Chile is a long and narrow country in South America. It measures some 4,200 kilometers from north to south, but is never more than 180 km at its widest. It is bordered by Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage to the far south. It is just one of two countries in South America - the other being Ecuador - that does not share a border with Brazil.
The Pacific Ocean forms a 5,000-km-long coastline to the west of the country. Due to the great difference in latitude, Chile is a country where you can experience the hottest, driest deserts as well as frigid fjords and snop-capped mountains. In between, you can find a Mediterranean climate in the center, and a temperate climate to the south.
According to the 17th century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the name Chile may have been derived from the name of a Pichunche tribal chief called Tili, who ruled the area during the Incan conquest of the 15th century. That is just one of several theories as to how the country got its name.
With an urban area population of 5.6 million people, Santiago de Chile is the largest city as well as capital of Chile. Other notable cities include Concepción, Valparaíso, Antofagasta and Punta Arenas.
Religions: Roman Catholic (89%), Protestant (11%), others
Size: 756,950 sq km (292,261 sq miles)
Region: South America
Santiago de Chile http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Santiago_en_invierno.jpg victor san martin
Planning your trip to Chile
The main international airport for Chile is the Santiago Airport (www.aeropuertosantiago.cl), also known as Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL). The national flag carrier is LAN Airlines.
Preparing Money for your trip to Chile
The currency used in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Planning your travel within Chile
Chile has a good public bus system enabling you to explore the country town to town. The main bus companies are Turbus (www.turbus.cl) and Pullman (www.pullmanbus.cl).
You can - if you are able to spend the money - take domestic flights to explore the country. Chile has good airport infrastructure (although at time of writing, May 2010, it may have been disrupted by the 2010 Earthquake) that allows you to take domestic flights to the many major cities in the country. The major domestic airlines are LAN, Sky Airline, Aerolineas del Sur and Principal Airlines.
Playa Concón in Viña del Mar, Chile http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Playa_Conc%C3%B3n.JPG G. Küppers
Chile ratified the World Heritage Convention on 20 February, 1999. At time of writing, I have documented the five World Heritage Sites of Chile, all of which are in the Cultural category, and one on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Chile has also submitted another 18 sites presently on the World Heritage Tentative List. Chile served on the World Heritage Committee for one term, in 2003-2007.
Thank you for visiting my travel encyclopedia. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages, all written by me. My name is Timothy Tye, you can call me Tim. I am a full-time website author writing only my own website, to describe things and places I am curious about. To know more about me, go to www.timothytye.com I have been living at home writing my websites full time since 2007. I describe my alternative lifestyle in my Happy Jobless Guy website.
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