Chile People & Culture

People in Chile 

The country has a population of about 17 million people.  More than 80% of them live in urban areas, with the capital, Santiago, alone having about 40% of the total.  This is caused largely by the inhospitable terrain and climate in large parts of the country.

 

Most of the population have Spanish ancestry or have mixed native American and European (mestizo) blood.  Immigrants who came from Europe in the past included Germans, Italians, Croats, Irish and Basques. 

 

Native Americans account for about 7% of the population; the main groups include Mapuche, Aymara, Rapa Nui and Alacalufe.  They tend to reside either in the northern deserts or in the south-central area.

Last edited Dec 6, 08 3:47 PM. Contributors: Contributors: Andrew W.
Santiago, Santiago & Surrounding Region, Chile
We experienced Santiago as a wonderful city in the spring. Nice restaurants, shops, cafes, streets, sights, people and feeling...
I thought it was one of the cities I would come back!
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Valparaiso, Norte Chico, Chile
A vivid city with a wonderful sandy beach! Many attractions on the beach like music, shows, different food, laughing and happy people all over! And a beautiful sunset...
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Santiago, Santiago & Surrounding Region, Chile
Chile is a great country and Santiago is one big, huge city with lots and lots of things to see en do but you have to know that a lot of people are realy poor. This makes that, if you do not be carefull, you can be robbed. Here are some advices I learned from my best friend Andres, which lives in Santiago.
On the bus:
- When you take a bus try to sit as close as possible to the driver.
- Never let a place next to you where a possible robber can sit down.

When walking on the street:
- If you cross people looking dangerous try not to speak on the moment of crossing. Otherwise they will hear you are tourists and easy victims.
- Don't put stuff (money, creditcards, passports) in your pants. Put it in a safe place.
- Look carefully when crossing a street even if there are lights.
- Do not start talking with beggars.
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San Pedro de Atacama, Norte Grande, Chile
San Pedro is the point for setting off into the Atacama desert. The village itself is dusty, full of backpackers drinking pisco sour and full of people trying to get you to join their tour. However: rent a bike and cycle into the wonderful dry and deserted world of Atacama and all is soon fogotten. What a magical place! Leave early, take plenty of water and suncream and go back at the end of the day to watch the landscape become all Mars-like sitting on a hill. Also: do book a tour from San Pedro to go see El Tatio geisers early in the morning. Very toursity, but when was the last time you swam in a hot pool at 4500 meters, or boiled an egg in the open air without a heater in sight?!
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Santiago, Santiago & Surrounding Region, Chile
You have different areas in Santiago where you can go out. This means that in these areas the concentration of café's, discothecs and restaurants is higher then other.
Very popular are Bellavista, across the river and against the flancs of a popular mountain. On and near the bridge people are selling things and there is also a local market with artisanal things.
Nunoa, on a big square with parc and lots of cafés and restaurants, very nice during the day.
Suecia like Bellavista a nice area with a lot of terrases and very well alive.
In Providencia and Las Condes, El Golf you also have restaurants and cafes but they are more spread, more expensive and more for business lunches.

Enjoy!!
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Chile Religion 

The main religious faith practiced is Roman Catholic (over 85% of the population); the remainder are mostly Protestants or Evangelicals.

Last edited Dec 6, 08 3:48 PM. Contributors: Contributors: Andrew W.
Chile Language 

Spanish is the official language.  It is spoken with a somewhat different accent from that in other South American countries.

Last edited Dec 6, 08 3:49 PM. Contributors: Contributors: Andrew W.
Chile Culture 
Valparaiso, Norte Chico, Chile
Valparaiso is a port city, 3 years ago was declared World's Heritage by UNESCO, because its unique natural landscape. Valparaíso has cultural activities and nightlife interesting along the year. It is located to 15 minutes from Viña del Mar, famous by the International Song Festival.
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Ancud, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
worth at least to take a trip to see pinguins´ colonies! recommended accomodation: hostal mimi - 20 metres from bus station (good to save time) and very nice owner - she was talking to me more than hour explaining me all details about traditions, legends, food and culture at chiloe island.
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Isla de Pascua (Easter Island), Norte Chico, Chile
I was in Rapa Nui for a week last year and LOVED it!! Spectacular scenery, mysterious culture, great hiking and excellent SCUBA diving (did it every day, once or twice, and never repeated location!!). The islad never gets too crowded with tourists as there are maximun 2 flights per day during high season... People are relaxed, laid back, just talking to any local is an experience by it self. I recommend Hotel Manavai, really well located (one block away from Pea beach, few blocks from the main street) and proud owner of the town's only "cinema" where "Rapa Nui# movie plays 3-4 times per week (interesting to watch when you are there). Also, Te Moana restaurant on the main street. You can walk almost anywhere, yet renting motorbykes or horses is a good idea to go a bit further (i.e. Anakena). I loved this small island, in fact, I'm going back this year again!
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Isla de Pascua (Easter Island), Norte Chico, Chile
Want to know the best time to visit Easter Island? Early February, to experience the Tapati Festival, which celebrates Rapa Nui culture.
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Santiago, Santiago & Surrounding Region, Chile
They recently made this new underground cultural centre. It's in 'La Moneda'. If you're interested in seeing some of the local products they show work (art, pottery, ponchos,...) from all across the country in some shops. You can buy some of the typical local food and snacks, see pictures of the country, ... It's pretty much in the centre of the capital.
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Chile Arts & Recreation 
Valparaiso, Norte Chico, Chile
A vivid city with a wonderful sandy beach! Many attractions on the beach like music, shows, different food, laughing and happy people all over! And a beautiful sunset...
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Santiago, Santiago & Surrounding Region, Chile
Check out brand new Cafe Paris down to Barrio Brasil, enjoy the wonderful view from its terrace overlooking the famous and popular Plaza Brasil. you can aslo taste a large variety of coffee and cocktails in general, a nice place to laid back and listen good music, friendly staff the address is Huerfanos St. 2080
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Puerto Montt, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
xalara with pleanty of music
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Puerto Montt, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
When arriving to Puerto Montt , first thing you realise is a crowd of people offering you accomodation on the bus station. They are sometimes quite persuasive, so don't be "an easy catch" and bargain and check other offers before you decide! If you are only two young girls on your first big travelling on other continent as we were, you may be a bit hasitating wheather to go or not with somebody pulling you from the bus to sleep it the house of his grandmother, but in the case it's midnight it might be a better option than to wander around dark port with your backpacks! (btw, in the end, we really stayed by that grandma, got a private room with bathroom, TV and balcony with great view on Puerto Montt, which can be enjoyed either sitting on the balcony sipping a tasty piscola or directly from your bed as the wall of room is made of glass! Price including breakfast, consisting among others from a bit greenish ham, haha, was reasonable and, all in all, we were highly satisfied.) Beacause of the fact i've spent in Puerto Montt only one day, i can not really give a good overview on what to see there, but from what i've seen, for sure go to Angelmo . If you want to buy some typical souvenirs from this area, don't miss the perfect opportunity which gives you this huge amount of small shops, stalls and blankets on the ground ;-) in Angelmo. You find there typical woolen products (clothes, blankets, carpets, dolls,...), wooden products, chilean musical instruments and jewelery. Moreover and definitely not to be missed, there's a great seafood market ! Except having the chance to buy fresh fish etc., there's a small wooden restaurant (about 4 tables on the area of 10 m squared) inside of the market, where you can taste typical chiloe's recipes made from this seafood and delicious empanadas and all prepared in front of you! I recommend salmon as the economy of this island is built on salmon-fishing, but try also other things and empanadas, for sure. The stuff there is very nice and if you ask them they explain you everything (in spanish, of course), go to the market and buy what they need to cook your meal and prepare whatever you ask for ;-) Very home-like atmosphere.
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Chile Sports 
Puerto Montt, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
Puerto Montt (population 175.000 aproximately) lies 1,021 km from Santiago on the northern shore of the Bay of Reloncaví.
The port is very active here. It is the center of an agricultural and stockbreeding area, and the fishing boats bring their catch into the small port of Angelmó, to then be distributed around Chile.
On a visit to Puerto Montt you can see places such as Pelluco, the seaside resort for Puerto Montt; the Museo Municipal Juan Pablo II; Angelmó, the fish market; the handicrafts market; the Cathedral and the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
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Dalcahue, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
If you are visiting Dalcahue and want to try local speciality, make sure you visit the restaurant over the harbour (1st floor) and order curanto, traditional food of Chiloe Island. It consists of shellfish, meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes and, according to the tradition, should be cooked on leaves placed on red-hot stones in a hole, in a ground. Just make sure you are quite hungry or have a one portion for two, as it is served in a huge amount!
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Hanga Roa, Norte Chico, Chile
The scuba diving in Easter Island is remarkable - up to 40 metres of visibility!  I dove with Orca Diving in Hanga Roa and was very much impressed - highly profession but still having fun.  The dive in the harbour has a great variety of fish and a "surprise" Moa (giant stone head) for tourist photos!
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Pucon, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
Pucon is a small town, but a lovely one. Lots of rock buildings, tall trees, cold (but nice) weather, beautiful landscape. If you go to Pucon you should definitely go to a Cafe in the city and order a hot chocolate and a chilenito (yummy cake). You can also go to the lake and do some water sports or you can go skiing in the Cordillera. Is one of the most amazing places I've ever been and you would love it too!
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San Pedro de Atacama, Norte Grande, Chile
Such a Wild West town with upteen tourist and hotel places. Tourists make it what it is and come in droves. Go mountain biking and sandboarding in the Death Valley. Go to the Museum and take in the towns only nightclub with some Pisco Sourzzzz.
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Food in Chile 
Puerto Varas, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
The city is located 20 km north of Puerto Montt, on the south western shores of Lago Llanquihue. It has a population of 28,000 inhabitants and is in a splendid natural setting formed by the lake and the two volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco.
The climate is mild and wet, with no real dry season, and rainfall is a possibility at any time of year.
Whist visiting you can see the Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, the Casino de Juegos de Puerto Varas, the Iglesia Luterana and Puerto Chico, which have buildings going back to the beginning of the 20th century.
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Puerto Montt, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
Puerto Montt (population 175.000 aproximately) lies 1,021 km from Santiago on the northern shore of the Bay of Reloncaví.
The port is very active here. It is the center of an agricultural and stockbreeding area, and the fishing boats bring their catch into the small port of Angelmó, to then be distributed around Chile.
On a visit to Puerto Montt you can see places such as Pelluco, the seaside resort for Puerto Montt; the Museo Municipal Juan Pablo II; Angelmó, the fish market; the handicrafts market; the Cathedral and the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
Good tip?
(+1)
Dalcahue, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
If you are visiting Dalcahue and want to try local speciality, make sure you visit the restaurant over the harbour (1st floor) and order curanto, traditional food of Chiloe Island. It consists of shellfish, meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes and, according to the tradition, should be cooked on leaves placed on red-hot stones in a hole, in a ground. Just make sure you are quite hungry or have a one portion for two, as it is served in a huge amount!
Good tip?
(+1)
Ancud, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
Belle ville du chilie au bord de mer attention c'est piquant
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Isla de Pascua (Easter Island), Norte Chico, Chile
The best spot to go watch a sunset is by Ahu Tahai, while the best sunrise location is at Ahu Tongariki.
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Chile Economy 
Puerto Montt, La Araucania & Lake Districts, Chile
When arriving to Puerto Montt , first thing you realise is a crowd of people offering you accomodation on the bus station. They are sometimes quite persuasive, so don't be "an easy catch" and bargain and check other offers before you decide! If you are only two young girls on your first big travelling on other continent as we were, you may be a bit hasitating wheather to go or not with somebody pulling you from the bus to sleep it the house of his grandmother, but in the case it's midnight it might be a better option than to wander around dark port with your backpacks! (btw, in the end, we really stayed by that grandma, got a private room with bathroom, TV and balcony with great view on Puerto Montt, which can be enjoyed either sitting on the balcony sipping a tasty piscola or directly from your bed as the wall of room is made of glass! Price including breakfast, consisting among others from a bit greenish ham, haha, was reasonable and, all in all, we were highly satisfied.) Beacause of the fact i've spent in Puerto Montt only one day, i can not really give a good overview on what to see there, but from what i've seen, for sure go to Angelmo . If you want to buy some typical souvenirs from this area, don't miss the perfect opportunity which gives you this huge amount of small shops, stalls and blankets on the ground ;-) in Angelmo. You find there typical woolen products (clothes, blankets, carpets, dolls,...), wooden products, chilean musical instruments and jewelery. Moreover and definitely not to be missed, there's a great seafood market ! Except having the chance to buy fresh fish etc., there's a small wooden restaurant (about 4 tables on the area of 10 m squared) inside of the market, where you can taste typical chiloe's recipes made from this seafood and delicious empanadas and all prepared in front of you! I recommend salmon as the economy of this island is built on salmon-fishing, but try also other things and empanadas, for sure. The stuff there is very nice and if you ask them they explain you everything (in spanish, of course), go to the market and buy what they need to cook your meal and prepare whatever you ask for ;-) Very home-like atmosphere.
Good tip?
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