The southern region by contrast is chilly and rainy, having icy fjords and glaciers at the southernmost tip.
The capital city, Santiago, is located in the central region and constitutes the political, cultural, and economic center of the country, and the homeland of the historically dominant Central Valley culture.
This is in dramatic contrast with the country's average width, which does not exceed 221 miles (356 kilometers).
Polynesian men dating
To the north the arid Atacama Desert separates it from Peru.
The high Andes peaks constitute its natural frontier with Bolivia and Argentina.
In Eastern Island the two thousand native inhabitants speak their own language of Polynesian origin.
Chileans of foreign ancestry do sometime also speak their mother tongue but do so almost exclusively in the intimacy of their home.
Some 25 percent of Chileans are of European ancestry (mainly from Spanish, German, Italian, British, Croatian, and French origins, or combinations there of).
Chile also has a large Palestinian community (some 300,000 persons, the largest outside Palestine).
There exist different explanations about the origins of the name "Chile." The most accepted one is that it is derived from the native Aymará word chilli meaning "the land where the earth ends." Chile is considered to be one of the most homogeneous nations of Latin America in both ethnic and cultural terms.
In contrast to many other Latin American nations, Chile has not experienced the emergence of strong regionalism or conflicting regional cultural identities.
To the south, the cold waters of the Drake Sea announce the nearness of Antarctica.