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Chile - Overview

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Capital City: Santiago de Chile

Population: Around 16 million

Language: Spanish

Currency: Chilean Peso US$1=525 Pesos

Government: Democratically elected

Time Zone: UTC-4

Main international airport: Santiago (SCL)

Flying time from Europe: 14-16 hours

Flying time from USA: 8-14 hours

Emergency numbers: Ambulance 131, Fire 132, Police 133

Electricity: 220-240v. Plugs are three round pins in a line.

Tap water safe to drink throughout the country


To say that the geography of Chile is varied would be a huge understatement. Think of a country that stretches the distance of Norway to Nigeria. In the North is the driest desert in the world: The Atacama. To the South the country finally reaches an end a short boat ride away from the Antarctic. Running along the entire East side of Chile are the ever visible Andes. And to the West: The Pacific Ocean. In between there is some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery you could imagine.

In the far North (El Norte Grande-The Big North) the moonscapes of the Atacama desert will amaze you and the warm coastal waters and incredible ocean scenes will help you forget you're in one of the driest areas on Earth.

In the near North (El Norte Chico-The Little North), the desert like conditions remain but due to advanced irrigation techniques the area is home to fruit plantations and vineyards.

The Central Region of Chile (which is home to its Capital City, Santiago) receives a little more rainfall and, as such, is greener. There are more forests and rivers and the mountains are suitable for ski resorts. The area contains huge tracts of land given over to vineyards and fruit and vegetable plantations. The coastline in this area is stunning and the Andes are always visible making for a spectacular backdrop to a day at the beach.

Read more about this country

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