website016003.gif website016002.gif website016001.jpg
High North
Santiago
Tierra del Fuego
Chile's peculiar form is directly related to the Andes mountain range. The country is a whopping 4300 km long, but its max width is a mere 240 km.
It has a diverse topography with snow covered volcano cones and arid deserts to the north, a vertile central valley and windswept tundra, glaciers and the isolated Cape Horn in the south.
The country sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and suffers from devastating earthquakes.
 
Chile claims a large chunk of Antarctica and in 1888 annexed Easter Island.
 
The Monte Verde site hints at human presence in south Chili as early as 18500 BP and is a strong argument for the Coastal Migration model.
 
When the Spaniards entered the scene in the mid 1500's they managed to defeat the Inca's in the north, but failed to subjugate the Mapuche. 
 
Spanish colonial rule lasted till 1818 when Chile became independent after the Battle of Maipú.
Later that century Chile won the War of the Pacific, greatly expanding its territory at the expense of Peru and Bolivia. It also brought the valuable mineral and nitrate deposits in the Atacama desert under Chilean rule making it one of the wealthiest countries of South America.
 
A stain on Chile's history is the ousting of Allende and the ensuing brutal dictatorship of Pinochet.