For the first time ever, Chile was selected as the world’s leading adventure tourism destination. This recognition was bestowed at the 23rd version of the World Travel Awards, considered the “Oscars” of tourism. This accolade demonstrates the potential of the South American country’s striking geographic contrasts, providing tourists with incomparable natural scenery for sports and adventure tourism.
The winner was selected by people around the world through online voting at the World Travel Awards website. Chile, the regional winner in 2015 and 2016, competed in this category for the international award against other nominees such as Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.
The accolade reflects Chile’s efforts in recent years to promote the country internationally as a natural and adventure destination with incredible and diverse landscapes that enable visitors to engage in a large variety of activities such as surfing, hiking, mountaineering, rafting, kayaking, fly fishing and horseback riding, among others.
Among the natural landscapes that Chile has to offer, several stand out as particularly unique such as locations with undiscovered routes or Torres del Paine National Park, which was selected as the 8th Wonder of the World with some of the best hiking in Patagonia.
San Pedro de Atacama is one of the most popular destinations among foreign tourists, an oasis of life in the midst of the barren desert. The surroundings reveal the area’s extraordinary geography with smooth plains ending in a chain of mountains and volcanoes that tower over 6,000 meters above sea level and contrast with white salt flats.
The Austral Highway has been chosen several times as one of the most photogenic routes in the Americas. At over one thousand kilometers long, it traverses a large part of Northern Patagonia in the Region of Aysén. Here, one can access attractive destinations such as Queulat National Park, San Rafael Glacier and the spectacular Marble Cathedrals in General Carrera Lake, the largest in Chilean territory.
Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) is an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling. Its crystal clear, unpolluted waters offer some of the best visibility in the world at approximately 50 meters. Thanks to its volcanic origin, the underwater topography is striking and distinguishes the island from other such locations around the world.