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 visited for its remote getaways, memorable landscapes, food and nightlife.
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.
1. Chile is long and narrow
Chile is a long and narrow country on the western edge of South America.
2. In fact, Chile is longer than you think!
Chile is the longest country in the world at an incredible 2,647 miles (4,620 kilometers) long!
3. Chile has a rather unique shape
This unusually shaped country has an area of 291,930 square miles (756,096 square kilometers). Experts have referred to its unique shape as “ribbon-like” because of the way it curves, like a ribbon tied into a bow.
4. Chile’s neighboring countries
It shares a border with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-east and Argentina to the east.
5. Brazil is NOT a neighbor
Chile and Ecuador are the only countries in South America that don’t border Brazil!
6. Easter Island’s famous archaeological sites
Easter Island is located 2,200 miles west of Chile. It is famously home to the captivating statues called Moai – monolithic human figures carved from stone over 500 years ago.
7. Chile is home to the southernmost naval base
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.
8. Chile’s population is on the rise!
Chile’s population was 18.95 million in 2019. This has since increased to 19.27 million people according to the latest United Nations data.
9. Chile is actually pretty easy to find
Should you wish to explore this unique country (and we recommend you do!) the coordinates to get there are 33.4333° S, 70.6667°
10. Chile’s capital city
Chile’s capital city is Santiago; it covers an area of 247.5 square miles (641 square kilometers) and has a population of 5.614 million (2017).
11. Chile has a varied terrain
The terrain here is a mix of low coastal mountains, a central valley and the Andes Mountains in the east.
12. Chile has more mountains than you can imagine
Mountains cover around 80% of Chile’s landscape; The Andes mountain range extends the entire length of this amazing country!
13. It also has the driest desert
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.
14. The biggest copper mines in the world
Chile houses two of the largest copper mines in the world! Chuquicamata and Escondida.
15. Chile proudly presents three well-defined climates
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.
16. Native Chileans
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.
17. Chileans LOVE football
Football is one of the popular sports in Chile. The country even has a premier league called Copa Scotiabank.
18. Chile Is UFO-friendly
Chile is one of only a few countries that have a government supported UFO research organization.
19. Chileans live long healthy lives!
The average life expectancy here is 80.18 years (2019).
20. Chile has a low divorce rate
Divorce has only been legal in Chile since 2005 and it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world!
21. If you’re heading here, pack some Chilean Pesos
Should you wish to sip a cold ‘Cerveza’ (Spanish for ‘beer’) upon these glorious shores, remember to pack a few Chilean Peso’s!
22. Hablas español?
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.
23. Chile has a booming production portfolio
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.
24. Seriously, its industry is impressive!
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.
25. Are you a wine lover? Try Chilean wine
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!
26. Its easy to call here…
Want to call your family or friends in Chile? You’ll need to dial the international code +56.
FAQs about Chile
Is it safe for me to travel to Chile?
On the whole, yes, Chile is considered one of the safest countries to visit in South America.
Is Chile an American ally?
Yes, Chile is one of the US’ main partners in the southern continent.
How strong is Chile’s army?
Chile’s army is ranked highly in the world’s armed forces - it’s in the top 50 out of 140.
Do you know any fun facts about Chile? Share them in the comments below!
Are you fascinated with South America and want to discover more? Check out these interesting facts about Peru!