Santiago Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MJL
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MJL
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MJL

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Santiago

  • gaolei's Profile Photo

    Reciprocity Fee

    by gaolei Updated Apr 29, 2005

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    When you get to immigration upon arrival into the country, you will make a startling discovery, the Reciprocity Fee! Many governments charge a high fee for US and Canadian residents to enter their country, because we do the same thing to them. The fee is presently $100 for US citizens. Be prepared and have some cash available for everyone in your group.

    If you are returning to Chile and paid it before, they often waive this fee. Always ask.

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  • sswagner's Profile Photo

    Smog

    by sswagner Written Jan 14, 2005

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    Smog

    As in the case with many Latin American cities, the air pollution gets trapped against the mountains and has nowhere to go. It can become rather dense at times, so you need to consider then when exerting yourself outdoors. I hear that winter is typically the worst time of the year for it. It might help to get out of the city every once in a while.

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  • Craig.White's Profile Photo

    Santiago. Smog that can kill you!

    by Craig.White Written Dec 16, 2004

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    My experience, if you have any love of breathing and aren't accustomed to smog, you will have a tough time in Santiago.

    There is smog that you can see on your hands if you are out for most of the day.

    On the other hand, if you want to get a feel of what Victorian England was like, go to Santiago!

    Beautiful city otherwise & the people, food and culture is magnificent. I just couldn't breath and got terribly ill from the stuff.

    My apologies to anyone who disagrees, just a warning.

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  • Illegal international phone calls mafia

    by Glospi Updated Dec 3, 2004

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    The "business" of illegal international phone calls had flourished on the N side of Santiago's Cathedral (on the street of the same name, in front of Correo Central).
    Overseas calls can be as cheap as US$ 1,5 for a 10-minute call to, say, Russia or Japan, which is a lure for travellers.

    But the danger lies in the fact that the "operators" (mainly illegal Peruvian immigrants who mix with other, innocent, Peruvians who sit there waiting to be hired for a job-> the area is nicknamed Pequeña Lima, or Little Lima) use stolen cell phones illegally linked to third-party home phones which are charged with the actual cost of the calls.

    Lately, the Government, the phone companies and the Municipality of Santiago have started to fight this criminal activity by using covert police agents to detain and prosecute both operators AND occasional users.
    When detainees are Chilean nationals, they are sent to jail for 3 days, and then legally prosecuted and tried (5-year prison terms had been given to several individuals) while foreign people catched on this, receives the same treatment, under charges of illegal association for criminal acts, forgery and thievery (in Chile, those who buy stolen merchandise or -in this case- communications, are considered as actively involved in the crime)
    As a courtesy, arrested tourists are usually left free after a week of detention and a US$ 1000 fine, and then deported (as happened last August to 4 travellers).

    You better resort to cheap Internet...

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  • mev1976's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets

    by mev1976 Updated Jun 13, 2004

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    Santiago is a big city, even the people is very friendly there is a lot of pickpockets especially in the downtown.
    So take care about your personal stuff, maybe its a good idea to take a fotocopy of you passport and leave the original in the hotel.

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  • Cerro Santa Lucía

    by Glospi Written Apr 13, 2004

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    The city seen from Santa Lucia gardens

    Its long-time reputation of being a hangout for hurried lovers, hookers and gays is almost disappeared after the deployment of private guards who keep an eye on any conflictive situation (they will ask for your name, passport number and nationality when you enter the gardens, but no actual documents).
    Anyway, exercise caution if crossing the gardens on its southern slope – the Alameda side- late at night on weekdays, as sometimes petty surprise theft happens there.

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  • Carabineros: a helpful police corps

    by Glospi Written Apr 2, 2004

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    Mounted policemen in downtown Santiago

    This is not a warning, nor about a danger, but it could be useful anyways:

    The uniformed (militarized) Chilean police are the Carabineros (also informally called pacos), who are virtually anywhere in the country, from remote border posts to the big cities' centres.
    They wear a green uniform and, whether on duty or not, they are always keen to help if needed, and are very professional and courteous.
    Not many of them speak English, but ALL of them have a radio and a directions book and map to help you find a place or whatever you need.
    Air rescue and MEDEVAC in the mountains and mainland is performed by them, as is search of lost or stranded people in remote wilderness areas as well.
    If traffic-fined, NEVER try to bribe them (although in other South American countries this is a normal custom), as this is a very serious offence which takes the felon directly to jail.

    The emergency phone number for Carabineros is 133, which can be dialed for free from any phone, either private, mobile or payphone in Chile.

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  • University Students

    by wrjones Written Jan 22, 2004

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    While in the Cerro Santa Lucia area of Santiago Centro, we were approached by a young man representing himself to be a university student. He was collecting money for the university or something similar to that. He was personable and spoke English. He flashed some papers and showed us how much money others had given him.
    Was he really a student doing something for his university or just someone running a good scam?
    We met another foreign tourist who had been similarly approached in the downtown area.

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  • The Traffic Is Amazing

    by wrjones Written Jan 19, 2004

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    International travel can throw a lot stuff in your face in a hurry. Some good. Some bad. The first thing my wife and I noticed as our taxi hurtled us down Av O'Higgins (later to be Av Providencia) towards our B & B, was the incredible mass of cars, buses, taxis, trucks and pedestrians. The traffic was manic and the scale monumental. Half a dozen lanes going each way were filled with vehicles jockeying for position. Our driver talked non-stop as he swerved and dodged from lane to lane. However, being a veteran of taxi rides in Panama City, I really wasn't overly distressed. Seeing a motorcyclist sprawled out in the middle of an intersection did, however, give me pause.
    Warning #1. If you rent a car, try to avoid driving in downtown Santiago unless you have a death wish.
    Warning #2 is for us pedestrians. Getting across all those lanes alive can seem daunting. Watch the locals and move when they do. Even Santiago drivers will stop for a group. Jaywalking against a red light is normal so don't jump into traffic just because you see someone else do it. Be careful. Watch the lights and stay with the herd. You will be fine.

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  • IIGUANA's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets

    by IIGUANA Written Nov 21, 2003

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    Downtown Santiago is full of pickpockets, so be careful with your belongins. Try not to bring handbags and avoid backpacks on crowded places (sometimes they can open it up when you're using it, and you'll never notice anything!). Bring the necesary.

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    Fake CD, VCD and Computer Programmes for Sale

    by cochinjew Written Sep 23, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Indian statue at sierra santa lucia

    When you are in the centre of Santiago, you will be amazed at the variety of music in regular and mp3 format as well as latest movies available on VCD.
    Be careful, majority of the puchases when you get home will turn out to be empty CDs. It has happened to me twice. They would give you their telephone number to convince you of the originality but if someone gives you their telephone number, be assured they are cheating you.
    If you have to buy CDs, I recommend vendors along the streets away from the centre, like in Bellavista and other places

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  • Quero's Profile Photo

    Beware of altitude sickness

    by Quero Updated Sep 1, 2003

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    The resort as seen from 12,040 feet

    Valle Nevado is high. Some people suffer from altitude sickness. You may be affected without even knowing that's what's making you feel kind of blah. For example, I didn't realize at first that my nagging headaches were altitude-related.

    If your altitude sickness is relatively mild, like mine was, you just need to take it easy at first, but don't try to sleep it off. It's better to stay at one altitude and engage in light activities while you acclimate. If you feel really sick, you will need to go down.

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  • andal13's Profile Photo

    Paparazzi

    by andal13 Written Jul 27, 2003

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    At the Flowers' Clock

    At Valpara?so and Vi?a del Mar there are "hordes" of photographers, that pursue the tourists... They make you feel like a celebrity! The best way to avoid them is let one of them take you a pic!

    En Valpara?so y Vi?a del Mar hay "hordas" de fot?grafos que persiguen a los turistas... Te hacen sentir como una celebridad! La mejor forma de sacártelos de encima es permitirle a uno de ellos que te saque una foto...

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  • Popstar99's Profile Photo

    Taxi - The prices are free

    by Popstar99 Written May 21, 2003

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    Check on the front window of the taxis for the "Tarifa" they charge every 220m. The basic fee of $150 is the same everywhere. After that they charge either $70, $80, $120 or hefty $150 every 220m.

    In some taxis you can bargain for longer distances (e.g. the taxis at Placa Italia).

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  • canguru's Profile Photo

    SmogSantiago is one of the...

    by canguru Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Smog

    Santiago is one of the most polluted cities in the world. It is situated in a valley and there is little natural ventilation. If you have asthma, be prepared to suffer a little. The smog is worse in winter, but not so bad in summer or september when the winds blow. If you need to buy ventelin, you will find it at any farmacy and you don't need a perscription.

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Santiago Warnings and Dangers

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