Chile comprises a narrow coastal strip between the Andes and the Pacific that stretches for more than 2,850 miles. The northern third of the country is dominated by the Atacama Desert, a spectacular region of salt flats, geysers and volcanic peaks. The central section, home to the capital, Santiago, is blessed with a Mediterranean climate that nurtures a wide range of agricultural products, including wine grapes (Chile is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of wine). To the south, Patagonia is a land of pristine lakes, windswept steppes, vertiginous mountains and massive glaciers, and its coast is a labyrinth of fjords, peninsulas and islands. Owing to the frigid Humboldt Current, the sea abounds with marine life, including penguins and whales. North American trout were successfully introduced, and Chile now offers some of the world’s finest fly-fishing. Chile controls Easter Island, located 2,180 miles out in the Pacific. In general, Chile is safe and prosperous, with none of the violence, corruption and economic chaos plaguing some of its neighbors.
The summer high season is from mid-December to late February. During spring and fall, temperature extremes in the Atacama are mitigated, and the weather in Patagonia is relatively predictable.
To phone hotels in Chile, dial 011 (international access) + 56 (Chile code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Two hours ahead of New York (EST).
Chile consists of a northern desert area, a Mediterranean central section in which the majority of the population lives (Santiago) and a rugged, mainly forested southern region that is often compared to the coasts of Alaska and Vancouver Island.
Santiago, Tel. (56) 2-2330-3000.
Chilean peso (CLP). Fluctuating rate valued at CLP696 = US$1.00 as of June 2019. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.