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La Serena, Chile

Rank#787 La Serena, Chile

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Chile is relatively safe, road conditions are very good, and roadside assistance is widely available with local insurance. Yellow reflective vests are required in all cars in case of a roadside emergency. Vehicular inspections are required yearly in order to renew your mandatory car insurance. In the more remote parts of Chile, gas stations and roadside assistance may be limited, so it is advisable to travel with at least one spare tire and extra fuel.

Traffic Laws: Driving under the influence of alcohol in Chile is severely punished and can result in incarceration. While in Chile, you may encounter road conditions and traffic laws that differ significantly from those in the United States:

  • Right-hand turns are prohibited at red lights unless otherwise posted.
  • Major highways in and around Santiago collect tolls with an electronic transmitter (available at
  • Secondary and mountain roads may be poorly maintained, poorly lit, and may lack guardrails.
  • Some primary roads to remote tourist attractions are not paved, but are well maintained, with graded gravel.
  • Many drivers do not signal lane changes and rarely yield to merging traffic.
  • Many drivers exceed posted speed limits, do not maintain safe distances, and do not observe posted road signs.
  • Major arteries in Santiago may switch directions during morning and evening rush hours.
  • Drivers must carry sufficient Chilean pesos to pay frequent highway tolls.

Visitors can drive with a valid U.S. license for the duration of their tourist permit (usually 90 days). Renting a car is also possible, although insurance may not be available in some forms for drivers without a Chilean or international driver?s license. Dual nationals and U.S. citizens residing in Chile should have a Chilean driver?s license.

Public Transportation: Taxis and public transportation are generally safe, plentiful, and relatively inexpensive. Avoid using unmetered taxis. To use the public bus system in Santiago, you need to obtain the prepaid ?Bip? card, which can also be used on the Santiago subway.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Chile?s National Tourist Office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Chile?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Chile?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Chile should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts on the Maritime Administration website. Information may also be posted to the websites of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Geospace Intelligence Agency (select ?broadcast warnings?).

La Serena, Chile
La Serena, Chile
La Serena, Chile
La Serena, Chile

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