Santiago de Chile is the capital and largest city of Chile, with a population of 7 million in Greater Santiago (40% of the country’s population of 17.5 million). At 473 m (1,555 ft) above sea level, the city is located in the central valley and has a backdrop of the Andes mountains. On winter days after the rain clears the air, the view of the snow-capped peaks is stunning.
Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America's most modern metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and impressive high-rise architecture. It is an Alpha (-) World City and is home to many multinational regional headquarters, a developed financial centre (dubbed ‘Sanhattan’) and very modern transport infrastructure. Santiago has a diverse, cosmopolitan culture, influenced by the different groups of immigrants arriving from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the rest of Latin America. Santiago was voted number one destination in the world for 2011 by the New York Times.
Quick Facts about Santiago
- The city is located in central Chile in the Metropolitan region
- The city was founded on Santa Lucia hill in 1541 by Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia.
- 7 million people live in Greater Santiago, 40% of the Chilean population
- The presidential palace La Moneda is famous for the 1973 political coup
- The city is home to the highest number of headquarters and banks in Latin America
- Attractive recreational areas include the Metropolitan park San Cristobal, Ski resorts (40 km), Cajon del Maipo (80km), Valparaiso & Viña del Mar (120km)
Geography, climate and weather
Santiago lies on a plateau between the Andes, just 50 km away from ski centers and the coastal Mountain Range of the Pacific, 120 km away from the coast. This makes it a very popular attraction for outdoor adventure seekers, thrilled by the idea of being able to ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon. Santiago has a Mediterranean climate - hot summers (november to march) reaching up to 35 degrees celsuis (95 fahrenheit) and cool winters (june to september) averaging 13 degrees celsuis (56 fahrenheit). Rainfall, albeit very little, is concentrated in winter months.