Chile is a long, narrow country that occupies more than half of the western coast of South America. It stretches 4,265 km from north to south but averages only 177 km from east to west. To the north, Chile borders Peru and to the east, Argentina and Bolivia. The Pacific Ocean forms the coastline to the west and south. There are many islands off the coast, including Easter Island (which the Chileans call Rapa Nui) and Robinson Crusoe Island.

Chile is south of the equator, therefore its seasons are opposite from Canadian seasons. January and February are the hottest months and July and August are the coldest. The weather becomes cooler as one travels farther south.

The Andes Mountains run the length of Chile. The Coastal Range is a small mountain chain that runs along Chile's western coast. The mountains are home to Chile's wildlife such as pink flamingos, llamas, alpacas, pumas and vicunas.

Chile has five distinct regions: the Great North, the Little North, Central Valley, Forest Chile, and the Far South. The Great North is the region of the Atacama Desert. The climate is arid and supports little wildlife. Copper and other minerals are found here. South of the Atacama Desert is the Little North. It was once a silver mining region. People who live here grow fruit and grain or raise cattle.

Central Valley is considered Chile's heartland. Chile's three largest cities, Santiago, Valparaiso and Concepción, are located here. Moderate climate conditions sustain rich farmland. People in this region grow wheat, grapes, oranges, melons and tomatoes and raise cattle. Forest Chile, or the Lake District, is a heavily forested region with rich grazing lands, many lakes and several volcanoes, some of which are still active.

Did you know?

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest place on earth. It has had periods of more than 20 years during which not a single drop of rain fell.

The Far South makes up one third of Chile's land mass, but has only 3% of its population. This region is covered in mountains, grasslands, volcanoes and glaciers and there are important oil and mineral deposits. Most people in this region make their living by fishing, farming or raising sheep. Here one can find Chile's national bird, the condor, more than 200 species of fish and colonies of penguins and sea lions. Chile's most southerly point is Cape Horn, famous for its violent storms.

Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name:

Republic of Chile



Type of Government:



14 million


756,945 sq. km

Major Ethnic Groups:

Mestizo (Spanish-indigenous), European, indigenous (including Mapuche)


Spanish, indigenous languages (including Aymara, Mapudugun, Rapa Nui)


Roman Catholic, Protestant, Mapuche traditional religion

Unit of Currency:


National Flag:

Divided in half horizontally: the top half has a blue square with a white star on the hoist side, the rest of the top is white; the bottom half is red

Date of Independence:

September 18, 2021