About Chile.

Santiago Language Courses Chile is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow coastal strip wedged between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage at the country's southernmost tip.

Chile's unusual, ribbon-like shape - 4,300 km long and on average 175 km wide - has given it a hugely varied climate, ranging from the world's driest desert - the Atacama - in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the south, with glaciers, fjords and lakes

Santiago Language Courses Currently, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations. Within the greater Latin American context it leads in terms of competitiveness, quality of life, political stability, globalization, economic freedom, low perception of corruption and comparatively low poverty rates. It also ranks high regionally in freedom of the press, human development and democratic development.

Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighbouring South American countries due to the dropping of final syllables and 's' sounds, and the soft pronunciation of some consonants. Accent varies only very slightly from north to south; more noticeable are the small differences in accent based on social class or whether one lives in the city or the country. The fact that the Chilean population essentially was formed in a relatively small section of the center of the country and then migrated in modest numbers to the north and south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation, which is now maintained by the national reach of radio and especially of television. The media diffuse and homogenize colloquial expressions.

Santiago Language Courses A long and narrow coastal Southern Cone country on the west side of the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches over 4,630 kilometers (2,880 mi) north to south, but only 430 kilometers (265 mi) at its widest point east to west. This encompasses a remarkable variety of landscapes.

The northern Atacama Desert contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area also is the historical center from which Chile expanded in the late nineteenth century, when it integrated the northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

Santiago Language Courses The main attractions in Chile are places of natural beauty situated in the extreme zones of the country: San Pedro de Atacama, in the north, is very popular with foreign tourists who arrive to admire the Incaic architecture and the altiplano lakes of the Valley of the Moon. In Putre, also in the North, there is the Chungará Lake, as well as the Parinacota and the Pomerape volcanoes, with altitudes of 6,348 m and 6,222 m, respectively.


Santiago Language Courses Throughout the central Andes there are many ski resorts of international repute, like Portillo and Valle Nevado. In the south, the main tourist sites are the Chiloé Archipelago, Patagonia, the San Rafael Lagoon, with its many glaciers, and the Towers of Paine national park. The central port city of Valparaíso, with its unique architecture, is also popular. Finally, Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean is probably the main Chilean tourist destination.

Due to its proximity to Santiago, the coast of the Valparaíso Region, with its many beach resorts, receives the largest amount of tourists. Viña del Mar, Valparaíso's northern affluent neighbor, is popular due to its beaches, casino, and its annual song festival, the most important musical event in Latin America.

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Culture.

Santiago Language Courses Northern Chile was an important center of culture in the medieval and early modern Inca empire, while the central and southern regions were areas of Mapuche cultural activities. Through the colonial period following the conquest, and during the early Republican period, the country's culture was dominated by the Spanish. Other European influences, primarily English, French, and German began in the 19th century and have continued to this day. German migrants influenced the Bavarian style rural architecture and cuisine in the south of Chile in cities such as Valdivia and Puerto Montt.

Santiago Language Courses Chileans call their country país de poetas - country of poets. Gabriela Mistral was the first Chilean to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (1945). Chile's most famous poet, however, is Pablo Neruda, who also won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) and is world-renowned for his extensive library of works on romance, nature, and politics. His three highly individualistic homes, located in Isla Negra, Santiago and Valparaíso are popular tourist destinations.

Music and dance. The national dance is the cueca. Another form of traditional Chilean song, though not a dance, is the tonada. Arising from music imported by the Spanish colonists, it is distinguished from the cueca by an intermediate melodic section and a more prominent melody. In the mid-1960s native musical forms were revitalized by the Parra family with the Nueva Canción Chilena, which was associated with political activists and reformers, and by the folk singer and researcher on folklore and Chilean ethnography, Margot Loyola.

Chilean cuisine is a reflection of the country's topographical variety, featuring an assortment of seafood, beef, fruits, and vegetables. Traditional recipes include cazuela, empanadas, humitas, and curanto.

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Climate.

Santiago Language Courses The climate of Central Chile is of temperate Mediterranean type, with the amount of rainfall increasing considerably and progressively from north to south. In the Santiago / Valparaíso area, the average monthly temperatures are about 19.5° C in the summer months of January and February and 7.5° C in the winter months of June and July. The average monthly precipitation is no more than a trace in January and February and 69.7 millimeters in June and July.

The annual mean temperatures in Santiago is 57° F (14° C) The temperate action of the ocean prevents temperatures from dropping drastically, and if snow falls in the area, it does not usually stay on the ground for more than a few hours. Winters are mild and summers are usually moderately hot and dry.

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About Chile
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