What sort of landscape do you imagine when you think about South America? Sunny beaches and palm trees? Or maybe hot, humid jungles?
If this is how you've been picturing Chile, think again! Chile is as long as the United States is wide, but as narrow as Connecticut. Its climate ranges from dry deserts in the North,
to Mediterranean farmland in the middle,
to temperate rain forests in the South,
and glaciers in Tierra del Fuego.
I live in Chile's capital, Santiago. Here, historical architecture stands its ground alongside glass skyscrapers, just like in Philadelphia where I grew up. The city is crisscrossed by subway lines and bus routes that connect even the farthest corners and make it easy to get from here to there.
Ñuñoa, the neighborhood where I live, is very residential. Its a mix of older, single family houses and of apartment buildings that have sprung up in the last 20 years. Wherever you are in the city, and in most places in the country, you can make out the Andes mountains in the background. They're snow-covered in winter and bare in the summer, but they'll always let you know which way is east!
Since the country is so skinny, you can go from the coast to the highest mountains in just a few hours. So not only does the climate change slowly along Chile's length, it also varies dramatically within the 100 miles that make up its width. All of this makes for spectacular traveling, so I hope you enjoy as I share with you my most memorable Chilean experiences!