Chile

GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENT

For anyone who has ever been fascinated by geography, the long, impossibly thin line of Chile has always produced a tiny moment of astonishment. Chile stretches over 4,300 km (2,700 mi) along the southwestern coast of South America, a distance roughly the same as that from San Francisco to New York, or Edinburgh to Baghdad. At the same time, its width never exceeds 240 km (150 mi), making the country more than eighteen times longer than its widest point.

Santiago click on the image to enlarge
The most obvious factor in Chile's remarkable slenderness is the massive, virtually impassable wall of the Andes, a mountain range that is still rising and that contains more than fifty active volcanic peaks. The western border is of course the Pacific Ocean, but it is a misconception to picture Chile as nothing more than the steep western slope of the Andean peaks. All along its length Chile is marked by a narrow depression between the mountains and the sea. To the north the land rises and becomes more arid, until one reaches the forbidding Atacama Desert, one of the most inhospitable regions on earth. To the south just the opposite transformation takes place: the land falls away, and the region between mountains and ocean fades into the baffling maze of small islands that terminates in Chilean Patagonia.
Chile Map click on the image to enlarge
Chile's southern extremity is marked by Cape Horn, a treacherous headland surrounded by almost continuously storm-tossed seas and passable only through the foggy stillness of the Strait of Magellan.In the center of the country, however, is a long and expansive river valley, a five hundred mile corridor occupied in the north by vineyards and great farms and in the south by primeval forests and enchanting lakes. Santiago, the capital, anchors the northern and more prosperous section of the central valley. The lush Lake District to the south, however, is the homeland of Chile's indigenous peoples, the Araucanians.

Juan Fernandez Islands click on the image to enlarge
Also part of Chile are two notable Pacific possessions-the Juan Fernandez Islands and the famous Easter Island, both of which are administered as national parks. The Juan Fernandez islands are located about 670 km off the Chilean coast, while Easter Island is situated 3700 km distant.

Chile's climate is as diverse as its geography. Aside from the obviously extreme climatic conditions of the Andes an the Atacama, however, the country enjoys a comfortable temperate climate.

Today Chile is quickly becoming one of South America's most developed nations. Combine this fact along with a wonderful tradition of hospitality offered by Chileans, and you have an excellent place to visit and to learn Spanish.

Mapuche Indians click on the image to enlarge
Most Chileans are mestizos, although you can still find pure blooded Mapuche Indians, and direct German and Swiss descendants for example. As a matter of fact, one of the first things a traveler will notice is that many of the cities, and the manners of many Chileans have a distinctive European feel to them. For the traveler accustomed to places such as Bolivia or Peru, this will come as somewhat of a surprise.

As a visitor, you have a wonderful array of options and activities available to you. From a day to day standpoint, cities such as Santiago offer a comfortable place to stay, great nightlife, excellent transportation and services, colonial architecture, shopping, plus much more.

Atacama Desert click on the image to enlarge
While the cities are nice, we feel that the true magic of Chile begins when you start exploring the countryside. To the north, one can explore the vast mountains and deserts that border Peru and Bolivia. It is interesting to note that there are parts of the Atacama Desert that have never recorded any precipitation! Once in this northern region, many travelers take the opportunity to cross the border and visit places such as La Paz or Sucre in Bolivia, or travel further north to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru.

In the mountains just outside of Santiago, one can enjoy some of the finest skiing found anywhere in the world. The slopes of some of the ski resort are within 1-2 hours of downtown Santiago. To the south of the capital lies the Maipo Valley, home to many of the finest wineries in the country. Take the time to get down and visit some of these wineries. Chilean wines are quickly gaining world wide recognition, and rightly so!

active volcanes of Chile click on the image to enlarge
As you head further south, you enter the beautiful Lake District. Due to continual precipitation, the landscape is green. It is in this region where you will find most of the active volcanoes of Chile plus numerous lakes, including the fourth largest lake in South America. The scenery is absolutely beautiful!

Finally as you head further south, you enter some of the most inaccessible regions of Chile. This section of the country is a maze of islands, fjords, rivers, and lakes. In recent years, this area has become particularly popular with fisherman looking to fish some of the best trout lakes and streams in the world! It is also in this region where you find high mountain areas covered with many different glaciers. Of particular note in this region is the Parque Nacional Torres de Paine.
Languages
english
English
Tellme
Are you planning to visit CHILE? You can find Products and services here.

Weather in Chile
El Tiempo Santiago
Santigo - Chile
El Tiempo Antofagasta
Antofagasta - Chile
El Tiempo Iquique
Iquique - Chile

Follow us on Facebook
Copyright 2003 - 2017 dosmanosnederland.com. All rights reserved.

Share This
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
Share:
Follow us on: