Frequently Asked Questions about Santiago

New arrivals to Chile will undoubtedly have questions about their new home. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Santiago.

Is it easy to ship goods and household contents to Chile?

While it is easy to ship goods worldwide, some expats have complained that shipping to Chile is a long and tedious procedure and goods sometimes don’t arrive intact or at all. While this has been the experience of a lot of people, there are hopeful stories too. Usually, it is best to hire a reputable company that will offer some sort of insurance on the goods you are shipping. It is also useful to ask people at your company or on expat forums for recommendations of companies that others have found trustworthy. 

Is Santiago safe?

Santiago is one of the safest cities in Latin America. Like most big cities anywhere in the world, there is some crime. However, this is minimal and Santiago does not share the reputation for crime that some countries and cities in the region have.

Is it useful to buy a car in Santiago?

Owning a car is not necessary. Santiago has a well-developed and easy to use public transportation network. However, cars do become useful when travelling outside of Santiago. It is important to learn the meanings of Chilean road signs and to know that the road signs are all in Spanish. 

What should I do if there is an earthquake?

Big earthquakes seem to hit Chile every 15 to 20 years but obviously, natural disasters cannot be scheduled or predicted. The safest place to be during an earthquake is outside. However, if one is indoors it is best to either try to make it outside (using the stairs) or to position oneself in a doorway, or beneath a table or desk. Not panicking is also key. Gauge the quake and if it lasts longer than 10 to 20 seconds, then it would be time to move to a safer location.