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Capital : Santiago

A narrow strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Chile became a Spanish colony in the 16th century. Before that the country was under the Inca rule while central and southern Chile was inhabited by Araucanian Indians. The country got independence from the Spanish rule in 1810. The northern region was incorporated into its territory by defeating the neighbouring countries of Bolivia and Peru in the War of the Pacific (1879-83).

The Marxist government of Salvador Allende came to an end 1973 when Augusto Pinochet led a military coup. His rule came to an end when a freely elected president came to power in 1990.

Economic reforms have been initiated on a large scale. Today Chile commands respects as a stable, democratic nation among the comity of nations.

Travel overview
Though at most 115 miles (180km) wide, Chile is home to a wide range of attractions ranging from expansive glaciers, verdant valleys and towering mountains, snow-capped volcanoes, dazzling lakes, stunning forests and deserts and sandy beaches. Apart from being an ideal place for adventure tourists, the country is also home to the modern city of Santiago.

You can enjoy skiing at ski resorts in El Colorado and Faronelles. Easter Island (Rapa Nui), known for its mysterious giant sculpted stone heads, is worth a visit. The Indian rock art can be appreciated at Monumento Arqueologico Valle del Encanto. Parque Nacional Lauca is famous for the wildlife and lake.
Chile is known for its cuisines and wines. It is also a shoppers’ paradise.

Capital: Santiago
Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru
Climate: temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Total Area: 756,950 sq km
Total Population: 16,284,741
Population Growth Rate: 0.916%
Sex Ratio: 0.982 male(s)/female
Literacy: 95.7%
Ethnic Groups: white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%
Irrigated land: 19,000 sq km
Languages: Spanish
Time Zone: UTC-4
Currency: Chilean peso
Type of govt.: republic
Head of Govt.: resident Michelle BACHELET Jeria
Major Political Parties: Alliance for Chile or APC, Coalition of Parties for Democracy or CPD, Socialist Party or PS, Party for Democracy or PPD, Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD, Communist Party or PC

Participation in International Organizations: APEC, BIS, CAN (associate), CSN, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Major Agricultural Products: grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber

Natural Resources & Minerals: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower

Industry & Transport: copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement and textiles
Airports: 363
Railways: 6,585 km
79,605 km
Major Trade Partners: US, Japan, China, Netherlands, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, US, Brazil, China, South Korea, Yemen

Exports: $58.21 billion
Imports: $35.37 billion



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