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World's countries : Chile

Atacama Desert
photograph by Marion Kaminski

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert (Spanish: Desierto de Atacama) is a plateau in South America, covering a 1000-km (600-mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is the driest nonpolar desert in the world.[1][2][3][4] According to estimates, the Atacama Desert occupies 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi),[5] or 128,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included.[6] Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares), sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes.

Geographically, the aridity of the Atacama is explained by it being situated between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range) of sufficient height to prevent moisture advection from either the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans, a two-sided rain shadow.[7]

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Atacama Desert ecoregion occupies a continuous strip for nearly 1,600 km along the narrow coast of the northern third of Chile, from near Arica (18°24'S) southward to near La Serena (29°55'S).[8] The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama Desert[9][10] and also includes the deserts south of the Ica Region in Peru.

General Carrera Lake
photograph by Roger S B

General Carrera Lake

General Carrera Lake (Chilean side) or Lake Buenos Aires (Argentine side) is a lake located in Patagonia and shared by Argentina and Chile. Both names are internationally accepted.

The lake has a surface of 1,850 km² of which 970 km² are in the Chilean Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Region, and 880 km² in the Argentine Santa Cruz Province, making it the biggest lake in Chile, and the fourth largest in Argentina. In its western basin, Lake Gen. Carrera has 586 m maximum depth.[2]

The lake is of glacial origin and is surrounded by the Andes mountain range. The lake drains to the Pacific Ocean on the west through the Baker River.

Huilo-Huilo reserve
photograph by José Antonio Alonso Díaz

Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwilo ˈwilo]  audio , Pronounced: /ˈwl ˈwl/ WEEL-oh-WEEL-oh) is a private for profit natural reserve and ecotourism project in southern Chile. The reserve was created in 1999 and includes 600 km2 (232 sq mi) of native forest in Chile dedicated to wildlife conservation and tourism. The reserve is owned by the businessman Víctor Petermann who bought it in the 1990s, and was prior to the land sellings of the late Pinochet Regime part of Complejo Forestal y Maderero Panguipulli.

The reserve is located north east of the Mocho-Choshuenco volcano in Los Ríos Region. The main entrance is on the international gravel road that connects Panguipulli, with San Martín de los Andes, Argentina.

Its tourist attractions include:

Lake Pehoé
photograph by Umberto Aimè

Lake Pehoéé

Lake Pehoé (Spanish pronunciation: [peoˈe]) is a surface water body located in Torres del Paine National Park, in the Magallanes Region of southern Chile. The lake is fed mainly by Paine River through the Nordenskjöld Lake, but it also receives the waters of the outlet of Skottsberg Lake.[2]

Paine River waters feeding the Pehoé Lake have emerged from the Salto Grande waterfall. In this upper reach of the Pehoe Lake watershed there are numerous flora and fauna, including grazing wild Guanaco.[3]

Pehoé Lake, in the Torres del Paine National Park

Osorno volcano
photograph by Tristan Traiber

Osorno (volcano)

Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake, and also towers over Todos los Santos Lake. Osorno is known worldwide[citation needed] as a symbol of the local landscape, and is noted for its similar appearance to Mount Fuji.

Osorno is one of the most active volcanoes of the southern Chilean Andes, with 11 historical eruptions recorded between 1575 and 1869. The basalt and andesite lava flows generated during these eruptions reached both Llanquihue and Todos los Santos Lakes. The upper slopes of the volcano are almost entirely covered in glaciers despite its very modest altitude and latitude, sustained by the substantial snowfall in the very moist maritime climate of the region.

Parque Nacional Torres del Paine
photograph by Adelheid Smitt

Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine)[3] is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. The park is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas. The park borders Bernardo O'Higgins National Park to the west and the Los Glaciares National Park to the north in Argentine territory. Paine means "blue" in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay.[4]

Torres del Paine National Park is part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado de Chile (National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile). In 2003, it measured approximately 242,242 hectares. It is one of the largest and most visited parks in Chile. The park averages around 150,000 visitors a year, of which 60% are foreign tourists,[5] who come from all over the world.

The park is one of the 11 protected areas of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica (together with four national parks, three national reserves, and three national monuments). Together, the protected forested areas comprise about 51% of the land of the region (6,728,744 hectares).

Salar de Aguas Calientes
photograph by Luis Soto

Los Flamencos National Reserve

Los Flamencos National Reserve is a nature reserve located in the commune of San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region of northern Chile.[1] The reserve covers a total area of 740 square kilometres (180,000 acres) or 73,986 hectares in the Central Andean dry puna ecoregion[2] and consists of seven separate sections.

The reserve has a desert climate with the temperature varying dramatically between day and night. Rain is more frequent in summer, with an average high of 3 millimetres. The average temperature high is 24.5°C and the average low is 17.1°C.[3]

This area is made up of two salt flats: Tara at 23°05′S 67°15′W / 23.083°S 67.250°W / -23.083; -67.250, located 120 kilometres east of San Pedro de Atacama and 440 kilometres northeast of Antofagasta, and Aguas Calientes at 23°07′S 67°25′W / 23.117°S 67.417°W / -23.117; -67.417,[4] reaching an altitude of up to 4,860 meters above sea level.

Valle del Toro
photograph by Patricio Jimenez Barros

Bío Bío Regionío_Region

The Bío Bío Region[3][4][5] (BEE-oh-BEE-oh; Spanish: Región del Bío-Bío),[6] is one of Chile's fifteen first-order administrative divisions; it is divided into four provinces: Arauco, Bío Bío, Concepción, and Ñuble. It is also known by its original denomination: VIII Region. Concepción is the capital and largest city. Other important cities include Chillán, Coronel, Hualpén, Los Ángeles, and Talcahuano.