Chile

Where are we

Chile is a long, narrow country that extends from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean on the southwest side of South America, from latitude 17° 30′ S in the Altiplano to 56° 30′ S at the far end of continental Chile and 90° S in its Antarctic territory.

Chile has a unique geography: its territory includes Easter Island, in Polynesia, 3,700 km from the mainland, as well as territory in Antarctica (Chile Antártico, 1,250,000 km2). Continental and insular Chile, which includes the mainland and offshore islands and archipelagos, covers 756,096 km2. Chile’s main territory is roughly twice the size of Germany and consists of a strip of land 4,200 km long and 90 to 440 km wide. In the far south, the land is transected by hundreds of islands and fiords.

Santiago is the country’s capital and largest city in terms of population and employment, with 6,061,185 inhabitants as of the 2002 census. Located on parallel 33° S, at roughly the same latitude as Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Santiago is the country’s main political, economic, cultural and industrial center. It is the gateway to Chile and one of the most modern capital cities on the continent.

Weather and geography

Chile is sandwiched between two great forces of nature: the Pacific Ocean to the west and the high peaks of the Andes to the east. The country in located in the southeastern part of South America and borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast and Argentina to the east. Chile is the seventh largest South American country, with a surface area of 756,096 square kilometers.

Chile’s mainland territory extends from 17º30′ to 56º30′, beginning at the altiplano and ending at the southernmost islands in the world at Tierra del Fuego.

Due to its extensive length, Chile features a variety of climates. This is explained by Chile’s geographic position with respect to high-pressure zones, the presence of the polar front and the influence of the sea. In other words, Chile’s climate is shaped by factors of latitude, altitude and relief.

In the country’s central region, the peaks of the Cordillera de la Costa impede the flow of the marine climate, and the wall formed by the Andes seals off continental influences. The presence of the sea gives the country a predominantly Mediterranean-style climate, with moderate temperatures and a wide range between the highs of the day and the lows of the night, creating fog and cool winds, the latter even more a product of the cool Humboldt Current.

The southern region has more humidity and precipitation and lower temperatures than the central region, while northern Chile features a dry desert climate, hot during the day and very cold at night.

More information about how to arrive, places to visit and what to do, see http://chile.travel/