UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Chile's climate is as varied as its geography. Despite lying in the tropics, northern Chile is characterized by warm summers and mild winters, due to the moderating influence of the cool Humboldt Current. In the central region, where Santiago is located, summers (December to March) are dry, with warm days reaching into the high 80s or low 90s, but cooler nights. Winter (June to September) is generally cold, foggy, and rainy (rainfall averages 14 inches a year); temperatures climb into the 50s and 60s during the day and usually drop to the 40s at night, with occasional frost. The southern Lake District has cooler average temperatures and is wetter than the central region, with annual rainfall reaching 100 inches. In the far south, the climate is colder still, with gale force winds much of the year. Rainfall in this region also averages 100 inches annually, except in the Patagonian steppes, where it drops to an average of 20 inches a year.
Castellano, a Spanish dialect, is the official language. English is taught in schools. A small minority in southern Chile speak German, Italian, and Mapuche, an Indian language.
Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English
White and white-Amerindian 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6%
Independence Day, 18 September (1810)
30 00 S, 71 00 W
Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru