You'll find a municipal tourism office in nearly every city and the national tourism board Sernatur (www.sernatur.cl) offices in major cities. The quality of service and availability of printed matter, such as maps and brochures, varies from office to office. Visitors are usually better off planning ahead via Internet research, booking a tour, or seeking the assistance of a hotel concierge than relying on the advice of a Sernatur clerk.
Most general travel sites in Chile have converted into for-profit booking centers; however, most top tourism destinations produce their own independent sites. Try the content-rich sites www.sanpedroatacama.com and www.torresdelpaine.com.
- Turistel (www.turistel.cl): Turistel, a Spanish-language road-guide series, has a website with route maps that can be downloaded by clicking on mapas ruteros. I strongly recommend that travelers renting vehicles arrive prepared, as many agencies will not provide detailed road maps.
- ContactChile (www.contactchile.cl): This Santiago-based agency assists foreigners with room rentals, internships, and Spanish-language courses. It also provides travelers with a beginner's guide to Chilean culture, cuisine, transportation, and other tourism-related topics.
- Chilean Cultural Heritage Corporation (www.nuestro.cl): Run by the nonprofit, philanthropic Chilean Cultural Heritage Corporation, this is Chile's most comprehensive guide to music, arts, literature, museums, and archaeological monuments. This is an essential site for information about cultural news and events.
- South American Explorers (www.samexplo.org): The South American Explorers website includes up-to-date information about health and political crises, as well as frequently asked questions, travelogues, discounts, advice, and a quarterly journal. However, information is for members only, and it costs $50 (£33) to join.
- Wines of Chile (www.winesofchile.cl): This Santiago and U.K.-based promotional association for export wines offers information about its 85 member wineries, plus links to the five established wine routes. Or try www.vinasdechile.cl for wine-tasting reservation info for Chile's more traditional wineries and wine-related news.
- AndesWeb (www.andesweb.com): A blanket guide to ski resorts small and large in Chile and Argentina, with transportation information, snow conditions, and, best of all, a travel forum for swapping information and opinions.
- Andes Handbook (www.andeshandbook.cl): The definitive site for mountaineering in Chile, with guides to more than 150 peaks, including location, height, routes, and difficulty ratings. Climbers may also download topographical maps here.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.