Everyday Chile

8 Surprising Facts About Chile

We are sure that you already know a lot about Chile but we wanted to share some surprising facts about Chile that you may not know.

Fact 1: It’s One Long Country!

 

Chile stretches over 4,300 km (2,670 mi) from north to south but it’s not the longest in the world! Brazil holds that title by just 95 km. The widest point from the Andes mountain range to the Pacific ocean is located just north of Antofagasta with 356 km (221 mi). The narrowest point located near Illapel with just 64 km (40 mi),  if you don’t consider the islands and canals in the extreme south of Chile near Puerto Natales with just 15 km (9 mi)

 

 

 

Fact 2: There are Penguins

Yes! Chile has a bunch and is one of the best places to see penguins in their natural habitat. You can easily spot Humboldt, Magellanic, King, and Gentoo. You can spot them in the North of Chile in La Serena or in the south between Chiloe and all the way down to Antarctica.

Fact 3: World’s Largest and Active Volcanoes

1,300 of them to be exact. Chile is one of the countries with the most volcanoes and a number of them are still active. Three of Chile’s most watched and historically active volcanoes are Cerro Arul, Cerro Hudson, and Villarrica.

Fact 4: Oldest Mummy in the World

The oldest known mummy are the Chinchorro mummies found in Camarones Valley of Chile. You would have thought that Egypt had this title but their earliest mummy dates around 3000 BC and these Chinchorro mummies date back to 5050 BC. So far 282 have been found. 29% of known Chinchorro mummies were mummified naturally. The earliest one, the Acha man, dates back to 7020 BC.

 

 

 

Fact 5: Chile is Home to 6 Unesco World Heritage Site

These special cultural significances are an important place for Chile and the world to come and visit. The Rapa Nui National Park was the first world heritage site in Chile.  In 2000, 16 churches on the largest island in the country Chiloe was added to the list for their unique form of wooden architecture and the mestizo culture they represent. Later, the Historic quarter of Valparaiso, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, and Sewell Mining town were added. Finally in 2014, Qhapan Ñan, the Andean Road system, which is an extensive Inca communication, trade and defense network of roads covering 30,000 km and ends in Chile.

Fact 6: Chile has the Largest Annual Fireworks Show in All of South America.  

Valparaiso Fireworks

 

In the colorful city of Valparaiso right at midnight. You can see one of the best firework shows in South America. In 2007, Valparaiso shot for the Guinness Book of World Records with 16,000 fireworks exploding in one evening. Pretty cool right?

 

Fact 7: Cafe con Piernas

This is something you probably won’t find in other South American capitals. These Cafe con piernas (Coffee with legs is its literal translation) were originally a way to incentive Chilean men to drink coffee during their breaks from the office. Women would wear mini skirts to show off their legs. In the late 90’s, things evolved and some coffee shops turned in their mini skirts for bikinis and even thongs for bigger tips.  If you find a coffee shop with a Caribbean name behind it and tinted windows, you’re looking at a cafe con piernas.

Fact 8: The way Chiloe Moves a House

Palafitos Chilote

A popular event on the Chilean island of Chiloé is the minga de tiradura. This event brings the entire community together to move a house. The entire town mounts the house on tree trunks floating them along the water from one part of the archipelago to another. They do this by tying them to a boat which pulls them over the water and then use a group of oxen to pull them to their destination. At the end of the move, there is a big party as a way to say thank you.

Which one did you already know about? Which one’s really suprised you?

Let us know and use the hashtag #todayinChile in your favorite social media account!

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