Chile has a curious shape. It is a long and narrow country. From north to south it stretches from the desert in the north to eternal snow in the south, through valleys and gorges, forests, mountains, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, islands, gullies, glaciers and channels
It is said that when God made the world, he distributed all the wonders in different parts of the planet and in the end he gave Chile a little of everything he had given to the other countries, thus providing this narrow strip of land with all the diversity found in the rest of the world.
From east to west, it is framed by the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. The fauna in the country is as rich as the flora, which just like its geography, they are singular and varied, and for many visitors one of the main attractions in the country.
A great number of plants and animals found in Chile are endemic, which means that they are found nowhere else in the planet. Of the 5100 identified flora species, over 2500 are endemic. Several ecosystems are protected by one of the best networks of National Parks in South America. Five of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage protected areas are located in Chile, which is a clear indicator of the bio-diversity of the country.
As regards the fauna, the most outstanding species are the puma (cougar or mountain lion), the guanaco (a relative of the camel), the huemul (a member of the deer family and indigenous to the country, which has been included in the national emblem), the vizcacha, the pudú, the alpaca, the coipo, the llama, the chinchilla, the chilla fox and many more.
But Chilean fauna is not limited to the craggy geography of the cordillera, the aridity of the desert in the north or the luxuriance of the forests in the south and of Patagonia. The long coastline which borders the country in the west, presents a variety of species including sea lions, seals, toninas and otters as well as penguins and colossal whales in the icy austral waters.
The vineyards, fruit and vegetable orchards and sown fields have shaped the new landscape of the central area, originated in the industrial crops, always hand in hand with the centenary trees which defined the parks of the old mansions. The tree, an essential element in the Chilean landscape, is a natural phenomenon present all over the territory, from the central area to Patagonia in the south.
There, nature remains intact, just like it was created thousands of years ago, in the numerous hectares which make up the Natural Parks, Reserves and Monuments, with rivers, volcanoes and lakes which state that the Garden of Eden is not in Paradise but in this narrow strip of land called Chile.