So here it is: Our first blog entry on our journey in South America 🙂
Bienvenidos a Chile!
The flight went pretty smooth – particularly because the kids slept 85% of the time which of course compensated Mom’s and Dad’s low sleep balance…
Customs were straightforward with four German passports – 10 min wait, 90 days tourist visa, no questions asked (yes, we bring good plata turistica). Free wifi is available at a few coffee shops (skip the free airport wifi – it does not work!) but you have to hunt around a bit. Also easy access to ATMs and local Chilean cell phone cards (use Entel, best coverage in entire Chile!).
Next endeavor was to catch our first Uber outside of North America. Well, we learned that as of this posting date Uber is still “semi-legal” (quote driver) in Chile and that you have to take a free bus to a parking spot outside of the terminals. Also cars are way smaller in Chile than in the US so it is definitely advisable to take at least Uber Black or UberXL if you’re traveling with more than two people. Anyhow, we made it with two suitcases, one huge backpack, two car seats, two strollers and two small backpacks to the pick-up spot where our Venezualian driver organized the same small KIA Rio within 5min (negotiated 60% of the “official” Uber price for the 2nd one) to bring us to our AirBnB in central Santiago (hey who needs comfort ;)). Woohoo, not even three hours on Chilean soil and already violated successfully Chilean law.
Our bottom line: Better take a taxi unless you’re a hopeless wanderer like us 🙂
For AirBnB lovers: Great coverage in Santiago – but it does not give you the same value for the price as in Canada and the US considering the two experiences we had so far (are we still digesting the culture shock?). Nevertheless, they give a family of four everything you need: Fast internet (cartoons!), kitchen, a table to eat together, bunk beds (adventure!), bed for Mom and Dad, shower and toilet. Que falta mas?
We used the same day to hunt for a Chilean tax number (RUT). It is compulsory to have one before you purchase a car. The current Chilean law (cf. posting date) says that you have to have a Chilean citizen sponsoring you. For more details on this we refer to our links (bunch of travelers already reported extensively on it which we are thankful for). With respect to our situation we handled it as follows: Thanks to our good friend from Texas, Mari Martinez, we were hooked up before our arrival with one of her Chilean friends, Paola, who helped us a lot and who we would like to dedicate this first post:
Anyhow, w/o repeating what’s already posted in a lot of traveler’s blogs I’d like to remind everyone of the correct order of getting the RUT:
- Pick-up document F4415_1 with the power of attorney add-on at your preferred SII . Most of the SII offices close by 2pm (don’t we love the government!)
- Fill out the forms (parts A, H, I are sufficient). Use your sponsor’s address as yours.
- Go with your Chilean sponsor to any notary to copy the Ids of your sponsor and you, stamp and fingerprint the power of attorney and you’re good to go (1-2h). 10,000 clp
- Go back to the SII (if still open), get a waiting number and submit your RUT documents once you’re called. Usually, no questions from here. Congrats – you obtained now the right to buy and invest in Chile. Tomo una cerveza!
More stories to come soon:
a) Car hunting in Santiago – hola, estoy interesado en tu coche!
b) 10,000 clp por tres horas hotels – areas to stay and to visit in Santiago and areas to avoid – guess where our AirBnB is – haha 😉