chile central valleys wine tasting istk
Wine tasting in Chile

How much things cost in Chile

Working out a daily budget for general living expenses is a good way to avoid unexpected surprises. We’ve created the following guide to give you an indication of what you can expect to pay for typical items.

Currency & Credit Cards

The local currency is the Chilean Peso. US Dollars may sometimes be accepted by larger hotels and businesses, but should not be relied upon in smaller establishments, especially outside of towns and cities.

ATMs are found in most major settlements, but make sure you carry a reserve of cash when going into rural areas, particularly on the Carretera Austral and in southern Patagonia. Major credit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa, are accepted in many shops and hotels, but are not as universally recognised as in the UK or US.

Eating Out

Outside urban areas, restaurants are often found only in hotels. In some of the more rural regions, it is common and sometimes more economical to stay on an all-inclusive, full, or half board basis.

Local cuisine in Chile varies widely between regions, with varying levels of influence coming from pre-Colombian indigenous cultures, Spanish, German and Italian migrants and popular global chains.


While tipping is not strictly compulsory in Chile, a 10% service charge is often automatically added to your restaurant bill. It is also customary to add an additional 5-10% which will go directly to your server. Hotel staff, such as cleaners and porters, will also appreciate a token of your gratitude should they provide you with help or good service.

Local tour guides will often rely on tips to supplement their income and a contribution of between £5 and £15 per person, per day, is common for those providing an enjoyable experience.

Taxi drivers do not generally expect a tip, but will always appreciate them and are known to regularly round up fares to avoid the need to carry change. Ensure you have a range of notes handy for this reason.

Sightseeing & Activities

Most entrance fees for National Parks, hot springs and museums, along with many forms of public transport must be paid for locally and in cash (Chilean Pesos). Prices do vary but are generally fairly inexpensive.

Many popular excursions, such as sightseeing tours, guided hikes and cultural insights, may experience low availability at certain times of year. It is advisable to pre-book any activities you have set your heart on. This is something with which we would be happy to help.

Tax Rules & Regulations

Non-Chilean citizens are not required to pay VAT on accommodation when staying in Chile. Our prices are therefore offered to you minus this charge. You may be required to present your passport and/or immigration card (provided at the airport when applicable) to prove that you are a foreigner when checking into your hotel(s).

VAT will apply for all other purchases and is simply included in the prices stated for all goods and services.

Speak to a specialist

Quick Reference Guide

Item £ (average)
Cup of coffee 3.00
Water (0.33 litre), restaurant 2.50
Water (1.5 litre), restaurant 3.50
Soft drink (0.33 litre), restaurant 2.50
Beer (0.33 litre), restaurant 4.50
Glass of wine, restaurant 4.50
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant 15.00 - 20.00
3-course meal for two (mid-range restaurant) 45.00 – 55.00
Diesel (per litre) 1.00

Please note: The amounts quoted here are approximate averages based on Santiago City prices. These figures are updated periodically, are subject to change and may vary between regions.

** These prices were updated in January 2018 **