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Chile is a long strip of land that stretches over 5,000 km (3,200 mi) along the Pacific Ocean on the southwestern coast of South America. On the east, the impossing wall of the Cordillera de los Andes containing more than 50 active volcanoes forms a natural border with Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. This condition makes Chile one of the best places in the world for skiing, snowboarding, climbing and many mountain activities. Its widest point never exceeds 250 km (170 mi). All along its length Chile is marked by a narrow depression between the Andes Cordillera and the Pacific Ocean, the Central Valley.

Given its great extension, one of Chile’s main attractions is its attonishing variety of landscapes. To the north the land is arid and desertic, to the south an opposite transformation takes place and the land starts to fall away. The area between the Andes and the Pacific fades into thousand of islands, channels, glaciers: the Chilean Patagonia. In the center of the country is a long and expansive valley occupied by vineyards and farms and in the south by forests and enchanting lakes. Santiago, the capital, concentrates the more industrialised and prosperous sections of the Central Valley.

The enigmatic Easter Island and the Juan Fernandez Islands are also part of Chile. Both possessions are administered as National Parks. The Juan Fernandez Islands are located about 670 km off the Chilean coast, while Easter Island is situated 3700 km distant.

The climate is as diverse as the country’s geography. Considering the arid and dry conditions of the Atacama Desert in the north to the extreme weather of the high Andes, Chile enjoys a comfortable temperate climate with four well defined seasons.

Population : 15,2 million
Language : Spanish
Time : GMT - 4