|Geography and Climate
Chile is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru. Total area is 756,950 sq km, land: 748,800 sq km and water: 8,150 sq km. Area in comparison is slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana.
Total land boundary is 6,171 km, border countries are Argentina 5,150 km, Bolivia 861 km, Peru 160 km.
Chile has a temperate climate; desert in north; cool and damp in south. Terrain consists of low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east. Elevation extreme has the lowest point in Pacific Ocean 0 m and highest point in Cerro Aconcagua 6,962 m. Natural resources are copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum.
Land use: arable land: 5%, permanent crops: 0%, permanent pastures: 18%, forests and woodland: 22%, other: 55% (1993 est.). Natural hazards are severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis.
Environment—current issues: air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation contributing to loss of biodiversity; soil erosion; desertification
Geography—note: strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of world's driest regions.
Ref. Anonymous, 1999