10 positive Things about Life in Chile / Santiago

As promised earlier. Here are some positive things about Chile.

For me the obvious number one reason to be here in Chile is to  be able to be with Liz but see my official list here:

  1. Climate I came here first time in November 2007 and experienced a beautiful November with absolutely no rain and sunny warm weather. I know I started in the best time of year, summer. From October 2008 (when I arrived to stay) until now it has been raining exactly two times and was beautiful all the other days. Winter is different, which I am aware of but 6 months of sunshine where else do you get this?
  2. La Playa / the beach and skiing resorts within 90 minute reach of Santiago.
  3. Having the possibility to afford a “nana” who helps with the house hold two times per week
  4. Security – I feel very secure in Santiago and in Chile. It is known to be the most secure Country in Latin America. Here is the US embassies view on security.
  5. Amazing and (for a European) relatively inexpensive Restaurants – I read some negative comments about the food on the Chilean expat blogsphere and don’t really understand. Might be time for me to  start doing Restaurant Reviews.
  6. It is affordable to hire a Child Carer to look after a baby
  7. A Metro which is clean and very inexpensive
  8. Inexpensive Taxis
  9. Locals who are open to foreigners and friendly towards them.
  10. I have mentioned the cost aspect a few times but also want to mention the general living costs / Rent or the price of houses / Apartments

This is a picture Liz took last winter from a skiing resort just outside Santigo:

Snow and Mountains in Santiago

Snow and Mountains in Santiago

If you live here or have lived here what  are your Top 10 positive Things about living in Chile?

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10 thoughts on “10 positive Things about Life in Chile / Santiago

  1. To answer your question in number 1 – California! Summer’s just as nice, and winter isn’t as cold, grey or smoggy as in Santiago. In San Francisco and LA you’ve also got the beach right there and great skiing 2.5 hours away. :)

    As far as the food goes, I’ve had some great and inexpensive meals here, and I enjoy the traditional Chilean dishes when made well. Something both my Chilean boyfriend and I have agreed on, though, is that your average Chilean’s palate is pretty basic – not used to or looking for lots of different flavors and also not necessarily marking a big difference between a standard meal and a really good one. My boyfriend says that he feels like through being with me and eating at restaurants more (as well as eating different ethnic foods and eating in the US and UK) he’s developed his palate and now expects more. While some restaurants or home cooks here are great, there are a lot of “only ok” things to be had, and you have to sift through them to get to the good stuff. But yes, please do restaurant reviews, I love hearing about good new places!

  2. Sure, there’s California, you also have a few places in Spain, France and Italy where you have a Mediterranean climate and access to relatively close mountains. The point is that to maintain a similar lifestyle it will cost you 2x-10x as much as in Chile’s central region. Chile provides very good value for the money though obviously it’s still got some catch-up to do.

  3. You’re right it costs more, but a lot of times it costs relatively less considering how much more money people make (only talking about California, since that’s where I have experience). I realize this hugely depends on an individual’s job in Chile vs. California, but in my experience it holds true. The job that I do here – which I think pays me a fair Chile wage – allows me to live at a comfortable level. I’m not complaining. But the same job in the SF Bay Area would pay me more, obviously, and although expenses would increase (most notably property prices) I think I would still have more left over at the end of the month there than here if I were living a similar lifestyle in terms of neighborhood, frequency of going out to eat, weekend activities, etc. For example, my cable and cell phone bills in the US weren’t much higher than they are now in Chile for the same service! Grocery bills were higher, but considering the salary I would earn there they’d be proportionally less of my budget than what I spend here.

    For the record, I do think it’s great that Chile has such amazing geography and that it’s so easy to get there from Santiago, and I’m not trying to knock that. But as Andre asked where else you could get a similar set-up, I figured I’d answer :)

  4. I doubt seaside areas in California are competitive with Chile even on a purchasing power parity basis, and given the dire fiscal situation in California and at the federal level, it’s only going to get worse. Hello 50%+ state-federal income tax for high earners, which you need to belong to in California to have a nice life. Let’s not even get started on healthcare costs. A budget for a family of four in California is sheer lunacy.

    Now, to get the best deal, earn money from the US, spend in Chile :)

  5. Dear Andre & Liz,
    To start with…..
    If you have some doubts about who I am…..this is Luz, Carolina and Alfredo’s mother.
    I’ve been reading your blog since Carolina told me about it, but to shy to leave a comment, but today I came to know about last night and……I HAD to say something now, and here is the only place since I don’t have your e-mail….
    I’m SO happy to know the fantastic family news!!!!
    A big hug for both of you, and please count on me as a foreign grandma….even if I won’t be able to help as much as if I would be there, but I will return. Someday soon. jejeje
    I’m so happy to have you as part of the very good friends Carolina, Victor, Andrea and Alfredo have. Also Alfonso even if he is younger, he enjoys a lot with both of you.
    Congratulations again!!!
    Remember you have your house here in Jamaica whenever you want!!!
    Very interesting blog, I already have you in my daily routine.

  6. Luz, thanks for commenting what a nice surprise / just sent an email your way. Hope all is going well in Kingston.

    @Oliver and Emily thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    I have never been to California. I have heard it is supposed to be really nice but I have chosen not to go to the US for vacation. The times I have to travel to the US on business the immigration is usually so unpleasant that I have decided to bring my tourist money to countries who appreciate it. I hate to beg or be treated like a criminal to visit a country as a tourist or business traveler.

    Regarding the cost of living even taking higher salaries in to consideration I will agree with Oliver I doubt that California will have a better life stile money wise. Broadband or phone bills are not a big expenditure compared to real estate or rent. I took a sneak preview on Craigslist regarding pricing and will do a follow up comment once I find more time.

    Regarding food expect a follow up blog post soon.

  7. I love life in Chile. I live in California but have traveled extensively around the world and loved Chile enough to buy an apartment in Santiago. I love to be able to ski and to go to the beach and to just live a different experience than what I know in Palm Springs California. I travel to Chile in our summer so it’s winter in Chile but I have come to love the place and the people. One of my favorite things to do in Santiago is to go to the Persa Bio~Bio flea market on the weekends. Fun place to walk around and to scout for bargains~~~if it’s on a Sunday I like to go and walk around and then I go to the book fair they have in Paseo Haumada near the Plaza de Armas. Have an ice cream in one of the cafes and some barquillos in the park. Heaven!

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