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Tourism in Chile

September 5, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Chile is a long and narrow country extending from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean in the southwestern portion of South America bordering to the north with Peru, Bolivia to the northeast, and Argentina to the east. Chile is the seventh South American country by size with a mainland surface area of 756,096 km2.

Chile has several geographic features: it possesses territory in Polynesia, Easter Island, 3,700 km of shoreline (Insular Chile), Antarctica (Antarctic Chile, 1,250,000 km2) and in the South American continent (mainland and insular Chile, 756,096 km2). Mainland and insular Chile’s surface area is equivalent to more than double of Germany’s surface area although distributed in 4,200 km long by 90 km wide, in its narrowest portion, and 440 km, in its widest portion, surface area trimmed by hundreds of islands and fiords in its southernmost tip.

On the map Chile looks like a long narrow strip of land over 4 thousand km long with an average width of 177 km.  The northern area is dominated by the Altiplano and deserts such as the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the planet.  In the central area, two mountain chains dominate the Chilean geography, the Coastal Mountain Range and the Andes that give way to a series of valleys crossed by powerful rivers and with a large dominance of agricultural fields.  Below latitude 38° through 41° south starts Chile’s south with large lakes, eternally green forests, and snowcapped volcanoes. Patagonia (below parallel 41° south) includes a territory with hundreds of islands and a continental area crossed by fiords, canals, and large glaciers.  The region also includes important interoceanic passages such as the Magellan Straight, Beagle Channel, and Drake Passage.

Due to its territory’s shape, Chile has a coastline that is over 4000 km long in which the shoreline includes long sandy beaches and large cliffs that fall to the ocean.  To the east and parallel to the Pacific Ocean is the Andes mountain range with several high peaks of the mountain range that include the Ojos del Salado volcano (6,893 m), the Llullaillaco volcano (6,739 m), the Tres Cruces snowed peak (6,749 m), and the Tupungato mountain (6,635 m).

Chile, due to its long territory has a series of different climates. This is explained by Chile’s geographical position versus high pressure areas due to the presence of a polar front and the ocean’s influence, i.e, the country’s latitude, altitude, and relief have an impact on Chilean weather.

Santiago is the capital and main city, population and employment wise, (6,061,185 inhabitants according to the 2002 census).  Located above parallel 33° south, similar latitude as Buenos Aires or Montevideo is the country’s largest political, economic, cultural, and industrial center. With six million inhabitants, is the entry gate to Chile and one of the most modern capitals in the continent.

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