As the country that takes over most of South America, Chile offers limitless benefits for the well-rounded traveler: beaches, volcanoes, lakes, rivers, welcoming natives, excellent wine, a romantic culture, and adventure.
Despite the fact that Chileans speak a highly unique dialect (Castellano de Chile) non-Spanish speakers will find the culture inviting and receptive. Many countries are exempt from having to get a tourist visa, but those wanting to stay longer will want to research rules and restrictions for staying in Chile.
Before you arrive in Chile, you will need to apply for a work visa. If you have a spouse in Chile or already have a contract, you might be able to get a temporary permit. It's gotten increasingly more difficult to get a work permit in Chile, so it's worth your while to research other avenues, like teaching abroad.
Arguably one of the best ways to work in Chile is through the English Opens Doors program, a UN and Chilean Ministry of Education program that encourages people to teach English in Chile. As a volunteer with the English Opens Doors program, you will receive room and board with a Chilean host family, 60,000 CLP for each month you complete, TEFL certification, health insurance, and an online Spanish class. You don't even have to pay to apply.
Chile is a huge country, so the climates vary dramatically based on where you choose to live. For the most part, Southern Chile can be colder and wetter than the semi-desert climate of Northern Chile. The capital city, Santiago, lies between the Andes and the Pacific; this is where most flights arrive and has numerous hostels, hotels, apartments, and homes to choose from. Other popular destinations include Valparaiso, a coastal city that has been called "Little San Francisco," San Pedro de Atacama, Vina del Mar, Concepcion, and more. To find housing, research is best done via the internet. While hotels and apartments are great choices, opting to stay with a host family is a great idea if you truly want to immerse yourself in the culture.
Chile offers countless things to do with your free time, both in the cities and in the countryside. If you are in Santiago de Chile, hike around Cerro San Cristobal, a park on a hill, to see incredible views of the city during the day and enjoy the exciting nightlife in the evening. One of the most popular landmarks is Easter Island, a World Heritage Site. Following Easter Island, popular destinations include the deserts, geysers, volcanoes, and skiing!
Food-wise, the seafood is especially delicious, especially the salmon; Chile is the second largest salmon producer in the world. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also bountiful in Chile. The wine is excellent as well, and wine tours provide the perfect day trip around the countryside. Ultimately, because Chile is so diverse in geography and climate, there are few recreational limits for someone working there!
About the Author
This article is brought to you by Madison Killen, Teach Abroad Team Member at Go Overseas. Madison is a novice traveler but hopes to teach abroad when she graduates. Go Overseas lists every volunteer, study, teach and intern abroad program in the world, with alumni Yelp style ratings, reviews and more. Check out the Teach Abroad section of Go Overseas, Go Overseas on Facebook, and follow @Goteachabroad on Twitter.
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Many, many avid hikers and nature lovers come to Chile to visit Patagonia. However, most of the time, their destination is the one and only Torres del Paine National Park.