Country Listing

Chile Table of Contents



Roads: Totaled 79,025 kilometers, including 9,913 kilometers of paved roads, 33,140 kilometers of gravel roads, and 35,972 kilometers of improved and unimproved earth roads. Pan American Highway (Longitudinal Highway), running length of country, forms 3,600-kilometer backbone of road system, with transversal roads leading from it east and west. Southern extension of about 1,100 kilometers, Southern Highway, from Puerto Montt to Puerto Yungay, opened in 1988. International highways also include AricaSantos Highway to Bolivia and Trans-Andean Highway between Valparaíso and Mendoza, Argentina.

Vehicles: 1.7 million (1994), including 1,034,370 passenger cars, 403,842 vans, 49,006 buses, 126,698 trucks, 80,558 motorcycles, and 46,014 other commercial vehicles. An additional 202,000 vehicles expected to be registered in 1994.

Railroads: Mostly state-owned, operated by State Railroad Company (Empresa de Ferrocarrilles del Estado--EFE). Totaled 7,766 kilometers. Privately owned lines, totaling 2,130 kilometers, mostly in desert north, where northern terminal is Iquique. No passenger trains to northern Chile from Santiago. Four international railroads: two to Bolivia, one to northwest Argentina, and one to Peru. In 1992 Congress approved privatization of EFE, with only infrastructure remaining state owned. After period of neglect, government investment in EFE infrastructure was expected in 1993 to total US$98 million. In July 1993, Chile and Brazil invited Bolivia and Argentina to participate in joint effort to build interoceanic railroad line between Chilean and Brazilian coasts. Santiago has underground railroad system (metro).

Ports: Nine main ports: Antofagasta, Arica, Coquimbo, Iquique, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, San Antonio, Talcahuano (country's best harbor and its main naval station), and Valparaíso; also nine others. Only four or five have adequate facilities; about ten are used primarily for coastal shipping, restricted to Chilean flag vessels. Northern mining ports include Caldera, Chañaral, Coquimbo, and Huasco. Petroleum and gas ports include Cabo Negro, Clarencia, Puerto Percy, and San Gregorio. Main forest product ports San Vicente and Lirquén on Concepción Bay. Transnational transport of goods by road between Chilean ports of Antofagasta, Arica, Iquique, and Valparaíso and Brazilian ports of Santos and Porto Alegre. Government building a US$10 million commercial port in Punta Arenas to service growing number of foreign vessels, cruise liners, and scientific ships en route to Antarctica. Puerto Ventanas--first private port in country, located on Quinteros Bay, in Valparaíso Region--opened in 1993.

Waterways: 725 kilometers of navigable inland waterways, mainly in southern lake district; Río Calle Calle provides waterway to Valdivia.

Airports and Air Transport: 390 total, of which 351 are usable airports, forty-eight of them paved. Two international airports: Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport at Pudahuel outside Santiago; Chacalluta International Airport, Arica. Three main Chilean carriers: National Airlines (Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile--LAN-Chile), Fast Air, and Chilean Airlines (Línea Aérea del Cobre--Ladeco). By 1993 air transportation market had grown by 56 percent since 1990. United States share of United States-Chile market increased from 34 percent in 1990 to 62 percent in late 1993.

Telecommunications: 342 radios, 205 televisions, and sixty-eight telephones per 1,000 people in 1990. Broadcast stations included 167 AM, no FM, 131 TV, and twelve shortwave stations. Modern telephone system based on extensive microwave relay facilities. Total telephones in 1991 about 768,000. In October 1993, Chilesat, a Telex Chile subsidiary, joined the Americas-1, Columbus-2, and Unisur cable networks, a fiber-optics telecommunications system through submarine cables linking South America with North America and Europe.

Data as of March 1994

Country Listing

Chile Table of Contents