Moon Handbooks Chile

The Moon Handbooks Chile travel guidebook is another excellent resource for both general and specific travel information on Chile and Santiago.

The Introduction for Chile starts on p. 1 and continues through p. 39. Here are brief, but very helpful, introductory overviews of Chile, its Land, Flora and Fauna, Cultural Landscape, Environmental Issues, History, Government and Politics, Economy, and Population and People.

The next section of the Moon Handbooks Chile, ON THE ROAD, begins on p. 40 and runs to p. 98. ON THE ROAD covers Outdoor Recreation (several pages on Protected Areas, Hiking, Climbing, Cycling and Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Skiing, Birding, Paragliding, and Water Sports), Spectator Sports, Arts and Entertainment, Accomodations, Food and Drink, Getting There (By Air, By Land, By Water), Getting Around (Air, Bus, Train, Hitchhiking, Car and Motorcycle, Bicycle, Ferry, Local Transportation, and Organized Tours – the organized tours include a nice list and description of tours offered by both US- and Chile-based tour operators along with contact info), Information and Services, Health and Safety (several pages on Before You Go, General Health Maintenance, Food- or Water-Borne Diseases, Insect-Borne Diseases, Hantavirus, Rabies, Snakebite, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Altitude Sickness, Sunburn, Hypothermia, Smoking, Local Doctors, Pharmacies, and Crime), Money, Communications and Media, Maps and Tourist Information, What to Take, Film and Photography (important comments about photographic etiquette are found on pgs. 38, 39, and 97), and Weights and Measures.

The third section of the Moon Handbooks Chile, Santiago and Vicinity, has a total of 62 pages of information on Santiago (from p. 99 through p. 160). It covers Land and Climate, History, Orientation, then Santiago Sights (more than 20 pages, including such sights as Plaza de Armas and Vicinity, Barrio Civico, Cerro Santa Lucia and Vicinity, etc.), and then Santiago Practicalities (another 20+ plus pages on Accomodations, Food, Entertainment and Events, Sports and Recreation, Shopping, Services, Information, Language Schools, Transportation, and Getting Around), and finally, the Vicinity of Santiago (Caleu, Termas de Colina, Cajon del Mapocho, Vina Undurraga, Pomaire, and Cajon del Maipo).

Moon Handbooks Chile provides two good-sized maps on Santiago, one covering Santiago West (pgs. 108, 109), and one covering Santiago East (pgs. 110, 111), which provide a nice overview of the city’s layout. Several of the key points and sights mentioned in the guidebook are marked on the maps.

Here is a sample from Moon Handbooks Chile from Santiago and Vicinity, p. 99:

INTRODUCTION

For most visitors to Chile, the sprawling megapolis of Santiago de Chile, and the Mediterranean hillsides and snow-covered Andean crest of its hinterland, are their first impression of the country. Santiago may lack the high profile of Buenos Aires, but many of its attractions can match or some say even surpass those of the Argentine capital. And few world capitals can match the skiing, hiking, climbing, and white-water rafting and kayaking that are barely an hour beyond the city limits.

Five million people, more than a third of all Chileans, live in Gran Santiago (Greater Santiago), the sprawling capital city at the foot of the Andes. The locus of Chile’s political and economic power, it has, like most other capitals in the region, grown inexorably at the expense of the regions, but internally its growth has been uneven-while some of its 32 comunas (italics) or boroughs have become prosperous and even wealthy, others are poor or even desperately poor. The residential segregation by class is particularly striking, even if the standards of poverty are less extreme than in cities such as La Paz, Lima, or Mexico City.

Moon Handbooks Chile is another very good guidebook, well-written and researched. We find it a little easier to read, possibly due to the layout and width of the book. Recommended.

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