Home of the beloved writers Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, Chile is known to its inhabitants as “pais del poetas,” or country of poets. Aside from its contribution to literature, the country is also frequented for its remote getaways, memorable landscapes, food and nightlife.
Boost your local knowledge of South America with these interesting facts about Chile.
Chile’s location on the map is a rich source of fun facts about the country. Learn how its geography has shaped its history, culture and people.
- Chile is a long and narrow country on the western edge of South America.
- It shares a border with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-east and Argentina to the east.
- This unusually shaped country has an area of 291,930 square miles (756,096 square kilometres). Experts have referred to its unique shape as “ribbon-like” because of the way it curves, like a ribbon tied into a bow.
- The famous Easter Island is located just off the Chilean coast. It is home to captivating stone statues called moais.
- Chile is the longest country in the world at an incredible 2,647 miles (4,620 kilometres) long!
- The world’s southernmost village, Puerto Williams is in Chile! Located on Navarino Island, this village continues to serve as a naval base for the country.
- Chile’s population was 18.73 million in 2018. This has since increased to 19.11 million people according to the latest United Nations data.
- Should you wish to explore this unique country (and we recommend you do!) the coordinates to get there are 33.4333° S, 70.6667°
- Chile and Ecuador are the only countries in South America that don’t border Brazil!
- The capital city is called Santiago; it covers an area of 247.5 square miles (641 square kilometres) and has a population of 6.3 million (2012).
- The terrain here is a mix of low coastal mountains, a central valley and the Andes Mountains in the east.
- Mountains cover around 80% of Chile’s landscape; The Andes mountain range extends the entire length of this amazing country!
- The Chilean Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world – parts of which have never seen a drop of rain since records began! It is nestled between the Andes Mountains and the coastal mountains that overlook the Pacific Ocean.
- The Atacama Desert, otherwise known as Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), is a popular tourist destination. Visitors from all over the world regularly make the trek to explore its salt flats and caves.
- Chile houses two of the largest copper mines in the world! Chuquicamata and Escondida.
- Residents here enjoy an overall temperate climate with three distinct climates due to the shape of the country; there’s arid desert in the north, a Mediterranean climate in the central region and it’s cool and damp in the south.
Much like different countries across Southern America, Chile has a history of Spanish Colonization. It has led to a population where most are a mix of Native American and Spanish ancestries. Learn more interesting facts about the country’s history to get to know its people.
- Approximately 9% of Chile’s current population is made up of several indigenous groups. These include the Mapuche, the Aymara, the Diaguita, the Lickanantay and the Quecha.
- Football is one of the popular sports in Chile. The country even has a premier league called Copa Scotiabank.
- Chile is one of only a few countries that have a government supported UFO research organisation.
- The average life expectancy here is 79.91 years (2017).
- Divorce has only been legal in Chile since 2005 and it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world!
- Should you wish to sip a cold ‘Cerveza’ (Spanish for ‘beer’) upon these glorious shores, remember to pack a few Chilean Peso’s!
- Spanish is the official language of Chile.
Chile’s unique geography gives it access to natural resources that contribute to several of its industries. Find out more facts about these and its economy.
- The country’s vast plains of flat land give the people ample space to grow wheat, corn, beans and grapes. In addition to these, they rear cattle or labour, food and other products.
- Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean gives Chileans the ability to catch fish all-year-round. Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of salmon.
- The country’s forestry industry makes up approximately 13% of its total exports. The most popular types of timber they export are Radiate Pine and Eucalyptus.
- The country’s industry consists of copper, food products, fish processing, cement, transport equipment, iron and steel.
- Chile exports copper, fish, chemicals, fruits, paper and pulp.
- The country’s unusual geography makes it the ideal environment for wine growing. Chile’s wine is often part of the world’s top ten rankings of best wines. Thumbs up for the wine!
- Want to call your family or friends in Chile? You’ll need to dial the international code +56.