Facts about Chile

March 04, 2013

The Web.com Tour returns to Chile this week. The Chile Classic was extremely popular when it debuted last March and was viewed as one of the biggest sporting events to come to Chile.

The Chile Classic is spearheaded by Alejandro Peric and Podium Sports, along with Chilean government and tourism officials, with Prince of Wales Country Club playing host to the 144-player field once again.

In addition to the competition, tournament officials offer a variety of activities whereby players and their guests can be introduced to Chile’s wonderful culture and geographic splendor. A beautiful city, Santiago is flanked by the Andes Mountains to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west.  Steady growth has transformed Chile into one of Latin America’s most modern cities, a financial center and regional home to many multinationals.

Here are some more facts to know about this week's host country: 

• Chile has 52,102 miles of coastline, including islands and bays, and features arid desert, forests, valleys, mountains, lakes, glacier fields and the Antarctic Circle to the south.

• Chile is never more than 276.5 miles wide from east to west.

• Mountains cover 80 percent of the country.

• It is one of only two countries in South America that does not border Brazil.

• The population of Chile is 16.9 million, with 5.6 million living in metropolitan Santiago.

• There are 50 golf courses in Chile, 60 golf professionals and an estimated 15,000 amateur players.

• Santiago was named one of the "best destinations to visit" by the New York Times.

• Chile has five cultural sites that have been named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, plus 169 ski slopes and 35 national parks.

• The northern portion of the country holds claim to the clearest skies in the Southern Hemisphere for viewing stars.

• Santiago was founded in 1541 by Spanish explorer Pedro de Valdivia.

• Most Chileans are of European or mixed European and indigenous ancestry.

• Chile received its independence from Spanish colonial rule in 1810.

• Tournament sponsor, La Serena, a beautiful coastal and tourist area to the north, has grown by 30 percent in the last 30 years.

• Chile ranks No. 1 on the list of best countries for doing business in Latin America.

• Chile ranks No. 1 in copper production in the world.

• More than 99% of the world's harvested potatoes in the world originate in Chile.

• Chile is the world's second-largest grower of salmon.

• Chile provides North America with almost 15% of all fruit sales from November through April.

• Every day, 9.8 million people around the world enjoy a glass of Chilean wine.

• There are more than 2,000 volcanoes in Chile, 38 of which are active, with the tallest being 22,614 feet.

• Chile has over 1,750 glaciers which cover 3% of the country's surface.

• David Selkirk, immortalized as Robinson Crusoe, survived a shipwreck and lived for several years on a desert island off the coast of Chile.