Abstract Two hundred and eighty-one isolates of Acinetobacter spp. obtained from clinical specimens in hospitals from five Chilean cities were identified to species level and biotyped. Respiratory tract and wound secretions were the main sources of the isolates. Acinetobacter baumannii was the most frequent species (96·8%), followed by Acinetobacter genospecies 3 (2·8%). Twelve different biotypes of A. baumannii strains were found of which biotypes 9, 8 and 6 were the most frequent. Isolates of other biotypes were rare. These results differ from most other Latin American and European countries.