A land like no other, Chile is a country of astounding natural diversity. Filled with raging rivers, sprawling glaciers, picturesque valleys, beautiful forests, arid deserts, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, sparkling lakes and sandy beaches, Chile is a land of remarkable beauty and rich culture. Chile has a European heritage, though the local traditions still permeate the land. Blended together, these unique histories give Chile a distinctive culture that sets it apart from the other countries in South America.

Chile's geography is distinct, resembling a string bean when seen on a map. A long and narrow coastal country on the west side of the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches over 4,600 kilometres from north to south, but only 430 kilometres at its widest point east to west. Its elongated shape should not be taken for granted, as Chile is still roughly twice the size of Newfoundland or 4/5 the size of Ontario.

Chile's climate is as diverse as its geography, varying greatly from north to south. Chile has a mountain climate with snow in the higher regions. The north is desert, warm during the day but very cool at night. The central part has a Mediterranean climate with a rainy season between May and August. As a result of its proximity to Antarctica, the southern region can be bitterly cold during the winter and often experiences heavy rainfall at other times during the year.

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