One of the advantages of South America for the Eurasian and North American tourist is that the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere. That is, when it’s summer in the north, South America is in the middle of the winter. This is because of the alternating tilt of the Earth’s rotating axis. The end result are some interesting Christmas parties in South America, featuring pools, outdoor barbeques and trips to the beach.
Chile is the smaller twin-brother to Argentina (but don’t tell that to an Argentine). It runs along the west side of the Andes, mostly bordering Argentina, and is just as geographically diverse though it is even longer. Surrounded either by mountains or the Ocean, Chile has developed a unique biosphere that its government guards jealously. Seriously, don’t try to bring fresh fruit, meat or vegetables into the country; you will get into trouble at the border.