25 Interesting Facts about Chile

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Want to know more about Chile? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Chile that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Chile facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. The Oldest Mummy in the World is from Chile

When we think of mummies, our thoughts often go to Egypt, but the oldest mummies are actually from Chile, and they have been carbon dated to be more than 9000 years old. 

The 282 Chinchorro mummies have been radiocarbon-dated back to around 7000 B.C. In comparison, the oldest Egyptian mummy dates back to around 3000 B.C.

2. All firefighters are unpaid

Chile is one of the few countries in the world where firefighters are unpaid. However, there have been ongoing debates on whether or not they should be paid in the future. 

3. Home to the driest place on Earth

The Atacama desert is a very dry place and some parts of it have never recorded any rain at all. It is considered to be the driest place on Earth, and until recently the desert hadn’t seen any rain for over 40 years!

This is not a place where you want to get lost without sufficient water supply, but it sure is one of many interesting facts about Chile!

Atacama desert

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Pisco is the national drink

Chilean wine might be famous worldwide, but the local’s favorite is either beer or the national drink known as Pisco. However, it actually originated in the neighboring country of Peru (But don’t bring that up in a Chilean bar). 

5. Chilean wine is world famous

As mentioned, in recent years, the popularity and demand for Chilean wine have increased rapidly. You can now find Chilean wines in almost all countries in the world who sell wine. 

But just like the Pisco, wine is not native to Chile. The grapes were brought by the Spanish conquistadors and other European settlers, and since then it has emerged into a booming industry. 

Chilean wine

Photo: Shutterstock

6. It’s one of the most Earthquake-prone countries

There is an earthquake almost every day, but most of them are small. The largest Earthquake ever recorded took place in 1960, near Valdivia. It measured a staggering 9,5 on the Richer-scale!

The massive earthquake that destroyed large parts of Nepal was “only” 7.8 on the Richter-scale. 

7. Home to the beautiful landscapes of Patagonia

Hikers and outdoor lovers come to Chile from all over the world to enjoy the natural beauty of Patagonia. Torres del Paine is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. 

Torres del Paine

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Chile is the largest producer of Copper

In 2017, more than 5.8 million metric tons of Copper was produced, which is more than double what Peru (the second largest producer of copper) produces in one year.

9. Easter Island

Since 1995, Easter Island has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site. The Chilean island is one of the most remote islands in the world inhabited by people. It is especially famous for the giant head statues, known as moai, which were created by the Rapa Nui people.

Easter Island

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Cueca is the Chilean national dance

It is a couple’s dance that is particularly performed during the 18th of September, which is the day of independence. While dancing, the dancers are wearing traditional Chilean clothes. 

Besides on the national day and other celebrations, you can see the cueca dance mostly in the countryside.

11. There are about 500 active volcanoes

In total there is an estimated amount of 500 volcanoes that can be considered active. 60 of them have had eruptions in the last 450 years. 

In 2015, the Villarrica volcano in the southern part of the country had a dramatic eruption that spewed ash and lava up to 1000 meters up in the air. Over 3000 people living nearby had to be evacuated. 

Chilean volcanoes

Photo: Shutterstock

12. Chileans keep their surnames when getting married

It’s a common practice in many cultures to have the wife adopting the surname of the groom. However, in Chilean culture, the man and woman often keep their names when getting married. 

13. Chile has a coastline of 6500 km

Did you know that Chile is the longest country in the world? It’s incredibly narrow and stretches almost half of the South American continent. 

Valdivia, Concepcion, Valparaiso, and Antofagasta are some of the largest coastal cities. 

Chile facts

Photo: Shutterstock

14. The Andes mountains stretch along the whole country

The Andes mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world and have the highest peaks in the world outside of Asia.

15. Home to the world’s biggest swimming pool

The private resort of San Alfonso del Mar was acknowledged by Guinness World Records for having the world’s largest swimming pool. The pool has an estimated amount of 250 million liters of water (66 million gallons).

It covers an area of 8 hectares (20 acres)

Worlds biggest swimming pool

Photo: Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com

5 x Fun Facts about Chile

  • Chileans have reported so many UFO sightings that their government is now doing UFO research
  • It is technically one of the only two countries where you could actually dig yourself to China
  • It is the longest country in the world
  • There are Chilean cowboys, and they are known as Huasos
  • Chileans are the second biggest consumers of bread in the world

5 x Chile Facts for Kids

  • There are penguins in Chile!
  • Football is the most popular sport
  • The Andean Condor is the largest flying bird and a national symbol
  • Over 99% of the currently cultivated potatoes worldwide comes from varieties that originated in Chile
  • The mountains of Norte Grande has about 300 clear night per year, which makes it perfect for studying the stars and universe
Chile facts for kids

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General Facts about Chile

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general Chile facts that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 18,05 million people
  • Demonym: Chilean
  • Capital: Santiago
  • Life expectancy: 79,52 years
  • Highest Mountain: Ojos del Salado – 6891 meters above the sea (22,608 feet)
  • Land area: 756,096.3 km2 (291,930.4 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Lake Llanquihue
  • National Day: 18 September (independence day)
  • Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
  • President: Sebastián Piñera
  • Currency: Peso (CLP)
  • Official language: Spanish 
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Member of Nato: No
  • National song: “Himno Nacional de Chile”
  • Time zone: UTC−3 and −5 (CLT and EASTc)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +56
  • Country Code: CL

The Biggest Cities in Chile

If you’re looking for facts about Chile, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities.

SantiagoTalcahuano
Puente AltoSan Bernardo
AntofagastaTemuco
Viña del MarIquique
ValparaisoConcepcion

Flag of Chile

The Chilean flag is remarkably similar to the flag of Texas, and just like the Texan flag, the Chilean flag is known as “La Estrella Solitaria” which in English would translate to The Lone Star. 

flag of chile

Map of Chile

Below you can see the country’s territory. It borders Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru. 

Chile map

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these Chile Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

April 3rd, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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