Chile is one of the most developed and richest countries in Latin America. It can be characterized by diverse climatic and environmental conditions. There is a wide outlet to the Pacific and this is very important, because in the 21st century this is one of the most important factors for rapid economic growth. Chile is one of the largest producers of cherries in the southern hemisphere. In this country is situated the southernmost continental land on the planet outside Antarctica.
Geography. Chile is located in the southwestern part of South America. It occupies an area of 756 626 sq.km. The country has a specific shape.
It occupies a narrow, but long strip of land between Argentina and the Pacific. In the widest part of the country it is not more than 360 km, but from north to south, extends about 4300 km.
The border with Argentina follows the crest of the longest mountain chain in the world – the Andes. The country is located between 17 and 56° south latitude and northern parts of the southern intersection of tropical circle – tropic of Capricorn.
Most southern parts of the country are at Cape Horn on the island of Tierra del Fuego. The island is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan, which is notorious for sudden worsening weather conditions and terrible storms.
Since the country stretches over 4300 kilometers, the conditions are very different. In the northern parts of Chile that get into the tropical climate zone, the weather is dry and hot throughout the year, but the coast temperatures are significantly lower than typical for the tropics.
January is the hottest month, and the coolest – July. City of Iquique is a typical tropical city in Chile. It is located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Because of cold ocean currents that pass along the coast, the temperatures are not too high, unlike of the more remote of the ocean coast regions.
Here the hottest month is January, with daily temperatures about 25°C at the shade, and the coldest is July, when the daily temperature is around 18°C. The night temperatures are 13°C in July and 19-20 in January.
The region that is situated into the south of the 30th parallel gets into the subtropical Mediterranean climate zone. Here the summer is long, dry and hot and the winters – short and rainy.
The conditions are very similar to those on the coast of the Mediterranean and California. In Viña del Mar, which is one of the largest and most important cities in Chile has a typical Mediterranean climate.
Hottest month is January, when the thermometers show about 25°C at the shade. Coldest is the weather in July, when the temperatures are about 15°C.
Eight months of the year the temperatures are more than 18°C. This is one of the places with the most enjoyable and healthy climate in the world. South of the 40th parallel is situated the temperate climate zone.
Typical feature of it are the four different seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn. The summers are warm, even hot, and the winters are relatively cold.
However, it should be noted that there is a huge difference between the temperate climate near the subtropics and temperate climate in the south part of the country near the Cape Horn.
In the town of Puerto Montt there is a typical oceanic climate with moderate rainfalls. The weather strongly reminds the climate of Britain.
The summers are humid and breezy with daily temperatures around 20°C, while the winters are mild and rainy. It falls from about 100 to about 230 mm rainfall per month.
To the south the winter becomes colder and the summer – hotter. For example, in Punta Arenas, located in the southernmost parts of Chile the summers are quite cool.
Temperatures even at noon in January rarely exceed 15°C. During the winter the nights are usually with negative temperatures about (-1) to (-5) °C, and the days are about 2 – 3°C.
The rainfall is moderate as a quantity and is most abundant in the autumn. The winter rains are almost entirely of snow and during the summer – of course of rain.
Here the weather is harsh and sometimes even the summers bring surprises. On the territory of the country there is also mountain climate.
It covers the higher parts of the Andes, which are not influenced by the geographical location, but the altitude.
Relief. Chile is a country with a predominantly mountainous relief. It occupies the western slopes of the Andes. The highest peak in Chile has Ojos del Salado.
It is located in the northeastern parts of the country, near the border with Argentina. It rises at an altitude of 6908 meters. The only areas of the country that have flat terrain are the Atacama Desert and the plains of Talca to Puerto Montt.
There are many bays, peninsulas and islands. The largest island of the country’s Tierra del Fuego, but it is wholly owned by Chile and Argentina as a territory here.
Nature. Chile has a varied and picturesque scenery. In the tropical parts of the country to the north are among the most arid, hot and infertile parts of the world. Here is dominated the desert landscapes.
In the heart of the Chilean tropics is located Atacama Desert. In some parts of it, is suggest that that has never rain. Into the subtropical climate zone are situated the most fertile parts of the country.
Here grows lush Mediterranean vegetation. There is a great variety of evergreen trees and shrubs. There are palm trees, citrus, flowers and so on. Here are the main agricultural regions of the country.
South of the subtropics extend the temperate latitudes with their colder climate and vegetation, mainly presented by deciduous broad leaf species. The nature here is not much different than that, which can be seen in Europe and North America.
The nature in the temperate latitudes of Chile with its coastline and forests are strikingly reminiscent of the Atlantic coast of Scandinavia and the Pacific coast in British Columbia in Canada.
The higher parts of the Andes are covered with snow and ice all year around. In Chile there are many glaciers, especially in the southern parts of the country, where they descend almost to the ocean beach.
For Chile, it is important to note that the country is among the most volcanic and seismic places in the world. There are hundreds of volcanoes and many of them are active.
Chile is part of the Pacific fire ring – this is a volcanic area, which covers the Pacific coast of Asia, North and South America, and many islands of Oceania, such as New Zealand.
The earthquakes, which often rushing the country are strong and devastating.
Not rarely the earthquakes cause tsunami waves that are dangerous, not only for Chile, but also for other countries which are located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean as a tsunami can travel thousands of miles and even splash off the opposite end of the Pacific Ocean.
The last big earthquake in Chile happened on 27.02.2010, approximately 90 kilometers from the city of Concepción. It took multiple victims and causes great material damages. The earthquake was of 8.8-th degree on the Richter scale.
Population and settlements. The population of Chile is about 16 000 000 people. Around 7 000 000 of them live in the greatest city in the country – the capital Santiago.
The reason is that the city is located in the most favourable climatic conditions in the country. Two other larger cities in Chile are also in the subtropics, near Santiago, but this time on the coast of the Pacific.
These are the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Here you can find superb Mediterranean type climate and the most beautiful beaches in Chile. They are leaders in the tourism of Chile.
Viña del Mar has a population of about 900 000 inhabitants and Valparaysko – 300 000 people. Besides Santiago, Viña del Mar and Valparaiso, in a Mediterranean climate are many other smaller cities.
More than half of Chile’s population is concentrated in this part of the country. In tropical areas of northern Chile there are only small cities. The most important of them are Iquique, Arica and Antofagasta.
In the temperate latitudes the relief is the biggest obstacle for the construction and development of settlements.
Most of the major cities in the temperate climate zone are Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, which is located on the Strait of Magellan.
In terms of the ethnic composition, the population of Chile consists mainly of immigrants from Europe, mostly from Spain.
Economy. Chile’s economy is versatile. The country develops high-tech, machinery, tourism, agriculture and mining. The central parts of Chile are very fertile and here are cultivated great variety of subtropical fruits such as citrus for example.
In temperate latitudes of the country are growing large amounts of Cherries .Chile is one of the world’s largest producers of cherries outside Europe.
The cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso are among the most beautiful cities in the Pacific coast of South America.
With their Mediterranean charm, warm climate and beautiful beaches, they attract many tourists from the region and the world.
The country produced a number of minerals exported abroad. One of the most valuable for Chile is called silitra Chilena, which occurs only here.
History. Chile was discovered by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan around South America to the south and passes through the Magellan strait, giving to it his name.
He was the first European to reach the territory of Chile today. In 1818, Chile obtain its independence from Spain after 8 years of war. From 1973 to 1990, Chile was under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
Then the country has managed very strictly and citizens’ rights have been limited to a minimum. Augusto Pinochet never lived to be tried since he died of a heart attack in 2006.
Many people are grateful to him, despite the repressive policies that he led, as he has saved Chile from the communist regime.
Contemporary Chile enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, low crime and high quality of life in a region known for its poverty and social contrasts. Today, Chile’s major cities have modern European look.
The best period for tourism in Chile vary depending on where you plan to travel and where to stay. In Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar example, the best time for hiking is from November to April.
Although the winter is not cold here, despite during the summer months you can see these cities in their best light. Tourism in the region of Puerto Montt is the most appropriate in the period December – March.
If you are headed to the southern parts of the country and Punta Arenas is better to do it in the hottest months – January and February, when the summer is in its high and can avoid to the variety of local life.
If you are adventurers, who decide to experience unforgettable adventure and travel in the region of the Atacama Desert, it will be better if you choose the coldest months July and August, since then the weather is most tolerable with temperatures from about 20 to 21 degrees degrees during the day.
Although summer temperatures here are not too high, because the cooling effect of the cold Peruvian current.
However, do not forget that the sun in the tropical areas is very strong and in the Atacama Desert is not easy to find shade, not to say that it is impossible.