Santiago is the capital of Chile and one of the most modern and largest cities in South America. It is also Chile's center of commerce.
In the heart of Santiago is the Plaza de Armas, which lies along the Alameda about five blocks south of the Mapuche River.
The city has inherited heavy influences from Europe which is seen in sites such as the Parque Forestal, designed by a French landscaper on a model of Parisian parks. People can pass down tree-lined paths along the Mapuche river (a main river in the city named after the native Indians in the country), stroll by the Museo de Bellas Artes (a reputed museum which is full of Chilean cultural artifacts, history and arts.
Santiago is also the central point of a region filled with attractive sites and activities. It is only forty miles away from the main South American ski centers such as Farellones. The beaches on the Pacific are only an hour's drive to the northwest from Santiago. To the south of Santiago are the bountiful and elegant vineyards of the MaipoValley, one of the world's most esteemed wine producing regions.
Chile’s is mainly a country of Roman Catholics. It’s a country that is influenced highly by the Catholic Church. In fact, in the past it has had so much power that it has played an important role in the government.
Since Chile was formerly conquered by the Spanish Conquistador Diego de Almagro and his men, Chile’s national language is Spanish. However, the unconquered natives, the Mapuches, speak in their own dialect.
Chile has a great educational system. The literacy is one of the highest
in South America at 95.2%. It’s only mandatory to go to the 8th
grade but some go on to prestigious Chilean universities such as la Universidad
de Chile in Santiago. This university is also known for its soccer team,
soccer is a national pastime in this country.