Cost of Living in Chile

Expats will find the cost of living in Chile affordable and on par with that of any medium-sized international city. While its political and economic stability make it one of the more expensive South American expat destinations, Chile remains significantly cheaper than the continent's industrial giants like Brazil.

Expats moving to Chile's capital will find that the cost of living is reasonable but not particularly cheap. In Mercer's Cost of Living survey for 2019, Santiago had a ranking of 79 out of 209 countries. Chile continues to boast one of the highest ratios of executive salary rates to cost of living in the region. This is certainly a lure for many expats, but top management positions in multinational firms are highly coveted and competition is steep.

Cost of accommodation in Chile

Chile boasts a range of accommodation options for expats, and even top-quality housing tends to be affordable when compared to other destinations. Buying and renting prices in the country are among the cheapest in Latin America, and a construction boom yielding sleek skyscrapers and an array of housing developments means that standards aren't sacrificed even in the face of lower costs.

There's also plenty of opportunity to negotiate incredibly cheap shared housing, either with a Chilean family or in a furnished space with other expats.

Cost of food in Chile

The cost of food in Chile registers as cheap on a global scale, but more expensive than in neighbouring South American countries like Peru and Argentina. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables from the large central markets is a great way to save money and to sample the local flavours. Supermarket prices are slightly higher and buying imported food items can be costly.

Cost of transport in Chile

Chile prides itself on its urban infrastructure and its systems of public transport are well connected and affordable. The country's main modes of transit are buses and the metro, both of which are efficient, safe and economical. Taxis are more expensive and the drivers are notorious for over-charging foreigners. 

Cost of schooling in Chile

Expats with children have a range of options for education and schools in Chile, though most choose to send their children to an international school. Public schools in Chile tend to provide a lower standard of education than expats might be used to, and the curriculum is usually taught entirely in Spanish.

Some parents prefer to send their children to Chilean private schools but fees for these institutions can be very expensive. Furthermore, they don't always live up to the promise of providing better standards of education than public schools. For many expats, international schools in Chile are the answer to this dilemma. These fees can also be astronomical, but it is often possible to negotiate an allowance for school fees as part of an employment contract. 

Cost of living in Chile chart

Prices may vary across Chile, depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Santiago in July 2019.

Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CLP 390,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CLP 340,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CLP 600,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CLP 540,000


Eggs (dozen)

CLP 2,000

Milk (1 litre)

CLP 790

Rice (1kg)

CLP 940

Loaf of white bread

CLP 1,000

Chicken breasts (1kg)

CLP 3,700

Pack of cigarettes 

CLP 3,500

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

CLP 4,500

Coca-Cola (330ml)

CLP 820


CLP 1,900

Bottle of local beer

CLP 2,800

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

CLP 30,000


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

CLP 90

Internet (per month)

CLP 26,500

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

CLP 95,000


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

CLP 820

Bus/train fare in the city centre

CLP 780

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

CLP 830