Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America’s western edge, with more than 6,000km of Pacific Ocean coastline.
Santiago, its capital, sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains.
The city’s palm-lined Plaza de Armas contains the neoclassical cathedral and the National History Museum.
The massive Parque Metropolitano offers swimming pools, a botanical garden and zoo.
Husbands and wives in Chile do not share a same, common last name
Wives use their maiden names.
Use of common last names for male and female counterparts is reserved for brothers and sisters.
Driest place on earth
At 7,500 feet, Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth with a landscape of surreal beauty.
Some parts of the region have never received a drop of rain and the Desert is probably also the oldest desert on earth.
The desert runs through a 1,000 kilometer long strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, spreading out over an area of 363,000 square kilometers.
Chile is a hotspot for earthquakes due to its location within the Ring of Fire and the Nazca Plate’s subduction beneath the South American Plate.
Although Indonesia has the highest frequency of earthquakes3, Chile holds the record for the largest recorded earthquake: the 1960 Valdivia Earthquake, placed between 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale.
Interestingly, as a way to poke fun at the country’s proneness to these natural disasters, there is even a popular cocktail called the terremoto which translates to “earthquake” in Spanish.
Pisco is Chile’s national drink. It is home grown in the country and made with a mixture of a few different ingredients.
They use Coca-Cola to form Piscola.
Lemon juice, ice, sugar, and beaten egg whites are used to make Pisco sour, which is the most common version of the national drink.
Oldest mummy in the world
The oldest known deliberate mummy is a child, one of the Chinchorro mummies found in the Camarones Valley in Chile around 5050 BC.
So far a total of 282 Chinchorro mummies have been removed from burial sites along the narrow coastal strip from Ilo in southern Peru to Antofagasta in northern Chile.
Of these, 149 were created by Chinchorro artisans, and the rest were the work of nature.
World’s largest swimming pool
In Algarrobo city in the Pacific coast, we find the most impressive artificial paradise that was named by the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s largest swimming pool with a length of 1,000 yards, an area of 20 acres and a maximum depth of 115-feet. It holds over 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.
The pool was opened in December 2006, and it took five years of construction work with a cost of nearly 1 billion dollars ($US), and an annual maintenance cost of about 2 million.
Tallest building in South America
Chile is home to the tallest building in South America, the Costanera Gran Torre.
Located in Santiago, the Torre has 64 floors and has two observation decks on the top two floors that offer jaw-dropping views of the city and the surrounding Andes Cordillera.
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