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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Fast Facts About Chile

  • 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


Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile: A Cosmopolitan Latin American City

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.


Santiago, Chile: Latin America’s Most First-World Capital

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.

Making Pizza in Valparaíso, Chile

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.

Edward Shelton serves up pizza and beer to a steady stream of customers in the coastal city of Valparaiso.

Chile—Land of Opportunity for Expats

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.

Myths about Emerging Markets

Myths about Emerging Markets

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.

Mike Geary's best-selling fitness e-book has allowed him to travel more to places like Costa Rica.

How Folks Like You are Making Money from e-Books

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.

Teaching English abroad has allowed expat Kary Vannice to experience different cultures, new foods, and make long lasting friendships.

How to Fund Your Latin America Adventure

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.


The Charms of Europe’s Second Cities: Buy Property from $82,000

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.


Latin American Mountain Homes from $138,000

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.

Expat John Brenner has enjoyed the interesting experiences and people he has met while learning Spanish.

An Expat’s Worst Spanish Mistake—It Was All Part of the Process

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.


How to Switch Careers with an Easy, Profitable Skill

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.


Self-starter Blossoms in Chile’s Creative Climate

“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.


News from Around the World…Historic Granada

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.

Oct12News & Notes From Around The World

News & Notes from Around the World

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.

Outdoor Adventure Pads

Outdoor Adventure Pads

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.

Latin American Lake Homes

Latin American Lake Homes

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…

Chile’s Lake District: Civilized Wild at the End of the World

Chile’s Lake District: Civilized Wild at the End of the World

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.

What You Need to Know About Chile

What You Need to Know About Chile

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.

Getting Paid to Take a Trip of a Lifetime

Getting Paid to Take a Trip of a Lifetime…

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.

2 The World’s Most Scenic Border Crossing

The World’s Most Scenic Border Crossing

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.

Video of Puerto Varas: Chile’s Lake Region

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.

Life in Valdivia, Chile, revolves around the riverfront. Boating and sculling are popular here, and with a large university right across the river, it feels a bit like Boston... only with better weather.

Chile’s Lake District

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.

Video Postcard: Chile’s Lake District

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.


Chile: A Photographer’s Dream

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.


Traveling Well in Chile

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.

earning money as a photographer

A Dream Job – on Your Own Terms

There are so many different ways to make money from photography. Needless to say, not all efforts are well rewarded – but many are.

Grand Views And Artisan Shopping In Santiago, Chile

Grand Views and Artisan Shopping in Santiago, Chile

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.

An Off-Season Tour of Chile’s Central Coast

An Off-Season Tour of Chile’s Central Coast

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.


A Diversified Income Play in This Resource-Rich Land

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.

Window On The World: The Gauchos Of Torres Del Paine

Window on the World: The Gauchos of Torres del Paine

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.

A New Life and a Successful Business in Chile

A New Life and a Successful Business in Chile

“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.

How (and Where) to Meet Expats in Santiago, Chile

How (and Where) to Meet Expats in Santiago, Chile

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.

Santiago’s Cost of Living: Less Than $1,000 a Month

Santiago’s Cost of Living: Less Than $1,000 a Month

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.


Chile: South America for Beginners

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.

Why You Should Invest in This “Miracle from God”

Why You Should Invest in This “Miracle from God”

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.

On the House Travel…Here’s How

On the House Travel…Here’s How

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.

Five New Retirement Havens We’re Scouting in 2010

Five New Retirement Havens We’re Scouting in 2010

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.

The Making of a Good Leftist

The Making of a Good Leftist

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…

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Own an exotic beachfront getaway for $35,000. Or romantic pied-a-terre for under $60,000. Enjoy fine restaurant dining for $7 per person. Employ a maid or gardener for $6 a day. Buy comprehensive health insurance for $20 per month.

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Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

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