Location: Chile borders on Peru in the North, on Bolivia and Argentina in the East and on the Pacific Ocean in the West as well as in the South. The coastline is 4200 km long, whereas the country is only 180 km wide in the average (total surface 750.000 km2). The following islands situated in the Pacific Ocean are also a part of Chile: Isla de Pascua (Easter Island), Juan-Fernandez islands, Desaventuradas islands, Sala and Gomez.
Population: approximately 16.9 million
Capital: Santiago de Chile
Politics & Economy: Chile is a presidential republic. The country is one of the leading industry nations and one of the leading producers of raw materials within Latin America. Chile disposes of the biggest copper deposits of the world; moreover it extracts oil and gas. Chilean wines are well-known worldwide. In Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia the breeding of sheep is widespread and besides the country has one of the biggest fishing industries of Southamerica
Currency: Chilean Peso
Language: Spanish, also called Castellano
Climate & regions: summer lasts from October to March, while winter from June to August. The country has quite different climatic zones in consequence of its length – from the desert regions in the North to the very cold zones in the South temperatures decrease steadily. In the center of the country and in Santiago it is rather temperate during the whole year, whereas you have long winters and cool summers in the South. The North is warm and dry. We can difference climates by regions (from north to south):
- Northern Chile: The climate of the Altiplano and Atacama Desert is very dry. This is due to the cold Humboldt Current in the Pacific which prevents precipitation coming from the coast, as rain clouds are unable to form above the cold water. Morning fog is typically generated near the coast, and ensures a relative abundance of plant life. However the fog rarely penetrates the inland. The difference in temperature between day and night is significant (during the day up to 30°C and at night often below 0°C) without differing a lot from summer to winter. The “Small North” has a semi-desert climate.
- Central region: Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate with hot, long summers and mild winters. Temperatures along the coast are lower due to the fog which accumulates at the coastal cordillera. The little rain falls mainly in the winter months from June to August. During this period the Andes receive snow and offer ideal conditions for skiing. One of the best months are from March to April, as it is done the grapes harvest, so the best moment to visit the vineyards and the vine production.
- Easter Island: Temperatures are subtropical and with no changing seasons, a journey to the island is worthwhile throughout the year. The months of May to October are slightly cooler than the months between November and April, and the most rainfall occurs in April and May.
- Lakes Region: Southern Chile appears in a lush green – because it rains a lot. The oceanic and temperate climate of this region implies variable weather during the summer months and mild, rainy winters. In general the Araucanian climate, around Temuco and Pucon, tends to be more friendly and sunny than in the Southern Lake Region around Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas.
- Patagonia: In Patagonia it is possible to undergo all four seasons within an hour. Therefore it is highly recommended to dress in layers in order to be prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions. Patagonia is the only region on the southern hemisphere with a cold-temperate climate as it is found in Canada or Northern Europe.
Best Travel Time: High season are the Chilean holiday months from December till February. Best travel time to the South is from October till April and in the North one can travel year-round.