To the north the arid Atacama Desert separates it from Peru.The high Andes peaks constitute its natural frontier with Bolivia and Argentina.
In Eastern Island the two thousand native inhabitants speak their own language of Polynesian origin.
Chileans of foreign ancestry do sometime also speak their mother tongue but do so almost exclusively in the intimacy of their home.
Almost six million people live in the metropolitan region of Santiago, while the northern and southern regions are sparsely populated.
Most Chileans (84 percent) reside in urban areas, while the rest live in an increasingly urbanized rural environment.
The southern region by contrast is chilly and rainy, having icy fjords and glaciers at the southernmost tip.