Chile is simply a great place to live. Let me give you a summary of reasons why, all of which have been covered in earlier posts. Chile ranks among the top ten countries in the major world rankings of economic freedom published by the Heritage Foundation (Washington) and the Fraser Institute (Vancouver, Canada). Transparency International (Germany) has ranked Chile among the top 25 least corrupt countries in the world. Medical care in Santiago is, without exaggeration, world-class. Medical insurance is very affordable. The unemployment rate is low and inflation is very low, while economic growth is running around 5% to 6% annually. Violent crime is relatively low. Housing and office rental space in Santiago and Viña del Mar is very reasonable by world standards. Taxes are low. The climate in central Chile is wonderful, similar to southern California and the Mediterranean. The natural beauty of many parts is staggering, especially in the glacier-encrusted south.
Where should one live if he wants to maintain a First World lifestyle? The quality of life in northeastern Santiago (Las Condes, Providencia, Vitacura, La Dehesa [Lo Barnechea], and parts of La Reina, Ñuñoa and Huecheraba, along with coastal Viña del Mar and Concón, Rocas de Santo Domingo (and Las Brisas), Las Tacas, Puerto Varas, Pucón, and parts of certain suburbs of Concepción (San Pedro de la Paz, Lonco and Chiguayante) is on par with the First World. If you have a fussy wife, make sure you settle her into one of the aforementioned places. She will be far more likely to enjoy life if she is living in such conditions. I do not intend to offend any woman with that remark. Please understand that I speak to many people about coming to Chile, almost entirely initiated men, and a great problem that many men face is a reluctant wife. This fact is especially true among wealthy men which tend to have wives with pampered lifestyles that are simply horrified by the thought of leaving what they know and love for something that seems so risky and possibly unnecessary. Of course, those which are less “fussy” about niceties and fanciness, might not mind living in “Second World” smaller towns or on farms near them. In that case,there are plenty of other places to choose from.
All the aforementioned First World places should be on the “must visit list” for any prospective immigrant to Chile. Plus there are many beautiful smaller getaway areas in Chile, some First World in their accommodations, worth visiting. Look for these 75 spots on your map of Chile, moving from top to bottom:
15th Region: Lago Chungará (flamingos) and the horseshoe route from there up to Visviri and back
1st Region: Pica and Camiña.
2nd Region: Salt flats south of San Pedro de Atacama (flamingos) in Chaxa, San Pedro de Atacama
(plaza and Calle Caracol), Lagunas Miscanti and Mañiques (Socaire), El Tatio geysers.
3rd Region: Bahía Inglesa, Playa la Virgen, Playa Pan de Azúcar, San Félix.
4th Region: Vicuña up through Pisco Elqui, Samo Alto.
5th Region: Portillo, Zapallar, Concón and Reñaca (Viña del Mar), Rocas de Santo Domingo.
6th Region: Santa Cruz, beach coves south of Pichilemu.
7th Region: Vichuquén, Siete Tazas national park.
8th Region: Dichato and Pingueral, Santa Barbara, Termas de Chillán.
9th Region: Panguipulli, Curacautín across to Lonquimay (hitting sights in between), Capitan Pastene,
Queule (Mehuín), Puerto Fuy, Conguillio national park, Lago Caburgua, Volcán
14th Region: Mehuín (Queule), Corral, Lago Ranco.
10th Region: Puqueldón, Frutillar, Puerto Octay, Petrohué and Peulla (Lago Todos los Santos),
Ralún, Lago Rupanco, Volcán Osorno.
11th Region: Futaleufú and Lago Espolón, Coyhaique, Puerto Guadal, Puerto Bertrand,
Puerto Río Tranquilo, Lago General Carrera, Río Baker, Glaciers: O´Higgins, Pio XI
and San Rafael, Cerro Castillo, Lago Verde, mountains north of Puerto Cisnes, Lago
Christie, Lago Claro, Lago Esmeralda, Lago Cochrane.
12th Region: Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine national park, Beagle Canal (Puerto Williams).
Metropolitan Region: Cajón de Maipo, Farellones (ski areas), Alhué.
Those living in Chile should plan on visiting all of these places at some point. One way to do so is to simply hit nine or ten places a year over seven years. They are marvelous and make the experience of living in Chile even more spectacular. Nestled in the midst of all of these potential adventures is our new community development; Freedom Orchard. Click the link to find out how you can become part of the community. Sure, there are many other places worth seeing in Chile. There are so many gorgeous and secluded lakes for one thing. For another thing there are secluded curious places like Caleta Tortel and Melinka. For history, one must not miss Valparaíso, Iquique (including Hamberstone), downtown Santiago, La Serena and Punta Arenas (and the Strait of Magellan with its penguins on Isla Magdalena). Each forestry (7th through 10th regions mainly), agricultural (4th through 8th regions mainly), fishing (whole country) and mining town (like Salvador, Chuquicamata, Mina Escondida and Collahuasi) is interesting in its own way, too. But it probably makes good sense to at least know where the cream of the crop is located and head there first. In Chile there is a lot of cream!
I speak from experience, I have literally been everywhere that has 500 or more inhabitants in Chile, except four towns which I plan to see this year–two of them next month. I have also been to all major attractions and beautiful spots, often more than once. Few people know Chile better than I do, and you will not be disappointed by the touristic advice, and the advice on where you and your family might most easily and comfortably settle. Once again, Freedom Orchard
ought to be one of the top places on your list of possibilities.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost ever topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service (see http://www.chile-consulting.cl), where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49. If you have problems getting the book through the Overseasradio.com site, since the ORN Store is sometimes closed for maintenance, please use the PayPal info noted below.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago. Note: If the link to buy the book at the Overseasradio.com site does not appear, since the ORN Store is sometimes closed for maintenance, just send US$39 by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org and send an email or PayPal notice that you have completed your order. A download link will be sent to you directly.
The Overseasradio.com website also has Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), or the little book can also be obtained directly by following the aforementioned PayPal steps.