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Largest Cities in Chile (2020)

Largest Cities in Chile (2020)

Photo: Jose L. Stephens/Shutterstock

Want to know more about the most populous cities in Chile? Here’s an updated list of the largest cities in Chile by size and population in 2020.

Chile is a country in the southern part of South America and ranks as the 64th most populated country in the world with a total population of 17,574,003.  The country is ranked 37th in terms of total area and covers 291,930.4 square miles.

Chile is one of the most developed and prosperous nations in South America with a high-income economy and is ranked 42nd in the global Human Development Index. The country is divided into 16 regions which are subdivided into a total of 56 provinces. The country occupies nearly the entire southwestern coastal region of the South American continent.

Santiago

Santiago is the capital of Chile and also its largest city. It has a total population of 4,837,295 which makes it the most populous city of the country as well. It is actually more populous than the rest of the cities on this list combined together and covers a total area of 247.6 square miles.

Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago is a testament to a rich history. It is the major cultural, financial and political center of Chile. The city is located in the Central Valley and the Andes Mountains can be seen from most places in the city.

Moreover, the city is home to one of the oldest universities in the Americas, Universidad de Chile, which has roots going back to the year 1622. Santiago also has many cultural attractions such as the three National Museums and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Santiago de Chile

Photo: Karol Moraes / Shutterstock.com

Puente Alto

Puente Alto is a commune and capital city of the Cordillera Province in Chile. The name of the city means “High Bridge” and it has a total area of 34.1 square miles, which classifies it as the largest commune in the country.

It has a total population of 510,417 who mostly reside in urban areas. Estadio Municipal is the city’s multi-purpose stadium. Mampato Amusement Park is also a major attraction in the city as well as the beautiful park called Pueblito las Vizcachas.

Antofagasta

Antofagasta is the capital city of the Antofagasta Province and the Antofagasta Region. It is a port city located in the northern part of the country on the coast next to the Pacific Ocean. The city has a population of 309,832 and is one of the largest cities in Chile with the city limits covering a total area of 11,860 square miles.

Antofagasta has witnessed a remarkable growth in economic development and urban construction. In particular, the city continues to maintain close links with the mining activity and industry. It has the highest GDP per capita in Chile.

Antofagasta city in Chile

Photo: Jose L. Stephens / Shutterstock.com

Vina del Mar

Vina del Mar is a city and commune on the Pacific coast of Chile. The name means “Vineyard of the Sea” in Spanish and it is often referred to as the Garden City as well. It is the fourth-largest city in Chile and has a population of 294,551. The city spans a total area of 47 square miles.

Vina del Mar has many parks and also a large flower clock called the Reloj de Flores, whose numbers are composed of flowering plants. Furthermore, the city of Vina del Mar also hosts the annual Vina del Mar International Film Festival which is one of the most important film festivals in Latin America.

Valparaiso

Valparaiso is the capital city of the Valparaiso Region in Chile. The city has a population of 282,448 and has a total area of  155.1 square miles. The city serves as the major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which earned it the nickname of “The Jewel of the Pacific”.  

Valparaiso houses Latin America’s oldest stock exchange and the historic quarter of the city has been declared a World Heritage Site. It is also a major educational center and has 7 universities including 4 large “traditional” universities.

Valparaiso

Photo: Delpixel/Shutterstock

Talcahuano

Talcahuano is a city in the Biobio Region of Chile. The city has an area of 35.6 square miles and is located on the Pacific coast in central Chile. It has a population of 252,968 and is the seventh most populated city in the country.

Founded in 1764 as an official port, it is named after an Araucanian chief called Talcahueñu. The name means “Thundering Sky” in the Mapudungun language. Moreover, the city of Talcahuano is the main base for the Chilean submarine fleet.

San Bernardo

San Bernardo is the capital city of the Maipo Province in Chile. With a population of 249,858, it is the seventh-most populated city in Chile and has a total area of 59.9 square miles.

The city is known as the capital of Chilean folklore traditions because of two events. The first is the Festival Nacional del Folklore de San Bernardo which consists of performances of traditional and folkloric music, dance and songs.

It also includes participants from other countries and also includes the showcasing of art and handicrafts. The second is the Abril Cuecas Mil, an event that consists of a line up of bands, musicians and folklore music groups playing a thousand cuecas for an open floor.

Temuco

Temuco is the capital city of the Cautin Province and the Araucania Region in Chile. The city is located in central Chile and has a total area of 179.2 square miles. Temuco has a population of 238,129 which makes it the eighth-most populous city of Chile.

The city’s name comes from the Mapudungun language and means temu water. Temu is the name of a species of trees with aromatic leaves and were used for medicinal purposes.

Temuco’s location allows it to have easy access to the surrounding valleys, lakes and coastal areas which makes it an important hub for trading, tourism, and industry. Temuco has two large universities, namely the University of the Frontier and the Temuco Catholic University.

Most Populated Cities in Chile

Here’s a list of the largest cities in Chile, ranked by population. 

1 Santiago 4,837,295
2 Puente Alto 510,417
3 Antofagasta 309,832
4 Vina del Mar 294,551
5 Valparaiso 282,448
6 Talcahuano 252,968
7 San Bernardo 249,858
8 Temuco 238,129
9 Iquique 227,499
10 Concepcion 215,413
11 Rancagua 212,695
12 La Pintana 201,178
13 Talca 197,479
14 Arica 185,999
15 Coquimbo 161,317
16 Puerto Montt 160,054
17 La Serena 154,521
18 Chillan 150,396

How many of the largest cities in Chile did you know about? Leave a comment below!

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