Safety a concern in Chile?
  • My fiancee is set on going on a group tour to Chile with a bunch of our friends. She thinks it's safer to go in a group, especially in cities like Santiago and San Pedro de Atacama, which are the two we would visit. I want to know if it's true that it's better to go in a tour group, or is Chile safe for independent travellers. Some of us will have kids with us, if that makes a difference. Should we be concerned about safety in Chile?
  • Hi, I have spent ALOT of time travelling though Chile both independantly and with groups.
    While Chile in general is a pretty safe place to travel, If you are travelling to more remote regions such as San Pedro de Atacama (especially with children) you may find that it is in your best interests to travel with an organised group mainly for the organisational side of things. Just getting information on transportation times etc can prove to be a challenge.

    If you are limited on time, then I would definitely recommend an organised tour as buses can be limited and there can be big differences between buses also - some are incredibly comfortable and some are not! When you are talking about bus rides through the Atacama desert - you want to make sure you are on the comfortable one!

    Of all the places which tourists generally vist in Chile, Santiago is the place where you will need to exercise the most caution.
  • Chile is a country full of thieves both young and old, male and female. Deliquency is a big problem in Chile and you need to exercise most extra, extra caution with both your luggage and life. Some of their people are just too bad. I had a terrible experience myself after suffering a theft which I cant forget because the thief left me without my travel documents too. If travelling by bus never, never never, put your luggage in the shelf inside the bus, they will definitely steal it. Takecare!!!!
  • I am 21 year old male student studying abroad in Santiago, Chile next semestesr- I was looking for apartments in Santiago and I saw a really great one (loft style) in Plaza de Armas. I heard that it is unsafe at night, but the apartment looks really great- its old, elegant and has a bohemian air to it.

    Could somebody tell me a little bit about Plaza de Armas? Is it really as bad as they say? Because of university policy, I have to stay at a home stay while in Chile but I would like an apartment in order to maintain some level of independence and privacy- basically, I'd only stay at the apartment on the weekends. I'm from Washington, DC and so am used to living in a big city- but I want to get a better idea about the extent of the "danger" that everybody keeps talking about regarding Plaza de Armas. Thanks in advance!

    Jonathan
  • My wife and I have visited Chile twice. The last visit was in 2010. I am surprised that you have not checked the internet for a description of Plazade Armas.It is a very beautiful place to visit. Make sure you visit the Cathedral and on the opposite side of the Cathedral in the Tourist Information Centre where you can buy a ticket for the hop on hop off bus. Make sure to listen to the local preachers. They are an absolute delight. The town is divided into sectors. Therefore, there is an entire street to change your money. You cannot change your money in a Bank.We were impressed with Santiago especially at the manner it revived from the terrible earthquake.When we visited Santa Lucia, we were impressed to see security people around. All they did, unfortunately, was to disturb young couples who were having a wonderful time. Take normal precautions. Take a taxi back late at night. Buy lapiz lazuli and be prepared to bargain but do it gently. We liked Chile.

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