Chile: holidays, events, climate
Chile is around 4.00 km long and 90 to 240 km wide. it extends along the Andes and therefore has very different climatic zones. In the north of Chile, for example, the Atacama Desert is located between the Andes and the Pacific, which is one of the driest areas on earth. There are areas in the Atacama Desert where not a single drop of rain has fallen for many years. In contrast, the climate in the south of the country is completely different, with strong winds and icy temperatures in winter.
The following table shows some important climatic data for the country. It must be noted, however, that the values shown are only average values that provide a general overview of the climate in Chile. The current weather can therefore assume significantly higher or lower values. In addition, the climate in the north is completely different than in the south of the country.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
|January 1||Año Nuevo – (German New Year)|
|March April||Viernes Santo (German Good Friday)Sábado Santo (German Holy Saturday)|
|April 19||Proclamation of independence|
|1st of May||Día del Trabajo (German Labor Day)|
|May 21||Día de las Glorias Navales (German Navy Day)|
|June 29||San Pedro y San Pablo (Eng. Sat. Peter and Paul)This holiday always takes place on a Monday. If June 29th and Monday do not coincide, the day will be celebrated on the Monday before June 29th.|
|July 19||Día de la Virgen del Carmen (Eng. Day of the Virgin Carmen)The Virgin Carmen is the patroness of fishermen.|
|15th of August||Asunción de la Virgen (German Assumption)|
|Sept. 18||Primera Junta Nacional de GobiernoThis day celebrates the country’s independence from 1818.|
|19 Sept||Día del Ejército (German Army Day)|
|Oct 12||Día de la Raza (Discovery of America)This holiday always occurs on a Monday. If October 12th and Monday do not coincide, the day will be celebrated on the Monday before October 12th.|
|Oct 31||Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes (German Reformation Day)|
|Nov 1||Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day)|
|Dec 8||Inmaculada Concepción (Eng.Mary Conception)|
|25 Dec||Navidad (German Christmas)|
Source: Countryaah – Chile Holidays
If one takes a closer look at the culture of Chile, one notices a strong discrepancy between the customs and traditions in the countryside and in the cities. Cueca, the Chilean national dance, is mostly danced in the country, with folkloric music being played. This music has strong Spanish and Araucanian influences and is often carried on by the so-called Payadores. They are a kind of folk singer who speak of love and dreams with their songs. The Huasos, the Chilean answer to the North American cowboys or the South American gauchos, are an important part of most of the folklore festivals in the rural areas of Chile. They especially occur at the rodeo on. Traditional handicrafts are also cultivated in the countryside. Such carvings, pottery and weaving work are strongly influenced by Native Americans.
The culture in the (bigger) cities is a lot more cosmopolitan. Homosexuality, which was treated rather rigidly in the past, is now socially tolerated there. Incidentally, homosexuality has only ceased to be a criminal offense since 1998.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that CI stands for the nation of Chile as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The approximately 6,000 km long Andean road Qhapaq Ñan connected the city of Quito in the north of the Inca Empire in today’s Ecuador with the city of Santiago in today’s Chile in the south.
The road almost always runs at an altitude of around 3.5 km. Along the road the Inca set up checkpoints, set up storage facilities and there were hostels for travelers to stay overnight.
The Inca built suspension bridges to cross ravines and rivers and cut steps in the rocks when it was necessary to get ahead. The Andean Strait goes through six different countries, these are:
Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru.
The road touches the dry Maranon forest, runs through the rainforest of Chile and crosses valleys that connect the highlands of the 4,000 m high Andes and the tropical Amazon rainforest.
However, the road is threatened with disintegration, so only small parts are currently to be walked on. This includes the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Machu Picchu. In Ecuador there is the Ingapirca, an important Inca site.
It is about 50 km from the city of Azogues, and in Bolivia is Tiahuanaco – a pre-Inca ruin near the city of Tiawanacu.
The Inca-Andean Road is transnational and was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for the countries concerned in 2014
Rapa Nui National Park (Osterinse l)
The area of Easter Island is 163 km² and the island is of volcanic origin. The landscape of the main island consists essentially of the three extinct volcanoes Rano Kao in the southwest, the Maunga Puakatiki on the Poike peninsula in the east and the Maunga Terevaka in the north – which is the highest point of the island chain with a height of 507 m. The indigenous people of the island lived completely independent of external influences for centuries. The island is located in the middle of the sea south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and the nearest mainland is about 3,500 km away on the coast of Chile. The island was discovered in 1722 and there were numerous monoliths, called moais, with a height of up to 20 m on its coast. There are no rocks anywhere on the island and it cannot be explained where the stones come from or how they were brought to the island. There are hardly any bathing beaches on the coast, as the sea shore drops immediately to a depth of 3,000 m. There are smaller uninhabited islands off Easter Island. Rapa Nui National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995
Chiloé wooden churches
The island of Chiloé is located directly off Chile’s coast – separated from the mainland by the Chacao Channel, the Ancud Gulf and the Corcovado Gulf. The island has a length of approx. 200 km and is approx. 50 km wide. In 1540 the island was first set foot on the island by the Spaniards, who immediately made contact with the natives. The Jesuits arrived on the island in 1608 and built the first church in 1612. But it wasn’t until 1826 that the island became Chilean. To make the interior of the island more accessible, a railway line was built. A major earthquake destroyed large parts of many cities on the island. Sea lions, penguins and dolphins frolic in the waters around the island. Only here do two species of penguins live, but also cormorants, sea ducks, gulls, pelicans and ibises. In Castro, the capital of the island, you can admire two places with stilt houses by the sea and the famous and probably most beautiful of the approximately 150 wooden churches on the island from the beginnings of Christianization. The wooden churches were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000
Historic quarter of the port city of Valparaíso
The city of Valparaíso is located on a bay of the Pacific Ocean that is open to the north and, with around 280,000 residents, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The port is one of the most important in the country.
The city is considered the country’s cultural capital. The historic district of Valparaíso is typical of the architecture of the late 19th century and has survived earthquakes and tsunamis, the infrastructure has been preserved and you can also visit the 100-year-old funiculars and elevators.
The Chilean parliament has its seat in the city. On one of the more than 40 hills of Valparaíso, for example, is the house of the Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), who died in 1973 and which now houses a museum.
The residential areas are on the slopes of the cliff. The historic district of Valparaíso was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2003. The city lies around 100 km northwest of Santiago de Chile. Humberstone and Santa Laura saltpeter works.
The two former Humberstone and Santa Laura saltpeter works are located in the Región de Tarapacá. The saltpetre market collapsed after Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch invented the ammonia synthesis developed in Germany. The saltpeter works continued to operate until 1961, but then Humberstone was closed and so was the Santa-Laura plant. Since then the saltpetre factories have been left to decay in the climate of the Atacama desert. The works are in danger of collapse due to overexploitation.
In July 2005, both works were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and at the same time on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger. Sewell copper mining town
The city of Sewell, “City of Stairs”, is located about 70 km south of Santiago at an altitude of 2,400 m in the Andes. Copper was already being mined here in the early 19th century. The “El Teniente” copper mine is the largest underground copper mine in the world. In 1905 the town of Sewell was founded by the American copper company Braden Copper Company and settlements were built for the workers. The residents of the settlement moved to the nearby city of Rancagua over the years, the residential complexes and leisure facilities were preserved. The mine has belonged to the Chilean people since 1967 and has been operated by the state mining company CODELCO ever since. The copper mining town of Sewell was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.
Major cities in the country
The seaside resort of Arica and the port city of Antofagasta are located on the Atacama Desert. And are starting points for desert trips.
La Serena is a charming and beautifully laid out city in the Spanish colonial style.
Los Vilos is a seaside resort from which one can reach the nearby island of La Reine.
A third of Chileans live in this city, which is also the most important cultural metropolis and the largest industrial center in the country. There are numerous wineries in the area. In the northeast of the city is the Monte San Cristobal with a zoo, parks and restaurants as well as clubs. The museums Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino and Museo de Historia Natural should be on the program.
A comprehensive representation of the city can be found here >>>
The fourth largest city was founded in 1836 and was the major trading center of Chile until the opening of the Panama Canal. The economic center connects to the large port in the four-kilometer-wide bay. This narrow lower town is connected by several inclined lifts with the upper town on the steep slope of the coastal cordillera.
Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar is also known as the »Garden City of Chile«. Chile’s largest and most exclusive holiday resort with casinos, clubs and modern hotels has an excellent picture gallery in the Quinta Vergara. the mummy of an Inca child that was found in the area is exhibited. You can visit wineries around the city. From Santiago de Chile you can reach the ski resorts of Portillo and Farellones. The season lasts from June to October. If you drive further south through the center of Chile, you will reach Talca with its beautiful gardens and interesting museums.
Streets, squares and neighborhoods
Old town of Valparaíso
Valparaíso impresses with its fascinating old town, in which numerous old-style buildings have been preserved. The neighborhood spreads out on the Cerro Alegre hill and is now a popular place to live for students and artists. The nightlife is liveliest here because of the many pubs and bars.
Cerro Santa Lucía, Santiago In
1872 the rugged hill in the middle of the city was converted into a public park. Since then, visitors have been able to climb the hill on winding paths and admire the city panorama from various vantage points.
Plaza de Armas, Santiago
The square is and always has been the center of the city. It is lively day and night and is popular with Santiaguinos and tourists alike. Even when the city was founded, this was the central square from which the city expanded. Pedro de Valdivia put it on personally. Today an equestrian statue of the city’s founder stands in its center.
Special buildings and copper mines
Palacio de la Moneda, Santiago
The magnificent palace was built in the 18th century as a mint. The presidents of the republic have resided here since Chile’s independence. During the coup d’état of 1973 it was bombed by the coup plotters and was partially destroyed for a long time. In 1981 the dictator Pinochet moved into the building. Today the palace is again the seat of the President (since 2006 the President) of Chile.
The neoclassical town hall is located in the Plaza de Armas. It was built in 1790.
Universidad de Chile, Santiago
Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins 1058
The main building of the university was completed in 1872. Today the rectorate is located in the neoclassical building.
Mercado Central, Santiago
The building from 1872 was originally intended to serve as an exhibition hall. Today it is the central market of Santiago.
The magnificent palace from 1878 is a good example of the European-influenced architecture of Santiago.
Palacio Real de la Aduana
In the former palace from 1807 is the museum of pre-Columbian art. The building was declared a national monument in 1969.
Chuquicamata copper mine
This copper mine, located in the Atacama Desert, is approx. 3 km wide, approx. 5 km long and 1,000 m deep and is the world’s largest open-cast copper mining area.
The town of Chuquicamata, which was founded in 1912 as a miners’ settlement and gave the mine its name, is located south of the opencast mine. It has been abandoned since 2007 and its residents have moved to Calama, about 15 km away.
The city and the mine are around 3,000 m above sea level.
In 1912 the deposit came into the possession of the US company Guggenheim Bros. – and in the spring of 1915 the production of electrolytically extracted copper began.
In 1923 the mining area came to the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. In the course of the Chilean constitutional reform of July 11, 1971, copper production was nationalized – since then the mine has belonged to the Chilean state-owned company Codelco.
Sewell copper mining
town The town of Sewell is located about 70 km south of Santiago at an altitude of 2,400 m in the Andes. More information above under UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
This project is run jointly by Europeans and Americans and went into operation in 2009. The site is near Apex on the Chajnantor plateau at an altitude of about 5,000 m in the Atacama Desert. This Risentelescope is an array that consists of a total of 64 individual but electronically connected telescopes (parabolic antennas) that can receive and analyze radiation from space in the sub-millimeter range. The network of 64 individual antennas is located on an area with a diameter of around 10 km. Each antenna (= radio telescope) has a diameter of 12 m with deviations of less than 0.025 mm.
European Extremely Large Telescope
This giant optical telescope, called “European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)”, is under construction and will be installed on the summit of the 3,060 m high Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert.
The telescope will have a mirror with a diameter of 39 m and will be the largest of its kind in the world. It will serve both the search for habitable planets and the search for the origins of the universe. The telescope is expected to go into operation in 2022.
Pathfinder Experimental Telescope (APEX)
This 12 m telescope has been in operation on the Chajnantor plateau at an altitude of 5,100 m in the Atacama Desert since 2005. It is supposed to collect and evaluate radiation from space with wavelengths in the range of 0.2 to 1.5 mm. For example, the radiation in dark clouds of the southern sky from molecules could be detected, which consists of hydrogen and deuterium (H 2 D +). In addition, the 0.2 mm radiation of carbon monoxide (CO) was discovered in the area of Orion, and positively charged carbon-fluorine compounds (CF +) were found in the vicinity of the Orion Nebula.
Very Large Telescope
On the 2,635 m high Vukan Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, the “Very Large Telescope” of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) research organization, which is supported by 13 European countries, has been located in Munich-Garching since 1998. This space telescope consists, among other things, of four 8.2 m telescopes coupled with one another, which are designated with UT1 to UT4 (UT = Unitary Telescope). The UT4 also uses a yellow-colored laser to generate an (artificial) guide star required for the observations using excited Na atoms located at an altitude of about 80-100 km. In addition to the huge main telescopes, there are also 4 AT (AT = Auxiliara Telescope) that have a diameter of 1.80 m.
Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago
José Victorino Lastarría 307, Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro
The Museum of Visual Arts was inaugurated in 2001. It shows modern Chilean art on six floors.
Museo Chileneo de Arte Precolombino, Santiago
The museum is one of the most famous in Chile and shows indigenous art from the time before the Spanish conquest. Not only objects from Chile are exhibited, but from all over Latin America. It is located in the Palacio Real de la Aduana.
Museo Histórico Nacional, Santiago
Plaza de Armas 951
The historical museum illustrates the history of Chile with around 12,000 exhibits. It is located in Casa Colorada, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago
Parque Forestal s/n
The National Museum of Fine Arts mainly exhibits works by Chilean and Latin American artists. The Museum of Contemporary Art, also located in the building, shows contemporary art from the 20th century.
Museo de la Solidaridad, Salvador Allende, Santiago
The museum opened in 1971. At that time, various international artists donated their works to express their support for the Allende government.
Maritime and Marine Museum, Valparaíso
The Maritime and Marine Museum is one of the most important sights in the Chilean city of Valparaíso.
Opera and theater
Teatro Estación Mapocho, Santiago
Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho, Balmaceda 1301
The theater is part of the cultural center “Estación Mapocho”, which is located in an old train station building. The cultural center is one of the largest and most important in Chile.
Teatro Municipal, Santiago
The municipal theater has a long history. It was inaugurated in 1857. Today operas, ballet and classical concerts are primarily performed.
Teatro Nacional Chileno (TNCh), Santiago
The theater emerged from the University’s Experimental Theater. Mainly contemporary pieces are performed.
Teatro Universidad de Chile, Santiago
The Chilean symphony orchestra plays in the concert hall. There are also ballet performances and classical music.
Universidad de Chile, Santiago
Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins 1058
The main building of Ciles’ largest university was completed in 1872. Today the rectorate is located in the neoclassical building. The university is one of the oldest American universities, dating back to 1622, when it was founded as the first university in the country and as Santo Tomás de Aquino.
Universidad de Concepción
This internationally renowned university in Concepción, Chile, has existed since 1919. At that time, it was the first university in the country. Nowadays it is spread over the three campuses Concepción Campus, Chillán Campus and Los Ángeles Campus and has 18 faculties. In total, the university is attended by around 60,000 students.
Churches and monasteries
Catedral de Santiago, Santiago
The imposing cathedral is located on the west side of the Plaza de Armas. In its current form, it dates from the 18th century. Inside there is a museum with religious works of art.
Iglesia de San Francisco, Santiago
Berbardo O’Higgins 834
The church is not only considered to be the oldest in Chile but also the oldest preserved building in the city. The chapel was built between 1586 and 1628 and has withstood numerous earthquakes to this day. The tower, however, has been renewed several times. Next to the church is the former Convento de San Francisco convent.
San Alfonso del Mar pool
This world’s largest pool is located in the city of Algarrabo, which has 9,000 residents, right on the sea – it was opened in 2006. The pool belongs to the resort “Resort San Alfonso del Mar”. It occupies an area of 77,000 m² with a length of 1,013 m. Its water content is 250 million liters = 250,000 m³ – at a maximum depth of 35 m. Algarrabo is about 100 km west of Santiago de Chile.
Parks and gardens
Parque Forestal, Santiago
The park extends on the south bank of the Río Mapocho. Inside is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which houses the Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes) and the Estacion Mapocho cultural center, which hosts the annual book fair.
Parque Metropolitano/Cerro San Cristóbal, Santiago
The hills of the park offer impressive views of the city. If the weather and the smog allow it, the Andes can be seen in the background of the city. A cable car leads to the Cerro San Cristóbal, on which there is a large statue of the Virgin Mary, which is a symbol of the city. A cable car leads from the summit across the park. The city’s zoological garden is also located in the park.
Parque Quinta Normal, Santiago
The park, which contains several museums, playgrounds, bicycle paths and a pond, is very popular with the Santiaguinos. The whole family has picnics everywhere, especially on weekends.
– Alberto De Agostini
National Park – Alerce Andino
National Park – Bernardo O’Higgins
National Park – Bosque de Fray Jorge
National Park – Chiloé National Park
– Conguillío National Park (details in the next paragraph)
– Corcovado National Park
– Huerquehue National Park – Isla Guamblin
National Park – Isla Magdalena National Park
– Juan Fernández Archipelago
National Park – Cape Horn
National Park – La Campana
National Park – Laguna del Laja
National Park – Laguna San Rafael
National Park – Las Palmas de Cocalán
– Lauca National Park – Llanos de Challes National Park
– Nahuelbuta National Park – Nevado Tres Cruces
National Park – Pali Aike
National Park – Pan de Azúcar
National Park – Puyehue
– Queulat National Park – Rapa Nui
National Park (for details see UNESCO World Heritage Sites above) – Tolhuaca National Park
– Torres del Paine National Park (for details in the next Paragraph)
– Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park (details in the next paragraph)
– Villarrica National Park
– Volcán Isluga National Park
Conguillio National Parks, Torres del Paine, Vicente Pérez Rosales
National parks Conguillio
The national parks Conguillio and Torres del Paine are briefly described as
examples: The Conguillio National Park was established in 1950 and covers an area of 600 km². The local trees with the shape of an umbrella – which are known as the Chilean araucaria or monkey puzzle tree – are striking. It is also the Chilean national tree and is one of the main reasons the national park was created. In addition to the evergreen trees, there is a diverse fauna in the national park, such as B. Pumas, Kodkods, Pudus, Argentine fighting foxes and Andean jackals. The highest point is the 3,125 m high Llaima, a stratovolcano that last erupted in 2009.
Torres del Paine National Park
Founded in 1959 and covering 2,420 km², the Torres del Paine National Park is part of Patagonia, which borders Argentina in the north, where the Los Glaciares National Park joins. The three needle-like granite mountains “Cuernos del Paine”, between 2,600 and 2,850 m high, are the symbol of the national park. To the south is the lake Lago Nordenskjöld.
The highest mountain in the national park is Cerro Paine Grande with a height of 3,050 m. Large parts of the national park are glaciated, with the approximately 250 km² Gray Glacier being the best known and calving into the 33 km² Lake Gray. In addition to high mountains, there are numerous lakes, a tundra and large forests of cypress, lenga and olivillo trees. In addition to numerous types of flowers, orchids also grow here.
Among the local animals, the Darwin’s rheas, guanacos and Andean condors are worth mentioning.
A special feature are the pumas in the park. On August 31, 2020, the ARD broadcast a report about these wonderful big cats in the evening program. These included impressive and touching images of a female with her young and their hunt for guanacos as food.
Cuernos del Paine
The Cuernos del Pain is part of the Torres del Paine National Park and impresses with its high mountains, the blue shimmering icebergs that split off from the glaciers and the gold-colored pampas. The national park got its name after the three granite towers – the symbols of the Torres del Paine National Park
Vicente Pérez Rosales
National Park The national park covers an area of 231,000 ha = 2,310 km². The park, which opened in 1926, was named after the Chilean politician and diplomat Vicente Pérez Rosales (1807-1886). In the park there are among other things the Petrohué waterfalls, which are formed by the river of the same name. The river is the only outflow of the 178 km² large Lago Todos los Santos, which is up to 335 m deep. A special feature of the waterfalls are the torrent ducks swimming in them. In addition, the 2,652 m high inactive volcano Osorno is located in the national park. It is known as Chile’s little Fuji and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
Marble caves on Lake General Carrera
The elongated lake covers an area of 970 km² over Chile and 881 km² over Argentina in Patagonia. Its maximum depth is around 590 m. In Chile the lake is called Lago General Carrera and in Argentina Lago Buenos Aires. The eroded marble coast surrounds much of the lake, with the most impressive spots in Chile. The glacial ice and the water of the lake have created many spectacular marble caves that can be visited.