Background: The incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has increased, particularly in the developed world, and probably also in Chile. Aim: To report our experience with a large group of patients from two medical centers, Hospital Clinico de la Universidad de Chile (HCUCH) and Clinica Las Condes (CLC) and to characterize the clinical features of IBD in Chile. Patients and methods: Retrospective review of 238 patients with IBD (age range 14-78 years, 143 women) treated at HCUCH and CLC between January 1990 and August 2002. Results: One hundred eighty one patients had ulcerative colitis (UC) and 57 had Crohn's disease (CD), with an UC/CD ratio of 3.2/1. Forty eight percent of patients were aged between 20 and 39 years old and 69% were diagnosed after 1995. Patients from HCUCH had more severe disease, more complications and needed surgery more often. Conclusions: Clinical features of Chilean patients with IBD are similar to those of other countries. UC is more common than EC. There is a higher proportion of women with the disease. The severity of the disease was higher among HCUCH.