Arriving in Antofagasta

About Chile

Chile is located 35°40’30.5” South 71°32’34.7” West. The country borders the South Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes mountain range to the east, the Atacama Desert to the north and Ice Fields (glaciers) to the south. Chile shares borders with Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.

Chile has a population of approximately 17.6 million (2017, est.), divided into a diverse mix of ethnic groups:

  • White and non-indigenous 87.6%
  • Immigrants 4.35%
  • Mapuche 9.9%
  • Aymara 0.9%
  • Other indigenous groups 1.2% (includes Rapa Nui, Likan Antai, Quechua, Colla, Diaguita, Kawesqar, Yagán or Yamana), unspecified 0.3% (2017 est.)

Spanish is the country’s official language, 99.2%. About 10% of the population speaks English and 1% speaks indigenous languages, such as: Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui.

Roman Catholic is Chile’s predominant religion, 45%. 15% claims to be Evangelical or Protestant, Jehovah’s Witness or other, and 38%  of the population does not profess a religion.

Chile’s urban population is 87.8% of its total. Santiago, its capital, being the largest, with 5.3 million of the population, followed by the port city of Valparaíso, 296,644 and the southern capital of Concepción, 223,574.

Geography

Continental Chile is the longest north-south trending country in the world, extending across 38 degrees of latitude. It has a strategic location relative to sea lanes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage). The country boasts the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, spreading across the northern part of the country, and also the crater lake of Ojos del Salado, the world’s highest lake at 6,390 m.

Also a part of Chile are Easter Island, the Juan Fernández Archipelago (Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk, Santa Clara islands and other smaller islets), the Salas and Gómez islands and the Desaventurada islands.

Area

  • Continental Chile: 755,776 km2
  • Oceanic Chile: 320 km2 (Easter Island, Juan Fernández Archipelago, Salas and Gómez islands and Desaventuradas islands)
  • Antarctic Chile: 1,250,257 km2
  • Territorial Chile – Total: 2,006,354 km2
  • Coastline: 6,435 km

Climate

  • Temperate in General
  • Desert in the North
  • Mediterranean in the Central Region
  • Cool and damp in the South

Terrain

  • Low coastal mountains, fertile central valley, rugged Andes in the east

Upon Arrival – Santiago

Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA: SCL, ICAO: SCEL), located 15 km (9.3 miles) northwest of downtown Santiago, is Chile’s largest airport and the busiest international air passenger gateway to the country. Before arriving in Santiago, flight attendants will ask that each non-Chilean passenger fill out the required Tourist Card (Tarjeta Migratoria).

This Tourist Card will be stamped and returned to you by the International Police, with your passport, at the Immigration Check Point at the airport. It is very important that you do not lose this tourist card. All hotels require that each guest present his/her passport and Tourist Card upon registration.

After claiming your luggage and going through Customs and the Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, SAG check, you must go to the National Terminal to check in for your flight to Antofagasta. Upon arrival at the Antofagasta airport, Andrés Sabella International Airport (IATA: ANF, OACI: SCFA), after claiming your luggage and stepping out to the Arrivals area, there are several alternatives for transport into the city.

Very important: The National Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) requirements for Chile are very strict. Every passenger arriving in Chile must declare all plant and animal products, as they may contain pests and/or diseases that could seriously damage the country’s agriculture. All persons above the age of 18 must fill out the joint CUSTOMS-SAG form that will be given to you before you arrive in Chile. For further information, please check the following link (in English): http://english.sag.gob.cl/ingreso-o-salida-de-chile

Upon Arrival – Antofagasta

Antofagasta´s airport is located 25km north of the city, no more than 30 minutes away to the downtown area by car.

There are shared minibus services (Transfer Transvip and Transfer Tranhaap) to the city and depending on the sector of Antofagasta, they will not cost more than CLP $7.000 each way. These companies also offer private car services, which will charge between CLP $15.000 and CLP $20.000 per ride.

On the main level of the airport, beneath the stairs to the airport’s boarding area, there is an ATM machine to withdraw funds, if necessary.

There are also several places to eat, buy water and other products on the mail level of the airport.

Very important: The National Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) requirements for Chile are very strict. Every passenger arriving in Chile must declare all plant and animal products, as they may contain pests and/or diseases that could seriously damage the country’s agriculture. All persons above the age of 18 must fill out the joint CUSTOMS-SAG form that will be given to you before you arrive in Chile. For further information, please check the following link (in English): http://english.sag.gob.cl/ingreso-o-salida-de-chile

Visa Requirements for Chile

To know whether you require a visa for Chile, please check the following link (in English): http://chile.gob.cl/en/consulados/tramites/para-extranjeros/obtencion-visas/

Please contact the Chilean consulate closest to your city of residence to enquire about the exact requirements. For further information, see: http://chile.gob.cl/en/

Please note: Mexican and Australian nationals will be required to pay a Reciprocity Fee at the airport. Payment must be in cash, at a counter before proceeding to Immigration and Customs.