Chile Summary

Facts about Chile

Chile is a thin strip of land in South America bordered on the west by the South Pacific Ocean and in the east by the Andes Mountains. More than 80-percent of the terrain in Chile is mountainous. Argentina borders Chile on the west and Peru and Bolivia both have borders in north Chile.

For a relatively small country of its size, the range in scenery is among the best in the world, and because of this it is a extremely desirable destination for adventure seeking tourists, backpackers, and students wanting to get into a study abroad program.

The Atacama Desert is one of the most arid regions in the world. There are many species that live in the desert like Llamas, the Chilean Puma, Flamingos, the Gray Fox, Iguanas, thorny deep-rooted plants and cactus. The country's ample copper supply is also located in the desert area.

Prior to Spain controlling the country in the 16th century, the northern part of the country was ruled by the Incas. Approximately 40 percent of the population lives in the region close to the capital of Santiago.

Many tourists tend to visit the most isolated island worldwide, Chile's Easter Island, which happens to be 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of Chile. This is the famous place where the moai statues are that travellers want to see so much and brings visitors to this small Polynesian island.

map of Chile

Capital: Santiago
Leader: President: Michelle Bachelet
Government type: Republic of Chile
Population: 16,136,000 (Source: National Geographic)
Languages: Spanish (official - castellano), English, Italian, German,Chinese, Indigenous (Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Alcalufe, Rapa Nui).

Ethnic Diversity: White and white Amerindian 90%, Amerindian 3%, Mapuche 7%, Mapuche Indians (500,000) , Palestinians 1 (300,000)
Official Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
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Very comfortable average temps annually from the north to the south with temps ranging from 38°F to 57.2°F in Santiago's winter season and in January, summertime temps of 53.6°F to 84.2°F (12.4°C to 29.4°C). In the northern region, 53.6°F to 84.2°F and very arid conditions. It does receive lots of snow in the mountain areas.

National Holiday: 18 Sept
Religion: Catholic (70%), Prostestant (15%) 5% other religions 2
Area: total: 756,950 sq km ( 292,260 sq miles)
Country Phone Code: 56
[2] Ethnologue

Guide to Chile

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a walk near the moai statues

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