Chile travel

The most innovative tourism offers of 2016 in Chile

The Quartz Route of the Quilimarí Valley, the cultural recovery of the Chilean Muleteers’ Live Treasures Route and an appreciation of the ancestral culture of the native people in the Live like a “Chono” experience on the island of Melinka, were the winners of the 2nd Most Touristic Value contest organized by Chile’s National Tourism Service (SERNATUR), which highlighted the most innovative tourism companies around the country that contribute to the diversification of experiences, incorporate sustainability practices and involve the neighboring communities.

We present to you the top three experiences in three different South American destinations:

Live like a “Chono” in Melinka

This hands-on rural tourism experience in the Aysen Region lets visitors sleep in straw huts built by the native people and live like the ancient settlers.

The tour’s objectives are to recover the Chona traditions and culture, to get to know the people in the community, listen to their stories and learn from their wisdom.

On the tour, visitors learn about life in the past and are invited to become protagonists of their own experience. At night the participants will go net fishing, and at dawn they will gather shellfish to cook during the day over a campfire in meals such as curanto, cazuela, seafood roulade with potatoes, among other traditional meals of the area.

The elders of the island, who have the most knowledge and experience, are the hosts that accompany the visitors on this adventure, telling them stories from the region as they carry out their activities.

During the tour’s four years of experience, what the participants have highlighted the most is the opportunity to disconnect and the satisfaction of hearing the story of someone who is content to live a simple life despite being on an island with so little connectivity. The participants take away a lot too, because they leave satisfied and renewed after the experience.

More information at the Archipielagos de la Patagonia Facebook page.

Live Treasures Route

This adventure and nature tourism experience plays a special role in caring for the cultural heritage. It is based on teamwork with the local communities of Farellones: the Muleteers, a tangible part of the cultural heritage and identity of Chile, particularly in the Metropolitan Region, and the recovery of customs that have been lost over the years.

This tour follows the same route the Muleteers used to take as they led their animals to summer and winter pastures for food. The tour is on horseback, and the participants get the unique experience of meeting traditional muleteers of the region and practicing their traditions over the two-day tour.

The first day of the tour includes a four-hour horseback ride up a trail in Farellones to an area of the Andes that is 2,500 meters above sea level, where participants will set up camp and have a barbecue with the muleteers. This opportunity is ideal for the muleteers to share their experiences in more direct contact with the tour participants. The second day takes the visitors on horseback through two of the area’s beautiful valleys.

More information at www.flechaextrema.cl.

Quartz Route and Healing of the Soul

This tour through the Quilimarí Valley of the Coquimbo Region is a wellness and healing experience which brings together the beauty of the region and its natural resources to obtain a perfect mix of tourism and the energetic properties of quartz.

This mineral is a natural stabilizer that helps people both physically and mentally. Those who have had this experience leave both relaxed and fascinated by the quartz mines and the beautiful landscapes.

This excursion takes people on a trip inside themselves, inside their emotions, as they are surrounded by the natural beauty of the Quilimarí Valley and exposed to quartz table therapy, quartz bowl sound therapy, guided meditations, among other alternative therapies.

The tour ends with a trip to the “La Esperanza” quartz mine in Tilama, the area’s former epicenter of quartz extraction, which has always proven to be fascinating for the participants.

The full-day tour includes a visit to the towns of Quilimarí, Pichidangui, Guangualí and Tilama, a visit to the quartz mine, a healthy lunch, a quartz table session and meditation. You can also take other tours, including a night tour.

More information at www.rutadelcuarzo.cl.