Vacation in Chile
Chile is an extremely long and narrow country, measuring 2650 miles from north to south by 100 miles from the east to west. The Pan-American Highway is also in Chile and with a length of 1600 miles is the longest road in the world. Chileans call the road “Ruta 5” and it passes through the Atacama desert, which is the driest desert on earth. This is also the location of the Mano del Desierto, the giant hand that juts out from the desert. Many tourists will base themselves at San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis town, and go on trips and excursions to the Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna) and the salt lake Salar de Atacama.
The varied landscape in Patagonia, in the south of the country, forms a complete contest to the vastness of the desert. A good place to stay here would be Punta Arenas, which is close to the National Park Torres del Paine, a favourite with walkers. There are penguin colonies between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, which are used to tourists and can be easily photographed.
Santiago de Chile is the country's capital and is famous for the Plaza de Armas as well as its cathedral, city hall, Historical Museum and the statue of the city's founder, Pedro de Valdivia. Double-decker buses will take tourists from the statue around the the city. Visitors can get on and off the bus at different points throughout the city at wish to see major tourist attractions such as the market, the Mercado Central and its many fish shops.
|Population||161,349 (2006 est.)|
|Country Codes||CL, CHL|