Saturday, April 28, 2012

Accommodation in Chile






There are a range of accommodation in Chile, camping at the hotel 5 stars. In high season (from mid-December to mid March), prices rise and, in most tourist areas, it is useful (if not necessary) to book in advance. Finally, note that the AJ, hospedajes, residenciales Hostels and, in short, addresses the cheapest, are often not heated during the austral winter (July-August).


The campsite

For those who crave the great outdoors and nature is the ideal way and also the most economical to visit Chile. It is easy enough to camp in national parks: most have a simple camping area, often with toilet and showers (not always very clean), and in an environment, of course, very friendly. Some are generally open in summer. Similarly, it is often possible to pitch a tent in the backyard of a hospedaje. You can buy or rent the right equipment for camping in most Chilean cities. Otherwise, in some parks, you will find a shelter run by the Conaf, often quite rudimentary.

Hostels

There are a dozen hostels association members Hostelling International in Chile. They are fairly well distributed throughout the country. There's even one on Easter Island.
Those who do not have the membership card can stay an extra charge, which varies between 500 and Ch $ 2 500 depending on whether a dorm bed or private room. Otherwise, it is possible to buy the membership card in any hostel, either once, or by stamp for each night a box "Yes" from the card after 6 nights, the card is completed and you is a member.

There is no age limit to stay in AJ.

Of course, there are also a lot of private hostels which do not require membership. No age limit, there either, and rates roughly equivalent to those of AJ "official".
Essentially dormitory housing, often with double, not much more expensive for couples. Most have a communal kitchen and an Internet connection (free).

The hospedajes

The hospedajes, widespread in Chile, are private houses renting rooms at modest prices. The quality of the welcome, cleanliness, comfort and charm of course vary from one house to another but also from one city to another. Most include breakfast. There is often a service Roofed (laundry) room with a TV, a station with Internet access and increasingly wifi ...

The residenciales

Structure halfway between the hotel and hospedaje, these are family homes with 4 or 5 bedrooms, possibly ten. They are supposed to be a little more chic than hospedajes, but this is not always the case.

The Hostels

In principle, a hostel type of accommodation is simpler than the hotel, often akin to a small pension. In practice, however, things get complicated as we have seen number of hostels that resembled furiously to residenciales or hotels ... when they were not identical in all respects to a hospedaje! In short, these various names are, in fact, fairly similar. Especially since the owners are often in order to look more "classy".

Hotels

Again, we must be careful with that word because some residenciales (or Hostels) call themselves hotel ... and vice versa. However, beyond a certain class, institutions shall appoint all hotels, have a receipt and provide constant attention to customers.

Important point: more and more hotels align themselves with the agreement that allows nonresident aliens to be exempt from the IVA (19%), if payment is made in cash, in euros or dollars, or by credit card. Generally, the tax has already been removed when prices are displayed in dollars ... and in principle, it will be added if you pay in pesos! Do well to specify the host.

The Bed & Breakfast

A developing trend in Chile, mainly in Valparaíso. These are private homes, often old and charming, with rooms for rent, including breakfast. There are several levels of comfort, reasonable prices and a very warm welcome.

Geography, climate and weather in Chile





Geography

Few countries in the world indeed offer such a wide variety of scenery on a narrow strip of land, long 4300 km and an average width of 180 km, succeed deserts and lagoons, salares (salt lakes) and canyons, oasis , active volcanoes, lakes, fjords, glaciers, islands ...

Wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, the country stretches from Peru to Tierra del Fuego. Bordered to the north-east by Bolivia, it is with Argentina that Chile shares its longest border: 3 500 km winding through the mountain range.

Easter Island and Juan Fernández Archipelago (including its famous island called Robinson Crusoe) are also part of the territory, and Chile also claims part of Antarctic territory.

The Andes

Backbone of the continent, the Cordillera extends from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, separating Chile from Bolivia and Argentina. Along an inclined plane, it rises gradually to the highlands of the Altiplano (around 4000 m), area of
​​the vicuna. It is dotted with peaks over 6000 m, some of which are active volcanoes.

Chile totaled 150 volcanoes considered active (2 085 in all), or 10% of the world. The many hot springs, geysers, fumaroles are directly related to the intense volcanic activity, reflecting the position of Chile on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The further down south, plus the height of the peaks decreases. In the Patagonian region, the Cordillera is fragmented into isolated massifs and dislocated by innumerable islands. Cape Horn, she disappears into the sea

Mountains and highlands occupy 80% of the total land area.

Five geographic regions

- Norte Grande: Arica to Chañaral, this region is dominated by the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world. Parallel to the coast lies a mountain range, an average width of 50 km and 1500 m high, which forms a barrier to camanchaca (mist) of the ocean. Next is a longitudinal depression about 2000 m altitude. Oases irrigated by meltwater from Andean peaks dot this vast desert.

- Norte Chico Chañaral of the river Aconcagua, is the transition region between the northern deserts and the rain area in the South. Semi-desert and cut by transverse valleys, it is a region of great contrasts between the Cordillera, deserts and fertile valleys. Occasionally, the exceptional rains brought by El Niño give rise to a unique phenomenon: the Desierto Florido.

- Central Chile: Central Valley has a Mediterranean climate, making it a very fertile area, where vines and fruit trees flourish. Are there 75% of the total population and most major cities, including Santiago and Valparaiso.

- La Araucania and Lakes region: south of Santiago, started the Lake, covered with forests, meadows and lakes. The beautiful is the Araucania region of Mapuche Indians. Off Puerto Montt, Chiloe Island, the largest in the country, is renowned for its inclement weather.

- Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego: the extreme south of Chile. Beautiful and wild regions where climatic conditions are extreme. As one goes south, there are more swarms of islands and islets separated by rugged fjords. In the end, cut off from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, divided between Chile and Argentina, is covered with snow from April to November. Not to mention the island Navarino last step before the mythical Cape Horn Archipelago.

- The Pacific Islands include Easter Island (the most isolated of the Pacific, 3760 km from Chile) and the Juan Fernández archipelago, which lies only 670 km from the coast.

Climate

Extending from north to south over nearly 4,300 km, Chile is experiencing climate extremes: it dries in the sun in the Atacama Desert (the driest in the world!) And you shiver in the rain in the south the country where the climate, windy, wet and is very influenced by cold air masses from Antarctica.

- Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed compared to Europe: it's winter in July-August, and it's summer in January-February.

- In addition to the length of the country, particularly two elements influence the climate. The presence of the cold Humboldt sea current in the Pacific Ocean, produced a thick coastal fog, the camanchaca, when it encounters the warm lands. The mountain ranges cause significant climate changes within the country.

El Nino

This weather phenomenon occurs on average every 5 years. It happened again for more weakly, but more frequently, most recently in 2009-2010. In the Pacific trade winds blow from areas of high atmospheric pressure the western coasts of the Americas to Indonesia and northern Australia. Crossing the ocean, the winds become loaded with moisture and, on the other side arrived, they release it as rain - also indirectly feeding the Indian monsoon. Dry, air masses leave high altitude towards the east. It's like a conveyor belt that drives the water from east to west on the surface, and from west to east at depth.

The Bolivian invierno

From January to March, the weather phenomenon called "Bolivian winter" occurs every year in the austral summer in the north. Sometimes violent rains pour over northern Chile. They can be accompanied by hail and snow. The wettest areas are generally areas of Putre, Belen, Colchane, Surire, and Chungara Visviri. So that within the driest desert in the world, in midsummer, suddenly it's raining!

Advice

- If you want to go trekking in Patagonia, the best time is the period from late November to early March. However, one should expect rain, even in summer.

- In the far north, the weather is nice almost all year round, with high temperatures in January-February and the possibility of rain in the Cordillera; related invierno boliviano, which can sometimes cut the roads.

- For fans of skiing, guaranteed snow in central and south between mid May and mid-October, peaking in July and August.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chile Culture

Museums, monuments

- Schedule: most museums are closed on Mondays, and schedules often change from one season to another.

- Reductions: most museums in the country, mainly for children, students with a valid International (French chart is also accepted, although sometimes you need a little stress) and seniors. Some museums are free on Sunday.

Music

Before the Spanish arrived, there were mainly two poles of musical culture: that of the Indians Atacameños North, with a musical cousin of the Incas and the Aymaras, the Mapuches and then Central and South America, whose tradition was less widely used. North Andean music is currently represented by groups like Illapu, Inti Illimani, Quilapayun ...

- The zamacueca appears in the nineteenth century, derived from the Spanish fandango. It then turns into cueca, today national folk dance.

- After WWII, a Chilean is needed at international level: Claudio Arrau (1903-1991), considered one of the finest classical pianists in the world.

- The 1960 Nueva Canción Chilena the lead, with, among others, Victor Jara, Patricio Manns and Parra family. Violeta Parra travels Chile for years, selecting and compiling folk themes from across the country. Shortly before his suicide (1967), she writes Gracias a la vida, which will be taken over by dozens of singers.

- There are still some peñas Chile, kinds of coffee-producing concerts where singers accompanied on guitar.

Silence during the dictatorship

11 September 1973, when the coup, several representatives of the "new Chilean song" are on tour abroad. Except Victor Jara, who was tortured and murdered by the military.

During the dictatorship, the only folk music that is authorized stripped of all social criticism. Musical instruments such as charango and quena are even prohibited, because they are considered revolutionary. Censorship reigns on television and in theaters and festivals. Many artists have to go into exile. The cassettes are carried under the coat.

During the dictatorship, many music and singers protested to text.

Music today

From the 1980s, the term rock music and cebolla. Now, obviously means a lot of English music. However, national groups have pioneered. Salsa made its debut, and salsotecas have opened up everywhere. In folk festivals, dance often cumbia (Colombia).

Musical Instruments

Zampona is the panpipes and Andean Quena flute: it is said to symbolize the wind on the Altiplano ... The charango is a kind of small guitar, which was once made of an armadillo shell. The Mapuche Indians have their own instruments: trutruca (horn from 1.50 to 4 m long), the pifilca (wooden whistle) and kultrún (drum).

Chile Food and Drink



 Chilean Kitchen

In truth, the Chilean table is more renowned for the quality and freshness of its products - fish and seafood in particular - for its expertise. There are all kinds of influences: Native American, Spanish course, but also English and German. Chilean cuisine reflects the country's history. It is generally slightly raised. Spices, red pepper (chilli) in mind, are always served separately. However, they do not skimp on the salt and sugar. Even if the inevitable chicken-fried and greasy burgers are gaining ground, the comedores or cocinerías markets often offer typical dishes, fresh and very cheap. Last thing, stop boring the Chilean commander in chili con carne ... This is a Tex-Mex dish, not Chile!

- Desayuno: breakfast. The two most common breads are served hallula (unleavened bread) and marraqueta. It is full of brown bread or in supermarkets. The Pan de Pascua is a fruit cake, prepared the Christmas period. Chileans make great egg consumption. But mostly, in the hostals, the breakfast is included in the economy: bread, butter, a little jam, instant coffee and maybe a fruit juice.

- Almuerzo: lunch, the most important meal. In most restaurants, there is often a full menu includes a dish, the best value for money.

- Cena: dinner. In a little more chic restaurants including, dinner costs often double the lunch.

- Sandwiches and snacks: the traditional empanada is a sock stuffed with fried meat, onions and olives.

- Mariscos (seafood): This is one of the highlights of Chilean cuisine! Large selection of products are obtainable often very fresh.

- Fish: To appreciate the full flavor, ask the a la plancha (grilled) rather than fritos (fried). Be wary of sauces, which are not an asset of Chilean cuisine.

- Meat: in the Lake District, the meat produced is second to nothing to the quality of Argentina. From the return of warm weather, any excuse is good to organize an asado, a barbecue.

- Vegetables: tomatoes and avocados (palta Chile) are most prevalent. Fresh coriander flavor dishes often. Vegetarian cuisine is beginning to spread.

- Desserts: The most common is the manjar. This is condensed milk, cooked until a thick caramel and very sweet. Otherwise, many küchen (cakes), one of the most visible legacies of German immigration to Chile. Among the fruits of the season in the north do not miss the tuna, the prickly pear. It makes excellent juice. The astringent copao, local fruit of a cactus, is more ... difficult to assess.

Some typical dishes

- Cazuela: a beef or chicken with potatoes, corn, vegetables, pumpkin. As it is boiled, it is not heavy but it's not really tasty ...

- Lomo a lo pobre:
​​fried steak with onions and topped with a fried egg.

- Pastel de choclo: ground beef or chicken cooked with raisins before and onions, covered with mashed potatoes and corn gratin.

- Ceviche: Served chilled, this dish of raw fish marinated with lime, cilantro and onions, is an appetizer of the most famous Chilean gastronomy. Unlike the Peruvian ceviche, the marinade is not spicy.

- Porotos granados: popular dish made with beans, with pumpkin, corn, garlic and onions.
- Curanto: specialty of the island of Chiloe. Stones are heated and placed on the bottom of a hole dug in the ground. It piles up in layers separated by sheets of nalcas, shellfish, meat and potatoes. The whole is covered and left to simmer.

Drinks

- Water: that of the llave (tap) is generally safe. In remote villages, preferring bottled water, especially in San Pedro de Atacama where arsenic is flowing ... We find (sin gas and con - and sparkling) everywhere.

- Bebidas: these are sugary soft drinks. The Coca reigns supreme, despite some inventions like the Chilean Bilz and Pap, hyper-sweet, neon and much cheaper than mineral water!

- Fruit juice: delicious fruit juices (Jugos naturales), especially in the north.

- Mote con huesillo: it is a specialty of the central region. These are wheat grains sprouted by soaking in a decoction of dried peaches. It did not look appetizing, but it's delicious.

- Tea: more consumed than coffee but really not great. In contrast, aguitas (infusions) are excellent.

- Coffee: In general, this is instant coffee, except in certain pubs major tourist cities and small towns where you can enjoy real espresso and cappuccino. If you want a latte, ask a cortado and not a cafe con leche (coffee drowned in a large cup of milk).

- Leche con platano: milkshake most common, with milk and banana. Tasty and great for stalling the stomach.

- Mate: although much more common in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, are found in southern Chile. This is an infusion that is drunk traditionally in a gourd with a bombilla (metal straw). Tonic (contains caffeine) and appetite suppressant, it is consumed initially by the gauchos.

- Mate coca: Not to be confused with the previous one, this is a tea made from coca leaves. Very nice and well known for its energizing and anti-altitude sickness.

- Beer: the cheapest is the pressure, called Shop. Bottled, the most common are the Escudo, the Royal and Kunstmann. In the South, the Southern is widespread.

- Pisco national drink of Chile, is a water-of-life grape. Do not miss under any circumstances to test the cocktail pisco sour, omnipresent, made with 3 parts pisco, a lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of sugar and one egg white finger, all on a bed of ice crushed. Use in moderation.

- Vaina: retro cocktail taste, made coffee liqueur, sherry and egg.

- Cola de mono (monkey tail!): Strange mixture of water spirits, coffee, milk, vanilla, served chilled. Prepares only the Christmas period.

- Chicha: fermented fruit juice and alcohol, very popular. Beware: this is a traitor! Not to be confused with the Andean chicha, made from fermented corn.

Chilean wines

The vast majority of Chilean grapes, not grafted, have a lifetime (experts say) three or four times that of a grafted vineyard (in Europe). This is from the mid-1980s that viticulture is growing strongly. Big names like Torres and Rothschild are beginning to invest in the country and orient production towards quality wines for export. The area of
​​vines (devoted to wine production) more than doubled in fifteen years. Meanwhile, exports (nearly 50% of production about half flew to Europe) have experienced a spectacular boom (+ 500%!). Today, with nearly 5% of the world, Chile has risen to seventh place worldwide.

There are three major producing regions: Maule, Bernardo O'Higgins and Santiago metropolitan region especially with the Maipo Valley. Not to mention the regions of Bío-Bío, Valparaiso and Coquimbo.

There are over a hundred fields, but five major companies produce 60% of local wine: Concha y Toro, Santa Rita, San Pedro, Santa Carolina and Emiliana. And there are also quite a Franco-Chilean wine Casa Lapostolle, Los Boldos, Las Casas del Toqui, Baron Philippe de Rothschild ... Many wineries are also open to visitors.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Money, banks, exchange


Currency and exchange

- The currency is the Chilean peso (Ch $).
In early 2011, € 1 was worth about $ 640 and $ 100 Ch Ch worth € 0.15.
- The euro is easily changed in Santiago and in most regions of Chile, although the courses are generally worse than for the dollar.
Furthermore, in top class hotels, billing is often done in dollars. If you plan to travel to some remote areas, we advise you to take greenbacks; attention, their condition must be perfect, otherwise they will not always be accepted.
- The casas de cambio are generally closed on Saturday afternoon (not all) and Sunday. Banks are open weekdays from 9 to 14.
The exchange rate can vary significantly by region: it is best to Santiago (downtown) than in remote places such as Patagonia ... Generally, we get better rates at banks.
Only some casas de cambio, as the chain Guinazu, change travelers checks at a lower rate than cash. Better whether denominated in dollars and euros. Still recount his tickets at the counter before leaving.
- On the edge of the casas de cambio, sometimes you are offered to make changes to black. Strongly discouraged, because you gain nothing or very little, and handling money in the street is very risky.

Payment cards
 
- Visa, MasterCard and American Express are pretty well accepted across the country in most hotels and restaurants, some shops and even supermarkets and petrol stations (most anyway).
- The withdrawal of cash with payment cards: widespread and very easy. With Visa, MasterCard and American Express, you can withdraw money at any time of day and night in vending machines. They are also found in most pharmacies Cruz Verde and in many supermarkets.
- To rent a car, a credit card is required as collateral for the deductible.

Budget

A trip to Chile is more expensive than a trip to Peru, Bolivia or Argentina. The cheapest solution is to prefer the bus (or stop) to the plane. That said, companies and PAL Principal Airlines Sky Airlines offer special fares only slightly more expensive than a bus ride cama. For sleeping, there are cheap small pensions (and hospedajes residenciales) or camping allowed in many places.

For dining, the almuerzo lunch is by far the most advantageous formula. Many restaurants offer a menu of the day.

- Average budget: for the backpacker on a budget, plan at least 15 000-20 Ch $ 000 per person per day.
- Seasonal variations: for accommodation in the tourist areas, the price differences between the summer (from mid-December to mid March) and the rest of the year can be quite large.
- For transport, it is the same.
- Payment in hotels for all services provided by hotels, nonresident aliens are exempt from paying VAT to 19%, provided you pay in dollars, euros and / or with a payment card. The hospedajes are generally not affected.

Accommodation

The rates that we report are those of a night in double room in high season.

- Very cheap: up to $ 12 000 Ch (about 19 €).
- Cheap: 12 000 to Ch $ 20 000 (approx € 19 to 31). For the majority of small and hospedajes Hostels.
- Average Prices: from 20 000 to Ch $ 32 000 (approx € 31 to 50). The best hostels and small hotels.
- Chic: from 32 000 to Ch $ 55 000 (about 50-86 €).

There is a notable difference in price between Santiago, Valparaíso, some northern cities (Antofagasta and San Pedro de Atacama), Chiloe Island, southern Patagonia, Easter Island and the rest of the country. For these cities and regions then, the price range increases significantly.

- Very cheap: up to $ 15 000 Ch (about 23 €).
- Cheap: 15 000 to Ch $ 25 000 (about 23-39 €).
- Average Prices: from 25 000 to Ch $ 40 000 (about 39-63 €).
- Chic: 40 000 to Ch $ 55 000 (approx € 63 to 86).

Restoration

Prices shown are those of a plato de fondo (main dish) plus starter or dessert.

- Very cheap: up to $ 3 000 Ch (5 €).
- Cheap: 3 000 to $ 6 000 hp (about 5-9 €).
- Average Prices: from 6 000 to Ch $ 12 000 (about € 9-19).
- Chic: more than $ 12 000 hp (19 €).

As for accommodations, here are the higher price ranges, valid in Santiago, Valparaíso, Antofagasta, San Pedro de Atacama, southern Patagonia, Chiloe Island and Easter Island:

- Very cheap: up to $ 3 500 Ch (5.50 €).
- Cheap: 3 500 to 7 000 USD Ch (5.50 € 11).
- Average prices: from 7000 $ 15 000 Ch (22-23 €).
- More chic: more than $ 15 000 hp (23 €).

Tip

Tipping, or propina, is frequently used in Chile. In restaurants and bars, usually left 10% of the amount of addition. This is an important addition to the salaries of employees who are not very high. In hotels, the person helping you with your luggage will not refuse a small gesture.
Purchases

In Northern Chile

- Region of Arica: Hand-woven fabrics, sweaters, gloves, hats and ponchos in alpaca and llama, miniature church steeples of the Altiplano, Andean musical instruments.
- San Pedro de Atacama: wool sweaters and rugs, stone sculptures Toconao, reproductions of Inca bronze coins, miniature creches very kitsch.
- Region of La Serena: wicker, stone objects of Combarbalá, imitation pottery Diaguitas and everything can be made from papaya (jam, nectar, candy, etc..).

Santiago and its surroundings

- Jewelry and lapis lazuli (found only in two places in the world: Chile and Afghanistan). The stone with the most value is dark blue, dotted with small golden tips (pyrite). Beware of dyed stones.
- The pottery of Pomaire are widespread in Chile, they are used much in the kitchen, for example, small round gratin dishes.

In southern Chile
- At Chiloe: sweaters, hats and wool carpets. Utilitarian objects made of wood.
- Crafts Mapuche: many textile, mantas (blankets) and shawls (shawls), wool from sheep or alpaca, and colored with natural colors (bark or roots). Also, the cestería (basketry), jewelery and musical instruments: trutruca (horn from 1.50 to 4 m long), pifilca (wooden whistle), kultrun (drum), cascahuillas (bells).

Useful stuff



In France

- Embassy of Chile: 2 Avenue de La Motte-Picquet, 75007 Paris. Mr. La Tour Maubourg. Tel: 01-44-18-59-60. Email: @ echile.francia minrel.gov.cl. Open Monday to Friday from 9h to 13h and 15h to 18h. Failing Chilean Tourist Office in France, the Consulate provides documentation (free) on the country.

- Consulate of Chile: 64, boulevard de La Tour Maubourg, 75007 Paris. Mr. La Tour Maubourg. Tel. : 01-47-05-46-61. Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 10:30. For visa applications, by appointment from 15h to 16h.

- Chile Info: BP 30, 78210 Saint-Cyr-School. Tel. : 01-30-45-09-09 (afternoon only). Email: infochili1@free.fr. The information desk (this is not a tourist office) will give you practical advice and can assist you in planning your trip. They are specialists in Patagonia. They are very knowledgeable and very friendly. It’s a free service.

- Prochile: 4, rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris. M.: Opera. By appointment only. Tel: 01-55-04-88-88. Commercial Service of the Chilean Embassy. Address important for those wishing to do business or invest in Chile.

- Chile Tourism: tel: 04-50-57-35-52. Association specialized on Chile. Free shipping doc. Also booking flights, hotels, cars, trips. Can be combined with Argentina and Bolivia.

In Belgium

- Embassy of Chile: Street Adriatic, 106, 40, Brussels 1040. Tel. : 02-743-36-60 02-280-16-20 and (consulate). Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 13pm.

In Switzerland

- Embassy and Consular Section of Chile: Eigerplatz 5, 3007 Bern. Tel: 031-370-00-58-59. Open Monday to Friday from 9h to 17h

In Canada

- Embassy of Chile 50 O'Connor St, Suite 1413, Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6L2-. Tel. : (613) 235-44-02. And 1010 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 710, Montreal (Quebec PQ) H3A-2R7. Tel. : (514) 499-0405.

Entry Requirements

- Passport: Mandatory. Must be valid six months after the scheduled return date.

- Visa: it is not mandatory for the French for a stay not exceeding 90 days. No visa required for either Belgians, Swiss and Canadians.

A white sheet acting as tourist visa is issued on entry of the country by customs, entitled to 90 days of stay.

In case of loss: the possibility of renewing the Policia Internacional, General Borgoña, 1052, Santiago. To extend your stay, ask for an extension (before the due date; $ 100) at Departamento de Extranjería, San Antonio, 580 (2nd floor), 1342, Santiago, or make a quick trip to Argentina or Peru: the return , you are given a new white sheet. It is forbidden to work with this type of document.

- International Driving Permit: required (in principle) if you intend to drive in Chile.

- Warning: do not carry any perishable in your luggage, like fruit or cheese. It is strictly forbidden. You risk confiscation of your passport and you can retrieve it after paying a large fine.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

The ISIC student status in the world and you can enjoy all the benefits, services and student discounts in the world, on transport, accommodation, culture, recreation, shopping ...
The ISIC also provides access to exclusive offers on travel (airfare, hotels and hostels, insurance, SIM cards, car rental ...).

Map to International Youth Hostels (YHA card)

The map FUAJ, valid in more than 90 countries, opens the doors of the 4000 hostels in the Hostelling International network spread throughout the world. The card is mandatory to stay in a youth hostel, so you can get one before you leave or on site.

Apartment Rentals in Paris



Hello friends! Do anybody of you are in hunt for the apartment rentals in Paris? Does anybody of you would like to truly enjoy Paris with no flouting your bank account on hotel checks? If your answer for me is ‘yes’, then keep on reading this article. The apartment rentals in Paris provide us the prospect to incorporate hooked on the lovable society of wonderful Paris. We can have a chance to taste cappuccino and snack on a croissant every crack of dawn with no feeling the necessity to hurry from a place to the next. They are short term apartments that are borrowed for a time of weeks or even for months. These could be unique divisions in a bigger complex that are kept for business as well as lasting tourists, or else they are entities that you sublet from the occupant. There are also prospects to exchange homes among Parisians. Somebody may possibly desire to stay at your home whereas you stay at his or her home. While you make the most of a lot of apartment house rentals in Paris, you can fling the traveler route out. You need not to comprise to stuff the whole thing you can hook on a less time. You can unwind and now allow the date arrive to you. I was also suggested this idea to one of my friends who recently gone to Paris. Thanks :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

About Chile


- Population: 16.9 million. The urban population is about 89%. Mestizos (Europeans and Indians) account for 66% of the total Chilean population, Europeans 26%, Indians 6%, other 2%.

- Area: 756,102 sq km (and more than 6,300 km of coastline).

- Capital: Santiago (about 6 million inhabitants).

- Languages: Spanish is the official language.

- Religion: Catholic (70%), evangelicals (15.1%).

- Life expectancy: 74.5 years for men, 81 for women.

- Currency: Chilean peso.

- Government: presidential democracy.

- Head of State: Sebastián Piñera, the first right-wing president since the fall of Pinochet, and billionaire businessman dubbed the "Chilean Berlusconi" (since March 2010).

- Resources: copper (first world producer) and mining (gold, silver, iron), agriculture and agribusiness, fishing (3rd in the world, second to the salmon), and also wood and cellulose.

- Unemployment rate: around 7.3%.

- Growth rate: 4%.

- Heritage Sites UNESCO World: Park Rapa Nui (1995) on Easter Island, the churches of Chiloe Island (2000), the historic port city of Valparaíso (2003) the Saltpeter Works Humberstone and Santa Laura (2005) near Iquique, and the mining town of Sewell (2006).

Economy

For twenty years, the Chilean economy shows high performance results. In the 1990s, its annual growth hovered around 8%. From 2000, she began to oscillate between 2 and 6% per year, reaching nearly 5% in 2010. The trade balance surplus.

The causes of this "exception Chilean" back in part to the coup of 1973, when the country embarked on a policy of ultra-liberalism, privatization and opening the country to international competition.

Chile, the first world producer of copper, has also benefited from very favorable conditions, with the sharp increase in world demand for minerals and soaring prices. Meanwhile, the country has developed a policy of "all-out trade agreement" (free trade agreements). It now takes a quarter of its GDP from exports.

Over 20 billion dollars has been placed in an SWF in which it was possible to draw to face the global economic crisis: the stimulus Chile was able to be one of the largest in the world.
The Chilean economy is very sensitive to demand conditions and international.

Strong economic growth, if it has reduced unemployment, was not accompanied by any reduction of social inequalities. Quite the opposite: the rate of income distribution in Chile is among the worst in emerging countries. A potentially explosive situation. The pillars of the economy are mining, agriculture and agro-industry, fisheries, wood and cellulose.

Human rights

Died December 10, 2006, Augusto Pinochet has not been imprisoned for crimes he committed during his dictatorship. The lengthy court proceedings, which resulted in the lifting of his immunity shortly before his death, however, will help Chile to overcome the vestiges of the political system inherited from the military dictatorship. Certainly the issues of reparations and the judgment of the torturers and contractors are still tough.

Contemporary Chile is also confronted with discrimination against Native American peoples, like the Mapuche. Victims of expropriation on the part of landowners and businesses, they face a constant legal harassment and repression of the police during their demonstrations.

Chile - a gorgeous country


Chile is a beautiful country and disregarded. This narrow strip of land of nearly 4,300 km long, stretching beneath a clear sky studded with stars and has many advantages. The friendliness and hospitality of its people is one. The show wild landscapes of Chile, an incredible diversity and great beauty, are another.

Take the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, and its salares dotted with pink flamingos, the barrier of Andres rearing its grand harrow and dotted with volcanoes, snow cones on top of the altiplano lakes, forests and vineyards central Region of Chile, the vast steppes, fjords and glaciers of this land so far away that are Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Is it a coincidence that, in this stunning geography, we find both the most arid region on Earth (the Atacama Desert) and one of the wettest (Chiloe Island)? Finally, the icing on the cake ... Easter Island!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Scotts® Snap® Spreader System

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
My friend named jeni is having do-it-yourself nature, while after months of the great effort with her lawn, I recommended her to look out for a good backyard service. It is really amazing to say that, the technology in the present day is incessantly getting much improved. Backyard care also has seen much many huge progresses these days and a thing to put up in discussion is the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System.
How exactly does this excellent Snap® Spreader system work? It is really the best uncomplicated thing. If you use this machine, you will be free from cutting, opening and pouring the weighty bags of fertilizers. The Snap® Pac links up directly to the Spreader. This system by design automatically sets the flow rate. The Snap® Pac locks up itself therefore you can store it without spilling in everywhere. Watch the video testimonial below to know more about this excellent product.
It is simply a trouble free thing to use that the people who are unaware of the garden things could also use it. The whole thing you require to do is just Snap, Lock and Go! Besides, you can connect with the Snap® Perks program on Facebook also. The Snap perks on Facebook started on March 7, 2012. Following your registration to the facebook page, you may have the chance to make Perks and also can win fabulous prizes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Must see in Quebec




Montreal and surrounding areas
  •             Old Montreal
  •             The "village" St. Denis
  •             The "Plateau": for brunch or a night out
  •             The "Catherine"
  •             The quartierOuest, especially at night
Museums
  •             The Museum of Archaeology and History Pointe-à-Callière (go on arriving at Montreal)
  •             The Canadian Centre for Architecture
  •             The Museum of Fine Arts
  •             The Museum of Contemporary Art

Quebec

        The High City
  •             The picturesque streets
  •             The Museum of French America
  •             The Museum of Art Inuit Brousseau
  •             St. John Street, the main thoroughfare of the old town
  •             The Artillery Park
  •             The Notre-Dame-du-Quebec
  •             The Chateau Frontenac
  •             Dufferin Terrace
  •             Stroll along the ramparts
  •             The Museum of Quebec

        Lower City
  •             The Rue du Petit-Champlain
  •             Place Royale
  •             The Church of Our Lady of Victories
  •             The Chevalier House
  •             The Museum of Civilization (not to be missed)
  •             Street Sub-le-Cap
        The port area

            Walk in the neighborhood

        In the surrounding area
  •             The traditional village-Wendat Onhoüa Chetek8e (eating out Nek8arre)
  •             Montmorency Falls
  •             Parc du Mont-Sainte-Anne Canyon and the Saint Anne Falls
  •             The Isle of Orleans: a tour of the island by bike

Fortnight

In addition to the previous route:

    The Charlevoix

        Near Bay St. Paul
  •             Walk in Charlevoix
  •             Hiking in the park des Grands-Jardins
  •             St. Irenaeus
     Tadoussac
  •             The chapel of the Indians
  •             Chauvin home
  •             ICMM (interpretation center for marine mammals)
  •             Boat trip for whale watching (hint: it is better to take the boat Bergeronnes)

   Gaspesie

        Gaspe
  •             The museum of the Gaspe
  •             The site interpretation Micsmacs
  •             The route from Gaspe to Perce
  •             Coin du Banc: beautiful landscape

        Perforated
  •             Perre Rock
  •             The park's interpretive center of Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock
  •             Hiking in the surrounding hills
  •             Bonaventure Island: bird watching and hiking

    Back on the Montreal South Shore of the St. Lawrence

        The Green Island
  •             Visit the oldest lighthouse in the St. Lawrence River
  •             Walking and cycling

        Kamouraska
  •             Walk along the river
  •             Museum of Kamouraska

In addition to the previous route:

    The Charlevoix

        Baie-Saint-Paul
  •             Walk in Charlevoix
  •             Hiking in the park des Grands-Jardins

        The Landslides
  •             Excursion to Cap-aux-Geese (where the St. Lawrence River becomes sea)

        Port-au-Persil

            The ecological center of Port-au Saumon

        St. Irenaeus

            The long and beautiful beach

        The interior of Charlevoix
  •             The regional park of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie
  •             Walks to Great Mountains Fund

    The Saguenay and Lac Saint-Jean

        The Anse Saint-Jean
  •             The Falls Trail
  •             Kayak rides
        The Saguenay Park
  •             The center of the Saguenay Park Interpretation
  •             Many walks in the park
        Lac Saint-Jean
  •             Mashteuiatsh (Pointe-Bleue): the Indian museum, the craft store
  •             Sainte-Rose-du-Nord: the Museum of Nature
    Gaspesie

        Grand-Métis

            Reford Gardens

        The park of Gaspesie
  •             Long walks in the Chic-chocs
  •             Hiking in Mount Albert
  •             Moose observation in Lake Saint-Paul
        The route from Gaspe to Perce

            Coin du Banc: beautiful landscape

        Carleton-sur-Mer
  •             The beach
  •             Bird watching
  •             Mount St. Joseph

Lifestyle in Quebec



Time difference

 When it is 18h in France it is 12 in Quebec (so - 6 am).

Electricity

As the United States: 110 volts and 60 periods (in France: 220 volts, 50 cycles).
The North American electrical plugs are two flat pins. You will need an adapter. Make sure your devices accept either the 110 or 220 volts. If this is not the case, do not forget to bring a converter.

You can get an adapter at the airport, the reception of most hotels, or in an electronics store, but it's harder for converters.

Language

Since 1977, French is the only official language in Quebec. Quebecers, who have been fighting for their language, translate systematically all Anglicisms such as "stop" (stop), "park" (parking lot), "Weekend" (weekend ), "mail" (email), "drive-in" (drive-thru), "rocking chair" (rocking chair) ...
This sometimes literal translation that we do not always grasp at first, for example, the typical "welcome" instead of English "you are welcome" ("please").

And then there's these expressions and English words that have been Anglicized "cancel" (cancel), "apply" (apply), "is committed" (that is busy), "falling in love" (" fall in love ") ...

Also note: the trades combine feminine. We speak of a writer, a writer, a Mayor. Small point of structure, to finish: you will often hear questions being repeated use of the pronoun. Examples: "You do you want? "" You think you? ". The you is sometimes affixed to other sentences: "It may do you? "

Do not try to use these words by imitating the accent (Quebecers hate).

Note that the French Acadians have their own, different from Quebec by his accent, for some aspects of its vocabulary and often polluted by English.

Do not be surprised if a conservator, a trader or some other complete stranger you familiar terms: in Quebec, the tu is king, but wait to be intimate terms before doing it yourself ...

Post

In large cities of Quebec, positions are often eccentric, but there are outlets in major drugstores, convenience stores, etc.. These "minipostes" offer all the services, so no need to look elsewhere. Postage for Europe at $ 1.75 for a card or letter of maximum 30 g.

Every item is at the post office (General Delivery) must be claimed by the addressee himself within 15 days at the latest, otherwise it can be returned to sender. In large cities, though no specific post office is indicated, go to the main post office. One can also send mail to his American Express agencies.

Tobacco

It is strictly forbidden to smoke in public buildings and even within a radius of 3 m around doors and windows! This also applies to transportation, restaurants, bars, nightclubs ... except of course the terrace.

Telephone and telecommunications

Phone

Long-distance calls

- From France to Canada: 00 (tone) + 1 + area code + number to 7 digits.
-  From Canada to France: 011 + 33 + number (without the leading 0).

- Prepaid telephone cards (calling card): there are a range of call for very low rates, some in Canada, for other countries. Special dial indicated, then the code previously scraped and the subscriber number. For cars, first insert a 25-cent coin, which will be returned at the end of communciation. At the beginning of each call, a voicemail tells you the available balance in minutes.

Before choosing your card specialist, check the communication time available for the chosen destination, but also the existence of any connection charges (connection fees). When they exist, they will penalize those with a little call frequently. The best deals on the international offer up 1000 minutes (almost 17h) for $ 5!

Bell cards are more expensive but are easier to use.

-          In many devices, you can also use their payment card but it is very expensive. Also avoid calling your hotel.

Local calls

Local calls in Quebec are very simple: all you need is two 25-cent coins, and you are entitled to a communication of unlimited duration. You can also use prepaid phone cards worth $ 5, $ 20 or 10 found in convenience stores; careful though: there are still some cabins that are not equipped to receive them.

- For local calls within the same regions, dial the full 10-digit number, ie the area code followed by 7-digit number, even if we call in the same village. In contrast, the 911 emergency number remains the same regardless of the locality. For consistency, the numbers are presented in the text with dialing codes.

- The toll free numbers within the country begin with 1-800, 1-855, 1-866, 1-877 and 1-888.
Internet

You can access the Internet in the specialty coffee ("cyber" prices around $ 5 / h) and in the libraries of the cities (where it is often free, but not always). WiFi is now available almost everywhere: AJ, hotels, lodges, everyone is put. It is also often available even in the chalets in the forest and self-service in cafes and some central areas!