The Republic of Chile is a narrow strip of land situated just east of the Pacific Ocean, in South America. Even though Chile is one of the smallest countries on the continent, both in terms of population (nearly 17,5 million people) and surface, the country has evolved into one of the most prosperous and stable nations in Latin America. The growth of its economy is largely sustained by the country’s copper exports, a mineral substance which is found in abundance in Chile; in addition, other major exports include wood products, fresh and processed food, seafood, and wine. Chile’s currency is the Peso (CPL) and its largest city, Santiago, is also the capital.
Although in its not so distant history, Chile’s political scene was rather tumultuous, the country managed to emerge from the rule of a military dictatorship and it is nowadays a presidential constitutional republic. There are several indigenous languages being spoken in Chile, but the nation’s official language is Spanish. However, foreigners wishing to visit the country should be aware of the fact that the Spanish spoken in Chile is somewhat different both from the one used in Spain and in the other South American nations.
People interested in visiting the country should also know that Chile has a rather diverse climate: the northern region is home to the world’s driest desert, the Atacama, the central region has more of a Mediterranean climate, while Easter Island, a main touristic attraction, has a humid subtropical weather. On the other hand, the eastern and southern regions boast an oceanic climate.