Chile Guide

Chile Guide

Chile – country information

Country name Chile
Official name Republic of Chile
Capital Santiago de Chile
Continent South America
Area 756,096 km2
Population 16,341,929 (2012)
Foundation of a state 18/9/1810
The highest mountains Llullaillaco 6723 m
Longest rivers Bío-Bío 246 km
State system a pluralistic presidential republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Santiago (capital) 5,450,000, Concepción 425,000, Vina del Mar 335,000
Official language Spanish
Ethnicity/National Composition mestizo 92%, Indians 6.5%, others 1.5%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 81%, Protestants 6%, Jews 0.2%, Atheists and no religion 12.5%
Currency 1 Chilean peso (Ch$) = 100 centavos
gross domestic product (GDP) US$18,211 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 76.77 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 8.5%, mining 7.2%, industry 23%, construction 5.8%, services 55.5%

Chile – neighboring countries

State Capital Area Population
Argentina Buenos Aires 2,780,400 km2 41,660,096
Bolivia La Paz 1,098,580 km2 10,027,254
Peru Lima 1,285,220 km2 30,475,144

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Chile occupies a narrow and mountainous strip of land along the southwestern coast of South America. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast and Argentina to the east. Chile was one of the first South American countries to develop its system of democratic political and economic structures. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, it went through a period of military rule, when political and civil liberties were severely restricted.

Chile is a country in the southwest of South America. Common borders in the east with Argentina, in the north with Peru, in the northeast with Bolivia.

The capital is Santiago de Chile. The official language is Spanish. Currency – Chilean peso.

The word “Chile” in the language of the Quechua Indians meant – “limit”. Chile stretches for 4630 km from north to south and 430 km from west to east. The climate ranges from tropical desert in the north to temperate oceanic in the south.

The territory of Chile stretches along the Pacific coast for 4300 km and is mostly occupied by the Andes ranges (up to 6880 m), between which lies the Longitudinal Valley – the main economic region of the country. Many volcanoes, frequent earthquakes. The climate ranges from tropical desert in the north to temperate oceanic in the south. To the north is the Atacama Desert. Temperature from +3*C in winter to +22*C in summer.

Chile owns several small islands in the Pacific Ocean – Easter Island, the Sala y Gomez Islands, San Felix, Ambrosio, the Juan Fernandez Islands, the Diego Ramirez Islands off Cape Horn. Chile also claims a sector in Antarctica.

Resorts and attractions in Chile

The Republic of Chile is a world record holder in many respects. This is the southernmost country, only 900 km separates it from the Antarctic coast. It is located in the southwest of the Latin American continent, being both the narrowest and the longest country.

Only thanks to Chilean tour operators and no others in the world, you can go to Antarctica or Easter Island. In Chile, it finds the southernmost city on our planet – Puerto Williams.

Already want to go to Chile?

Interesting Facts

The region was inhabited about 13,000 years ago.

Chile is the world’s largest exporter of copper.

Chile has three geographic and climatic regions. The northern desert and the cold south of the country are still completely undeveloped, while the humid region of Central Chile is the most economically developed territory, in which approximately 75% of the country’s population is concentrated.

Country data

Location: South America

Time zone: CET – 5th

Total area: 756,102 km²

Land area: 743,812 km²

Water area: 12,290 km²

Length of the state border: 7,801 km

Argentina: 6,691 km
Bolivia: 942 km
Peru: 168 km

Coastline: 6,435 km

Capital: Santiago de Chile

Regions: 15
Aysen, Antofagasta, Araucania, Arica y Parinacota, Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, Los Lagos, Los Rios, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Metropolitana Region (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 56 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m


Population: approx. 17.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.8% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 23

Life expectancy: 75 (male), 82 (female)

Official language: Spanish


  • 67% Roman Catholic
  • 16% Protestants
  • 17% other


In the country in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those in Europe.


Due to the high north-south expansion, Chile extends over several climatically different zones. North:

  • desert-like climate
  • very warm (often over 30 ° C)
  • hardly any rainfall
  • very low humidity

Center of the country:

  • temperate climate zone
  • Rainy season from May to September


  • Rainfall all year round
  • long winter months
  • Humidity constantly fluctuates between 40% and 90%

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Chilean Peso (CLP)

Classification: 1 Peso = 100 Centavos

ATMs: Available in most cities.

International credit cards: Many hotels and shops accept them in the big cities.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

When changing money on the black market, one is often cheated. Therefore you should not exchange anything there (even if the exchange rate often seems cheaper).

An exchange of unneeded funds is often only possible upon presentation of the exchange receipts. You should therefore keep them until you leave the country.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 500 g tobacco
  • 2.5 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

The following products may not be imported or only with a special permit:

  • Meat and meat products of all kinds
  • Animal products of all kinds
  • fruit and vegetables
  • plants
  • Drugs
  • weapons
  • pornographic material

Travel advice

There are still many minefields in the border regions with Bolivia and Peru. Some beach areas are also mined and mines are washed ashore.

You should therefore not leave paved roads and take the relevant signs seriously.

Behavioral advice

Theft is a major problem across the country. These are often committed with the use of force.

Overall, great caution is required.


As one of the leading industrial nations in Latin America, Chile is known in the economic sector as a supplier of copper.

The largest copper deposits on earth can be found here.

In addition to the export of other mineral resources, the export of copper and copper products is one of the country’s largest foreign exchange earners.

Industries: mining, fishing, wood processing, metal processing, textiles, cement

Natural resources: precious metals, iron ore, natural gas, oil, gold, wood, copper, nitrates, silver, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 5%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 18%
  • Forests: 22%
  • other: 55%


The country, which is only 200 km wide and 4,300 km long, offers a wide variety of climatic and vegetation zones.

Several thousand different types of plants and shrubs are common. Many of these are unique to Chile.


The fauna of Chile on land is less pronounced than in other South American countries.

Many animals that otherwise live in the forests cannot be found here. However, there are several small native animal species.

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