Chile Travel Facts

By | March 28, 2022

Located in South America, Chile stretches 4,300 kilometers from north to south. The country borders Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. In terms of landscape, it is perhaps the most interesting country in South America. Tierra del Fuego, the Andes, Patagonia, volcanoes, the Atacama Desert and much more are a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

Capital City Santiago de Chile
Size 756.102 km²
Resident 18.000.000
Official Language Spanish
Currency Chilean peso
Time Zone UTC-3
Telephone Area Code +56

Source: Destination Explorer

Fast facts to know

  • Relatively good economic situation.
  • Considered one of the safest travel destinations in South America.
  • Santiago is a very clean, modern and culturally rich city.
  • Extends over 4300 kilometers between Andes and Pacific coast.
  • Landscape incredibly beautiful and varied.
  • A passport that is still valid for 6 months is required for entry.
  • Chile is one of the most modern countries in South America.
  • Most of the population is descended from European immigrants.
  • Indigenous people are called indigenous people.
  • Urban culture is more cosmopolitan, while country culture is folkloric and rich in traditional dances.
  • Chilean wildlife is very fascinating.

Exciting cities in Chile

  • Hafenstadt Cerro Playa Ancha, Valparaiso
  • Santiago de Chile
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Puerto Varas

History of Chile

  • 13,000 years B.C. BC first human settlements.
  • Later belonging to the Inca Empire after being conquered by the Spaniards.
  • Discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520.
  • Fights between Spaniards and natives in the 17th century
  • 1810 Beginning of the independence struggles against Spain.
  • 1818 Spanish colonial rule finally collapses.
  • In the 19th century wars against Bolivia, Peru, Spain.
  • 1891 Civil War.
  • Largely neutral during the first two world wars.
  • 1973 bloody military coup against the government.
  • Beginning of the Pinochet dictatorship.
  • 1988 Beginning of re-democratization.
  • 2006 socialist Michelle Bachelet elected first female president.

Climate & travel weather in Chile

  • Different climate zones due to enormous north-south expansion.
  • Osterinseln: suptropisch.
  • Atacama Desert: driest region on earth.
  • Central chile: Mediterranean.
  • South: temperate oceanic.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • North & Central Chile: October – April.
    • Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego: December – February.
    • Winter sports: June – September.

Ideas for trips in Chile

  • Aussichtspunkt Fossil Viewpoint, Puerto Guadal, Carretera Austral.
  • Hanging Glacier, Queulat National Park.
  • Base of the Towers, Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Viewpoint Mirador calle Fagnano, Punta Arenas, Strait of Magellan.
  • Penguins on Punta Arenas – Isla Magdalena.
  • Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island.
  • Chiloé island and its churches.
  • Iglesia de San Francisco – Chile’s oldest church.
  • San Pedro de Atacama – Oasis village on the edge of the salt desert.
  • Paranal Observatory, currently the largest terrestrial observatory in the world.

Food & Drink in Chile

  • Chileans like to eat a lot of meat (beef, chicken, lamb).
  • Fish & Seafood widespread and popular.
  • Potatoes, rice or French fries are common as side dishes.
  • Indigenous, German, French and Spanish influences.
  • A frugal breakfast is followed by late lunch (2 p.m.), afternoon snack and mostly late, warm dinner from 8 p.m.
  • Sweet desserts are very popular, apple strudel, Christmas stollen and cakes are well known.
  • Typical drinks: Pisco grape brandy, Chilean wine, vegetable and fruit juices.
  • Coffee usually only instant Nescafé.
  • Fast food popular and very common.
  • Chile has significant fruit and vegetable growing areas.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Carne mechada (spiked beef).
    • Cazuela de ave/de vacuno (filling chicken or beef stew).
    • Curanto (mussel stew with fish, potatoes, meat and sausage).
    • Parrillada (grilled meat).
    • Empanada de pino (dumplings filled with minced meat, onions, eggs, olives and raisins).
    • Ensalada chilena (tomato and onion salad).
    • Lomo a lo pobre (poor man’s steak with french fries, braised onions and a fried egg).
    • Ceviche (raw fish with lime, onions and cilantro).
    • Pastel de choclo (corn casserole with ground beef, chicken, egg, raisins and olives).
    • Chupe de mariscos (thick clam chowder).
    • Plateada (beef cooked until tender).
    • Porotos granados (bean stew with corn and pumpkin).
    • Completo (hot dog similar with avocado mousse, sauerkraut or coleslaw, ketchup, mustard).

Particularly scenic

  • Cliffs of La Portada near Antofagasta
  • Villarrica Volcano, Lakes Area
  • Patagonia
  • Futaleufu river
  • Atacama Desert
  • See Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park
  • Puerto Rio Tranquillo – Marmorhöhlen
  • fire land

Chile Travel Facts