A Land of Contrasts...
Modern and efficient, Chile boasts dramatic mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife. It has great skiing in the winter and lush alpine valleys in the summer. Chains of islands and charming fishing villages lend character to the south, while wide expanses of desert dominate the north. Its clean cities offer a First-World infrastructure, and the government is one of the best-organized and most stable in the region.
Chile has the lowest level of corruption in Latin America, as well as the strongest economy, highest standard of living, and lowest level of poverty. You can drink water from any tap in the country, and it has modern telephone and cell service, high speed Internet, and cable television. The primary and secondary roads are well-maintained from one end of the country to the other.
And Chile is especially well-suited to North Americans and Europeans, partly due to its clean and honest culture, but also because its seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere; so expats with a second home in Chile can enjoy their favorite seasons twice a year.
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- Population: 17,216,945
- Capital City: Santiago
- Climate: Temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
- Time Zone: GMT -4
- Language: Spanish (official)
- Country Code: +56
Cosmopolitan, indeed—as well as comfortable and convenient. In Santiago you’ll find modern skyscrapers, including the tallest building in Latin America. There’s a sleek and efficient subway system. Popular cuisine from around the world is paired with fine Chilean wines in the city’s many upscale restaurants. And opera, ballet, Broadway hits, great museums, and dozens of galleries abound.
When the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541, he chose the site for the favorable climate, fertile soil, plentiful water, and ease of defense. While the weather still tops the list for many expats today, it’s only one of the many advantages that Santiago offers.
When Edward Shelton worked as a journalist, he had no idea how to make a pizza. In fact, it was the furthest thing from his mind in the years when he lived between London and New York. Today, he owns and operates a pizza restaurant and B&B in the coastal Chilean city of Valparaíso, known for its hills, colorful homes, and bohemian vibe.
Visit the Chilean capital, Santiago, and you’ll see college students texting on smartphones and sipping $3 coffee drinks…restaurants that are busy every night of the week…and street traffic generously speckled with German luxury cars. After a decade of strong economic growth, a large middle class population has emerged, with money to spend.
Many emerging markets are actually in much better physical shape than the United States. So for instance, while people think of countries like Indonesia as being highly risky from a fiscal standpoint, Indonesia is actually on much sounder financial footing than the U.S.
This week we’ve explored the multitude of strategies that are available to create a passive and on-going income from simple e-books. Today we look at some of the actual results that e-book authors have had. The story of Margie Garrison is a great place to start.
I grew up in a really small town in the northern U.S., where cows probably outnumbered people 1,000 to 1 and I, alone, made up 20% of my graduating class. If it weren’t for having our own postal code, we probably would not have even been considered a town at all—more like a rest stop, maybe.
In the popular imagination, it’s the great capitals of Europe that get the most attention. Tourists flock to Paris, Rome, Madrid, and London for the big-city flair, museums, and monuments. It’s the thing to do. And granted, you should seize any opportunity to stroll the Champs-Élysées on a beautiful spring evening or explore London’s international cuisine and regal parks.
For many, Latin America conjures up images of steamy, wildlife-filled jungles and beautiful people lounging on tropical beaches, sipping umbrella-bedecked drinks. But there’s a whole other side to Latin America…regions where temperate—even cool—climates and jaw-dropping vistas of snow-covered volcanos are the order of the day.
John Brenner, a Minnesotan in his late 50s, was traveling in South America looking for a new place to live. The next leg of his trip was from Bogotá, Colombia to Lima, Peru. He was joined by three others, also Lima bound, whom he had met in the Bogotá hostel where he stayed. After an all-night bus ride they reached Ecuador’s border, where they crossed on foot. Once in Ecuador the four had a stroke of luck.
My former attorney colleagues and I used to joke that there were three kinds of closing arguments you could make to a jury: the one you carefully prepared, the one you actually delivered, and the one you wish you had given. Few things ever happen as planned. Nevertheless my “life” plan (the one I carefully prepared) was to practice law until I retired at 65; then I would pursue photography and maybe make a little money on the side.
“If I’d known just how capable I was, it would have saved me a lot of doubt and angst,” says Californian Vicki Johnson, a tireless self-starter who’s been mixing business with pleasure at the southern tip of Chile’s beautiful Lake District for the past 35 years.
Panama is the world’s most upbeat country. That’s according to a recent Gallup poll measuring people’s positive emotions in 148 countries. The poll asked locals questions like whether they felt respected and well-rested… whether they smiled or laughed…or learned something interesting the previous day.
For over 400 years, the temple city of Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia served as the capital of the vast and powerful Khmer Empire. From the 9th century, successive kings tried to outdo each other with ever grander designs, and you’ll find their legacy spread across 150 square miles. Ornate carvings, decorated palaces and symbolic temples are everywhere, much of it covered in jungle. At times it feels as if you’ve walked onto the set of Indiana Jones.
Your perfect oceanfront retreat is just a ﬁve-minute boat ride from one of the world’s premier diving destinations, the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s on Ambergris Caye, with the Caribbean spread out before you. Diving spots nearby include the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, known for its formations of elkhorn, brain, and staghorn corals. The coral is 20 to 40 feet tall, providing the perfect habitat for reef sharks, yellowtail snapper, lobster, grouper, sea turtles, and many other species.
Chile’s Lake District is all about spectacular scenery…forests, snowcapped volcanoes, the towering Andes, and hundreds of deep blue mountain lakes…German emigrants brought their distinctive traditions to the region and it’s been compared to Switzerland for its beauty and cosmopolitan resort towns…
It’s early evening, about 7:30, but the sun is still high above the horizon. A kayaker glides with smooth, even strokes across the lake’s placid surface. Nearby a lone swimmer braves the waters, chilly now in mid-March. The terrace of the hotel, which looks out on the lake, is packed with people sipping beer or coffee as they dig into cakes and pies—the kuchen for which this region is famous.
If you’re interested in Chile, then our “nuts and bolts” information on accommodation, taxes and residency visas will help you take your plans to the next level.
Pucón is wedged between a beautiful lake and a spectacular volcano. Its extreme location combined with its stable weather, have helped make it Chile’s adventure tourism capital. Water skiing…snow skiing…backpacking…white water rafting…kayaking…horseback riding…zip line rides…natural hot springs…if it involves excitement and the outdoors, it happens in Pucón.
For a border crossing that you’ll remember forever, travel from Chile to Argentina (or vice-versa) via the Cruce Andino, a boat journey on freshwater lakes from one country to the other. The lakes lie amid green hills and snow-capped volcanoes and mountains that stretch right across the South American cone about 600 miles south of Santiago, Chile. Running down the middle of this green swath is the rugged spine of the Andes.
International Living editor Glynna Prentice is in Puerto Varas, a resort town in Chile’s Lake District. Puerto Varas is a popular summer vacation region for Chileans (January and February). Right on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas looks out on the lake and, beyond it, on two snow-capped volcanoes. The town is about 550 miles south of Santiago and is just half an hour from Puerto Montt, the jumping-off point for Chilean Patagonia.
The Lake District is one of Chile’s most popular vacation areas, with cool, freshwater lakes for summertime vacations and, in some parts, wintertime skiing, as well. It’s long had a smattering of mostly European expats. Now adventurous U.S. and Canadian expats are putting down roots in this region, too…Join Glynna as she tells IL Managing Editor, Eoin Bassett, why.
In this video, IL editor Glynna Prentice is in Frutillar in Chile’s Lake District. This region is a popular summertime destination for Chileans, thanks to its unspoiled beauty—plenty of lakes and volcanoes—cool summertime weather, and wealth of outdoor activities, from boating to hiking to fishing to horseback riding. Frutillar lies along the shores of Lake Llanquihue, a large fresh-water lake.
I knew very little about Chile—I had an idea of a long, thin country full of lamas, Spanish colonial architecture and Indians dressed in homespun wool. But, I was about to find out a whole lot more about the South American nation—I had just agreed to accompany a friend on a trip there.
For many years it was the “Jewel of the Pacific.” Even today, long after the Golden Age of the port city has passed, the brightly-painted hillside houses, cobblestone alleyways, and winding streets of Valparaíso, on Chile’s central coast, are among the country’s most enchanting finds.
There are so many different ways to make money from photography. Needless to say, not all efforts are well rewarded – but many are.
Look in any direction from Santa Lucía Hill in downtown Santiago and you’ll immediately see why the Spanish built their fortress here—the views are phenomenal. Nowadays the skyline is crowded with new skyscrapers and towering church steeples, but the snow-capped Andes are where they’ve always been—reflected in the glass and metal towers that rise above the city’s 16th-century colonial buildings.
For many years it was the “Jewel of the Paciﬁc.” Even today, long after the Golden Age of the port city has passed, the brightly-painted hillside houses, cobblestone alleyways, and winding streets of Valparaíso, on Chile’s central coast, are among the country’s most enchanting ﬁnds.
One of my favorite overseas markets to invest in for the long term is Chile. It’s a high-growth emerging market…and it’s a country that treats capital well. People often see emerging markets as Wild West-like frontiers where corruption is rife and the rule of law doesn’t exist. This can be true in some cases. But it’s not so in Chile.
Here, the mighty Andes plunge into the Paciﬁc Ocean, you’ll ﬁnd glaciated valleys, rugged granite peaks, and jade-green lakes. This is Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in South America’s Patagonia region, down at the end of the continent. This stark and surreal landscape is home to the iconic Chilean gaucho (also known as huasos), a character as rugged and mysterious as his surroundings.
“One day I had lunch in Los Angeles with a Chilean friend. Almost on a whim, I decided to move to Santiago. Why not? No work and staring at 60, I didn’t have much to keep me in the States. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. “I ended up ‘adopting’ a Chilean family and creating Chile Tours & Transport.
Moving to Santiago, Chile may seem daunting if you don’t know anyone and don’t speak Spanish, particularly if you are on your own. Santiago, however, is an expat haven and it is easy to get to know people.
While Chile may have the highest cost of living in South America, it also has the most developed infrastructure and a solid middle-class. For an ESL teacher, it is a logical destination because the economy is stable. I arrived in July 2010 and started work two weeks later.
At first when people asked why I bought a one-way ticket to Santiago, Chile, I told them it was because I’d never been there, didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. Perfectly logical reasons for me in my search for adventure.
One country in a celebratory mood this week is Chile. It’s no wonder. Scenes of the flawless miner rescue there have brought the country together and given the world one the most heartwarming good news stories all year.
I stayed at lavish haciendas, ate the freshest foods in Ecuador, got to know the smiling, helpful locals. I went to a Shaman healing ceremony, rode horses in the Andes and learned to weave. And then I sat sipping fresh mango juice, relaxing by the pool. It’s hard to believe it costs me nothing to travel like this.
We survey 194 countries in our annual Quality of Life Index. How do we decide which of them should be on your radar screen for retirement? With an eye firmly on places where your dollars are likely to stretch, we send a scout to take a look.
If you want to retire while you’re still young, moving overseas can make it possible. And choosing a country with a good list of social benefits can raise your standard of living even beyond what you expected. But you may be entering a different political world…
This month, travel writers have been crooning about the joys of European skiing vacations.
International Living selects 6 of the best ski resorts in the world.