Geographically, Chile is uncommonly long and narrow with one third of the area taken up by the formidable Andes mountain range. To the north lies Peru, to the West lies Bolivia and Argentina. Interestingly, Chile claims a large part of the AntarcticTerritory and also the famed Easter Island. The most populated area of the country is the valley which is rich in natural resources. Chile has many beaches, mountains, volcanoes and is teeming with forests. It is a wonderful country to visit for the natural explorer. Temperatures are similar to many places in the United States however the seasons are opposite due to it being in the southern hemisphere, for example, July is in the winter season. The summer season can be anywhere from 84 F to 54 F minimum. The winter season can be from 59 F to 39 F.
Population is estimated at approximately 16 million, 96% of the population is white and white Amerindian. Santiago is the largest metropolis with a population of approximately 5.3 million. The currency is the Chilean Peso which is approximately $530 to 1 US dollar. The country has quite a unique political history having elected a Marxist platform government in the 1970s and having suffered through dictatorship platforms right up to the 1990s. After all the scandals and loss of lives, Chile has now emerged with a fresh, more enlightened government and a woman as head of state for the first time. Politically, the future of the country looks bright. Economically, the nation has one of the strongest markets in Latin America due to its great output in industrial sectors. Santiago, the largest city is bustling with business. There are many museums, restaurants and modern clubs to seek out for night life. It is economically a boom town and is currently one of the fastest growing centers in South America.
Other places to see in Chile include the beautiful resort of Viña del Mar with its posh restaurants and night life and also the mysterious Easter Island which some have thought to be inhabited by extra terrestrials. Driving through the country, especially south of Santiago is a good way to see the lush landscapes and to be able to visit the world class wineries. The Chilean people love the rodeo, enjoy soccer and have a passion for fine wine and food much like their European ancestors. Chileans approach their work with great enthusiasm although family definitely takes precedence over all other pursuits. Their manner in life is to be conservative, personal relationships are very important and politeness goes a long way. There is no room for one who comes across as shrewd. The people like to take their time making decisions so the foreigner must be patient in all dealings.
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