Chile - Tourism, travel, and recreation

Tourists need a valid passport and visa or tourist card, with exceptions based on reciprocity agreements. Tourist attractions include the Andean lakes of south-central Chile and the famed seaside resort of Viña del Mar, with casinos rivaling those of Monaco. Also popular is Robinson Crusoe Island, in the Pacific. Another Pacific dependency, Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), with its fascinating monolithic sculptures, is a major attraction. The giant Christ of the Andes statue, which commemorates the peaceful settlement of the Chilean-Argentinian border dispute in 1902, is located on the crest of the Andes overlooking the trans-Andean railway tunnel. Santiago is noted for its colonial architecture, as well as the largest library in South America. Popular national parks include Parque Nacional Lanca in the North, the Nahuelbuta Park near Temuco, and Terres del Paine in the far South. Chilean ski resorts, notably Portillo, near Santiago, have become increasingly popular.

The most popular sport in Chile is soccer. Other pastimes include skiing, horseracing, tennis, fishing in the Pacific for marlin and swordfish, and some of the world's best trout fishing in the Lake District.

In 2000, 1,742,407 tourist visits were reported; about 49% were from Argentina. Tourism receipts totaled $827 million. That year there were 47,204 total hotel rooms with 110,137 beds and an occupancy rate of 31%.

In 2002, the US Department of State estimated the daily cost of staying in Santiago at $224.

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