Description of Chile
Chile is located in South America. It stretches across the southern part of the west coast, lying between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It shares a border with Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. The country has more than 5000 kilometers of coast on the southern Pacific Ocean.
Chile was ruled by the Incas before the Spanish arrived during the 16th century. There were other indigenous tribes in the area as well, but many of these tribes died off because of murder and disease or they were mixed in with immigrants from Europe.
Chile declared independence in the year 1810, but victory over Spain did not occur until the year 1818. This final victory was due to help from Rioplatense forces. This attack led to the Transandine army heading over to liberate Peru from the Spanish, which eliminated the Spanish influence from the area.
During the War of the Pacific, which took place from 1879 through 1883, Chile invaded areas of Bolivia and Peru and then kept territory that would eventually become what is now the northern region of the country. It was during the 1880s when the Mapuche were subjugated completely. It was also during this time when the Tierra del Fuego and the Patagonia were annexed by the state of Chile as well as Rapa Nui. This expanded its influence throughout the inner Pacific.
Chile has been relatively free of the unstable government and coups that are common throughout Latin America. However, the country did endure a 17 year dictatorship from Augusto Pinochet. This was supported by the government of the United States and left from 3000 to 5000 people disappeared or dead. Most of the missing people were democrats, left wing thinkers, and those who were critical of the government. Pinochet’s dictatorship was criticized throughout the world because of the brutal methods that were used in order to control the population. This included forced disappearances and torture. However, his dictatorship left a fairly stable and successful economic model. This is credited with providing a high standard of living, but also has increased the amount of corruption as well as made a large gap between the rich and the poor.
In 1988, when the military government lost the national referendum, a left-center Chilean administration took over. The new, more moderate government led by Patricio Aylwin, decided that it was sensible to keep the free market policies that are still present in the country today.
Chile is a member of the Union of South American Nations as well as the United Nations and is also a part of the OECD, which is a group of the “most developed” countries according to international standards. Chile is the first South American country to receive that honor.
Chile offers an unusual landscape which means that the climate will vary based on the region. This leaves many things to see and do throughout the entire country. Of course there are many great beaches located up and down the coast, but there are other things to see and do while in the country as well including:
Eat, Drink, and Sleep
There are some wonderful local dishes that you should enjoy while you are in the country. Pastel de choclo is a corn casserole that is made with chicken, ground beef, hardboiled eggs, raisins, olives and a topping of sweet corn paste and sugar. Some of the other dishes that you may want to try including empanada de pino, empanada de queso, cazuela de ave, cazuela de vacuno, porotos Granados, curanto, and southern sopalpillas.
Beside some of the local cuisines you will also find food that can be found in any western country. Potatoes, rice, meat, and bread make up the typical diet and vegetables are abundant throughout the central area of the country.
You must be 18 years old to drink alcohol in Chile and this law is enforced strictly. There are some excellent wines produced in the country.
Mote con Huesillo is a wonderful summertime drink that is made from dried peaches and wheat seeds which are boiled and sweetened. The drink is served cold. Some of the other drinks that you may want to try including Chilean Pisco, mango sour, piscola, borgona, terrmoto, schop, Jote, and many different beers.
When it comes to places to stay, there are many hotels located in the cities. Some of the more popular chains include the Ritz, Marriott, Kempinsky, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and the Hyatt. There are smaller hotels and hostels found throughout the country as well. If you are backpacking around the country there is a hostel to be found in almost every smaller town and city. In addition, there are a number of accommodations found in the ski centers in the mountainous areas.
Some facts about Chile
Gallery of Chile
Chile video guide
More information about Chile
Climate of Chile:
Top cities of Chile
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