From Andrew Harper
Chile comprises a narrow coastal strip between the Andes and the Pacific
that stretches for more than 2,850 miles. In the north, the Atacama Desert contains great
mineral wealth, primarily copper. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes the
capital, Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agriculture. Today, Chile
is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of wine. The south of the country features a string of
volcanoes and lakes, and its coast is a labyrinth of fjords, peninsulas and islands. Owing to
the Humboldt Current, the sea abounds with marine life, including penguins and whales.
North American trout were successfully introduced, and Chile now offers some of the world’s
finest fly-fishing. Chile controls Easter Island, located 2,180 miles out in the Pacific.
CLIMATE : Chile consists of a northern desert area, a Mediterranean central
section in which the majority of the population lives (see Santiago) and a rugged, mainly
forested southern region that is often compared to the coasts of Alaska and Vancouver Island
(see Punta Arenas).
TIME : Two hours ahead of New York (EST).
CURRENCY : Chilean peso (CLP). Fluctuating rate valued at CLP554 = US$1.00 as of April 2014. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY : Santiago, Tel. 2-2330-3000.
DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels in Chile, dial 011 (international access) + 56 (Chile code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.
GENERAL INFORMATION : Visit chile.travel before your trip.