1. Understanding the Driving Culture
Driving in La Serena, Chile, can be a bit challenging for newcomers due to the different driving culture. Chilean drivers are known for their aggressive driving style, so it’s important to stay alert and cautious. Always follow the traffic rules and regulations to avoid any mishaps.
2. Car Recommendation
Compact cars are recommended for driving in La Serena due to the narrow streets and limited parking spaces. These cars are easier to maneuver and park. However, if you plan to explore the outskirts or rural areas, a 4×4 vehicle might be more suitable.
3. Parking Situation
Finding parking in La Serena can be difficult, especially during peak hours and in busy areas. However, there are paid parking lots available. The cost of parking is not overly expensive but can add up if you’re parking daily. It’s advisable to find accommodation with a parking space included if you plan to have a car.
4. Driving with an International License
Foreigners can drive in Chile with an international driver’s license for up to 90 days. After this period, you will need to obtain a Chilean driver’s license.
5. Obtaining a Chilean Driver’s License
To get a Chilean driver’s license, you must first have a Chilean ID (RUT). You will then need to pass a written test, a practical driving test, and a medical exam. It’s advisable to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and conditions.
6. Road Conditions
Generally, the roads in La Serena are in good condition. However, some roads can be narrow and winding, especially in residential areas. Be cautious when driving in these areas, especially at night.
7. Be Prepared for Traffic
La Serena can get quite congested, especially during peak hours. It’s advisable to plan your routes in advance and allow extra time for your journey.
8. Be Aware of Pedestrians
Pedestrians in Chile have the right of way, so always be vigilant and prepared to stop at pedestrian crossings.