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General Information


Located along the Pacific coast of South America, Chile is a narrow, skinny country that borders with Peru in the north, and Bolivia and Argentina in the east.


With a surface area of 756.096 square kilometers, Chile has 14.7 million inhabitants,  4.3 million of them concentrated in the capital of the country, Santiago. 80% of the population is urban-based. 


Politically, Chile is divided in 12 regions, including the Antarctic territory, plus the metropolitan region. 

General Information


The official language of Chile is Spanish, and its currency the Chilean peso. Chile is a mestizo country, of mixed European and indigenous extraction, and the indigenous tradition is still visible in several parts of the country. Chile's literacy rate is one of Latin America's highest. Nearly 90% of the Chileans are Roman Catholic, but there exists a freedom of religious expression here. 


Chilean people are friendly and hospitable to foreigners. The economy is strong, and the police are trustworthy. This, together with the incredible beauty of its geography, and the well developed transport system, make this country a very attractive destination for all travellers.


When to Go


Chile's geographical variety can make a visit rewarding in any season. Santiago and Middle Chile are best in the verdant spring (September through November) or during the fall harvest (late February into April), while popular natural attractions like Parque Nacional del Paine in Magallanes and the lakes region are best in summer (December through March).


Conversely, Chilean ski resorts draw many foreigners during the northern summer (June through August). Easter Island is cooler, slightly cheaper and much less crowded outside the summer months. The same is true of the Juan Fernandez archipelago, which can be inaccessible if winter rains erode the dirt airstrip; March is an ideal time for a visit.




The Easter and Christmas holidays are the most important national celebrations, but there's a conglomeration of secular holidays in September, including Fiestas Patrias (mid-September); National Independence Day on the 18th (a day of spirited partying and rodeos); and Armed Forces Day on the 19th. Of the innumerable local cultural festivals, the mid-north town of Andacollo's Fiesta de la Virgin del Rosario is perhaps the weirdest. Drawing pilgrims every December from as far afield as Bolivia, Asian-inspired team dancing fringes a procession of the Virgin's image to a huge shrine. Horse racing and cock fighting provide ancillary entertainment for the crowds camped on surrounding hillsides.