Arica in Chile

5 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© 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

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

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

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

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…

Theme Week Chile – Los Ángeles

22 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Ignaciusvilla/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Ignaciusvilla/cc-by-sa-4.0

Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Bío Bío, in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Bio Bío rivers. The population is at 187,000 inhabitants. The municipality (“comuna”) of Los Ángeles has the highest absolute rural population of any Chilean municipality.   read more…

Theme Week Chile

21 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Santiago de Chile at night © Javmoraga/cc-by-sa-3.0

Santiago de Chile at night © Javmoraga/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chile is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.   read more…

Estancias in South America

12 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Estancia Villanueva © Jarrigorria/cc-by-sa-3.0

Estancia Villanueva © Jarrigorria/cc-by-sa-3.0

A Estancia or Estância is a Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese term describing private landholdings. In some areas these were large rural with similarities to the American term ranch.They are large farms which are spread over extensive areas often 10,000 hectares. Estancias in the southern South American grasslands, the pampas, have historically been a livestock (cattle or sheep) estate. In the early Caribbean and Mexico, holders of encomiendas acquired land in the area where they had access to Indian labor, and often the need for on-site Hispanic supervisors or labor bosses called estancieros. In Mexico, multiple estancias owned by the same individual could be termed an hacienda. The term estancia is used in various ways in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Chile and southern Brazil. The equivalent in other Spanish American countries would be hacienda.   read more…

San Alfonso del Mar, the largest pool in the world

18 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Quórum Comunicaciones/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Quórum Comunicaciones/cc-by-sa-3.0

San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort in Algarrobo in Chile, about 100 km (62 mi) west of the capital Santiago. The resort is recognised as having the world’s largest swimming pool.   read more…

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