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Chile Properties

Chile The Lake District
South of Chile's Biobio River begins a land where earth and water play liberally together, producing visions of startling natural beauty. Known as the Lake District, it is a region where azure, mirrored lakes hold the reflections of ice-capped volcanoes, ancient trees and, of course, the indomitable Andes. It is little wonder that the Mapuche Indians fought the Incas and the Spanish back across the Biobio during the 15th and 16th centuries: such a land would be hard to surrender. There are twelve principal lakes in the district, though dozens more fill the gaps and valleys between the main waters. Many are joined by rivers and streams, which along with the lakes ofter some of Chile's best freshwater fishing. Six volcanoes run through the district from north to south, the highest being Villarica at 2,847 meters. The Lake District is also an ideal embarkation point for Argentina: the region has four passes that lead through the Andes.

The most famous region of Chile, Chilean Patagonia offers all the dramatic landscape one would expect from the world's ultimate land's end. Here the South American continent falls away in a dazzling explosion of islands, glaciers, icebergs and mountains. It is truly one of mother nature's grand finales. Chilean Patagonia isitself composed of two sub-regions; the northern Aisen and, to its south, Magallanes. Aisen is home to Parque National Laguna San Rafael, while Magellanes hosts the incomparable Parque National Torres del Paine. Isolated from the rest of Chile by fierce storms and impassable mountains, Magellanes can be reached only by air or overland from Argentina. Magellanes is also home to the southern city of Punta Arenas, which first became prosperous during the California gold rush. The city's site on the Pacific side of the Magellan Strait made it an ideal transshipment point for cargoes rounding the continent. Later, the city became the capital of Chile's wool industry, which produced some of the richest barons on the continent. Among the other wondrous sites in this remarkable region are: the Torres del Paine, a spectacular mountain range, which frames the Park of the same name, and extend to heights of up to 9,000 feet; the Cuernos del Paine, with aheight of 6,300 feet; the hypnotic waterfalls of Salto Chico and Salto Grande; the Grey, Pingo, del Frances and Dickson glaciers; the Pehoe, Nordenskjold, Sarmiento, Pingo and Dickson lakes; and the Verde and Azul lagoons.

Easter Island
Located 3,700 km (2,300 miles) off the west coast of Chile, Easter Island is the world's most isolated inhabited island. It is also one of the most mystifying places on Earth, possessing a history that remains as unclear as it is evocative. Easter Island's tiny land area (only 117 sq. km.) and remarkable isolation make its discovery and settlement an event that seems as unlikely as it wasmysterious. The original settlers seem to have been Polynesian, although there is substantial evidence that they were joined by a South American people early in the island's history. The island's native name, Rapa Nui, is Polynesian. Isolated for centuries from the outside world, the people of Rapa Nui developed their own distinctive culture, a culture perhaps best known by the moai, huge figures carved of volcanic rock. Hundreds of these sculpted monoliths dot the landscape, some in imposing rows, others toppled, broken, and scarred by violence. Scholars have been able to reconstruct some of the tragic history that lies behind the disintegration of Rapa Nui culture, but many important parts of the puzzle-including how and why the moai were built-remain uncertain.




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