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Location: south-west South-America
Surface (continental and insular): 756,247 km2.
Type of Government: Representative Democracy, Presidential Regime, Law State
Total population of Chile: 16,598,074
Number of Students in Higher Education:
650,000, equivalent to 37% of people between the ages of 18 and 24
Higher Education Institutes:
16 Public Universities
47 Private Universities (9 of them with state financing)
42 Professional Institutes
89 Technical Training Centers
Official language: Spanish
Official currency: Peso (for its equivalence see: www.bcentral.cl)
Chile borders in North with Peru, in the East with Bolivia and Argentina, and in the West with the Pacific Ocean and in the South with the South Pole.
Because of it topography and its length from north to south, Chile has a great variety of climates. Barren from Arica to La Serena, Mediterranean in the central region until Concepción, tempered rainy from Concepción to Punta Arenas and the polar ice of Antarctica.
70% of the population professes the Catholic religion. 15.1% is evangelical or protestant,8.3% has no religion, atheist or agnostic, and 4.4 % have other religions. (Census 2002).
The most important cities apart from Santiago (the capital with 5,250,000 inhabitants) are: Antofagasta, Concepción, Temuco, Valparaíso/Viña del Mar (main port of the country), and Puerto Montt.
In the capital city Santiago there is a wide network of public transport through taxis, microbuses or micros. It also has a wide underground network Metro (with five lines). For national trips there are local airlines and very good buses from the capital city to most of the destinations in the country. At the International Airport of Santiago "Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez", at 20 km. of the city, there are minibuses, buses and taxis to get to the city.
The most important and longest paved road is the Panamericana, which joins Chile from Arica to Puerto Montt. There are other very good crosscutting roads and roads that go to bordering countries. The Carretera Austral starts in Puerto Montt. This road will join, in the future, this city with Punta Arenas. The road is 1,200 km long and goes through almost virgin landscapes and territories and is one of the main tourist attractions of Chilean Patagonia.