Expats usually find the cost of living in Chile relatively affordable. That said, its political and economic stability still makes it one of the more expensive South American expat destinations, although prices fluctuate and vary around the country.

Expats moving to Chile's capital, Santiago, will find that the cost of living is reasonable. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2021, Santiago had a ranking of 108 out of 209 countries. 

Attractive executive salaries are certainly a lure for many expats, but top management positions in multinational firms are highly coveted and competition steep. In some cases, expat packages are not as lucrative as they once were so those making the move should ensure that their salary is high enough to accommodate life in Chile.

Moving to a foreign country often means using a new currency and getting familiar with banking, money and taxes in that country. Here is a breakdown of costs in Chile.

Cost of accommodation in Chile

Chile boasts a range of accommodation options for expats, and even top-quality housing tends to be affordable when compared to other major destinations. Buying and renting prices in the country are among the cheapest in Latin America, and a construction boom yielding sleek skyscrapers and an array of housing developments mean that standards aren't sacrificed even in the face of lower costs.

There's also plenty of opportunities for young, single expats to negotiate incredibly cheap shared housing, either with a Chilean family or in a furnished space with other expats.

Cost of groceries in Chile

The cost of food in Chile registers as cheap on a global scale but more expensive than in neighbouring South American countries such as Peru and Argentina. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables from the large central markets is a great way to save money and to sample the local flavours. Supermarket prices are slightly higher, and eating out and buying imported food items can be costly.

Cost of transport in Chile

Chile prides itself on its urban infrastructure, and its systems of public transport are well connected and affordable. The country's main modes of transit are buses and the metro, both of which are efficient, safe and economical. Taxis are more expensive and the drivers are notorious for overcharging foreigners, so expats should do their best to negotiate a reasonable fee or use a ride-hailing service that charges standardised rates.

Cost of schooling in Chile

Expats with children have a range of options for education and schools in Chile. Public schools in Chile tend to provide a lower standard of education than expats might be used to, and the curriculum is usually taught in Spanish. Some parents prefer to send their children to Chilean private schools but fees for these institutions can be awfully expensive. Plus, they don't always live up to the promise of providing better standards of education than public schools. 

For many expats, international schools in Chile are the answer to this dilemma. Their fees can also be astronomical, but it's often possible to negotiate an education allowance as part of an employment contract. 

Cost of living in Chile chart

Prices may vary across Chile, depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Santiago in March 2022.


One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CLP 340,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CLP 290,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CLP 580,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CLP 510,000


Eggs (dozen)

CLP 2,100

Milk (1 litre)

CLP 865

Rice (1kg)

CLP 1,050

Loaf of white bread

CLP 850

Chicken breasts (1kg)

CLP 3,865

Pack of cigarettes 

CLP 4,200

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

CLP 5,000

Coca-Cola (330ml)

CLP 1,015


CLP 2,000

Local beer (500ml)

CLP 2,500

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

CLP 40,000


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

CLP 94

Internet (per month)

CLP 25,000

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

CLP 109,000


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

CLP 1,000

Bus/train fare in the city centre

CLP 750

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

CLP 960

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