Discover Chile in South America

Chile with its capital Santiago is located in South America (Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean). It covers some 756,951 square kilometres (slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana) with 16,432,000 citizens. Spanish is the language commonly spoken by people in Chile. Peru, Bolivia and Argentina are bordering countries.

Chile narrowly stretches along the southern half of the west coast of South America, between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. Spanish is the official language in the country and is spoken by almost the entire population. When entering Chile (by cruise, vehicle or plane), at customs, travelers will need to fill out a tourist card that allows them to stay for up to 90 days. Travelers will have to present the tourist card to Customs officials when leaving the country. Be aware that hotels waive Chile's 19% room tax when the guest shows this card and pays with U.S. dollars. Chile has a rather good airport infrastructure. The main hub for flights in Chile is the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL) in Santiago, from where several airlines serve even the remotest corners of the country. Never exchange money on the streets, specially if a helper indicates you to follow them. It's not advisable to exchange currency in the hotel or the airport as the rates are awful. Just be patient. Banco Santander has a monopoly on the ATMs of the airport and will add a surcharge of 2500 CLP for retrieving cash - it's still better than the exchange bureaus. With such an enormous coastline, you can expect fish and seafood almost everywhere. Locals used to eat bundles of raw shellfish, but visitors should be cautious of raw shellfish because of frequent outbreaks of red tides.

Pictures from the Chilean capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Santiago is like. We have selected more pictures from Santiago on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate, hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: Chile Tourism

Providencia 1550
P.O. Box 14082

Phone: +56 2 6967141
Phone: +56 2 6960981

The topography features low coastal mountains with fertile central valley and rugged Andes in east. The average density of population is about 22 per km². The climate in Chile can be described as temperate with desert in north, Mediterranean in central region, cool and damp in south. Potential natural disasters are severe earthquakes or active volcanism or tsunamis.

To reach someone in Chile dial +56 prior to a number. There are 3,575,000 installed telephones. And there are 16,450,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 1900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".cl". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 220V - 50Hz.

Description of the flag of Chile

Two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red represents the blood spilled to achieve independence
note: design was influenced by the US flag.

National administrative regions of Chile

Historical background information

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were brought under central government control. After a series of elected governments, the three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was inaugurated in 1990. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty rates by over half, and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government. Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.

Demographic Information

Chile has 606 senior citizens having at least the age of 100 years. Ladies make up for 573 of this count (which is 95%). 1,211,591 children are younger than 5 years (and make up for 7% of the total population). 14.5 babies are born per thousand citizens.

Chilean Age Distribution

Blue bars represent male citizens. Red bars represent female citizens. A pair or bars represents a single age group spanning five years each. Data has been released 2011.

Gender Distribution (Full Population)

Total share of male (blue) and female (red) citizens of the total population of Chile

Growth of Population (per thousands)

Babies born per thousand citizens (blue) and deaths (red) over the past ten years.

Geography And Economy Facts

Geographic Fact Data
Summary Continent: South America
Neighbours: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
Capital: Santiago
Size 756,950 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 292,260 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
Population 16,432,000

Economy Facts

Technology and Economy Data
Currency Name: Peso, Currency Code: CLP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .cl
Telephone Country Prefix +56
Mobile Phone Connections 16,450,000
Landline Phone Connections 3,575,000
Military Spendings 2.7% (of GDP, Gross Domestic Product)

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Type of Data Value World Rank
Area 756,102 (sq km) 38

People and Society

Type of Data Value World Rank
Population 17,216,945 62
Population growth rate 0.86 (%) 127
Birth rate 14.12 (births/1,000 population) 141
Death rate 5.86 (deaths/1,000 population) 170
Net migration rate 0.35 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 70
Maternal mortality rate 25.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 131
Infant mortality rate 7.19 (deaths/1,000 live births) 161
Life expectancy at birth 78.27 (years) 53
Total fertility rate 1.85 (children born/woman) 148
Health expenditures 8.00 (% of GDP) 60
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.40 (%) 70
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 40,000 61
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 29.40 (%) 30
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 0.50 (%) 132
Education expenditures 4.20 (% of GDP) 104
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 17.5 (%) 73


Type of Data Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 325,800,000,000 43
GDP - real growth rate 5.50 (%) 52
GDP - per capita (PPP) 18,700 72
Labor force 8,231,000 58
Unemployment rate 6.40 (%) 65
Distribution of family income - Gini index 52 15
Investment (gross fixed) 23.90 (% of GDP) 59
Taxes and other revenues 22.2 (% of GDP) 144
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 1.40 (% of GDP) 27
Public debt 10.10 (% of GDP) 141
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.80 (%) 69
Central bank discount rate 0.50 (%) 139
Commercial bank prime lending rate 9.03 (%) 98
Stock of narrow money 41,650,000,000 50
Stock of broad money 193,200,000,000 41
Stock of domestic credit 198,900,000,000 40
Market value of publicly traded shares 341,600,000,000 26
Industrial production growth rate 6.30 (%) 48
Current account balance -9,769,000,000 175
Exports 83,660,000,000 46
Imports 70,200,000,000 44
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 42,990,000,000 43
Debt - external 117,800,000,000 45
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 179,900,000,000 26
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 72,840,000,000 31


Type of Data Value World Rank
Electricity - production 59,750,000,000 (kWh) 45
Electricity - consumption 53,240,000,000 (kWh) 46
Electricity - imports 958,000,000 (kWh) 67
Electricity - installed generating capacity 15520000 (kW) 45
Electricity - from fossil fuels 64.4 (% of total installed capacity) 131
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 34.8 (% of total installed capacity) 60
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.7 (% of total installed capacity) 73
Crude oil - production 6,000 (bbl/day) 87
Crude oil - imports 197,000 (bbl/day) 35
Crude oil - proved reserves 150000000 (bbl) 69
Refined petroleum products - production 209,600 (bbl/day) 54
Refined petroleum products - consumption 321,700 (bbl/day) 39
Refined petroleum products - exports 27,290 (bbl/day) 69
Refined petroleum products - imports 165,900 (bbl/day) 35
Natural gas - production 1,779,000,000 (cu m) 59
Natural gas - consumption 5,318,000,000 (cu m) 58
Natural gas - imports 3,458,000,000 (cu m) 40
Natural gas - proved reserves 97,970,000,000 (cu m) 55
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 68,760,000 (Mt) 49


Type of Data Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,366,000 49
Telephones - mobile cellular 22,400,000 45
Internet hosts 2,152,000 38
Internet users 7,009,000 39


Type of Data Value World Rank
Airports 476 16
Railways 7,082 (km) 28
Roadways 77,764 (km) 60
Merchant marine 42 74


Type of Data Value World Rank
Military expenditures 2.10 (% of GDP) 64

Based on the content from The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by, CIA world facts book Edition 2010, 2013 and 2014, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases as well as other sources.