Chile Overview

Chile Overview

Southern America


Official name of the state

Republic of Chile.


Santiago de Chile.


According to a2zgov, Chile is located on the west coast of South America and borders Peru to the north and Bolivia and Argentina to the east. The territory includes the Juan Fernández Islands, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) as well as the Islas de los Desventurados and the Isla Sala y Gómez.

Chile is 4,329 km long and on average 180 km wide, the widest east-west extension is 450 km near Antofagasta. The Andes extend through the whole of Chile up to 6,880 m altitude (Ojos del Salado volcano), towards the sea they descend in stages. The different soil conditions and extreme climatic differences make themselves felt in the population density and in the respective economies of the different regions.

Chile can be divided into five zones. The north consists of rainless hot desert with a few oases. The area south of Copiapó is semi-desert. Most of the inhabitants of Chile live south from Llapel to Concepción. Farms and vineyards characterize this area. The 4th zone between Concepción and Puerto Montt is very forested and has many lakes and rivers; it rains here most of the year. The whole south, from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn, is sparsely populated. Here nature dominates with forests, glaciers, fjords and numerous islands.


Presidential republic since 1925. Constitution of 1981, last amended in 2005. Parliament consists of the Senate (48 seats, 38 elected and 9 members appointed for life by the Supreme Court and the Military Government, as well as 1 former President) and the House of Representatives (120 members). Direct election of the head of state every 4 years. Independent since 1818 (former Spanish colony).

Head of state

Michelle Bachelet, since December 2013.

Head of government

Michelle Bachelet, since December 2013.


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Chile Overview



The official language is Spanish. English is common and various Indian languages are spoken.



* If Corpus Christi, St. Peter and Paul and Columbus Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the holidays are observed on the following Monday.


* If Corpus Christi, St. Peter and Paul and Columbus Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the holidays are observed on the following Monday.



The following articles can be imported into Chile duty-free:

400 cigarettes and 500 g of pipe tobacco and 50 cigars (people aged 18 and over);
2.5 l spirits (people aged 18 and over);
Perfume for personal use;
Gifts or products for personal use (1 mobile phone, 1 laptop, 1 binoculars, 1 camera and 1 video camera, jewelry and electrical devices for personal hygiene, toiletries, clothing, sports equipment) with a total value of up to the equivalent of 300 US $ (people aged 15 and over) J.).

Prohibited imports

Pornographic products, drugs, weapons, fresh food (fruit, vegetables, meat and meat products (e.g. sausage products), milk and dairy products), plants, parts of plants and seeds may not be imported.

Violations (including an inadvertently undeclared apple in hand luggage) are punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.



Many hotels and restaurants offer evening entertainment and there are numerous nightclubs and discos. There are casinos in Viña del Mar, Pucón, Puerto Varas and Arica.




Excellent accommodation is available nationwide. Several new luxury hotels have recently opened in Santiago and other cities. They are divided into categories of 5-2 stars. The lack of hotel facilities is made up for by the cozy atmosphere. In rural areas it is more common for the owner or leader to eat with guests. During the main season you should definitely book well in advance in the holiday resorts.


There are tent sites across the country. The official tent sites are expensive, a list is available from the embassy.

Other accommodation options

Only members of the Asociación Chilena de Albergues Turísticos Juveniles can stay in Chilean youth hostels. Address: Hernando de Auirre 201, Of. 602, CL-Providencia. (Tel: (02) 411 20 50. (Internet: Many youth hostels are overcrowded.



70% Catholics, 15.1% Evangelicals; other Christian, Jewish, Animist, and Baha’i minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: Shake hands to greet you. Most Chileans have two surnames, when salutation and correspondence usually only the first is used. The usual forms of courtesy should be observed. Invitations to private homes are common, and small gifts are welcome.

Clothing: Casual, low-key clothing is widely accepted; Women should not wear shorts outside of the holiday centers.

Restaurants and bars charge 10% for service. Waiters expect another 10%.


Best travel time

Hot and dry in the north, but very cold and rainy in the extreme south. The central regions have a pleasant, almost Mediterranean climate with a rainy season from May to August.


Area code +56 Area (square km) 756 102 Population 17 508 260 Population density (per square km) 23 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 131