Situated along the southwestern coast of South America, Chile has an area of 756,950 sq km (292,260 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Chile is slightly smaller than twice the size of the state of Montana. A long string of land pressed between the Pacific and the towering Andes, Chile is 4,270 km (2,653 mi) long N – S ; it is 356 km (221 mi) wide at its broadest point (just north of Antofagasta) and 64 km (40 mi) wide at its narrowest point, with an average width of 175 km (109 mi) E – W . It is bordered on the N by Peru, on the NE by Bolivia, on the E by Argentina, on the S by the Drake Passage, and on the W by the Pacific Ocean. At the far SE , at the end of the Strait of Magellan (Estrecho de Magallanes), it has an opening to the Atlantic Ocean. Chile's boundary length (including coastline) is 12,606 km (7,833 mi).
Included in the national territory are the Juan Fernández Islands, Easter Island, and other Pacific islands. A dispute with Argentina over three small islands in the Beagle Channel almost led to war between the two countries in 1978, but papal intervention prevented hostilities. The issue was resolved peacefully by a treaty signed in the Vatican on 29 November 1984 and ratified on 2 May 1985, granting Chile sovereignty over the three islands, giving Argentina rights to waters east of the Strait of Magellan, and dividing the territorial waters south of Cape Horn between the two countries. There is another outstanding boundary problem with Bolivia over its claim for an opening to the sea. Chile also claims the Antarctic Peninsula and other areas of Antarctica, comprising 1,250,000 sq km (482,500 sq mi).
Chile's capital city, Santiago, is located in the center of the country.