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Chile on a Budget

You'll be unlikely to find a bargain from mid-December through February or in the middle of July. The exception is Santiago, as locals leave the city in the summer, making for better hotel rates. Rural hospedajes rent out rooms for cheap. City residenciales, or boarding houses, offer a room, shared bath and communal kitchen. (Beware: Many lack central heating.) More comfortable accommodations range from remote hiking lodges to sleek urban hotels. Restaurant meals are pricey, as is fresh food in the market, but beer and wine are bargain-priced. Public transportation is also a deal, including buses and the subway in Santiago.

Best Time to Go to Chile

With its vast north-to-south expanse, Chile has no one climate. Still, October and November are springtime, and tend to be the most pleasant time of year. High season in the Lake District is November through March, the Southern Hemisphere's spring and summer. Winter here can be cold and overcast, but the skiing is great in the mountains. In Patagonia, the weather is cool year-round and best September through April. Some places, such as national parks, may be closed in the winter. It is sunny and warm year-round in the Atacama Desert to the north. Easter Island enjoys tropical warmth all year.


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