Pack with confidence and avoid baggage fees - clothing tips and packing checklists for your vacation

What to Wear in Chile

San Pedro de Atacama, February

San Pedro de Atacama, February

Hiking at altitude, September

Hiking at altitude, September

The Santiago Metro, November

The Santiago Metro, November

Valparaíso market in December

Valparaíso market in December

General Packing Tips

  • Chile extends 2,600 miles but has an average breadth of between 100 and 200 miles, so what you pack really does depend on where you are planning to visit. There is something here to suit everyone from skiing in the Andes, to beaches, to the amazing Easter Islands.
  • The solution if you're traveling around is to dress in layers that can be shed as the day really heats up.
  • We've found merino wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Make sure you have really comfortable footwear, which you have 'worn in' before your trip. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • If you don't want to stand out as a tourist then no matter how hot it gets avoid wearing shorts and short tops. Men can wear long Bermuda type shorts, but women would be better advised to wear dresses, pants or longer skirts.
  • While this dress code may seem more conservative than many Western countries, the greeting between Chileans is very warm. Chilean men often greet each other with hearty hugs, while women customarily kiss each other on the cheek.
  • If you plan on visiting an upscale restaurant such as you'll find in Santiago then pack a smarter outfit - it's not essential but you will fit in better and feel more comfortable.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), a sunhat and sunglasses.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • If you're going to visit any religious sites then be sure to cover your shoulders and bare legs.
  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
  • And a pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit, keep off a chill or cover you for modesty.
  • For versatile footwear why not try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
  • If you are in Chile on business you'll find that a skirt-suit and heels, in sober rather than bright colors, is most appropriate.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you are here on business, wear dark blue or grey suits, a light shirt and a conservative tie.

Pack for the Weather

  • Northern Chile is good to visit all year but southern Chile tends to be wet all year round. Winters (June, July, August and September) are cold, and even summers are cool and cloudy so pack a light raincoat.

Regions of Chile

  • If your trip includes an exploration of the mountains then it is likely to include lots of walking - some strenuous and at high altitudes and very cold, so be sure to carry good rubber-soled walking shoes, warm layers, and sunglasses.
  • The skiing season in the Andes is July, August and September and if you plan on joining in then you will need to add in some warmer layers, hat, ski goggles, gloves and a warm coat.

Other Things To Pack

  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • A microfiber travel towel is another great item to pack - these are designed specifically for trekking: they fold really small so you can accommodate a larger size and they dry really quickly too.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage and is especially useful in busy cities or when trekking.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (220V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! The Guante brand of shoes are very good, or look out for native wooden bowls in all sizes, and Kunstmann Bier is popular too (if you are in Valdivia you can visit the brewery). Just remember any liquids will need to be packed in your checked-in luggage.
  • Finally, it is worth noting that holding the palm upward and then spreading the fingers signals that someone is 'stupid' and slapping your right fist into your left open palm is considered obscene.

Last updated 14 July 2015.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

Bestsellers For Chile

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Ideal addition to your cabin baggage, to be used in resort

Water-to-Go 750ml Filtration Water Bottle

Water-to-Go 750ml Filtration Water Bottle

Purifies and filters water instantly for safe drinking

Unisex Canvas Breezy Safari / Sun Hat

Unisex Canvas Breezy Safari / Sun Hat

Popular outdoor activity hat with ventilated mesh sides


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