Dreaming of a move to Chile

We are dreaming about a move to Chile in the next year(s).  Why?  Why not?  Seriously though, why not?  I'm interested in your reasons why, and why not to move.  Your "why not" probably won't stop us, but it will better prepare us for what to expect.  I'm interested in money saving tips, job advice, housing advice, best locations strength/weaknesses in Chile and cultural advice. 

Our Situation

One of us can work remotely, the other is looking to teach English as a second language.  We are both interested in learning the language, and only know basic Spanish.  We also have a beloved greyhound who will be coming with us.  I know it's expensive to ship a dog, but we're looking into private pet shipping companies.  I understand there are tons of dogs in Chile, but she's our baby.  If you have shipped a pet, or know someone who has, please contact me.  I have so many questions and concerns.

we have been exploring a move to chile. My daughter and I are currently down here exploring for a few days. I have to tell you, we are totally overwhelmed so far not only with the language barrier, but the overall differences in everything between the US and Chile. We just flew down and planned to wing it. It has been way more challenging than I thought. From lack of internet to lack of nav system to lack of even finding a place to sell me a map. I drove around Talca for 2 hours today looking for a bank and hotel before giving up and heading further south. The driving is not bad. The roads are good and signs are decent. But the signs on businesses are not nearly as well marked as in America. We have also planned to look at property and houses, but have not even seen a for sale sign or realty office. So other than searching online,  I am not sure how to find what is for sale down here since only a fraction is online. The scenery has been beautiful so far. Just a few random notes so far. We are 4 days into an 11 day trip. I would definitely recommend seeing it for yourself before committing. I am rethinking a bunch right now. Things are definitely older and dirtier than in the US. But you can see the bustling of activity in the cities. Things are hopping down here.

if you want to come to chile..you should come to puerto montt..(Moderated: Please post in the section housing in Chile)


Be sure to come back on here when you get back and share your thoughts on what you've found.  I'm going to be making a trip down there in April to check things out.

Why you travel thousand of kilometers expecting to see US-cities outside US?


I suspect that all of us have different reasons to move.

America is not the country I grew up in.  Our people are lazy and lack personal responsibility.  Corruption in government is always present to one degree or another, but it is now endemic and affects people's property and family rights.  We do not care for our elderly properly and rely far too much on government.  We have lost our culture, and have become barbarians.  Although I have fought against such trends for most of my life, that battle is lost now.

I am just looking for someplace civilized where I can move and say  "Tu pueblo será mi pueblo, y tu Dios mío."

I came down to see if capitalism is thriving as much as they say it is.

WatchingTheWeasels, exactly what I am thinking. America is toast. Bankrupt, lazy and becoming a pólice state more and more every day. I have been looking for the right place to move my family to in order to have the most future potential for business and freedom and quality of life. Chile is in our top 3 list with New Zealand and Costa Rica. Here is my take on 2 weeks down here. I think in one Word, I would describe Chile as FOREIGN to me. So many differences from where I grew up. Some good, some bad.

Food is cheap. But that may just be because the dollar is so strong against the peso right now. You can buy fresh fruit and vegetables cheap from hundreds of roadside stands throughout the country. All fresh from the farms. You can eat healthy down here for less than in the US. This is a huge plus and something we were looking for.

Building is going on EVERYWHERE. Roads, buildings, housing, etc. Construction everywhere.

Housing building materials are very different down here. I would say not the same quality as american homes. They obviously have to build for earthquakes as well, but overall they use different types of materials for homes. I did not get a good grasp on land prices or the cost to build unfortunately on this trip. Utilities are much higher. Electric and gas are higher than the US. Almost twice.

There is a tremendous amount of government housing  which is easy to spot. They are huge grids of the same exact box house in most cities. There is a pretty big amount of government welfare down here which concerns me. Even though capitalism is somewhat happening, there are about 15 super wealthy families that control most of the biggest industries here respectively. And very mafia like from what locals told me. If that is truly the case, then it will never rival what the US accomplished since monopolies do not innovate efficiently without competition. Still trying to wrap my mind around this. There is obviously a HUGE gap between the rich and poor here still. I am not sure how many years of economic boom it takes to filter down and créate a strong middle class like America used to have.

We drove through some Little towns that were almost third world. And others that were very modern. Some cities have big box stores and malls. There is a ton of graffitti throughout almost every town we passed through. Painting must be the national pasttime down here or something.

Weather is amazing all over. The southern lakes región is stunningly beautiful during the summer, but the locals told me it rains like it will never stop for 6 months. So not my optimal idea of a place to live permanently. Although awesome for summer vacationing.

We drove up into the andes a couple of times which are incredible. Living between route 5 and the andes would be nice. I would be playing in the mountains every weekend.

The weather is pretty much perfect between Santiago all the way to Los Angeles before starting to get into the Seattle rainy Winter weather pattern. Some áreas west of Santiago and around it are very, very dry. I think The Los Angeles latitude offers the best overall weather year round with enough natural rain wáter for gardens and crops.

We drove through hundreds of miles of orchards, grapes, trees and other produce. Much like California, they produce a tremendous amount of food. If you get the right piece of land, you can be almost entirely self sufficient down here. While I am on the topic of land, apparently there are only about 100-200 realtors in the entire country. At least that is what I was told. So there is probably a huge market for reallty and marketing of real estate in Chile.

The internet is still very week down here. There is a lot of potential for growth in that área.

The bus system down here is incredible. Buses everywhere. We didnt use them but it is a very extensive system that covers the whole country.

I think our overall experience would have been better had we known more spanish. So my goal is to learn a bunch more before I come down here again. The language barrier is frustrating when you are trying to learn a new culture. You can communicate what you need, but you can not get into deep discussions.

If you want to live like US, you definetly must live in East-Santiago (Las Condes, Vitacura, Providencia), it will easy find good and many jobs (in english as well), airport, mall, safe, a lot of green areas, if you have kids there are a lot of british schools (http://www.absch.cl/), subway, buses, and Clean and Order like the first world... i recommend also http://elrastro.cl/, you can find flat and houses to rent or buy (you can check how much is it also, direct link to rent flats in Santiago http://elrastro.cl/resultado.html?q=&cl … &Opta=&t=3).

Another city that last 10 year is growing fast, is Antofagasta, in the nord, actually, Antofagasta has the GDP of England, because cooper companies, there are a lot of oportunities for people that speak english, because all big companies are from Canada or UK. but my personal opinion, i donŽt like Antofagasta, is too expensive and desertic.

About spanish language,.. well we have our own language, one time, someone from States told me that we speak 50% spanish, and 50% chilean, that basically are words that just we talk, sometimes we have to ask what people mean, also repeat, because we canŽt understand we shoulder sometimes...!

Finally, about Dolars, i think in the next year will down, because China, that buy the 25% of the chilean cooper, it will stop to buy a lot of cooper, so less dolars will come to our country.

If you have some duties, please let us know.



I was doing more research today and was very surprised to come across this bit of information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestini … y_in_Chile

Chile apparently has the largest palestinian population outside of the middle east (estimated at 500,000-800,000 in a country of 17 million).  That's a seriously bad thing, given then inroads that violent elements could make into this community.

During your trip did you see any sense that there might be a security problem there because of this?

No, not at all. But interesting none the less.

It is easy to ship a pet however I advise going to the SAG website and get all of the info necessary to avoid problems. A greyhound will likely have to be shipped by Freight. Where are you coming from?

People integrate here, that is one of the things I love about Chile. No apologists for the culture and traditions, like we do in Canada. In Chile the fiestas patrias or national holidays are celebrated and everybody joins in. Chileans are proud of who they are and I respect that. I have been here almost 6 years and the Middle East issue is as far from here as anywhere. I think the key to an enjoyable and enriching experience is acceptance and adopting the norms of the country you go to.

I am not Palestinian by the way. I bet Detroit has a bigger Palestinian population than Chile? Definitely a larger Arab population....but this doesn't stop me from going to Detroit....what stops me for example, is the urban blight, the poverty and the crime and that is not perpetrated by the Arab or Palestinian population.


LSB wrote:

People integrate here, that is one of the things I love about Chile. No apologists for the culture and traditions, like we do in Canada. In Chile the fiestas patrias or national holidays are celebrated and everybody joins in. Chileans are proud of who they are and I respect that. I have been here almost 6 years and the Middle East issue is as far from here as anywhere.

That's good to know LSB.  That's the way things used to be here in America.

@ekampel just wondering - waht was it that made you want to explore Chile as a posible plave to move to?

Hello DreamersCove,

Welcome to Expat.com 1f601.svg

Not sure ekampel will get to see your message as the last time he was connected was 5 years ago.

Should you want to interact with more active members, I invite you to post a new thread on the Chile forum to ask your questions.



Expat.com team