Moving to Santiago
Santiago is politically, financially and geographically central to Chile. Home to the regional headquarters of many multinational organisations, Chile has attracted a growing number of expats, particularly in the mining, agricultural and financial sectors. Many expats also move to the city to teach English.
Chile is not the cheapest country in the region and Santiago definitely incurs a higher cost of living for expats than its regional counterparts. However, this is still lower than most North American and Western European cities, and with a range of modern conveniences at one's doorstep, the slightly higher cost of living is completely understandable.
With its effective transport network, Santiago is one of South America's most modern cities. It has an expanding metro network, cheap public bus transport and an inner-city highway network that links the eastern and western parts of the city in a short half-hour drive. With a range of shopping malls and an impressive array of international cuisine and local restaurants, Santiago is an exciting city for expats to get to know. Further adding to the long list of attributes that this city has to offer expats is a number of quality international schools and a range of hospital and medical facilities.
Chile is considered by many to be the safest country in Latin America, and that reputation extends to Santiago. However, expats have reported some safety concerns, especially with regard to pickpocketing and residential break-ins. Provided expats aren't careless with their belongings, the risk of crime is relatively low.
One of the charms of Santiago is the ease with which people can take a break from the city. Andes ski slopes and hiking trails are a short drive east of the city and some of Chile's beautiful beaches are just an hour to the west. Longer trips out of Santiago allow expats to explore glaciers in the south or the eerie moonscapes of the Atacama Desert in the north. With cheap flights throughout the region, it's equally easy for expats to spend a weekend away watching tango dancing or shopping in Buenos Aires.
Overall, expats moving to Santiago will find a bustling city with plenty of activities, events and natural attractions to keep them entertained throughout their stay in Chile.