For nearly 15,000 years, events have taken place on this long strip of land, bordered by the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, that have produced an emerging country with a flourishing economy (probably the most stable in South America) and a stable political situation.

Although many Pre-Hispanic peoples have lived here, perhaps the most well-known are the Aymara of the highland plains, the Mapuches of the central region, and the Patagonians in the far south.

The explorer Fernando de Magallanes reached the area from the south by first navigating through the strait that still bears his name. The explorer Diego de Almagro reached the Aconcagua Valley. These expeditions mark the beginning of colonization in the area, not something easy to carry out as the Mapuches at one point were even on the verge destroying the invading army.

The history of Chile, from the time of its independence under the leadership of Bernardo O’Higgins, is marked by a series of changes. The democratic movements led to the implementation of successive constitutional texts that culminated in the creation of a presidential republic from 1925 to 1973. A military coup in 1973 marked the beginning of a dark period of Chilean history until the country transitioned to a democratic state in 1990 under Patricio Aylwin. Michelle Bachelete was the first female Chilean president to occupy La Moneda Palace.

More about Chilean history