If you're planning a trip to Chile (or wish you were) this is the book to get you ready. Dealing with everything from money exchange to lodgings to transportation, it has invaluable information to carry you from "tourist" to "traveler." The content is divided by geographical sections (much as the country itself is) to make it easier to plan a trip or get the specific information you need on a trip already planned. If you're interested in getting away from the escorted "back on the bus in five minutes" type of trip, this guide will get you there. There are wonderful descriptions of each region and its attractions, plus names, phone numbers and prices for food, lodging, transportation...even the location of the cambios de change for changing money, ATMs, and tourist informtion centers in each town. We picked this up by chance in a local library and found it so valuable we're planning to purchase our own copy before our upcoming visit. We'll let you know how well it represented reality when we return!
having spent a couple of months travelling through chile, i got to know my rough guide well, and had chance to compare to many of the other guide books out there, there are speciality books which cover other areas better and in more detail, some only available in chile. but of the mainstream guides this is definately the best. the cultural information is where the rough guides stand out, in fact a couple of our favorite places in Chile didnt even warrant a mention in one of the better known guide book series. the section on accomodation was the most lacking although occasionaly useful, as none of the guide books seem to have discovered the backpackers hostels which cover chile. but aside from this if you want a guide to chile, this is one of the best.
My husband and I loved this book. We are senior citizens who wanted to spend a few days in Chile on our own, prior to a cuise around Cape Horn to Argentina. This guide gave us very accurate, detailed information in many areas: transportation, hotels, restaurants, sights. We used it during the cruise to tailor our own shore excursions. It contains every bit of information that you would need for a very enjoyable trip to Chile. Chile is safe, very modern, and beautiful. English is not common but people were friendly and very well educated. Take a phrase book along. If you speak Spanish, you will not want to leave. This is a better experience than Mexico.
After studying in Chile and comparing different South American guide books, I found the Rough Guide to Chile to be the easiest to read and the most accurate. I normally buy the Lonely Planet on a Shoestring series, but was surprised and disappointed at how out-of-date many of the entries were. The Rough Guide gives you practical information and options, which I like.
The Rough Guide is full of useful, accurate information ( a little out of date) - but the writers lack a certain enthusiasm for this country. An enthusiasm that can be found in other books such as the Open Road guide.