Theme Week Patagonia

25 September 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  13 minutes

La Trochita on its Chubut Province route © PatagoniaArgentina/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Trochita on its Chubut Province route © PatagoniaArgentina/cc-by-sa-3.0

Patagonia is a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains with lakes, fjords, temperate rainforests, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east. Patagonia is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and many bodies of water that connect them, such as the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and the Drake Passage to the south.   read more…

Easter Island in the Polynesian Triangle

30 January 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

15 standing moai at Ahu Tongariki © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0

15 standing moai at Ahu Tongariki © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui; Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.   read more…

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

29 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © – Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Torres del Paine National Park(Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. The park is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas. The park borders Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to the west and the Los Glaciares National Park to the north in Argentine territory. Paine means “blue” in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay, while Torres means “towers”.   read more…

Zapallar in Chile

17 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

© - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0

© – Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0

Zapallar is a Chilean town and commune located in the Petorca Province, Valparaíso Region. The commune spans an area of 288.0 km² (111 sq mi). Zapallar is located two hours northwest of Santiago and seventy minutes north of greater Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.   read more…

Arica in Chile

5 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© panoramio-com - eurimaco/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio-com – eurimaco/cc-by-sa-3.0

Arica is a commune and a port city with a population of 196,590 in the Arica Province of northern Chile‘s Arica y Parinacota Region. It is Chile’s northernmost city, being located only 18 km (11 mi) south of the border with Peru. The city is the capital of both the Arica Province and the Arica and Parinacota Region. Arica has a mild, temperate climate with some of the lowest annual rainfall rates anywhere in the world, consequently there are rarely any clouds over Arica. Arica is located at the bend of South America’s western coast known as the Arica Bend or Arica Elbow. At the location of the city are two lush valleys that dissect the Atacama Desert converge: Azapa and Lluta. These valleys provide fruit for export.   read more…

Theme Week Chile – Santiago de Chile

26 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  20 minutes

National Museum of Fine Arts © Carlos yo/cc-by-sa-4.0

National Museum of Fine Arts © Carlos yo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Santiago, also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile. It is also the center of its largest conurbation. Santiago is located in the country’s central valley. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago’s cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Chilean executive and judicial powers are located in Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaíso. Santiago is named after the biblical figure St. James. Residents of the city and the region are called santiaguinos (male) and santiaguinas (female).   read more…

Theme Week Chile – Valparaíso

25 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Plaza Echaurren © Hemorag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Plaza Echaurren © Hemorag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Valparaíso is a major city, seaport, and educational center in the county or commune of Valparaíso. Greater Valparaíso is the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located 111.8 kilometres (69.5 miles) northwest of Santiago and is one of the South Pacific’s most important seaports. Valparaíso is the capital of Chile’s third most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990. Valparaíso played an important geopolitical role in the second half of the 19th century, when the city served as a major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by crossing the Straits of Magellan. Valparaíso mushroomed during its golden age, as a magnet for European immigrants, when the city was known by international sailors as “Little San Francisco” and “The Jewel of the Pacific”. Examples of Valparaíso’s renown glory include Latin America‘s oldest stock exchange, the continent’s first volunteer fire department, Chile’s first public library, and the oldest Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication in the world, El Mercurio de Valparaíso.   read more…

Theme Week Chile – Concepción

24 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Skyline Concepción © NikoMastermind/cc-by-sa-4.0

Skyline Concepción © NikoMastermind/cc-by-sa-4.0

Concepción, in full Concepción de la Madre Santísima de la Luz (Conception of the Blessed Mother of Light), is a city and commune belonging to the metropolitan area of Greater Concepción, it is one of the largest urban conurbations of Chile. It has a significant impact on domestic trade being part of the region with most industrialization of the country and politically it has the second majority of representatives in the National Congress of Chile. Its location is in the called Zona Centro Sur (Central South Zone), in the geographic center of the country, and it is the capital of the Concepción Province and VIII Bío Bío Region. Greater Concepción (Gran Concepción, including Talcahuano, San Pedro de la Paz, Hualpén, Chiguayante, Penco, Tomé, Lota, Coronel, Hualqui and Concepción) is the second-largest conurbation in the country, with 946,000 inhabitants. Individually, it is the 11th largest commune in the country, with a population of 230,000. Concepción is the second largest city of Chile. The Universidad de Concepción, founded in 1919, became the first secular private university in Chile. The neighboring harbor of Talcahuano is the site of the largest naval base in Chile.   read more…

Theme Week Chile – Punta Arenas

23 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Nao Victoria, Magellans ship replica, in the Museo Nao Victoria © Juanmatassi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nao Victoria, Magellans ship replica, in the Museo Nao Victoria © Juanmatassi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Punta Arenas is the capital city of the southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. The city was officially renamed as Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to Punta Arenas. It is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south. As of 1977 Punta Arenas has been one of only two free ports in Chile. Located on the Brunswick Peninsula north of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas was originally established by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony to assert sovereignty over the Strait. During the remainder of the 1800s, Punta Arenas grew in size and importance due to the increasing maritime traffic and trade traveling to the west coasts of South and North America. This period of growth also resulted from the waves of European immigrants, mainly from Croatia and Russia attracted to the gold rush and sheep farming boom in the 1880s and early 1900s. The largest sheep company, controlling 10,000 square kilometres in Chile and Argentina, was based in Punta Arenas, and its owners lived there. Since its founding Chile has used Punta Arenas as a base to defend its sovereignty claims in the southernmost part of South America. This led, among other things, to the Strait of Magellan being recognized as Chilean territory in the Boundary treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina. The geopolitical importance of Punta Arenas has remained high in the 20th and 21st centuries because of its logistic importance in accessing the Antarctic Peninsula.   read more…

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