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The land in which Pablo Neruda was born is now a country in full growth. Santiago de Chile has been transformed into one of Latin America’s large capitals, with skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of people and traffic, reminding us that this is one of the largest and most important cities on the American continent.
However, Chile has much more to offer than asphalt. Seek refuge from the bustling urban life in one of the many natural spaces, which are worth a visit, and found all over the 4,270 kilometre-long and 445 kilometre-wide country. Mountains and forests, which look out onto the distant Andes mountain range, the Maipo Valley (150 kilometres from the capital), the Cobre de Loncha Reserve, Aculeo Lagoon and the Molles region, are just a few reasons to visit. It is the impressive mountains which make this country a perfect ski destination during its cold winters, with the ski season lasting between June and September. Chile also plays a leading role in the international wine industry, so don’t forget to sample a glass or two!
Now is the time to fly with Iberia to Chile. You'll discover a great country four hours behind Spain. The climate is very varied. This is explained by the altitude, which leads to significant variations, but also by the latitude, because the country stretches from above the Tropic of Capricorn to the South Pole. Besides, the cold Humboldt current lowers temperatures throughout the country. The El Ñiño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) also periodically conditions the climate of Chile. The Andes mountain range regulates the passage of air masses. The north of the country is on the leeward side of the trade winds, while the south is on the windward side. Consequently, the basic centre of action in the north is the Intertropical Convergence Zone, whereas in the south it is the South Polar Front and the South Pacific High.
If you fly with Iberia to Chile you'll land at Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (AMB),3 also known as Santiago-Pudahuel Airport. This is Chile's main airport and it is located approximately 17 km west of the city of Santiago in the commune of Pudahuel, from which it takes its former name, Pudahuel Airport.
Santiago de Chile boasts one of the most modern airports in Latin America, which has become a major hub for air travel between South and North America, Asia, Oceania and Europe.
As with anywhere else, the cheapest way of travelling from the airport to the city centre is by public transport.
In this case, there is only a bus service because the underground system doesn't reach the airport.
Two companies operate the route between the airport and city centre: Centropuerto and TurBus.
With regard to the local cuisine, one of the most famous dishes is carbonada, a winter stew popular in every Chilean home. Versions of this dish are also found in other parts of Latin America, but here in Chile it is made with potatoes, carrots, beans and various condiments, as well meat cut into little strips.
The country's official currency is the peso.