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Chile Holidays

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Chile Travel Guide

Chile (officially, Republic of Chile) is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, its land covering a vastly diverse array of terrain, and its elongated, unique shape makes it one of the world's most geographically unique countries.

The shape of Chile is a distinctive ribbon of land 4,300 kilometers (2,700 mi) long and on average 175 kilometers (109 mi) wide. Its climate varies, ranging from the world's driest desert – the Atacama – in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a rainy temperate climate in the south. The northern desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The relatively small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, and is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century, when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

In Chile, you can feel like you're on the edge of the earth, the middle of nowhere, or a bustling city teeming with humanity –– Chile is packed with endless possibilities. Desolate moonscapes and pink flamingo–filled lagoons fill Chile's northern deserts. The northern Atacama Desert contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources, and also boasts fertile vineyards. This area also is the historical center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century, when it integrated the northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, mighty glaciers, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. The Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border. Chile is the longest north–south country in the world, and also claims 1,250,000 km2 (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica as part of its territory.

Chile also controls Easter Island and Sala y Gómez Island, the easternmost islands of Polynesia, which it incorporated to its territory in 1888, and Robinson Crusoe Island, more than 600 kilometres (370 mi) from the mainland, in the Juan Fernández Islands. Easter Island is today a province of Chile. Also controlled but only temporarily inhabited (by some local fishermen) are the small islands of Sala y Gómez, San Ambrosio and San Felix. These islands are notable because they extend Chile's claim to territorial waters out from its coast into the Pacific.

Climate

The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalisations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the north, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and south east, humid subtropical in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. There are four seasons in most of the country: summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November).

Places to Go

San Pedro de Atatcama is a town in Northern Chile. It's a very popular destination among Chilean tourists and international visitors alike. Visitors come in large numbers, to use the town as a stepping stone to the amazing landscapes around it. Most attractions are part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve, perhaps Chile's most varied and amazing national park.

Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. Early settlers called the island "Te Pito O Te Henua" (Navel of The World). Officially a territory of Chile, it lies far off in the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway to Tahiti. Known as one of the world's sacred sites, it is most famous for its enigmatic giant stone busts, built centuries ago, which reflect the history of the dramatic rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture.

Santiago is a fast growing city located in the central valley of Chile between the Andes mountain range to the east and the Cordillera of the Coast to the west. Santiago de Chile is the capital and economic centre of Chile. With its many museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is also the political and cultural center of the country. Its central location in the country makes it a great base for visiting other areas, and it is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and later be on the beach, all in the same day.

Valparaíso is a city of around 300,000 on the Pacific coast of Central Chile. Frequently referred to as simply Valpo, it is located approximately 120km west of the capital, Santiago de Chile. Valparaiso was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The city is widely known for its bohemian culture, brightly colored houses, and beautiful seaside views.

Torres del Paine is a national park in the Extreme South region of Patagonian Chile. It is located in the southern tiers of the Andes and features mountains, lakes and glaciers.

The Torres del Paine (Spanish for "Towers of Paine" and "Paine" is the old indigenos name for the colour blue), three immense rock towers give the park its name.

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