About Chile

A long narrow strip on the southern coast of western South America, Chile has long intrigued and beckoned travellers with its pristine nature and incredibly diverse climate and geography.

Stretching for 4,300 kilometres from the Atacama desert in the north all the way through the grassy Mediterranean-climate centre and to the rainy south, it’s a land of sharp contrasts and undisturbed natural beauty.

Chile covers the territory of 756,096.3 km2 and borders Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the Drake Passage, and the country’s territory includes the islands of Juan Fernández, Desventuradas, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island.

Chile’s population is over 18,3 million people, and Spanish is the official language. Santiago is the capital and the largest city, and Valparaíso is the biggest port. The country’s economy is one of South America’s most stable and prosperous, and is ranked as a high-income economy with the main industries being manufacturing, the service sector, and agriculture. The country is becoming more and more known for its wine — now a worldwide producer of some of the most famous wines, Chile’s domestic wine culture is laid back and centres around memorable flavours, good company, and conversation. One of Chile’s most widely-used sayings is ‘those who hurry waste their time’, and it perfectly exemplifies the region’s slow casual pace that beckons expats and tourists with the promise of a different lifestyle.

Some of Chile’s main attractions include the Atacama Desert, Chiloé Island, Torres del Paine National Park and Valle Nevado (skiing and snowboarding resort in the Andes).

Citizens of most countries can stay in Chile visa-free for a period from 20 to 90 days, while some countries’ residents will need to apply for a tourist visa in advance.

Good to know: When travelling in Chile, take into account that the region is prone to earthquakes and if you ever witness one, follow directions and don’t leave the building unless instructed to.