Chile: Geography                                                         

    South America




Can you label your city?


Can you draw in and label the important mountain ranges and rivers in Chile?


Can you label the major bodies of water that border Chile?



  • Chile is the narrowest country in the world and is the 38th largest country in the world. Japan is half as big as Chile. Chile is about twice the size of Montana. Chile is 4,300 km long.

Geographical Features

  • Ojos del Salado (meaning "water source of the salty river") mountain in the Andes Mountain Range (photo). At 6,891 meters, it is the highest volcano in the world, the 2nd highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest mountain in Chile.

  • Atacama desert (140,000 km2)
  • Hudson volcano
  • Low coastal mountains
  • Fertile central valley


Explore the world's climate zones here! Search for Chile and discover where each zone listed above is located within the country.

  • Chile is long and very thin. Because of this, it has distinct climate zones. The driest region is the Atacama Desert in the north. Mediterranean-like climate can be found in the center. Rain is common in the south.
    • Did you notice that Chile's climate regions are opposite to those of United States of America? Why do you think that is? (Hint: Consider the Southern Hemisphere.)
    • Fact: Seasons in Chile are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere. That means the summer months are December through February.

Natural Hazards

  • Tsunami is a Japanese word that means tidal wave. Tsunamis are a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large body of water from an ocean or lake. Tsunamis are a frequent occurrence in Japan. Due to the immense volume of water and energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions. Casualties can be high because the waves move faster than humans can run. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, other underwater explosions (detonations of nuclear devices at sea), as well as other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.
  • On February 27, 2010, Chile received an earthquake rating a magnitude of 8.8. It only lasted 90 seconds but, because of its location near the capital city of Santiago (map), it is believed to have affected about 80% of the population.
  • There are 2,000 volcanoes in Chile, 50 of which are active.