Chile Facts

Chile Facts
Chile is a long, narrow country in South America, stretching along its west coast of the continent. It is believed that Chile's region was inhabited sporadically from about 18,500 years ago until 10,000 years ago when Native Americans migrated to the area and made it their home. Incans attempted to extend their empire into northern Chile but were not successful. The Spanish arrived in the 1500s and Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to step foot on Chile's soil. Further Spanish explorers and settlers began to settle into Chile, claiming it as part of the Spanish Empire. In 181 Chile gained its independence from Spain.
Interesting Chile Facts:
Chile's official name is the Republic of Chile.
Chile's indigenous population are called the Mapuche. The indigenous population of Chile only accounts for 5% of the country's total population.
Chile stretches along the west side of the Andes Mountains in South America.
Chile is long and narrow, stretching 2,670 miles along the coast, and only 217 miles at its widest point inland.
Chile covers an area of 292,260 square miles. Chile also claims to own 480,000 square miles of Antarctica but the Antarctic Treaty suspends this land claim.
Chile is the most southern country on a mainland.
Easter Island is part of Chile, as are Robinson Crusoe Island and Sala y Gomez Island.
Chile's largest city is Santiago Metropolis with a population of 5.4 million. Greater Valparaiso is the second largest with a population of 803,000.
Chile's climate varies greatly because of its size and shape. It has the driest desert in the world (northern Chile), a Mediterranean climate in central Chile, glaciers in Chile's south and east, and even humid sub-tropics on Easter Island.
Most of Chile experiences four seasons including spring (September to November), summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), and winter (June to August).
Chile's official language is Spanish.
The currency in Chile is the peso.
Chileans refer to Chile as 'pais de poetas' which means 'country of poets'. The two Nobel Prizes awarded to Chileans were in the subject of literature. Pablo Neruda was awarded the prize in 1971, and Gabriela Mistral was awarded the prize in 1945.
Chile is considered to be one of South America's most prosperous and stable countries.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Chile while tennis is the one the Chileans are most successful in.
Chile's national sport is Rodeo.
Chile celebrates its Independence Day on September 18th each year.
In Chile the most popular religion is Roman Catholic (66%), followed by Protestant or Evangelical (16%), and Jehovah's Witnesses (1%).
Natural resources in Chile include copper, iron ore, precious metals, timber, and hydroelectricity.
Chile's main exports include wine, paper and pulp, fish, fruit, and copper.
Chile's main imports are vehicles, industrial machinery, chemicals, natural gas, and electrical equipment.
An earthquake hit Chile in 2010 resulting in as many as 500 deaths and more than 1.5 million people being displaced. It was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.
Chile is the world's fifth largest wine exporter.
Chile has a government-supported organization that researches UFOs.


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