18 things you didn’t know about Chile ©Turismo Chile


01. Chile is the safest and most stable country in Latin America, according to the “Global Peace Index,” an annual study conducted by the NGO Vision of Humanity .

02. Chile is the only wine-producing country in the world unaffected by the Filoxera pest, which destroyed many grape varietals in other parts of the world. Carmenère, a grape once thought extinct, is still found in Chile and is now considered its signature grape.

03. Mummification was first performed in Chile. The ancient indigenous group called the Chinchorro, in the northern part of the country, started mummifying its dead sometime between 7,000 and 2,000 years before the Egyptians.

04. 9.8 million people around the world drink a glass of Chilean wine every day.

05. From a biological and botanical point of view, Chile is one of the most fascinating places on the planet. About 50% of its plant life and 20% of its animal life is unique to the country.

06. More than 99% of all harvested potatoes in the world originate in Chile. The country is also the number one global exporter of grapes, number two for salmon, trout, avocado, and plums, and number three for kiwis, raspberries, and blackberries.

07. The northern portion of the country holds claim to the clearest skies in the Southern Hemisphere for viewing stars. Some of the world’s most important astronomical observatories are here, like “Paranal,” “la Silla,” and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or project “ALMA.”

08. Chile has five cultural sites that have been named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, nine geographic areas that are Biosphere Reserves, and twelve official wetlands according to the RAMSAR scale.

09. Chiloé was selected as one of the best places to visit in the world by Lonely Planet. It has sixteen World Heritage churches, recognized as archeological masterpieces, many of them constructed without nails.

10. The waters to west of Chiloé and to the south, in the “Golfo Corcovado,” are the only known location in the world where blue whales congregate to feed. More than 150 species have been identified.

11. On Easter Island more than 7 kilometers of subterranean lava tunnels have been mapped out, making them one of the most extensive cave systems on Earth.

12. The Chilean Patagonia has a surface covering over 240,000 square kilometers, but the population density never exceeds 1 inhabitant per square kilometer and 50% is designated a Wild Protected Area.

13. The “Campos de Hielo,” or Ice Fields, located in the Patagonia are the third largest continental ice fields in terms of area; alter those found in Antarctica and Greenland.

14. The Straits of Magellan are the only place outside of the waters of Antarctica where humpbacked whales gather to feed.

15. Santiago was recently chosen as one of the best destinations to visit by the New York Times.

16. Three percent of the surface of Chile is covered by more than 1,750 glaciers.

17. The world’s most arid desert runs through a 1,000 kilometer long strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, spreading out over an area of 363,000 square kilometers.

18. Chile has more than 1,200 kilometers of viticulture valleys stretching from north to south in 14 different viticulture areas, which produce more than 10 million hectoliters of wine per year.


  1. Excellent job! This is great! Probably someone confused species with individuals on point number 10. It says “(…) More than 150 species have been identified (…)”, which is impossible since almost 40 species of the so called “whales” inhabit the whole world – that number includes some which are named whales, like killer-whales, being dolphins precisely, since they do have teeth. It should say then “(…) More than 150 different individuals have been identified (…)”. Actually, someone might want to figure out how can you “identify” whales? After shooting pictures of them, comparing flukes as well as spots in their skins. :-) Keep up the great work folks! PABLO E. NEGRI