Chile: Seven Striking Facts

  • Chile is as long as the U.S. is wide.
  • The world's southernmost town, Puerto Williams, is in Chile.
  • In the province of Magallanes, there is only one person per square kilometer.
  • The Andes Mountains run the length of Chile, drop into the Drake Passage and rise again in Antarctica.
  • Vicunas can run close to 30 mph at altitudes exceeding 12,000 feet; the domesticated llama lives more than 20 years.
  • The Inca highway that began in Colombia ended in the Atacama desert of Chile.
  • Archaeologists have finally come to an agreement: humans reached southern Chile 12,500 years ago -- from Asia via the Bering Strait -- a dateline that is 1,000 years earlier than previously believed. From the Bering Strait, these early people moved south more than 10,000 miles to occupy the length and breadth of two continents. This conclusion comes from study of bone and stone tools found at the Monte Verde site near the Pacific.
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