Chile Facts...

 
 

To begin with Chile facts, let's talk about Araucanian Indians, the first inhabitants of what is now known as the Republic of Chile, until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the XVI century.

Fiercely independent and formidable warriors (remember Lautaro and Caupolicán), they were a nightmare to the early colonial settlers.

Araucanians are classified into three major cultural subdivisions: the Huilliche, the Picunche, and the Mapuche.

The Spaniards ruled until 1818, when the war of independence led by Bernard O'Higgins and Jose de San Martin - who also liberated Argentina and Peru - put and end to the Spanish domination.


To gain a more comprehensive insight on the History of South America, closely related to the history of Chile, please read The Colony of Chile and The Republic of Chile.


Chile Geography:


Chile's elongated shape is defined by the mighty Andes mountains to the East and Pacific ocean to the West, with a small portion of the South Atlantic ocean.
It extends for 4,270 km and only averages 177 km from East to West.

As for neighboring countries, Chile share borders with Peru and Bolivia to the North and Argentina to the East, for about 5,000 km, making it one of the world's largest borders.


Its remarkable geography provides countless options for the adventure and sports oriented traveller: skiing, mountaineering, trekking, climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, etc.


It can be divided into five natural zones...

  • Far North (Norte Grande)
  • Near North (Norte Chico)
  • Central Chile (Chile Central)
  • Southern Zone (Zona Sur)
  • Austral Zone (Zona Austral)

Chile's outstanding landscapes encompass the vast Atacama desert as well as the glaciers region of the Austral Zone (a gret example is the World's Biosphere Reserve of Torres del Paine National Park), and just about everything in between.

And we shan't forget the two phenomenal Pacific islands of Juan Fernandez (also known as Robinson Crusoe island) and Easter Island.

Other important Chile facts are its volcanoes. Chile has the largest number of historically active ones (36). However, the total number between active and extinct volcanoes is much, much higher than this.

For fly fishing enthusiasts, the Chilean Patagonia - together with the

 

Chile's outstanding landscapes encompass the vast Atacama desert as well as the glaciers region of the Austral Zone (a gret example is the World's Biosphere Reserve of Torres del Paine National Park), and just about everything in between.

And we shan't forget the two phenomenal Pacific islands of Juan Fernandez (also known as Robinson Crusoe island) and Easter Island.

Other important Chile facts are its volcanoes. Chile has the largest number of historically active ones (36). However, the total number between active and extinct volcanoes is much, much higher than this.

For fly fishing enthusiasts, the Chilean Patagonia - together with the Argentina counterpart - ranks among the top ten places in the world.


Chile Facts:


  • Area: 756,950 sq.km / 292,257 sq.ml.
  • Population: 15,665,216
  • Capital: Santiago de Chile. 6.1 million
  • Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
  • Exchange Rate: 1.00 USD = 507.200 CLP (Jan. 2010)
  • Language: Spanish (official), Mapudungun (the language of the Mapuche), Rapanui (Easter Island) and Aymara.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3% (2002 census)
  • Literacy Rate: 96%

Chile is the second-largest producer of salmon in the world and its increasing fruits exports are mainly oriented to USA and Canada markets. It's also widely known for its wine production and exports worldwide.

However, the mainstay of the export economy is in the field of metal and ores. In fact, Chile is the world's leading exporter of copper and also produces iron, zinc, manganese, iodine, etc.

With a well develop industrial and service sector, Chile has one of South America's strongest economies, with a steady annual growth for the last decade or so.


The country has produced to Nobel Prize awarded poets: Gabriela Mistral (1945), and Pablo Neruda (1971).

Soccer is the national sport, passion shared by other South American countries alike.