Chile Geography and Climate

“Chile” means “cold” in local dialects. Indeed, the southern tip of the country – Cape Horn, is only 900 km from Antarctica. However, Chile is a country of contrasts, its length from north to south is so great (4300 km) that a tropical desert climate prevails in the northern regions and there are numerous beaches on the coast where you can swim and sunbathe.

This is a unique country in terms of nature. In its landscapes there are mountains covered with snow, and rocky deserts, and flat areas covered with dense forests, and coastal glaciers. Ski resorts are located in the local Andes, and just a few kilometers from these places is the sunny Pacific coast.

The central region of Chile is best visited from September to November, Santiago – from October to April, Easter Island – in March, the ski season lasts from June to October.

The official language of Chile is Spanish. Local Indians speak their own dialects, but can speak Spanish. In tourist areas, English and German are spoken.

Geography in in Chile

According to top-engineering-schools, Chile is located in the southwest of South America, the country stretches in a narrow strip along the Pacific coast.

The area of Chile is 760 thousand square meters. km, length – over 4000 km, and width – 170 km. This is the southernmost country in the world. In the north it borders with Peru, in the northeast – with Bolivia, in the east – with Argentina, with Antarctica it is separated by the Drake Strait. Through the Strait of Magellan and the Drake Passage, Chile has access to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Andes stretch in the east of the country, the Longitudinal Valley extends further to the west, and plateaus with heights up to 1000 m rise in the coastal regions.

In northern Chile The Atacama Desert is located, stretching for 1300 km – this is one of the driest places on earth.

On the territory of Chile there are active and dormant volcanoes, there are about 600 of them, active – 47. The most famous of them are Maipo, Ojos del Salado, Lullaillaco, Tupungato and the world’s highest constantly active volcano Hualyatiri (6064 m). Volcano Ojos del Salado is also the highest point in the country (6893 m) and the second highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.

Numerous rivers flow from the Andes – Aconcagua, Loa, Elki, Biobio and Maule. In the south of Chile the lake district of Los Lagos is spread out. All the lakes formed here are of tectonic origin. The largest lake is Llanquihue. The country also includes Easter Island, located in Oceania, the Juan Fernandez archipelagos, Tierra del Fuego and several small islands.

Climate in in Chile

The climate of Chile is very diverse, as the country has a large extent from north to south. The cold Peruvian current runs along the Pacific coast, so there is little rainfall here.

In the north is the rocky Atacama Desert, dominated by a tropical desert climate. The maximum daytime temperature in this region can reach +40 degrees in the summer months, and at night it sometimes drops below 0 degrees. In most areas of the Atacama, it doesn’t rain at all, and on the rare days when it rains lightly, the desert blooms. The maximum annual precipitation here is 50 mm, fogs often form on the coast.

To the south, the subtropical climate zone begins with the main precipitation in winter. The warmest month is January, in the daytime the air can warm up to +28..+30 degrees, at night it can be cool – +15..+18 degrees. The annual rainfall averages 1000 mm, the rainiest month is July (about 200 mm).

Further south, the subtropical climate gives way to a temperate oceanic climate, which dominates the central part of the country. Precipitation here is up to 800 mm, and on mountain slopes – up to 3000 mm. In the summer months in this area, the air warms up to + 22..+24 degrees, and in winter it is from 12 to 14 degrees of heat.

In the extreme south of the country, in a polar climate, winter temperatures do not exceed 0 degrees, and summer temperatures hardly reach +18 degrees, and all this is accompanied by fairly strong winds and heavy rainfall. The annual rainfall varies from 2000 mm in the central regions to 5000 mm on the open slopes.

Best time to visit:
Central Chile is best visited from September to November, Santiago from October to April, Easter Island in March, ski season lasts from June to October.

Chile Geography