Don’t even bother with Brazil and forget about Peru, because there’s an exciting new South American destination to add to your bucket list in 2018. The Republic of Chile, with its cosmopolitan capital of Santiago plus a plethora of exciting adventure activities, has become the latest must-see destination according to a number of prestigious industry awards.
The accolades have been coming in thick and fast since Lonely Planet nominated Chile as the number one country to visit in 2018. Since then, the World Travel Awards voted it the Best Adventure Tourism Destination in the World for the second year running, an achievement made all the more sweet by Nevados de Chillán’s inclusion in the World Ski Awards top 25 resorts on the planet.
If that weren’t impressive enough, National Geographic added Santiago to their top 21 ‘Places You Need to Visit in 2018’ while the city was runner-up in the Rough Guides Reader Awards of 2017 for the ‘Coolest City Right Now.’
Adventure sports have long been a major attraction in Chile, perhaps due to the incredible breadth of captivating scenery that spans the entirety of this slim Andean nation. Everything from whitewater rafting to horseback riding, mountaineering and trekking is available, typically undertaken among some seriously spectacular terrain.
With heavy investments in sustainable adventure tourism, a strict ethos for safety and quality, and a huge amount of new parkland set to be introduced in 2018, it’s no surprise Chile is firmly at the top of the adventure tourism game.
Long overlooked as a just a hub for exploring further afield, this buzzing metropolis has really found its feet in recent years.
A number of stylish restaurants have revived the foodie scene, from casual eateries to the most sophisticated fine dining venues. Culture vultures are in for a treat as well, as a burgeoning arts scene driven by a surge of street art and hip outdoor galleries means there is always an abundance of alternative artwork on display.
Add to that the Andes which tower to the east, an expansive coastline to the west, and a multitude of award-winning wineries every which way, Santiago has firmly established itself as a world-class destination rather than just another transit hub.
This years’ inclusion in the World Ski Awards affirms what the locals have known for ages – that the pistes of the Chilean Andes are up there with the best of them. Aside from Nevados de Chillán, a number of other renowned resorts are scattered throughout the mountains, attracting an impressive 1.4 million punters during the 2017 season. Plenty of privy foreigners have already caught on, with as many as 20% of international visitors hitting the slopes during the winter months.