Chile Camp Facts

Below are several informative facts when traveling to El Colorado, Chile:

 

      Topics

 

   *    Chile Profile

   *    Chilean Currency

   *    El Colorado Ski Area Profile

   *    The Three Valley Ski Area Map

   *    Cellular Phones

   *    Communications

   *    Credit Cards

   *    Electricity

   *    Food

   *    Language

   *    Minors (under the age of 18)

   *    Passports

   *    Reciprocity Fee

   *    Trip Insurance

   *    Water

 

       Chile Profile:

  National Name:Republic of Chile
  Capital: Santiago
  Currency: Chilean Peso
  Language:
Latin AmericanSpanish
  National Holiday: 18 September
  Highest Point: Ojos del Salado (6,870 m/22,539 ft)

 

  Chile runs 2,880 miles (4,630 km) from north to south alongSouth America's western coast, but from east to west its widest point is just 265 miles (430 km) across, making its land mass about twice the size of California.  40% of the nation’s 15.1 million people live in the capital of Santiago.  Several major Chilean ski resorts are located near the capital city of Santiago - including Farellones-ElColorado, Portillo and Valle Nevado.  Snow conditions in the Andes are usually best in July and August.  More detailed information about Chile can befound at:  www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1981.htm.

 

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*    Chilean Currency:

 

     OK, what about money. The Chilean currency is the "peso".

     As of 20 Feb 2017 :

     1 US dollar = ~644 Chilean Pesos

   1 Peso (Ch$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of   Ch$10,000, 5000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of Ch$100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. 

 

   There are quite a few currency tracking sites on the web.  Here are a few:

       http://www.oanda.com/

       http://travlang.com/money/

       http://www.iccfx.com/

       http://money.wn.com/?amount=1&c1=USD&c2=CLP&s1=&s2

 

  Check the banks for exchange rates for currency.  Changing money from and to most currencies is unrestricted and easy. They have what they call RedBank and they are everywhere. It'is an automatic teller machine (ABM) and if you have a US bank card you can usually use it!  Really.  It will give you pesos at a good rate and charge your bank at home, and you don't have to carry a lot of cash.  Most places will accept US currency but it is always better to use local currency.

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*   El Colorado Ski Area Profile:

 

    The village of El Colorado is located about 25 miles East of Santiago at about 9,000.

 

Vertical Drop:    3,388 ft

Top Elevation:   11,384 ft

Skiable Acres:     2718

Trails:                    101

Terrain:       Grn-64%;  Blu-18%;  Blk-18%

Lifts:         19  (4 chair & 16 surface lifts)

Snowmaking:          12%

Resturants:             6

 

 

 

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* *  The Three Valley Ski Area Trail Map:

   

      These are very large ski areas.  As such, their associated trail maps tend to appear sparse compared to the smaller local ski areas found in the US.

(La Parva (left),  El Colorado (middle), Valle Nevado (right)

All are accessable to each other at the top.

 

 

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*   Cellular Phones:

 

         Cellular phones that work throughout the country can be rented while in Chile for a reasonable price.  However, you take your chances of availability while passing through the Santiago AP.  Otherwise a visit to a provider in Santiago would be necessary.  To do so at the day of arrival would not be convenient without incurring an additional ground transportation charge to get into town and up to El Colorado.  If you're going to get one, do it while you're in the States. Check your local carrier provider.


        More detailed information about cell phone usage & rental will be
      provided to you once your camp registration form has been received.

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*   Communications:

 

         Chile has cable TV, a great phone system, and one of the highest incidence of personal computers in Latin America.  Chile has a definite European flavor having been settled largely by Italians, Germans and English and of course Spanish, and a few Texans. They also have Internet service café's in the major towns & cities.  The El Colorado base lodge offers free wireless Internet access. 

 

        The Condo's have TV with a few channels of reception but 'NO' English subtitles !!!!!!!!!

 

         The telephone country code for Chile is 56.  To reach an AT&T operator while in Chile, dial tel. 800/800-288. The access numbers for MCI are tel. 800/207-300 (using CTC) and tel. 800/360-180 (using Entel). The access number for Sprint is tel. 800/360-777.

 

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*   Credit Cards:

 

        All major credit cards are accepted. Travelers' checks are least widely accepted and fetch the lowest exchange rates.  Most hotels, restaurants and shops will take the better known credit cards like American Express, Diners Club, VISA or Mastercard, but it is always good to ask first.  El Colorado does have an ATM machine at the main lodge; however, it doesn't always work with every credit card.  It appears to be lack of transcontinental tariff agreement between the ATM provider and the credit card issuer, even though it may be one of the main brands listed above.  Debit cards seem to work the best.

 

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*   Electricity:

 

          Chile uses 220v 50c, so don't plug in your 110v/60Hz hair dryer in unless you want to fry it and your hair!!!  You can get transformers that will work depending on the amps you need.  A dual Voltage Converter Kit, 50-1600 watt sells for about $14.   You should be able to pick something like this up at Walmart, Macy's, Sears, JC Penny, Lord & Taylor, Radio Shack, Lowes, etc.  If the transformer starts sparking or smoking it is a good sign it doesn't have enough amps!  The wall plugs are different but the adapters are cheap and pretty easy to find.  Chile uses the small round (tubular)' plugs.  Beware that 'cycles' is an important factor to remember, as well as voltage.  Appliances that are plugged into a transformer (reducing 220V to 110V) do not convert the frequency cycles from 50Hz to 60Hz.  The lower cycles can cause some appliances to over heat.

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*   Food:

 

        The local food & desserts are great, albeit they may have a slightly different color, texture and taste to what you might expect a particular entrée to have back home.  But it's good food.  In fact, you'll be so hungry at the end of the day; you'll never notice the difference.  You'll be getting a full breakfast & dinner every day. (dinner only the first day, and breakfast only the last day due to when we get there and when we leave)  They generally serve more than you can eat.  The hotel/condo has a small food store on the 1st floor for those who wish to buy additional items.  Last year it was the only food market in the El Colorado resort area.  They carry all the essentials at surprisingly reasonable prices, even considering its located up in an isolated resort area.

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Language:

 

         Latin American Spanish is the main language of Chile.  A few speak English, German and/or Italian.  Actually, about half of the billboards have English words on them.  Interestingly, on average, you have a good chance of finding someone who, in fact, can speak English if you ask around.  But it would be a good idea to know a few words/phases in Spanish !

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*   Minors (under the age of 18):

 

      "In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present.   Dependent children under age 18 arriving in Chile alone, with one parent, or in someone else's custody, are required to present a letter notarized before a Chilean consular officer in the United States certifying that both parents agree to their travel."  

        For those camp participants under the age of 18, special arrangements have been made to mitigate traveling to local Chilean consular officers.  Further information will be provided to the participant upon receipt of a completed application.

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*   Passport Requirement:

 

        United States citizens entering Chile for business or pleasure must have a valid passport.  The former reciprocity fee tax is no longer required upon entry into Chile for the first time.   U.S. citizens are admitted to Chile for up to 90 days.  A VISA is required beyond 90 days.   When entering, at Customs, you'll need to fill out a tourist card that allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days. You'll need to show this tourist card to Customs when leaving the country as well, so be sure you don't lose it. In addition, a tourist card is issued at the international port-of-entry (Santiago).

       The US Department of State strongly encourages travelers to obtain passports well in advance of any planned travel.  Routine passport applications by mail take up to six weeks to be issued.  For further information, go to the State Department's Consular website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.

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Reciprocity Fee:

 

       As of 2014, this fee is no longer required for first-time entry into Chile.

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Trip Insurance:

 

         If you are looking for a comprehensive and competitively priced travel insurance product that provides the coverage, services & requirements, you might want to check out theses websites for associated trip insurance rate comparisons from various insurance providers:

             http://www.quotetravelinsurance.com/;

             http://www.healthinsurancefinders.com/;

             http://insuremytrip.com/

 

        Such insurance typically comes with trip cancellation, travel delay, travel interruption, baggage delay, medical/dental, air flight protection insurance,  the important 'medical emergency return' insurance, and the price tailored to meet your specific travel related requirements. 

 

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*   Water:

 

Depends on where you go but it's OK to drink at the ski resort areas.  However, to be on the safe side, drink bottled water with gas ("con gas" or "agua mineral"). That way you know it wasn't filled at a nearby stream or someplace worse.  It also makes brushing your teeth more exciting!  Food is also safe, but make sure to wash foods and vegetables thoroughly if you cook.  There are no reported problems with the water in El Colorado.  It's safe to drink and tastes good !  But they do sell gallon jugs of bottled water for a few bucks apiece at the Condo food store for those who might be a bit more concerned.

 

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                        "Race results validate what is learned in training."

 

 

 

Contact Us Today!

             ARCS-USA

  International Alpine Camps
        14 John Henry Dr

   Montville, NJ 07045  USA

   Text: +1 201 247 6126

 E-mail: info@arcsusa.com

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