Top events in Chile

April
29

Semana Santa is an important time throughout Latin America, with religious ceremonies and processions taking place throughout the week from Palm...

August
01

The Ñuñoa district of the city hosts a winter weekend jazz event, featuring the best of national jazz acts with a bit of blues thrown in for good...

November
01

This is the largest music festival in Chile and sees participants from across the globe as well as some of Chile’s finest musicians. The 2012...

Valle de la Luna, Chile
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Valle de la Luna, Chile

© 123rf.com / Joris Van Ostaeyen

Chile Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

756,102 sq km (291,932 sq miles).

Population

17.2 million (2013).

Population density

22.7 per sq km.

Capital

Santiago.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from Spain in 1810.

Head of state

President Michelle Bachelet since 2014.

Head of government

President Michelle Bachelet since 2014.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two circular metal pins are used.

Chile’s elongated, unique shape makes it one of the world’s most geographically unique countries, and this South American nation’s cartography lives up to its reputation. From top to bottom, thousands of miles encompass arid, rain-starved desert in the north to the icy glaciers of the south. The beautiful Andes mountain range is rarely far from view, defining the country's eastern border.

Such a rich natural setting provides Chile with a wealth of possibilities for fans of the great outdoors. From excellent skiing facilities, through to trekking, horse riding and white-water rafting, adventure sport opportunities in Chile will push most adrenaline junkies to their limits.

The country's capital Santiago nestles in a central valley between the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Mountain range. A cosmopolitan city with its own version of Bond Street - Alonso de Cordova - it has several museums, Spanish colonial buildings and parks and taking to it by foot is simply the best way to see it. Santiago also has a wide range of accommodation and restaurants nestling on the cobbled street corners.

Chile is a success story among South America's economies with many international firms choosing Santiago as their headquarters in recent years. Its copper industry has long been a mainstay of the country's income, although agriculture and wine bears some economic significance. Chile has been politically stable since 1990 following the demise of General Augusto Pinochet's 17-year dictatorship.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 20 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

A large forest fire on 12 April has affected Valparaiso City (5th region). Local authorities have declared a state of emergency. Chilean armed forces have activated their emergency response. A large number of people have been evacuated. You should monitor the website of the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security ONEMI or follow ONEMI on twitter.

A large earthquake of magnitude 8.2 struck off the coast of northern Chile on 1 April. Tsunami warnings were issued and later lifted. A further earthquake occurred on 2 April. Strong tremors and aftershocks continue to take place.

The British Embassy is in contact with the national emergency services in Chile. You should monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities. If you need consular assistance, contact the British Embassy in Santiago.

Border crossings are sometimes closed due to the weather or earthquakes. Check the website of the Chilean Ministry of Public Works for the latest information.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Most visits to Chile are trouble-free. See Crime

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Edited by Jane Duru
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