Chilean territory is in the south west of South America, between 17o 30´meridians and 90o south latitude. Its continental length is approximately 4.200km and 8.000 km considering Chilean Antarctica. Easter Island or “Rapa Nui”, Juan Fernández and San Felix archipelago, San Ambrosio, Sala y Gomez, the 200 miles territorial sea and the correspondent continental platform are also part of the country.
Chile´s capital city, Santiago, is South America fifth biggest agglomeration. It was funded on February 12th by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia. It is located 543 meters above the sea level, in the central zone of Chile; 2.051km from Arica, Chile´s most northern city and 3.141 km from Punta Arenas world´s most southern city.
The continental and insular area is 756.626 km2 and our Antarctic territory is 1.250.000 km2 which represent a total area of 2.006.626 km2. The average width of the country is about 177km. The minimum continental width is 90km, at the north of Choapa river´s mouth.
From Peru´s border to Copiapó river is a desert plain with scarce precipitations and with an average temperature of 16oC which decreases as we go up to the Andes Mountains. From the south of this river until Aconcagua river, the average temperature is 15oC and precipitations are slightly morte frequent (an average of 113mm). From Aconcagua river to Biobío river, rainfall increases and is concentrated in winter, with an average of 360mm, and an average temperature of 14oC. From the south of this river until the Corcovado gulf, the average temperatures keep dropping, 12oC in this case, and rainfall increases from 943 to 2.488mm. From Corcovado gulf to Cape Horn, the average temperature is only 9oC with 2.820mm precipitations.
The applicable Constitution is from 1980. State authority is divided between three bodies: the legislative, executive and judicial powers. The first one is led by the President who is elected by direct vote every 6 years: The legislative system is composed of the Chamber of Senators formed by 47 members, and the Chamber of Representatives formed by 120 representatives. In terms of administration, the country is divided in 13 regions which are, from north to south: Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Libertador Bernardo O´Higgins, Maule, Bio-bío, Araucanía, Los Lagos, Aysen del general Carlos Ibáñez Del Campo, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica. A supervisor is in charge of each of them, designated by the president. Moreover, there are 50 provinces led by a governor, designated by the president too and 341 municipalities led by a mayor and a varying number of councilmen designated by direct vote every 4 years.
The official language is Castellano, but it also exists more languages of indigenous peoples, still used such as Mapudungún (or Mapuche), Quechua and Rapa Nui. Moreover, the touristic services staff in general speak English and sometimes German and French.
The monetary unit is the Chilean Peso ($). The equalization with US Dollar will have to be checked depending on the dates of the journey. As a reference, the exchange rate in March 2008 is $ 460 Chilean pesos for US $ 1. You can easily exchange currency in banks and exchange house and you do not need any specific documentation.
According to the last 2002 census, the population is 15.116.435 inhabitants; its density is 20.4 inhabitants/km2 and the average age is 30.04 years old.
Parque Arauco: www.parquearauco.cl
Altos Las Condes: www.altolascondes.cl
Costanera Center: www.costaneracenter.cl
Casa Costanera : www.casacostanera.cl/
Among the most recognized places for skiing in Chile, we highlight the following:
Portillo Ski Resort: www.skiportillo.com
La Parva Ski Resort: www.skilaparva.cl
Colorado-Farellones Ski Resort: www.elcolorado.cl
Valle Nevado Ski Resort: www.vallenevado.com
Termas de Chillán Ski Resort: www.termaschillan.cl
Villarrica-Pucón Ski Resort: www.latetera.cl
Antillanca Ski Resort: www.chileanski.com/esp/antillanca/info.htm
Corralco Ski Resort: www.corralco.com