More about Chile
Currency: Peso (CLP)
Time zone: UTC -3 & -5
Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America’s western edge with more than 6000 kilometre of Pacific Ocean coastline. Bordered by Peru in the north, Bolivia in the north-east and Argentina in the east. Today, Chile is one of South America’s most stable and healthy nations.
Chile has something for everyone. Go skiing in the Andes, surf big waves in the Pacific Ocean or go on a nice trek to one of the world’s largest volcanoes. In this diverse country you can also find, Algarobbo City, the biggest pool in the world and the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, where it has never rained before. Here you will also find amazingly cute penguins and other wildlife.
Chile’s climate varies from region to region due to the country’s long and narrow shape. Hot temperatures are rare except for in the north-central, at a certain distance from the sea. Best time to go here would be in the summer. Summer runs from December to January and winter from June to August. There’s a dry desert climate in the north with a maximum temperature of 32°C during the summer, and that can easily drop just below 0°C in the winter.
The central region of Chile has a Mediterranean feel with with it’s warm, dry summers, cool, wet winter and a wet season between May and August. However the influence of the sea makes the summer a bit cool, with temperatures around 20°C. The sea heats up Chile here during the winter, with an average temperature of 12°C.
Southern Chile has a cool climate that is highly affected by the ocean. The winter is rainy, as well as the summer. Westerly facing winds here, blow constantly and the temperature is colder than the rest of the country. Temperatures usually vary between 16°C to 20°C during summer and 5°C to 10°C in the winter.
The Chilean culture is a mix between elements from the spanish colonial time and the indigenous people, mostly Mapuche, which were the first people in Chile. Today they make up about 9 % of the total population. The national flag and the national anthem are today the most important symbols for the country, The national holiday on the 18th of September, celebrates their declaration of independence from Spain, in 1810. During this day they visit fondas (traditional palm-roofed shelters, dance their national dance “Cueca”, drink Chilean red wine and eat empanadas, which are meat pastries.
Chile is the most modern country in Latin America and has a relatively low level of poverty. However, they still constantly think and act in terms of traditional class divisions. Upper, middle and lower classes, living largely isolated from each other in their own neighbourhoods. Entrance to university is based on the points obtained after a single national academic test. Getting an academical degree or a good job does not automatically guarantee social acceptance among the middle and upper classes.
Football is the most famous sport in the country, no matter the status of your socioeconomic background. Rodeo is the second most famous sport here, with two riders and horses on each team, the goal is to stop the calf and pin him up against gigantic cushions. However skiing in the Andean Mountains or surfing in the Pacific Ocean is pretty common as well. In the south basketball is a common sport as it can be played all year around.