Santiago de Chile
From Hookup Travels
Santiago de Chile hookup guide advises how to pick up girls and where to find them. The best nightclubs and top places for dating in Santiago de Chile are listed in this single man’s travel guide. Read more how to date beautiful women and how to get laid in Santiago de Chile, Chile.
Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It also happens to be the most economically prosperous city in South America, leading the way in many areas such as transport, policing and solving the problem of poverty. In many ways, Santiago represents Chile as a whole, as the rest of the nation bases its success on the happenings within Santiago. It has over 7 million people, all of whom are hugged by the gorgeous scenery of the Andes. Chile also has a wide range of many beautiful Latinas.
- 1 How to Pick Up Girls
- 2 Top Dating Tips
- 3 Online Dating
- 4 What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
- 5 Risks while Gaming
- 6 How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
- 7 Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
- 8 Swinger Clubs and Naturism
- 9 Costs of Living
- 10 Accommodation
- 11 How to Get There and Move Around
- 12 Digital Nomads and Remote Work
- 13 Internet and Mobile Operators
- 14 Gambling and Casinos
- 15 Weed and Drugs
- 16 Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
- 17 STDs and HIV
- 18 Stay Safe
- 19 See Also
How to Pick Up Girls
Chilean girls are not as well-known as Brazilians, Columbians or Argentinians; however, they are beautiful and definitely worth the chase. Unlike some of the rougher regions of South America, Chilean girls enjoy a level of reserve. You will have to balance this, as you are still required to show confidence and assert yourself in the situation. If you approach it correctly, show a bit of humour and you are able to break the language barrier, there is nothing standing between you and a Chilean beauty.
Chilean girls are somewhat difficult to pinpoint as a stereotype; they are also so diverse that there really is something for everyone. Girls from wealthier, Eastern sectors of Santiago are fair - sometimes they have blonde hair and blue eyes. Girls from the South are more likely to have a more native look. As a general guideline, Chilean girls have the curvaceous figure of all Latinas and they are a intermediate between the fair-skinned Argentinians and the more native Peruvians.
The Spanish culture makes for exciting encounters in the bedroom; girls are fiery and passionate. Overall, they are mostly friendly and open to conversation. Be sure to be respectful, as women are not shy to tell you off if you are infringing upon their rights.
Stereotype of girls: Chilean girls are definitely an undervalued flavour of the South American ecosystem. They are nice, approachable and always down for a laugh. Their sins are slightly more tanned than the Argentinians, and you will come across the occasional fat ones, as some of their staples are not so healthy and gyms are expensive.
Chance of mature ladies: There are plenty of cougars looking for a good time with younger men in Santiago. If you are a tourist, it's even better. Many divorced or widowed women are looking for someone to keep them company; however, you need to manage this carefully. beware of jealous ex husbands or women using you to get back at their spouses.
Tips for Daytime
The daytime is the perfect excuse to get outdoors. This should be the first stop for anyone who is looking for a date with a Chilean girl. There are plenty of natural attractions on offer and state parks are good places to look for active girls or to go on a date.
There is plenty of recognition given to the poverty of Santiago, but there is also immense wealth. As a result, the universities in Santiago are arguably the best within Latin America. At these locations, you will be able to meet lots of students who are looking for a good time on the weekends - get into a friendship circle at the university and you are well on your way to hooking up with as many girls as you want. Also, university students are likely to have better English and you will be able to find girls from the rest of South America whose families have sent them to study in Chile. University campuses to visit will be listed under the next section.
Shopping malls are also good spaces to meet girls. The main thought is really about finding a location in which you can start a conversation, so naturally places with lots of people are conducive to finding a date. Simply walk up to a girl, compliment her - maybe by learning a few basic Spanish phrases - and ask her out to lunch or for a drink. If she says 'yes', you're well on your way to getting laid.
Gorgeous girls are everywhere. This is something you notice as soon as you land at the airport, so the opportunity is always in front of you. Whether you find a date or not is really dependant on your conversational skills and your ability to break the language barrier. earning a few flirtatious Spanish phrases beforehand is definitely a help, and if you are confident enough, you can even turn translation into a cute game. However, the uber confident personality required to ask a girl out can be daunting for some, but if you don't do it, someone else will.
Best spots to meet girls: If you are a looking to date a Chilean student, then the universities are good places to look. You don't even have to go to the campuses themselves, but you will find plenty of girls hanging around the surrounding restaurants, cafes and bars. The universities to visit include:
- Universidad de Chile
- Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile
- Universidad de Concepcion
With all of the hot Chilean girls about, it is also easy to forget that there are lots of attractive tourists from all over the world. These girls are often sightseeing at landmarks, which makes them easy to approach. As a result, you may want to visit a few of the famous tourist attractions, such as:
- Cerro San Cristobal
- Sky Costanera
- Patio Bellavista
- Cathedral of Santiago
- Easter Island
Shopping malls offer plenty of opportunity. For the best chance of hooking up, choose one of these three top malls in Santiago:
- Parco Arauco - the most important mall in Santiago, this is the place to see and be seen. The mall is located in a wealthy district of Santiago and people come from all over to enjoy the many attractions on offer - from spectacular food to high-end shopping. It has become a major tourist attraction. One of the most exciting areas is a food court that is 20-stories high and contains all the flavours of the world. And of course...there are plenty of girls to talk to.
- Alto Las Condes - one of the most well-known malls in Santiago, which offers a movie theatre and spectacular views of the city. You will definitely find a few girls in this location and it also doubles as a good place to find a date.
- Costanera Centre - the largest mall in the country, this location attracts many women from all over. They also offer discounts for tourists, so be on the lookout for international beauties, too.
Tips for Nighttime
Chile is the quiet cousin of all the South American nations. However, that does not make the nightlife uneventful; it just means that you will have to look fairly hard to find a club that really suits you. Because of the large stores of wealth floating around the city, there will always be a nightlife for people to blow some cash - particularly students spending all of their parents money.
In order to cater to the immense gap in wealth, there is a natural divide between the luxury clubs and the more budget-friendly venues of Bellavista. There is no argument, mind you, that both provide heaps of fun.
Best nightclubs to meet girls: Most of the night life is centred around Bellavista, a partying neighbourhood with plenty of busy bars and clubs. If you do not know where to go, then this region is a good place to start. Here are five of the best clubs to get your dancing shoes warmed up:
- Maestra Vida - a salsa-themed nightclub in the city of Sao Paulo. If you are looking for a few sexy local girls with amazing dance moves to match, then this is the location to start. Even though it may not have the electric vibe of an EDM rave, the girls just waiting for a partner are good enough reason to go.
- Bunker is a club located in Bella Vista. It is just off of Pio Nino Street, and it offers an electric atmosphere and plenty of local support. However, they do have a drag show on occasion, so stay clear if this is not your vibe. One downside is that the drinks are somewhat expensive, with a starting price of around $5.
- Subterraneo - this niche night club is hosted by the best DJs in the city, and it's definitely unique. It has made its way into the heart of the people thanks to a DJ battle, where local DJs attempt to prove themselves with foot-tapping mixes.
- Bar Loreto - Also found in the heartbeat of Bellavista, this cool venue is more of an alternative vibe for those who are looking for more of a Rock atmosphere. There is a separate dance floor where you can find a DJ, so definitely check it out.
- Las Urracas - although a bit on the pricy side, this does give you a window into the lives of some of the wealthier girls of Santiago. However, $12 a drink does eventually hurt at some point.
Santiago is definitely not the party capital of the world, and it may even be a bit frustrating for tourists who are used to more hardcore scenes like most of the clubs in North America and Europe. Despite this, there is still a lot of fun to be had and you'll soon find yourself belting out the words of a pop number. Of course, the biggest attraction will be the girls - both local and from the rest of South America. There are also a few girls who come to party from other countries because they have chosen to study in Chile.
Top Dating Tips
The internet is obviously the best place to start - as is the case with almost anything. If you get on Tinder or Latin Cupid, you stand a good chance of meeting lots of Chilean women. If you are foreign, expect a lot of matches - particularly if you are a Caucasian with blonde hair.
The language is by far the biggest barrier between you and your potential hook-up, but it is important to showcase confidence with every move. If your Spanish is good, you can try using it to chat up a few women; however, the Chilean dialect is still a difficult one to understand even if Spanish is your first language. If you are not confident in your Spanish, open with English, but don't be afraid to throw in a few slang Spanish words now and then. This will lighten the mood and it may also make girls laugh...game, set and match! As for places to meet girls, they are all around you. Once you have achieved the feat of breaking the ice, you have a few options.
Santiago is home to a lot of natural attractions - from the Andes that hug the city to the coast, which is just a train ride away. There are also a few natural parks where you can take a girl on a date. Other than that, try going to local restaurants and cafes for a meal or a drink.
If you are into art or history, Santiago has a rich selection of Natural museums and plenty of galleries to keep you occupied. It can also just be interesting for an insight into the culture even if you are not too fascinated with the subject. From there, you can head into a restaurant or cinema until evening...close the deal by inviting her back to your place.
At night, bars and clubs are your best bet for finding a date or a hook-up. Clubs will be discussed in greater detail under the "Nightlife" section, but bars offer a perfect opportunity to meet lots of single girls, both tourists and locals. Also, they are not nearly as expensive as nightclubs whose entrance fees can sometimes be as much as $25. Here are a few bars to try:
If you meet a girl that you find attractive, the answer is simply to talk to her. Initiate the conversation, show lots of confidence and lead her in the direction you want to go. If after a few minutes of talking, you feel she reciprocates the attraction, kiss her. Take control and ask her back to your place - she may respond negatively at first, but you can try a couple of times afterwards - sometimes the girls are just shy, particularly around sex.
Tinder is an international online dating platform that everyone knows, so have this on hand at all times, no matter where you go. Most people find any South American women extremely attractive, so don't waste any time and get online as soon as possible. If you don't know how to use Tinder, you simply sign up with your phone number, upload a few pictures, and select girls that you find attractive.
Latin Cupid is Chile's most popular dating site, and many people vouch for its effectiveness in bringing couples together. Its strength lies in an extremely large database and exceptional filtering systems. If you are not well-versed in Spanish, you may struggle to communicate, as the first language is Portuguese and the second is Spanish. However, there will be some English-speaking girls and you will definitely come across someone that strikes your fancy.
ParPerfeito.com is the second most popular local dating site in Chile. It is not as well put together as LatinCupid.com, but it offers you the opportunity to met lots of pretty girls who are really keen on meeting foreigners. There is a weakness in the filtering systems, so users often feel targeted my sex workers and fake accounts. However, once you find your way through these with an adjustment of settings, there are plenty of genuine women to meet.
Badoo.com - another international dating platform that international travellers should not go without - is a vital tool in the playboy's armoury when in Chile. In fact, most of the many millions of global subscribers are located in South America, making the site a must for any traveller. Again, you will have to look out for sex workers and fake profiles.
Online dating has its benefits, and it is a must in the modern world. If you are looking to interact with Chilean women, the conversation can quickly move from a chatroom to a stroll on the beach and grabbing a coffee or meal at a café or restaurant. Invite her for a date and let her get to know you. Remember, Chilean girls have a slight reserve about them, so you will need to take the initiative and plan your date well in advance.
What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
The culture of Santiago is bustling and passionate, but everyone seems to be focused on economic status. The successful man is not generally a particular race, but it is more about the type of personality you display - although there are certain races which are preferred to others, but these will be explained a bit more in the following paragraphs. Chilean women are used to outgoing, confident men who know what they want. For example, a girl is usually approached by someone, and if the chemistry is good, she will kiss him just a few minutes later. The men are not shy and the men are not either. Therefore, in order to compete with the locals, you will be required to show the same level of confidence.
If you are looking to get laid, then appearing like you have money will be a factor. Even though this is not the ultimate factor - personality is probably the most important - you don't want to scare the girl off by looking like you come from a rough neighbourhood like the South or North East. In Santiago, the people from these areas are often entangled in crime and the drug trade. You don't have to be super wealthy as well; just don't appear poor. Moreover the level of culture available means that there are plenty of smart girls available who enjoy conversations about history, art and politics.
In terms of ethnicity, Chilean girls are most likely to find other Western Caucasians attractive. However, if you are foreign, you will generate a lot of interest regardless. This does provide you with a slight advantage, but the diversity of women, and their tastes, is sure to gift you with plenty of opportunity no matter what your ethnicity is. African and Asian guys are often viewed as exotic and exciting. Again, it's all about getting out of your shell and making the move. If she likes you, she won't mess around. South American guys are generally not the most attractive to Chileans, except for Brazilians and Argentinians. Other than that, there is a general boredom with South American men.
Risks while Gaming
The family structure in Santiago is generally pretty strong, and the fiery Spanish tempers of brothers, fathers and cousins can come into play from time to time. However, if you play your cards right, this will not be a factor at all. Also, it largely depends on the family from which the girl comes from - some are more conservative and some more liberal.
If you are hooking up with a girl in a club in areas like Bellavista or Suecia, you will want to be on the lookout for drink spiking. Some girls may try and spike your drink with the goal of robbing you once you are unconscious. This is not much of a risk, but the rates of reports of this type of criminal activity is on the rise. In the same vein, get to know where the girl is from - if she is from a poor neighbourhood, she could have ulterior motives. If a girl speaks English, she is probably part of the elitist wealthy segments of society, so she won't try and steal your stuff.
Fortunately, Chile is a relatively safe country and the people are friendly as a whole. Apart from the odd petty crimes and muggings in bad areas, there is not much to worry about. There is hardly any risk of bar fights and policing and security is respected throughout the city.
How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
The absolute quickest way will always be online dating. Refer to the "Online Dating" section for greater detail, but you will probably want to get on certain sites before you arrive. These include Tinder, Badoo and LatinCupid.com. The latter allows you to access and talk to girls beforehand in preparation for your trip - it's all up to you. Besides the obvious allure of having a beautiful Chilean companion waiting for you when you arrive, it's also really helpful to have a local to show you where to go and what to do. If you are looking to get with more than one women, then this definitely comes in handy later in your trip.
Santiago has many outdoor places where you can find a few beautiful girls. There are many natural parks to visit and the mountainous terrain makes for some spectacular picnic locations with amazing views. If you fancy a trip to the ocean, you can easily take a train to vina del mar, a coastal region that has lots of Chilean girls tanning on the white, sandy beaches. This is a great spot to chat up some of the locals. If you are a foreigner, you will immediately draw lots of attention, so use it to your advantage.
Bellavista is a popular hostel destination, and there are lots of breath-taking South American women just waiting for someone. if you stay in this area, talk to as many as you can. Generally, South American girls love masculinity, so confidence is everything. It's also not too difficult to invite someone back to your room if they're right next door.
You can try talking to a girl at the mall. In fact, you can pretty much approach a girl anywhere: the parks, gyms, hotels, etc. The language barrier is definitely a factor, but some girls understand English, particularly the wealthier ones who have had the opportunity to study at international schools locally or schools abroad. Chilean girls are also friendly and they will let you know within just a few minutes if they are interested. Ask her out to a restaurant, bar or café. If she says 'yes', you're in for a fantastic time.
Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
Like most countries where there is a large segment of the population living in poverty, there will be plenty of gold diggers. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you manage it. If you are looking for a sugar baby and you don't mind splashing out in return for a beautiful, young Latina, then there are many girls for you. You can attract this type of women without much effort by flexing bit of financial muscle at a beach, club or mall. As the girls are usually not shy, you won't have to work hard to find one. Also, Santiogo's culture is flashy: people who have money use it as a status symbol and they generally showcase it with nice things such as cars, clothing and jewellery. Designer brands such as Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, etc are likely to raise some eyebrows, especially because the majority of the country can't even dream of owning such items. Instead of renting a cheap car to get around in, try opting for a BMW or something similar. You will definitely attract a range of girls.
Despite the availability of girls, there is a downside. The extreme poverty in which some of these girls live can cause the to do reckless things. For example, you should be very careful of girls who try and get themselves pregnant with the goal of getting welfare from the government. They also realize that you will be forced to pay child support and most people with enough cash pay more than the legal requirement. Also, if she is willing to have sex with you in exchange for nice things, you may find that she will also try and steal from you behind your back. Latin women know they are beautiful and some try and use that to manipulate you into giving them money. Some will even say that they love you while doing the same thing with other men. The solution is simple: get in, get out and don't get too attached!
Swinger Clubs and Naturism
Santiago is a fairly reserved and conservative city and swinging isn't really a subject that can be spoken about out in the open; however, the scene is still live and active. Despite this, there is a certain level of tact you will need before you can access these clubs. In Santiago, guys far outnumber girls on the swinging circuit, so clubs are strict about how many and what type of guys they let in. To gain access to any Swinger club, you will have to look your best and showcase a bit of wealth. Try dressing up and appearing well-groomed. Also, coming with a girl automatically increases your chances of gaining access to the club; groups of guys are almost certainly going to be denied.
Before you head into a swinging club, you can check out the online scene. Online dating is a factor anywhere in the world, but Chile is one of the few places to apply it to the swinging industry. If you want to meet a few kinky operators, try Adult Friend Finder.
Some Swinging Clubs to try include:
- La Casona
- Paraiso Club
- Swingers Club Les Lebertins
- Syo Swinger Bar
Girls in Chile have more of a reserve than most of South America, so be careful before you assume that anyone in the club is just there to have sex with you. Approach girls with confidence and be a bit pushy - they love that - but still maintain respect.
Costs of Living
Chile has undoubtedly the strongest economy of South America. While this may sound like a good thing - and it is in some cases - it does raise the general prices of things. Food and accommodation are the main ones. If you are looking to have a reasonably good time in Chile, you will have to be willing to spend quite a bit more than the other South American countries - especially if you are going to splash out on luxury items. It doesn't help that Santiago is also the most expensive place in the country. The eastern regions of the city are also more expensive than others.
If you stay in a hostel and survive on local food, you can still save quite a bit of money. The fact that crime is light is definitely a help, because you aren't forced to spend extra on security. However, you will need at least $15 a day to be able to get around, which is already more than accommodation, so the costs can mount up if you are not careful. On the other hand, expensive hotels in the financial district like Manquehue can cost you a small fortune - around $400-500 per night. On top of that, eating in these areas can easily be $20 per meal, so Santiago can get very expensive if you choose to stay in wealthier areas.
Fortunately, your options for accommodation are not limited. As mentioned in the "Accommodation" section, Bellavista is a good area for a hostel. You can find one for only $15 a night and they're pretty close to all of the action. On the other hand, things can get pretty expensive if you choose to splurge out - whether it be a villa on the mountain or a room in the super well-to-do East part of town.
Beer is served in two forms. You can either purchase a cheap beer, which is served by the litre along with a few cups, or you can by bottled craft beer. The former costs around $2 for the litre. The latter's prices start at around $4.
The price of a beer in a restaurant is highly dependant on the restaurant itself and the area in which you find yourself. If you are purchasing an international lager from the establishment, expect to pay anything between $4 and $6.
The local food is cheap. The cheapest thing commonly available would be a hotdog, which costs no more than $1. You can also find cheap meal options, which are tasty, at a modest restaurant for a more than reasonable price. A breakfast comprised of eggs, local loaf and a cup of coffee is only $3. However, if you go for a meal in an international restaurant in a well-to-do area, it can cost as much as $40 for a multiple course meal.
Santiago is a captivating city that has something for everyone, provided you stay away from the rougher parts of town, there are some very nice areas in which you can find comfortable accommodation. University areas are also a point of interest, as they provide a budget friendly option without sacrificing safety and a fairly nice area. The South and North West of Santiago is a definite no-go zone; if you are not staying in an informal settlement, you will be fairly close to one.
If you are looking for some classical charm and a romantic venue to which you can bring a girl back to, then Lastarria is a unique part of the city that offers lots of attractions. It is part of the old city and the rich history is shown in the many museums that litter the streets of this district. It is also usually the go-to option for tourists, so you could meet other international girls during your stay in this area. There is a bustling nightlife, mainly centred around Miguel Street. You will want to start your search for accommodation by looking for vacancies on Rosal Street. Lastarria offers a nice balance between day game and a touch of the night life.
Bellavista is also a good location to find accommodation; however, it does get a bit quiet at times. There are plenty for cool restaurants and bars to try, and the area is rich with culture. If you are looking for an authentic Chilean experience, then Bellavista is a definite option for you. It also places you fairly close to the city centre, so you can easily experience the night life without too much hassle. There are also a variety of accommodation options for various budgets; you can stay in a hotel or a hostel and still have the same level of security - always a factor in South America.
Booking.com and Airbnb are two viable options when searching for a place to stay. The infrastructure and transport systems within Santiago are so good that it matters more whether you find a good deal or not. Provided you steer clear of the Southern slums, you can always easily mission around the city with ease. You can find a hostel for around $10 per night. A 3-star hotel with reasonable access will charge around $60 per night. If you want to splash out a bit more and go for the 5-star experience, you can expect to spend a maximum of $500 at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Condes.
How to Get There and Move Around
The transport system in Santiago is world class, the best in all of South America by far. If you are visiting the area, you should definitely take advantage of this in getting around. This will not only save you money, but you'll be surprised at how quick it is. If you are looking to get from one corner of the city to the other, there is definitely a public transport option for you. The one hint of caution you should have is travelling in the Southern or North-Western regions at night - these are the more crime-ridden sectors of Santiago.
By air: The city is serviced by an airport which is 15 minutes away from Santiago's city centre. Despite being a South American country, the airport has gained an international fame due to its state-of-the-art facilities and consistent flow of traffic. In fact, it is one of the busiest airports in the world. You'll also find plenty of restaurants and stores to keep you busy while you wait for your flight.
The ability to get to and from the airport is also another important factor, as there are a number of busses that take passengers directly to the city centre's bus terminal. From there, passengers can travel easily to any location of their desire. The airport itself is kept up to date and in good condition. The security is also excellent.
By bus: Santiago's bus system is fairly unique in that it takes passengers to almost every corner of the city. Most cities would not be able to achieve this, as there needs to be enough travellers going in a particular direction; however, Santiago seems to manage it with ease. You may encounter a little trouble if you don't speak Spanish, but learn to pronounce and read the names of your destinations and you should be just fine.
Interestingly, the bus service is run by Transanstiago, the company that is also responsible for the metro. This allows passengers to buy one ticket for both a bus and a train ride. Getting around in this way is really simple, as you can take a train to a certain district and then a bus to the exact location you wish to go.
By car: Uber is available in Santiago, and if you are used to travelling in this way, then it is a perfectly viable option. There are plenty of cars available from most districts and most international visitors trust Uber in a new country. It is especially helpful if you are not comfortable with the language; you simply set your destination and you're off! However, Uber is slightly more expensive than a regular taxi, so if you are on a budget, you may want to consider either this or a bus ride.
Regular taxis are not as rudimentary as you would expect. Every aspect of Santiago's transport system seems to be well thought through. Before you arrive, download an App called "Easy Taxi". This allows you to call a taxi with ease and efficiency, and it's cheaper than Uber. Tipping isn't customary, so you don't really have to worry about that in Santiago.
If you are going to be in the area for a while and you are looking to rent a car, there are plenty of options available. A few places to try would be:
You will be able to find all of these rental agencies in the city centre or even right at the airport when you land. This is quite a bit more expensive than taking public transport, especially considering that you will have to pay for petroleum. Prices start at around $40 and you will be required to put down a deposit.
By train: The metro system is well run. Again, the company Transantiago manages the maintenance and operations of the system, meaning that you get a train service that is efficient, safe and fairly cheap. For a one-way trip, it will cost you around $4, which is very good for the speed and comfort of the offering.
The central station is also a hub from where you can go anywhere, and it is accessible by bus and subway. If you're travelling around the city, the train is definitely one of the most efficient ways to travel.
By Cable Car: The mountainous terrain of San Cristobal Hill is a tourist attraction that is best accessed by cable car. Here, you will be able to see some of the natural beauty that the city has to offer. It is also a good option for a scenic, natural date - definitely worth a trip if you can afford it - it's about $30.
Visas: Chile's visa policy is fairly relaxed. Most Western countries are allowed entry without a visa, so if you are part of the European Union or North America, you have a distinct advantage. If you are from South America, you can gain access with your ID card; however most other third-world countries are required to apply for a visa from the Chilean Diplomatic Missions before arriving in the country. Check the requirements for your particular country before travelling through to avoid disappointment.
Digital Nomads and Remote Work
Chile is the economic capital of South America, thanks to a flourishing mining sector and a financial industry that has many years of stability. As a result, there is plenty of work in this healthy economy, especially in Santiago. So, if you are looking for a job, there are plenty of things to do - whether as a digital nomad or getting involved in the domestic market.
English is a scarce resource in the country. In fact, only the wealthy can speak it - and even then, not all of them can speak it fluently. As a result, if you have good written and verbal skills, there are plenty of jobs waiting for you, such as content writing, translation and anything to do with communication. Chileans also work in tandem with the United States, especially in the mining industry, so there is even potential for a full-time post. However, if you are entering the country for a short-term stay, it's best to do little jobs off the record; that way, you won't require a visa.
If you are looking for a full-time or official position, then you will have to apply for a working visa. This is best done beforehand and make sure that it gets approved before you enter the country if you are going to rely on it for income. The penalties for infringing on these laws are fairly harsh, and you will most likely get banned from the country for a few years. Once you have a visa, there are jobs for every profession - from banking and law to medicine and dentistry. There are also a lot of vacancies in the sports industry, so you can get involved in soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse and a lot more. These won't pay a fortune, but they'll cover your drinks and a few dates.
Internet and Mobile Operators
Mobile operators and internet providers have a decent offering in Santiago. In fact, the speed and quality of reception puts many first-world countries to shame. If you pick any of the four major service providers, you will be assured of good reception and quick internet; all offer LTE and a stable connection. For those that do not require that level of speed and are looking for more of a budget option, there are companies who have differentiated themselves to cater to the lower socio-economic demographics. The divide between rich and poor means there is an offering for everyone - no matter your budget. Listed below are the four top service providers that come highly recommended by the locals.
Entel - This company has been the market leader for many years in Chile as a whole, and they are even known to international visitors. Their tower, located in the heart of Santiago is so impressive that it has become a national landmark and a tourist destination since its construction. THE network offered fast internet since 2003 and has continued to progress to one of the leading suppliers of LTE to date.
Movistar - Best known for its presence in the Spanish market, Movistar is also a key player in the Chilean economy. They are definitely a good choice for everyone, as their huge resource pool has created impressive infrastructure that translates into a secure connection and lightning-quick internet. The company also owns O2 in the UK, so rest assured that your connection will be stable.
Claro - as a Mexican service provider that caters to Chile, this company has gained rapid fame throughout South America. If you are considering travelling to other areas of the continent, then this is definitely your best option, as they provide quality internet services throughout the whole of South America.
WOM - very much a local brand, WOM caters to the domestic market with services that are directly attractive to locals, especially the poorer demographics. They sublet service capacity off of the infrastructure of the likes of Entel, so the signal is not assuredly premium. However, they are cheaper.
In order to access these services, you will need to buy a sim card. These are available in any supermarket such as Las Condes or Kennedy. You can even pick one up at the airport when you arrive. You will also be able to load currency onto your account at the store itself - or you can use the designated numbers from the service provider to load data or airtime at a later stage. If you are travelling in a large group, consider buying a mobile router for everyone to share.
Gambling and Casinos
Gambling is legal in Santiago. However, the city is not the most popular venue for the activity. Most of the gambling revolves around two factors: casinos and sports betting. On a side note, if you are looking to spend some time in serious gambling, then you are better off taking a short trip to the city of Valparaiso, which is about 70 miles from Santiago city centre. This offers a much better gaming scene and 3 world-class casinos for you to choose from.
In Santiago itself, there are two casinos you can visit. Here you can play at the many tables on offer and enjoy some of the machines. It also acts as a hub where you can place bets on sporting events, so you'll often find a fairly large group watching the horse races or sports games live. If the internet is your thing, you can also take gambling online. The infrastructure of the gambling industry in Santiago leaves a lot to be desired so internet gambling is a good alternative.
The casinos to visit are:
- Club Hipico Santiago de Chile
- Hipodromo Chile
Weed and Drugs
Marijuana is illegal in Chile, but that has not stopped the plant from becoming the biggest drug in the country. There has been wide political debate concerning the legalization of marijuana in Chile; however, a decision was made in 2008 to maintain its status as a dangerous and illegal drug. Most of the drugs are manufactured in the surrounding nations such as Columbia, Bolivia and Peru.
Cocaine forms the other part of the mainstream drug usage. In fact, the amount of cocaine purchased by consumers in Chile is higher than most other countries in South America. If you are looking to purchase cocaine, you will probably need a local to help you out. Marijuana is also common in the Southern regions of the city; you can find dealers if you look hard enough - especially in the clubbing districts.
No matter where you go, clubs will always be a place to purchase drugs. A walk at night in the clubbing district of Prividencia will reveal a few dealers who are eager to sell you a few wares. However, you should be careful; Santiago is not a dangerous city, but petty crime is still a factor. Drug dealers will often try and sell you mimic powders. To avoid this, you will want to try some of the stuff in a location where you can still stop him from getting away.
Inside the clubs, you can always find party drugs such as Ecstasy and Acid. You'll find some kid looking to make a few pennies on the side or a more professional dealer. Sometimes, the bouncers also deal, but they are often involved in organized crime in a larger capacity.
The law is fairly harsh when to comes to drug use in Chile, especially for Marijuana. In fact, weed users are subject to the same penalties as cocaine and heroine abusers. If you are caught in possession, you may be liable for up to five years in prison. This is a crackdown on the large volumes of weed being imported from Peru. Stay safe and definitely don't get caught!
Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
Santiago does not really have a very large fitness culture. As a result, gyms are not that impressive, and they are pricy, too. If you are looking for a decent workout without any fuss, you can try a few privately-owned gyms. These charge around $20-$30 for a month of access, but they aren't really good at all. You'll get a few multi-function machines and one or two cardio machines to work with. If you're busy and you really need the workout, then this may be a good once-off option; however, it's not a good place to work out or to pick up girls. For the best experience, try one of the following chains; they may be a bit pricy, but they are good places to burn a few calories.
Gym Squash is a budget chain in Santiago, although the word "budget" must be used loosely. They have a variety of sports facilities, a decent weights section and lots of cardio equipment. It also doubles as a good place to meet girls.
Pacific fitness is a reasonable compromise between service, facilities and price. They really do have everything - from sports to multi-functional areas and swimming pools. They also have many classes running at different times during the day. Also, it is an environment where you can start a conversation with a girl. If you are keen on working out, this would be a decent option for a workout and the opportunity to meet people. However, it does come with a bit of a price tag (around $45 per month).
Sportlife is another gym chain mainly located in the city centre of Santiago. There are a number of branches for you to choose from, each has a weights section, a multi-function space and lots of cardio equipment. Overall, the setup is nice. Due to the presence of a highly successful social media marketing campaign, the gym also has achieved popularity with students and younger demographics - perfect if you're looking for a girl who can show you around universities and the local clubs.
If you have a bit of cash to blow and you are looking for the all-out luxury gym experience, you can try either O2 or Blatus. These gyms come with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, mini malls, saunas, spas and even massage waterfalls. They are extremely pricy, some clubs charge as much as $200 a month, and they are located in the East of Santiago's city centre.
When looking for a massage or spa treatment, there are a few places to visit. The first place to check would be with your hotel, if you are staying in one. Otherwise, here are a few options to get the best massage in Santiago:
Spa treatments are largely considered a luxury that is not usually affordable to the general population. As with most South American countries, there is a very small middle class. As a result, all the spas are located closer to the East of the city (in the wealthier districts). The top five spas are listed as follows:
- KineLazer Spa
- Bunos Turcos Miraflores and Spa
- Spa Kang Zen
- Figura Spa
- Ambar Wellness and Spa
STDs and HIV
Santiago is probably one of the better cities in South America when it comes to STDs and HIV; however, that does not say much. In recent times, there have been many reports sent out by the World Health Organization that give cause for concern because of Chile's climbing HIV rate. As such, there is a definite need for anyone in Santiago to pay attention to the rate of STDs and the chances of catching the HIV virus. At this point, 0.3% of Chileans have the virus, but there are definite ways to stay safe when having fun in Chile.
The first way is to pay attention to whom you are hooking up with. Chile has recently gained second world status and it is the most economically stable country in South America; however, there are still lots of poor people. The welfare system is also in place, so girls gain a small financial advantage if they fall pregnant. More importantly, the law requires you to pay child support if you have a kid, so be on the lookout for girls from poorer areas who deliberately get pregnant. Don't trust anyone who says that they are on the pill or advises you to have sex without a condom.
Also, get to know which area of Santiago she comes from. The wealthier and middle class areas are closer to the mountains; poorer areas are closer to the coast. The South and North-West regions are considered poor and you will find some informal settlements in these locations. As a rule of thumb, this is where the highest rates of STDs and HIV can be found, as there is a severe lack of education and medical support.
As per usual, the guidelines for avoiding HIV are pretty common sense:
Always use a condom. If you find someone who is persistent on not using one, then immediately become suspicious. Not only do you put yourself at risk for pregnancy, but she has probably done the same with every other person she has slept with. This is playing with danger!
Find out her intentions. This is particularly important if you are sleeping with a gold digger; these girls will do anything to get money out of you, so be sure to watch out for anything underhanded.
Have a backup plan. There are clinics and places where you can get tested and get some treatment in the event that you accidentally have unprotected sex - either because of alcohol or the condom broke. Time is of the essence. Every second saves you the pain of the virus spreading. You can also go to a pharmacy to get Anti-Viral meds; however, to get one powerful enough to counteract an STD requires a prescription.
By South American standards Santiago is a safe city, but visitors should be aware of pickpocketing and other petty crimes (Chileans derogatorily refer to the pickpockets as "lanzas", from the verb "lanzar", "to throw upon" in English). Avoid parks at night and don't wear expensive looking jewelry or watches even during the day, unless you are in Las Condes or Vitacura. If you're alone, avoid large crowds of people, especially downtown.
If you happen to have bad luck and get robbed, do as you're told by the criminal and if you don't understand Spanish, give away the wallet. Not doing so can provoke an attack until you give away your wallet. Don't try to stand up to them and once again: do as you're told.