World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of South America

Chile Travelling Guide
Chile Travelling Guide

General background: A three-year-old Marxist government was overthrown in 1973 by a dictatorial military regime led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, first implemented by the PINOCHET dictatorship, led to unprecedented growth in 1991-97 and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

Climate: Temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south

Terrain: Low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east

Population: 15,498,930 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: White and White-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%

Religions: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%, Jewish NEGL%

Language: Spanish

Government type: Republic

Capital: Santiago

Legal system: Based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
note: Chile is in the process of completely overhauling its criminal justice system; a new, US-style adversarial system is being gradually implemented throughout the country.

Economic overview: Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chile's reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in 1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because of lower export earnings - the latter a product of the global financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in 1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and electricity rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic growth for the first time in more than 15 years. Despite the effects of the recession, Chile maintained its reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. By the end of 1999, exports and economic activity had begun to recover, and growth rebounded to 5.4% in 2000. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, however, putting pressure on President LAGOS to improve living standards. The Argentine financial meltdown has put pressure on the Chilean peso and is slowing the country's economic growth. Meanwhile, Chile and the US are conducting negotiations for a free trade agreement.

Communication/Telephone system: Modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities, extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations. Satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).

Places of interest: Travelers are drawn to this string bean of a country because of its spectacular Pacific coastline and Andean highlands, and because of the opportunities it offers for adventure sports. Despite having the most European community in South America, indigenous traditions persist in the Andean foothills and in the southern plains, while some of South America's finest national parks draw trekkers and guanaco spotters alike.

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