Stretching almost the entire length of the South American continent and wedged between the intimidating Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, lies Chile, a country rich in natural beauty, culture and heritage.
The most fascinating aspect about Chile is its geography. Although the country stretches over 2,800 miles from north to south, making it the longest country in the world, it is only 265 miles at its widest point, east to west. The country offers an amazing landscape, ranging from a chain of volcanoes in the Andes to freezing glaciers, fjords, inlets and islands.
Since the country spans over 30o of latitudes, it experiences some dramatic climatic variations. The northern region undergoes mild variations in climate and has little to no rainfall. The Central Chile region features more pronounced seasonal changes with some rainfall in the winter months. The southern part, stretching to the famous Strait of Magellan, is considerably cooler with more rainfall than the rest of the country.
Chile has had a turbulent and exciting history, since its days under the Native Americans to its independence from Spain in 1810. From Ferdinand Magellan’s discovery of the southern passage around the tip of the country to the European invasions and their wars against the Native Americans, Chile has had a history covered by many tomes and books.
Santiago, located in the center of the slender country, has been the capital city since the first European settlement was established there in 1541. Although Santiago is the capital city, the Congress is located in the nearby port city of Valparaiso. Chile’s foreign trade market largely flourishes on the exports of copper, seafood, forestry and wood products.
The country’s culture shows the traits of all its inhabitants, from the Incas and the Spanish, to the French and English. The Chileans take pride in their tradition and culture and call their country Pais de Poetas, which means ‘Land of the Poets’.
With its rich scenic beauty, wonderful culture and history, and a modern-day cosmopolitan outlook, Chile has been soaring to new heights, just like the condor depicted on the country’s coat of arms.