Know this essential information on Chile
When to go
Because of Chile's geography it has variations in climate from one region to the next. Most parts of Chile has a mountainous climate, with continual snow and glaciers in the higher areas. In the north of Chile is desert, with very high temperatures during the day and quite low temperatures at night, Chile's desert is known as one of the driest regions in the world. Chile's rainy season is from December to January, although rainfall is usually limited to an afternoon storm. The central region of Chile has a perfect Mediterranean climate with warm summer and mild winter, and is best visited in spring and autumn. The islands are best visited outside the summer months when they are cooler, drier and less crowded.
Chile has a temperate climate, with a desert climate in the north, a Mediterranean climate in the central region, and cool and damp conditions in the southern region.
Natural Resources and Hazards
Chile's main natural recourses are copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum and hydropower. Their only natural hazards are severe earthquakes, active volcanisms and tsunamis.
Population and Employment
Chile has a total population of 15,980,912 (July 2005 est.) inhabitants, with an average life expectancy at birth of 76.58 years. Chile has a total labour force of 6.2 million (2004 est.) people that are mainly occupied in mostly agriculture, industry and services. Chile has a unemployment rate of 8.5%.
89% of Chile's population are Roman Catholics and 11% of the population are Protestants and Jews.
Chile's flag consists of two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.
Agricultural Products and Main Industries
Chile's main agricultural products are grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool; fish and timber. Their main industries are copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement and textiles.
Santiago is Chile's capital with a total population of 5 261 000 people.
GMT - 4 hours