From the world’s driest desert (Atacama Desert) to vast glacial fields, from snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers to dense forests, from volcanoes to fertile valleys – Chile is truly a land of colossal extremes. Occupying a long, narrow strip of land stretching across the west coast of the South American continent, Chile is a beautiful country nestled between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. While it opens out to the Pacific Ocean on its west, it shares borders with Peru on the north, Bolivia on its northeast, and Argentina on its west.
Before the Spanish arrived during the 16th century, most of north Chile was under the control of the Inca Empire, while the Mapuche tribe inhabited southern and central Chile. The Spanish conquest of Chile began in 1541, carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, a Spaniard, who founded the city of Santiago. Chile gained independence from Spain in 1818, and went on to invade Peru and Bolivia in the decades that followed. After going through a lot of internal turmoil under military dictatorship in the 1900s, today Chile is finally a constitutional republic, and is also known to be one of the most prosperous and stable countries of South America.
Over 80% of Chileans are Roman Catholics, with the remainder being Protestants. Chile also has a negligible Jewish population. While Spanish is the official language in Chile, there are a number of other indigenous languages spoken such as Mapudungun, Quechua, Rapa Nui and Aymara. Owing to its contrasting landscapes, Chile has a diverse climate ranging from dry, arid, desert temperatures in the north, to cool, rainy Mediterranean climate in the centre, to cool and damp weather in the south.
Whether you fancy skiing down the Andes, wandering amidst the lush forests, surfing up the waves of the immaculate beaches, go on a road tripping journey, visit the impressive observatories in the Atacama Desert, or simply sit back and revel in the native Andean music and relish the delectable Chilean cuisine, holidaying in Chile is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
From the world’s driest desert (Atacama Desert) to vast glacial fields, from snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers to dense forests, from volcanoes to fertile valleys – Chile is tr...