Chile Facts

Interesting Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Chile Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Atacama Desert and Santiago de Chile

Chile Facts for Kids | Kids World Travel Guide | Updated 10 July 2020

Chile Flag
  • Population: 18 million people live in Chile (2020)
  • Capital: Santiago, with 6.8 million inhabitants is the country's largest metropolitan area  
  • Name: Republic of Chile
  • Government: Democracy, Republic
  • Language: Spanish
  • Literacy: More than 97% of the people can read and write.
  • Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 77%, Protestants 16%)
  • Currency: 1 Chilean peso = 100 centavos
  • National Symbols: red, white and blue (national colours), copihue (national flower), condor (national bird) and huemul (national animal)
  • National Anthem: "Himno Nacional de Chile" (Anthem of Chile)
  • National Day: 18 September
  • History: The country was inhabited by the Inca in the North and the Mapuche people in the centre and southern parts before the arrival of the Spanish colonialists. The country gained full independence from Spain in 1810. Chile's president is Sebastián Piñera since March 2018

Chile Facts | Chile Geography

Where is Chile? Chile is located on the South American continent.

Below on the map of Chile you can spot the neighbouring countries and you will find Chile's capital city Santiago. Simply click on the + or - to zoom in or zoom out to see more cities, as this country is huge!

The Latin American country shares borders with the Pacific Ocean and the three South American countries: Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

The longest of the borders is shared with Argentina and is 6,691 km/4,157 miles long. Large parts of Chile are covered by mountains. The coastal mountain range are along the western coastline and the Andes mountains are located along the border with Argentina.

Chile is home to the world's largest dry desert: the Atacama desert. This desert plateau is nestled between the coastal mountains and the Andes mountains. 

Atacama desert

There are about 3,000 volcanoes in Chile and about 36 of them are active volcanoes. Chile is often shaken by earthquakes. 

The climate in Chile is mostly temperate with a desert climate in the northern parts of the country and there is a cool climate in the South. 

Chile coastline Las Cruces - image by Toniflap/shutterstockCoastline in Chile - image by Toniflap

Chile is larger in size than Texas/USA and has almost 6,500 km/ 4,038 miles of mainly rugged coastline.

A flight from London/UK to Santiago/Chile takes roughly 14.5 hours and from New York/USA a flight takes 10.5 hours. 

Chile Facts | Geo Superlatives

  • Chile is the longest narrow country in the world stretching from the north to the south over 4,300 km/ 2,670 miles. 
  • The Atacama desert in the country's north is the largest dry desert in the world.
  • The Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean off the Chilean coast is the most remote inhabited island of the world.
Moais - Statues in the Easter IslandMoais - Statues in the Easter Island
  • The southern Andes mountains are home to the world's highest volcano and the world's highest lake which is called the Ojos de Salado
  • Chile's highest mountain, which is in fact the peak of a volcano, is the Nevado Ojos de Salado. The mountain is 6,880 m/ 22,572 ft high.
  • Chile's longest river is the Loa River which originates in the Andes mountains.
  • Torres del Paine national park is one the most famous landmarks of Chile.
Torres del Paine National ParkTorres del Paine National Park
  • The strongest earthquake ever measured happened in 1960 in Valdivia/Central Chile. It had a magnitude of 9.4 on the Richter scale.

Chile Facts | Landmarks and Attractions 

  • Santiago: Chile's capital city houses the Gran Torre   which is the tallest building in South America with 64 floors. Gran Torre means 'big tower' in English. Here you will find also the Costanera Centre, then there is Pablo Neruda's house and popular Parque Arauco.
Santiago de Chile - capital city of Chile with Gran Torre building and snowy Andes mountainsSantiago - capital city of Chile
  • Valparaiso: The town close to Santiago is usually referred to simply as Valpa. It is known for its colourful houses.
  • Torres del Paine National Park: A must-see for its awesome glaciers and great for hiking in the mountains.
  • Easter Islands, also called Rapa Nui, is famous for the magnificent statues, which are called moais.
  • Atacama desert: Valle de la Luna, which means 'Moon Valley' in English is famous for the salt pans. You must also plan in to visit the Atacama cave and go sand-boarding in San Pedro de Atacama
Moon over Moon valley in Atacama desert in ChileMoon Valley in the Atacama Desert in Chile
  • Vina del Mar and Alfonso del Mar are fantastic, as this is where you find the largest swimming pool in the world. Even boats can move in the 35 m/ 115 ft deep lagoon pool.
  • Skiing in El Colorado in Chile: This is where we go skiing or snowboarding in the Andes mountains. El Colorado is only 60 km/ 37 miles from the city of Santiago. The ski resort is part of the popular Tres Valles ski resorts!

Chile Facts | Chilean People

Three out of four Chileans live in central Chile, in the region between Copiapo and Conception. The majority of Chileans (85%) live in urban areas.  

About 7 million people live in the metropolitan region of Santiago. Other large cities in Chile are Valparaiso, and Concepcion. 

Chileans in traditional clothing

Most Chileans are of mixed Spanish and native American ancestry, however, today only 30% refer to being mestizo (of mixed ancestry) and 11% refer to belonging to indigenous groups.

The biggest indigenous group are called Mapuche. Other indigenous groups are the Rapa Nui on Easter Island or the Aymara people.

About 28% of all Chileans are children under 15 years of age.

Chile Facts
Sport and Games in Chile

In Chile there are a lot of interesting games and sports.

Soccer is very popular in Chile. The team is mostly known as La Roja (the red team) because of their bright red uniform. Here you see Javiera Toro, a player in the women's national team of Chile.

Javiera Toro of the Chilean women's national soccerteamJaviera Toro of the Chilean women's national soccerteam

Some of the popular teams in Chile are called Colo-Colo, Catolica, and Cobreloa. These teams are among the major teams in the Chilean premier league which is called Copa Scotiabank

People also enjoy playing volleyball, playing tennis, doing watersports such as surfing, doing or going to the rodeo or skiing in winter.

Ski resort in Chile

Then there are many traditional games such emboque or trompo.

Trompo is a popular game in Chile. The goal is to spin a whipping top as long as you can. There are competitions in this game. 

The game emboque is a typical children's game and players have to hit a bell shaped wooden cone. It is also played in other countries where it might be called 'ball in a cup'. 

Chilean toy: emboqueChilean emboque toy

Chile Facts | Food in Chile

Chileans eat lots of seafood such as tuna, bacalao (codfish), octopus, prawns and salmon. 

Typical Chilean food and drinks include:

  • Empanada: fried bread dough filled with cheese and olives or cheese and ham or meat and hard-boiled egg or many other fillings.
  • Pebre: hot and spicy sauce made of tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil herbs and peppers
Sopaipilla - typical Chilean food
  • Sopaipilla: a typical snack consisting of fried pastry sometimes topped with sugar, marshmallows or chancaca, a sweet sugarcane sauce
  • Dulce de Leche: caramel cream

More about other typical Chile foods

Here an image of the market in Chile. Corn, known in Chile as choclo is main staple and fruits such as grapes, apples, pears and lucumas, avocados and green chilli are grown and harvested in Chile. 

Chile fresh food marketMarket in Chile

Chile Facts | Animals in Chile

Chile is home to some animals that are almost extinct and are on the list of endangered animals, among them are the national animal, the huemul, the pudu and the puma.

Puma in chilePuma in Chile

Puma sightings are rare as these big cats hunt mainly at night. They live in the Chilean mountains.

The pudu is a small deer that lives in the forests of southern Chile. Pudus are the smallest deer species in the world. The tiny Darwin's frog can be found in the streams in Chile's forests. Did you know, that these frogs grow inside their father's mouth? 

Blue Whales and Macaroni Penguins can be seen off the coast in southern Chile. The penguins often slide or surf on the snow to get around as this is easier than walking!

In the Atacama desert national park, one can encounter llamas, guanacos and alpacas, and if one is lucky also chinchillas.

Read more about animals in Chile here.

Did you know that... ?

... Chile has the world's largest copper mines? Copper is used in electric wiring and as this metal is a good conductor for heat it is used in radiators, heating and air-conditions.

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Chile facts page: This info was researched and collected by the Grade 4 students of the International school in Santiago/Chile 'Nido de Aguilas'. Many thanks to the students and the 4th Grade teaching team for the comprehensive and insightful 'Chile travel guides' which were shared with us to be included here on our Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com. 

Images on Chile facts page: shutterstock.com and own images


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