Chile is a dream holiday destination for many of us. This South American hotspot is seriously attractive to international tourists, and with good reason. From its cities and culture to its wildlife and landscape, there’s a lot to like about Chile. How much do you really know about the place, though? In Chile, interesting facts are not exactly in short supply. Here are seven of the most interesting facts about Chile.
7 interesting facts about Chile
There is no shortage of strange and interesting facts about Chile, its people and its history. Seriously, we could spend all day talking about the weird and wonderful aspects of life in Chile. We don’t have all day, though, so let’s go with seven.
1. Chile is a wine capital of the world
As one of the leading producers in the so-called new world, Chilean wine is big business. The country is home to more than 100 wineries and is the world’s fifth-largest wine exporter. The most popular grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Pinot Noir and Syrah for red wine, and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay for white wine. Sparkling Chilean wine is also growing in popularity.
2. Marriage in Chile
An interesting fact about marriage in Chile is that husbands and wives keep their own surnames. It is customary for wives to keep their maiden names and husbands to keep their family names. Chile also has a particularly low divorce rate, and divorce was only made legal in 2005.
3. Chile has a lot of volcanoes (seriously)
Chile has around 500 active volcanoes. Adventurous holidaymakers come to Chile to hike its mountainous and volcanic terrain. Among the better-known Chilean volcanoes are Cerro Arul and Cerro Hudson. Watch your step, indeed: 60 Chilean volcanoes have erupted in the last 450 years.
4. Chile is penguin country
Penguins are a common sight in Chile, particularly in the south of the country. As you might expect, the Seno Otway Penguin Colony, located near Puntas Arenas, boasts its fair share of the birds. Humboldt penguins can be found further north.
5. Easter Island
One of the most interesting parts of Chile is not on the mainland at all. Easter Island is the best-known Pacific Island, lying some 3,700 kilometres off the coast. The island is a treasure trove of interesting facts and sights and is most often associated with the iconic moai statues. There are some 867 statues in total, carved from volcanic rock and measuring as much as 6 metres tall.
6. Chilean Spanish
Chilean Spanish is the local take on the Spanish language. Visitors will usually get by with English, though knowing a few words in Chilean Spanish will go a long way. Native Spanish speakers should take note: There are some big differences between the two, and different parts of Chile have slightly different dialects, too. To get started: “Si poh” means “yes” and “no poh” means “no”.
7. Chilean people are big soccer fans
Soccer is the most popular sport in Chile, and there are many interesting facts about Chilean footballers. The national team, known as La Roja, was banned from competing in the 1994 World Cup after its goalkeeper was caught faking a bizarre injury involving a capsule of fake blood.