is an excellent country for a prolonged visit. It is small in population
(about 15 million), but contains a great diversity of natural landscapes.
The country stretches nearly 3,000 miles along the South American Pacific
Coast, from the northern desert, through the central valley to the temperate,
mountainous Lake District, and ending in Patagonia’s alpine glaciers
and fjords. Running constant through this incredible geographical diversity
is the Andes mountain chain, which forms the country’s eastern
backbone and which is visible from many towns and cities the length
One of the longest countries in the world, Chile is also one of the
narrowest - only about 125 miles at its widest point. This means that
the sea and the mountains are never more than about two to three hours
apart, anywhere in the country.
In terms of personal safety, Chile is one of the safest countries in
Latin America. The police force is widely respected and has a reputation
for integrity and reliability. Chileans are typically friendly and interested
towards foreigners and quick to give a warm welcome to visitors, especially
those interested in learning Spanish.
Seasons are the reverse of in the United States: winter is officially
21 June – 21 Sept., summer is 21 Dec. – 21 March.