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Chile is long and narrow; around 4,270 kilometres from north to
south, with an average width of less than 180 km.
An 8.8 earthquake occurred north-east of the city of Concepcion in the
early hours of Saturday, 27th February, 2010 - 1,000 times stronger than the previous one
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Countries neighbouring Chile are: Argentina,
Bolivia and Peru.
The Straits of Magellan, between the mainland and Tierra del
Fuego, are named after the Portuguese explorer who came through them in 1520, and landed
on Chiloe Island.
The region was then known as Tchili; meaning snow.
At the southern tip of the American continent, the Chilean
Archipelagos include the Chonos, Wellington Island, and the western portion of Tierra del
Fuego. Cape Horn is the southernmost point.
South Pacific islands belonging to Chile include the Juan
Islands, Easter Island, and Sala y Gomez.
In 1535, after conquering the Incas of Peru,
one of Pizarro's men led an overland expedition into Chile, in search of gold.
The Presidencia de la Republica de Chile, only in Spanish.
The tourism portal of Chile is currently only available in Spanish.
Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin America.
Focuses on small group travel in remote regions of Chile. Explore an authentic Patagonia
by venturing on combined high adventure and cultural immersion trips to the
back roads of
this rich South American country.
The capital of Chile is situated on the Mapocho River, in the
central part of the country.
Chile's largest city has the snow-capped Andes Mountains visible to
Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia established Santiago in 1541,
in an area then inhabited by the Picunche Indians.
For visitors who like looking at old buildings, there's a 16th-century
cathedral in Santiago and the Presidential Palace dates from the early 19th century.
The National Historical Museum has interesting collections from the
pre-Colombian and colonial periods, and the Art of the American Peoples Museum has a
collection of Chilean folk art.
Other museums of interest are the National Museum of Fine Arts; the
Contemporary Art Museum, in Forestal Park; the National Museum of Natural History; and the
Natural History Museum of San Pedro Nolasco.
Accommodation in Santiago de Chile
Grand Hyatt Santiago:
Acknowledged as one of South America's finest hotels, Hyatt Regency Santiago is located in
an exclusive residential neighbourhood minutes away from downtown Santiago.
Cities in Chile.
The high Andes mountain range forms Chile's eastern border with Bolivia and Argentina.
The Trans-Andes railway runs from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires.
Valparaiso is located on a wide bay of the Pacific Ocean in
central Chile; north of Santiago.
It's a major seaport and most people pass through here on their way to
the nearby resort of Vina del Mar.
Founded by the Spanish in 1536, Valparaiso grew after Chile gained
independence in 1818, as ships rounding Cape Horn stopped here before the 1914 opening of
the Panama Canal.
The cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso seem to have blended
together to form a greater metropolitan region.
Vina del Mar is a popular seaside resort and one of our favourites in
Latin America; certainly the best on the west coast.
The president of Chile's summer residence is in Vina del Mar and
there's plenty of evidence that other money comes to town; with luxurious estates,
wonderful green areas and hotels on the waterfront.
There's also a municipal casino for the rich to try and win some more,
and the not so rich to loose their shirt.
Known as Isla de Pascua in Spanish, Easter Island lies about
3,700 km west of the Chilean coast.
Dutch explorer Jakob Roggeveen landed here on Easter Day in 1722,
hence the name.
Several thousand Polynesians lived on the volcanic island at the time,
but their numbers were reduced by disease and capture during the slave trade.
The origins of the carved statues on Easter Island are uncertain.
There is also evidence that the islanders possessed an early form of writing, by carving
pictures on wooden tablets.
Said to be one of the driest regions in the world the Atacama
Desert, in northern Chile, is kept relatively cool by its high elevation.
The Terrantai Lodge was conceived to honour the spirit of traditional Atacamenean custom,
while providing the creature comforts modern travellers expect.
Experience the authentic
Atacama and the oasis of San Pedro and find adventure for the mind and body, and
relaxation for the soul.
are a type of organisation for country farms of several hundred acres and were introduced
by the Spaniards in South America in the 16th century.
Hacienda Los Andes:
Situated 500 kilometres north of Santiago, in the 4th region of Chile, Hacienda Los Andes
is within easy reach by road via La Serena and Ovalle. There's also a private transfer service from La Serena,
Vicuna or Ovalle.
Neruda is Chile's famous poet, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He also
served as Chile's Ambassador to France, from 1970 to
The works of Chilean poet Gabriela
Mistral are maybe lesser known, but she became the first Latin American writer to
receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1945.
Allende was one of the first Latin American woman writers to win world-wide
recognition and popularity.
Her uncle, Salvador Allende, was the president of Chile when he died;
during General Pinochet's 1973 military coup. Isabelle Allende was subsequently exiled
from Chile and sought asylum in Caracas, Venezuela.
Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, was produced in exile. A
family chronicle set in the disorder of political and economic change in Latin America,
the novel was well received and subsequently made into a film.
In Of Love and Shadows and Eva
Luna, Allende continued with her exploration of personal and political themes.
Chilean music and folk dances get their influences from the more
rural communities, where reading poetry was not so widespread.
Chilean wine-growing dates from the 16th century but it's only in the
last decade that Chile has grown in the public consciousness as a wine exporter; with its
relatively inexpensive wines offering a fresh, fruity, richly flavoured taste.
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