The Chilean Culture reflects the homogenous population and the geografical isolate position the fairly country has in Latin America. Since the colonial days, the Chilean culture has been a mixture of local indigenous (mainly Mapuche)elements and Spanish colonial elements.
The huasos (Chilean cowboys) of Central Chile, their music and dance are an important element in the Chilean culture, though also the uses and rites of each region are very different. Regions like the north and Easter Island have their own rituals and culture that is very different from the rites and rituals from the central mainland.
The wildlife of Chile has a diverse range of animals and plants, due to the country’s slender and elongated shape, which spans a wide range of latitude, and also its altitude, ranging from the windswept coastline of the Pacific coast on the west to northern Andes to the sub-Antarctic, high Andes mountains in the east. There are many distinct ecosystems.
Chile has over 100 protected areas covering a total area of 14.5 million hectares (20% of the country) in 36 National parks, 49 National Reserves, and 15 National Monuments. In the southern part of Chile, 50 percent of the flora (part of temperate rain forest called the Valdivian forests) is endemic which is a unique feature in the world. The Chilean bellflower is the national flower, Andean condor, is the national bird, and taruca or South Andean huemul, is the national animal of Chile.
The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalizations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging lowdesert in the north, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and southeast, humid subtropical in Easter Island,Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. Moreover, there are four seasons in most of the country: summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November).
Time & Date: GMT -4
The peso is the currency of Chile. The current peso has circulated since 1975, with a previous version circulating between 1817 and 1960. Its symbol is defined as a letter S with either one or two vertical bars superimposed prefixing the amount, $ or ; the single-bar symbol, available in most modern text systems, is almost always used. Both of these symbols are used by many currencies, most notably the US dollar, and may be ambiguous without clarification such as CLP$ or US$. The ISO 4217 code for the present peso is CLP. It is officially subdivided into 100 centavos, although there are no current centavo-denominated coins. The exchange rate was around CLP$600 to 1 U.S. dollar at the end of 2014; by August 2015 it fell to 694 per 1 US dollar.
Of the 18 million Chileans, some 14 million speak Chilean Spanish as their first language. It is a Spanish dialect which is sometimes difficult for speakers of the Castilian variant of Spanish to understand. It is very similar to Andalusian Spanish in pronunciation but it does have a lot of local slang.
Native languages: Mapudungun
There are some 700,000 Mapuche living in Chile, of whom 114,000 speak Mapudungun.
Chilean Quechua has 8,200 speakers in the far northeast high plains. It is believed to possibly be identical to South Bolivian Quechua or at the very least highly intelligible with it.
Rapa Nui, the Polynesian language of Easter Island, is spoken by some 3,400 Chileans, whereof 3,200 live on Easter Island and some 200 live on the mainland.
Huilliche or Chesungun had 2,000 speakers in 1982, living in the Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions. As most of those speakers were elderly, it is uncertain if there are any existing speakers today
Food & Drinks:
Being such a long country stretched over a variety of landscapes, Chile has a vast range of food and drinks, but typical meals in Chile consist mainly of lots of meat, especially beef and chicken, rice and potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables from the fields of Central Chile. Even though seafood could be the common daily meal in Chile with its 5.000 km long coast, it is not. But you will surely find a fresh seafood selection on every menu.
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.
Holders of passports of all European countries can visit Argentina without a visa for up to 90 days.
Citizens of the US, Canada and Australia can visit Chile without a visa for up to 90 days but they must first pay the reciprocity fee online.
The busiest and most important international airport Chile is Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez
Furthermore, there are several other smaller international and national airports all over the country.
Currency: Chilean peso
Population: 17.91 million
Official languages: Spanish