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Travel Notes: Latin America: Chile Travel Notes

Chile Travel Notes

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Chile Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Chile Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Chile.

About Chile

Chile is long and narrow; around 4,270 kilometres from north to south, with an average width of less than 180 km.

An 8.8 earthquake occurred north-east of the city of Concepcion in the early hours of Saturday, 27th February, 2010 - 1,000 times stronger than the previous one in Haiti.

Southern Tip of South America

Countries neighbouring Chile are: Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

Map of Chile

The Straits of Magellan, between the mainland and Tierra del Fuego, are named after the Portuguese explorer who came through them in 1520, and landed on Chiloe Island.

The region was then known as Tchili; meaning snow.

At the southern tip of the American continent, the Chilean Archipelagos include the Chonos, Wellington Island, and the western portion of Tierra del Fuego. Cape Horn is the southernmost point.

South Pacific islands belonging to Chile include the Juan Fernandez Islands, Easter Island, and Sala y Gomez.

In 1535, after conquering the Incas of Peru, one of Pizarro's men led an overland expedition into Chile, in search of gold.

Chilean Government:
The Presidencia de la Republica de Chile, only in Spanish.

The tourism portal of Chile is currently only available in Spanish.

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.


Encounter Patagonia:
Focuses on small group travel in remote regions of Chile. Explore an authentic Patagonia by venturing on combined high adventure and cultural immersion trips to the back roads of this rich South American country.

Moser Active is a Patagonian adventure travel company, located in Puerto Natales, Chile.

Santiago de Chile

The capital of Chile is situated on the Mapocho River, in the central part of the country.

Chile's largest city has the snow-capped Andes Mountains visible to the east.

Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia established Santiago in 1541, in an area then inhabited by the Picunche Indians.

For visitors who like looking at old buildings, there's a 16th-century cathedral in Santiago and the Presidential Palace dates from the early 19th century.

The National Historical Museum has interesting collections from the pre-Colombian and colonial periods, and the Art of the American Peoples Museum has a collection of Chilean folk art.

Other museums of interest are the National Museum of Fine Arts; the Contemporary Art Museum, in Forestal Park; the National Museum of Natural History; and the Natural History Museum of San Pedro Nolasco.

Accommodation in Santiago de Chile

Hotels in Santiago.

Official Hotel Website. Grand Hyatt Santiago:
Acknowledged as one of South America's finest hotels, Hyatt Regency Santiago is located in an exclusive residential neighbourhood minutes away from downtown Santiago.

The Andes

The high Andes mountain range forms Chile's eastern border with Bolivia and Argentina.

The Trans-Andes railway runs from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires.


Valparaiso is located on a wide bay of the Pacific Ocean in central Chile; north of Santiago.

It's a major seaport and most people pass through here on their way to the nearby resort of Vina del Mar.

Founded by the Spanish in 1536, Valparaiso grew after Chile gained independence in 1818, as ships rounding Cape Horn stopped here before the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal.

Vina del Mar

The cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso seem to have blended together to form a greater metropolitan region.

Vina del Mar is a popular seaside resort and one of our favourites in Latin America; certainly the best on the west coast.

The president of Chile's summer residence is in Vina del Mar and there's plenty of evidence that other money comes to town; with luxurious estates, wonderful green areas and hotels on the waterfront.

There's also a municipal casino for the rich to try and win some more, and the not so rich to loose their shirt.

Easter Island

Known as Isla de Pascua in Spanish, Easter Island  lies about 3,700 km west of the Chilean coast.

Dutch explorer Jakob Roggeveen landed here on Easter Day in 1722, hence the name.

Several thousand Polynesians lived on the volcanic island at the time, but their numbers were reduced by disease and capture during the slave trade.

The origins of the carved statues on Easter Island are uncertain. There is also evidence that the islanders possessed an early form of writing, by carving pictures on wooden tablets.

Atacama Desert

Said to be one of the driest regions in the world the Atacama Desert, in northern Chile, is kept relatively cool by its high elevation.

The Terrantai Lodge was conceived to honour the spirit of traditional Atacamenean custom, while providing the creature comforts modern travellers expect.

Experience the authentic Atacama and the oasis of San Pedro and find adventure for the mind and body, and relaxation for the soul.


Haciendas are a type of organisation for country farms of several hundred acres and were introduced by the Spaniards in South America in the 16th century.

Hacienda Los Andes:
Situated 500 kilometres north of Santiago, in the 4th region of Chile, Hacienda Los Andes is within easy reach by road via La Serena and Ovalle. There's also a private transfer service from La Serena, Vicuna or Ovalle.

Chilean Culture

Pablo Neruda is Chile's famous poet, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He also served as Chile's Ambassador to France, from 1970 to 1973.

The works of Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral are maybe lesser known, but she became the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1945.

Isabelle Allende was one of the first Latin American woman writers to win world-wide recognition and popularity.

Her uncle, Salvador Allende, was the president of Chile when he died; during General Pinochet's 1973 military coup. Isabelle Allende was subsequently exiled from Chile and sought asylum in Caracas, Venezuela.

Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, was produced in exile. A family chronicle set in the disorder of political and economic change in Latin America, the novel was well received and subsequently made into a film.

In Of Love and Shadows and Eva Luna, Allende continued with her exploration of personal and political themes.

Chilean music and folk dances get their influences from the more rural communities, where reading poetry was not so widespread.

Chilean Wine

Chilean wine-growing dates from the 16th century but it's only in the last decade that Chile has grown in the public consciousness as a wine exporter; with its relatively inexpensive wines offering a fresh, fruity, richly flavoured taste.

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