Bureau: 134
Maritime Search and Rescue hotline: 137
Aerial Search and Rescue hotline: 138

General Advice

Carry your personal documents such as a Passport or National ID card on hand at all times.

Camp only on authorized sites.

In spite of the fact that Chile is a relatively safe country, you should practice discretion when handling personal ítems such as wallets, handbags, camera or other valuables in public. 

Discrete use of flashy jewelry would avoid the unpleasant experience of being robbed. It is recommended that you do not walk alone at night, especially on the lake front.

Language

Chile’s official language is Spanish.  Throughout the majority of the regions and cities it is possible to communicate in English. 

Climate and Seasons

Summer (December 21st to March 20th)
Fall (March 21st to June 20th)
Winter (June 21st to September 20th)
Spring (September 21st to December 20th)

Keep in mind that through tout Chile’s southern cone the temperatures drop significantly and are accompanied with heavy rainfall during the Winter season.  While temperatures rise during the summer months there is significant rainfall.  Remember to take along adequate rain gear as well as warm clothing. 

Bus and Taxi Information

While the majority of Taxis in Puerto Montt have posted rates or meters it is important to agree rates for longer trips.

In Puerto Varas there are no taxis with meters.  It is not customary to leave tips.

Private local taxis known as colectivos take up local routes within the respective towns.  Rates are $500 pesos during the day and $600 pesos at night and are clearly posted in the vehicles. 

Small minivans travel between Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, among other towns, every few minutes and cost $800 pesos.  Waiting times are a bit longer (between 10 and 30 minutes) for minivans to the towns of Frutillar, Llanquihue and Ensenada.

Driving in Chile

Speed limits are posted using international formats.  120km/h is the limit on the highway while on single lane highways limits are posted at 100km/h.  Within the city limits speeds are set at 60km/hr.  Argentinean driver licenses are recognized in Chile while all other drivers must have an international driver license, especially for visits of more than 3 months.

Car Rental Agencies require a valid driver license along with another form of ID and an internationally recognized credit card to rent for a minimum of 24 hours.  Minimum age requirements vary from 21 to 25 depending on the agency. If you choose to cross the international borders you must notify the agency with as much anticipation possible, in order to complete the necessary forms.  

Visas

Citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay can travel with only their national ID cards.  All other countries require valid passports and associated visas.

Currency

The Chilean Peso ($), one of the more stable currencies in South America is found in $20,000, $10,000, $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 bills.  Coins are valued at $500, $100, $50, $10 and $5.

Due to links with both the Euro and the dollar, exchange rates are in constant flux. We recommend buying in local currency due to the fact that merchant exchange rates for dollars and Euros tend to be undervalued in comparison to Banks and Exchange rate offices. To see current Exchange rates press here.

Office hours

Banks: Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm

Generally, businesses and merchants change business hours according to the tourist season.
Off season hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 1pm; 3pm to 6pm.
Peak Season:  Monday to Saturday 9am to 1pm; 3pm to 8pm.    Business hours vary between establishments. Some businesses remain open during the lunch hour duing the peak season.

Supermarket: Off Season: Monday to Sunday 9am to 11pm
Peak Season: Monday to Saturday 9am to 11pm; Sunday: 9am to 11pm.

Municipality:  8am to 1pm and 3pm to 4pm.

Bars and restaurants legally serve alcohol until 4am on Monday to Thursday and Sunday.  On Fridays and Saturdays the bar is open until 5am. 

Electricity

Appliances operate on 220 volts and 50Hz cycles.  The majority of transformers accept standard North American plugs. Laptops usually do not require transformers.  Adaptors for 3 to 2 prong plugs are locally sold.

Fishing Permits

Mandatory permits are sold throughout the zone, in fishing gear businesses, tour agencies or can be directly bought from the Municipality on San Francisco 413, in Puerto Varas.
Telephone: 065 321303.

Calling Codes, and Communication by Telephone to, and from Chile.

From other countries you must dial a carrier code +56 (Chile’s national code)+65 (the local code.)
Example: 00(56)(65)2222222. 

From outside of Chile you must mark the carrier code + 9 + cell phone number.   Cellular phones have 8 digits.

From within Chile, between regions you must mark the region code + the local number after dialing the carrier code.  For example, to call Puerto Varas from another region mark the following:
121+65+2222222

The carrier options include the following:  121, 123,120,188 or 181.

From land lines you must mark 09 before dialing any cell phone number.  Ex: 09-97197680.  Marking from another cell phone does not require this dialing code even though you may be calling from a different region.  Simply mark the 8 digit cell phone number when dialing from another cell phone.

Dialing between land lines in different regions requires marking 0+Region Code+Local number.
Example dialing Puerto Varas from another region between land lines:   0 +65+2222222.