Nov 14, 2017

Chile: Lonely Planet's Top Travel Destination 2018

Tourism, Chile receives important international award.
  Hotel Salto Chico - Explora Patagonia
Torres del Paine National Park
    In recent years, Chile has received important international awards that place the country above the traditional tourist destinations of yesteryear. To the recognitions already granted by influential institutions and Websites, adds now the award conferred by Lonely Planet, one of the most famous reference guides for travelers worldwide, headquartered in Melbourne. Lonely Planet highlights Chile in the first place in the category "Best in Travel 2018", noteworthy is the fact that Chile was the only South American country of the finalists, relegating to the background other important participants such as China, Djibouti,  Georgia, New Zealand, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, South Korea and South Africa. 

     Among the considerations for the election of the country are its vitality and the lenght of its geography, flanked by immense natural barriers that isolate it from the rest of the world: Atacama, the most arid desert on Earth to the North;  the Andes Mountain Range to the East; the enormous Pacific Ocean on the West and the wild geography of Patagonia on the South. Santiago de Chile, the capital, is also mentioned as a very modern city, besides the ease of reaching the country, thanks to new direct flights from London and Melbourne, in addition to those already existing from Madrid and Barcelona.


Diversity of Landscapes in Chile

     
     Among the great variety of sceneries, one of the highlights is the Cordillera de los Andes, a kind of backbone of Chile, going from the North end to Patagonia linking every corner of the country. Because of its extension and biodiversity, the Andes represent one of the major tourist attractions in the World. Its geography hosts innumerable, important Winter Sports Centers, Thermal Baths, National Parks, Volcanoes and paradisiacal rivers and lakes on the mountainsides, true dream for Nature and Adventure Tourism lovers.

Beautiful landscape at Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, South of Chile.
Photo: huilohuilo.com
     Patagonia is another of the most sought after places to visit in Chile, a region that day after day gains more importance in national and international tourist circuits. Patagonia, a vast territory shared between Chile and Argentina, is full of beautiful places where Nature is always the centre of attention. Mention is also made of the Atacama Desert, another unmissable destination located in northern Chile.  Likewise, The New York Times ranked the Atacama Desert in second place among 52 as the must-see destinations of the year 2017. The Atacama Desert covers the Chilean Regions of Arica-Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta and Atacama. Despite being such a barren place, Atacama is full of attractions such as its large salt flats, landscapes similar to the Moon or Mars, fields of geysers, hot springs. In addition, it has the cleanest skies on the planet, which is why the World's largest astronomical observatories are located here. This has resulted in the birth of another type of tourism, the observation of the sky or Astronomical Tourism, with its corresponding programs. These are just some of the reasons given for Lonely Planet to have named Chile as "Best in Travel for 2018".