Dario Azocar

Dario Azocar

Before the 1990s, only the farmer, some settlers, the rumors of Butch Cassidy and the occasional tourist passed through the Cochamó Valley or Cochamó Valley. Only since the late 1990s, hikers and climbers began to walk and climb amid waterfalls, turquoise pools, 1000-meter walls and snow-capped peaks. His stories of this Yosemite-like valley have brought many more to follow and, in turn, his ecological views have helped preserve this valley as a tourist destination and not threatened by the wooden courtyard or hydroelectric plant center. Both ecological threats approached reality, although fortunately they stopped.

As long as it is a walk and not a car trip, the gems of the valley will remain intact, its quiet forests vibrate with life and its granite walls are a recreational destination for everyone to enjoy.

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Have you ever felt completely insignificant in comparison to nature? Well, get ready to feel precisely that way among the turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the Torres del Paine National Park. The jaw-dropping landscapes of this eighth wonder of the world are humbling indeed.

Immerse yourself in this vast national park; a backpack and comfortable shoes are all you require for a trekking adventure, the best possible way to explore this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Take full advantage of the 17 hours of daylight in summer and don’t miss out on sunrise, when the horns of the Torres del Paine massif glow purple and red. Sail on Lake Grey to admire the eponymous glacier, or paddle a kayak through its colossal blue and white icebergs.

You’ll enjoy terrific wildlife-watching in Torres del Paine. See majestic condors wheeling in the pristine skies overhead. Look out for foxes, huemul or Andean deer and guanacos along the way, and if you lie in wait patiently, you might be lucky enough to spot the reclusive puma.

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Come and discover with us the natural, cultural and adventure wonders that Torres del Paine it has for you.

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Few areas in the world possess a more mystical pull than this tiny speck of land, one of the most isolated places on Earth. It’s hard to feel connected to Chile, over 3700km to the east, let alone the wider world. Endowed with the most logic-defying statues on the planet – the strikingly familiar moai – Easter Island (Rapa Nui to its native Polynesian inhabitants) emanates a magnetic, mysterious vibe.

But Easter Island is much more than an open-air museum. Diving, snorkeling and surfing are fabulous. On land, there is no better ecological way to experience the wild beauty of the island than on foot, from a saddle by bicycle or on horseback. But if all you want to do is recharge the batteries, a couple of magnificent extensions of white sand await you.

Although Easter Island is world famous and visitors are on the rise, everything is still small and pleasant: everything is about ecotravel.

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Come and discover with us the natural, cultural and adventure wonders that this territory has for you.

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Far from being a desolate, arid wilderness, the Atacama desert is overflowing with life. Its ancient cultures offer a warm welcome to modern travelers, and fertile oases sustain an astonishing diversity of life here in the world’s driest desert.

On the high Andean plateau, you’ll find small villages at up to 4,000 meters above sea level where timeless traditions linger in extreme and wonderfully photogenic settings.

Visit San Pedro de Atacama and explore its unique landscapes, quite unlike anywhere else on earth. Vast salt flats, active geysers and intense blue lagoons are just a few of the extraordinary features of this region.
Journey to the stars and learn more about the constellations in one of the many famed astronomical observatories in the northern half of Chile.

If you’re a fan of water sports or simply enjoy soaking up the sun, don’t miss the northern coastal region, with its exquisite sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and exquisite seafood.

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Come and discover with us the natural, cultural and adventure wonders that this territory has for you.

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Chile will represent the Americas in an important area of ​​world tourism. From January 1, 2020 until 2022, they will be part of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations.

In this way, Chile joins the body of greater relevance within the UNWTO made up of representatives from 33 countries, who will work together with the secretary general of the body for the definition of policies and programs to be followed worldwide for the tourism industry .

The general assembly, an instance in which the appointment of Chile will be formalized, will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the month of September.

It is a great honor to have been chosen to represent the region at the highest level of the World Tourism Organization and also a great opportunity. That Chile is sitting with the representatives of the five continents, discussing the programs and policies that will be promoted to advance in the development of this sector, will allow us to highlight what as a country we are carrying out in tourism, in addition to participating in the discussion of issues of international interest, contributing to the search to arrange positions and advance in matters of common interest, ”said the Undersecretary of Tourism.

The Executive Council is the most relevant body within the UNWTO and is made up of representatives from 33 countries, who, together with working with the Secretary General, play a key role in defining policies and programs to be followed globally. to develop the tourism industry.

According to the UNWTO regulations, the mandate of the members of this council is renewed every four years, except in the periods in which it is shared with another member country. “That is the situation in Chile, which will share its mandate with Paraguay,” said the head of Tourism, which will promote interregional connectivity, as well as promoting policies for the development of rural tourism, incorporating communities into tourism development.

Different committees such as Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account, Program and Budget, Selection of Affiliated Members, Tourism and Competitiveness, and Tourism and Sustainability depend on this council.

The general assembly, an instance in which the appointment of Chile will be formalized, will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the month of September.

Tourism is currently one of the main actors in international trade, becoming an increasingly relevant industry for the economy, especially for developing countries, which see this industry as a source of income and job creation .

According to information published by the UNWTO in 2017, global travel-related spending more than doubled between 2000 and 2016, moving from USD $ 495 billion to USD $ 1.2 trillion.

An additional example of the exponential growth of the sector is the increase in international travel. While in 1950 the arrivals barely reached 25 million, in 2005 there was already talk of 808 million movements worldwide. For this year, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that 1.4 billion international trips will be made and that by 2030 1.8 billion will be reached.

Guatemala will also represent the Americas in the UNWTO Executive Council.

A challenge similar to that of Chile will have the Guatemalan tourism authorities since the progress in the work agenda will be based on “promoting the development and implementation of regional policies” for tourism development.

 

So is! As you are reading, the World Travel Awards, which are known as the Oscar awards for tourism, has rewarded the Atacama Desert for the second consecutive year as the Best Romantic Destination in South America. A true oasis of nature and love in northern Chile!

It is not for less, because San Pedro de Atacama, the world’s most arid desert town, is a place to escape at any time of the year, with the clearest and purest skies in the world and a landscape of colors and reliefs Unique on our planet.

Surrounded by volcanoes, among which the highest volcano in South America stands out, the mythical Licancabur, geysers that allow us to feel the force of nature expelling water at high temperatures emerging from the depths of the earth, highland lagoons surrounded by native fauna and flora protected and completely natural hot springs. All this and much more! It makes the desert awarded with this important popular voting prize.

San Pedro de Atacama, a perfect place for your honeymoon
If you are one of those travelers who are looking for the perfect place to visit as a couple, combining days of rest, sun and pleasant temperatures at any time of the year, completely clean skies to admire the stars, exquisite restaurants, bicycle adventures and the most beautiful sunsets of the planet, without a doubt San Pedro de Atacama is the best destination in South America for honeymooners.

Today there is a high range of hotel offer with the widest spectrum of prices, which mostly offer massages, meals and tours, which help the visitor to have a well guided and contained experience in the desert.

The Atacama Desert and its surrounding villages are a destination to forget about television and any earthly event, because it seems like a place on another planet.

Tour the famous Valley of the Moon and Death Valley, and feel next to your better half as if they were walking on the moon or the planet Mars, full of mystery, silence, reliefs and colors that provide the most romantic sunsets ever seen in Another place on the planet.

And if they are a couple who likes adrenaline and a bit of action, in Death Valley they can sandboard from a giant dune or, go almost completely with a bicycle or horse.

After sunset, after a rich shower, going out to enjoy the gastronomic offers that the town of San Pedro has is a gift for the palate. In the main restaurants of Caracoles street, dinner can be a time to get to know the typical music of the area played live by locals, illuminated by the light of the fire, delighting in exquisite dishes that you would never imagine finding in the most arid desert of the world.

And if you still have energy and interest left, nothing more romantic and interesting than ending the day contemplating the infinite sky that this oasis presents, making us remember how small we are.

Enjoy the waters of this oasis
It seems incredible, but this desert named the driest in the world due to the almost zero rains that it presents, has a huge amount of offers of different modalities of experiences linked to water, that connect you with your soulmate and have made the Desert of Atacama is the Best Romantic Destination in South America.

Let’s start with one of the richest and most unforgettable experiences, the Puritama Hot Springs. Located 35 kms from San Pedro de Atacama and 3,475 meters above sea level, inserted in a large stone ravine, you will find these hot springs that in the indigenous language means “hot waters”.

The water, with temperatures between 25ºC and 30 ° C, has medicinal and therapeutic properties since it feeds on the minerals that the Puritama river brings. The bathrooms have wooden paths that connect the pools together, bathrooms, dressing rooms, cafeteria and massage services on weekends. An ideal place to go as a couple and have privacy and rest in the midst of nature in all its splendor.

If you go with a tourist agency, they usually go to the hot springs on the return trip to the Tatio Geysers, but if you go directly to the hot springs you can arrive by private vehicle or by taking a tour from the center of San Pedro de Atacama.

Another unforgettable experience to live as a couple is the Cejar and Tebinquinche lagoon. Inside the huge Salar de Atacama are these extremely salty waters, in the middle of a beautiful landscape of turquoise colors, volcanoes and the greatness of this saline deposit that hides under its surface a huge lake.

After floating in these turquoise waters, you follow the route through the Ojos del Salar, two freshwater wells in the middle of the driest desert in the world and, finally, in the Tebinquinche lagoon, where you can enjoy a delicious snack contemplating the reflection of the Andes in its waters, along with the whiteness of salt. The sunset, with ocher colors and strong hues, offers a true spectacle before our eyes.

And finally, the trip to the meeting of the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, also called Altiplanic Lagoons given its location at 4,500 meters above sea level, is a true mystical experience given the explosion of emotions to see such an overwhelming landscape Like this destiny

The love between the Licancabur and Quimal volcano
How to question that the Atacama desert has been awarded as the most romantic place in South America, when even the most known is the legend between the eternal love that the highest volcano in Latin America, the Licancabur and its beloved Quimal have.

The locals of northern Chile tell us that the young Licancabur could not escape his destiny that would lead him to be the most important mountain for the desert inhabitants. But that did not interest him, since Quimal was always in his mind, the young woman of a unique and imaginable beauty. They spent every afternoon sitting on the edge of the salt watching the sun die after that lonely mountain range without mountains, which would later be called Domeyco. Both fell passionately in love and promised never to separate.

Every year in the months of February and August the promise of eternal love blooms with the shadow of Licancabur that caresses the lonely Quimal in the distance and stoke her feelings. And on the other side is Lascar, the jealous and grumpy volcano forever spitting smoke and fire, scaring the locals because their love for Quimal never matched.

You know, San Pedro de Atacama invites from its legends of volcano origins to its most beautiful natural landscapes accompanied by hotel architecture, to a meeting of the most romantic you can see in South America, which is why the World Travel Award today awarded with this worldwide recognition.

Chile has been recognized, for the fifth consecutive year, as the best adventure tourism destination in South America at the World Travel Awards, awards known as ‘the Oscars of tourism’ that are awarded by popular vote. This land of contrasts, stands out for the large number of activities and experiences it offers: from climbing and mountaineering, to skiing at the foot of the Andas mountain range, surfing both in the north and in the central area, cycling, or climbing in the millenary ice of the last corner of the world.

Another reason that has made Chile the best adventure tourism destination, are the 40 National Parks and more than 20 Forest Reserves that can be visited in the country. You can go trekking, cycling or camping. In these corners you can practice sport fishing with fly, or enjoy a ride through its surroundings while photographing the native flora and fauna.

The dunes also take center stage in the field of adventure, the Atacama desert can be surfed by sandboard lovers who can glide through the sand dunes. And the adventurers who prefer to cross the sand with the sea breeze, will find in the dunes of Reñaca the ideal place to practice sandboarding and at the same time enjoy the Pacific Ocean.

For some years now, canyoning has also been gaining strength, an adventure sport that aims to descend narrow canyons and rivers of low flow and high slope, in which you must move through obstacles with different techniques only with the help of the body, ropes and climbing equipment.

Another booming sport in Chilean waters is stand up paddle, a mix between surfing and yoga, which is done standing on a board that floats in the water using an oar as a support to move in any direction.

You can surf waves or just cross the sea, lakes or canals. Also ideal for lovers of water sports, parasailing is the latest trend in Chile, this adventure combines a parachute and a boat.

The town of Putú is located next to one of the most amazing landscapes of Chile. Located north of the mouth of the Maule River, in the vicinity of this town is the landscape more like the Sahara desert than one can imagine. The dunes of Putú form the most extensive grouping of these that can be found in Chile. Formed by the action of the Maule River and the marine currents, this huge dune field never ceases to surprise anyone with its surreal views.

With an extension of about 32km along the coast, they separate the beach from an interesting network of wetlands that have formed in the sector. Due to the natural barrier that these huge dunes mean, the vast majority of estuaries and small rivers in the area can not reach the sea and instead make up an extensive network of wetlands, a perfect habitat for the varied birdlife that has established in this place. Unfortunately this extraordinary place does not have any protection and has been threatened by mining projects and is frequented by 4×4 vehicles whose drivers are rarely careful of the natural environment.

The dune complex covers more than 14,000 HA. The dunes are the product of sedimentation of volcanic origin dragged for centuries by rivers and deposited in the Pacific Ocean. Later they emerge and accumulate in the form of dunes by the predominant current of Humboldt and the South West wind characteristic of the area.

– The wetlands are sources of life, which are water reservoirs, which come mainly from water courses that originate in the coastal mountain range. They cover more than 2000 hectares and have been identified more than 120 species of birds between residents and migrants according to the data obtained from Censuses registered in the E-Bird platform, and also houses the last orchid described for Chile (Bippinula Gabrieli). The wetlands are part of the circuit of migratory birds of International Importance as IBAs – Bird Life International sites.

The area contains a valuable biodiversity, scarce nationally and globally, with some endemic species in conservation status, threatened by anthropogenic activities. It emphasizes the presence of endemic species of bees and a new species of orchid (Bipinnula Gabriel).

The terrestrial ecosystem present in the area – the coastal Mediterranean sclerophyllous lithrea of ​​Lithrea caustica and Azara integrifolia – has a very low level of protection at the national level.

In the area 7 species of birds have been registered that are classified in national conservation categories and 2 of them are in danger: Raven of the swamp (Plegadis chií) and Coscoroba (Coscoroba coscoroba).

With respect to the flora present in the area, 27 species have been registered, grouped into 19 families, according to the taxonomic distribution, of which 13 species are of native origin, representing 48% of the total. An important contribution from the floristic point of view for the Putú area is the discovery of a new orchid species for Chile, the Bipinnula Gabriel species.

Pupuya is a Chilean locality, located in the VI Region of Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins. It is located about 180 kilometers southwest of Santiago, and belongs administratively to the Christmas commune, within the Cardenal Caro province. It is located next to other small towns of the central littoral, such as Puertecillo, Navidad, La Boca, Matanzas, La Vega de Pupuya, and Las Brisas, all near the mouth of the Rapel River in the Pacific Ocean.

Lover of the sport adventure, the sea and the adrenaline? Come and visit Boca de Pupuya, with its ideal beaches for water sports.

Sail around the islet of Pupuya, refuge of incredible species such as pelicans and sea lions; and challenge your limits by practicing surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing. And to end the day, watch the sunset enjoying exquisite preparations of marine products.

The coast of Playa Pupuya is enriched by a characteristic islet populated by sea lions and pelicans. The islet, difficult to access for boats, has been declared a Nature Sanctuary. Pupuya Beach also stands out for its peculiar rock formations; among them, the best known is Los Arcos.

If you travel to Playa Pupuya, you can evaluate an excursion to the wetland of the Rapel river, in La Boca, very popular with nature lovers. The Pupuya Beach sector is also known by cyclists, as it offers good possibilities for mountain bike rides. The best season to travel is summer: the weather in the Pupuya Beach sector is Mediterranean, with a rainy season from April to October.

On December 21, the official cetacean sighting season was launched here. In the cove, 36 boats are authorized to go to see the giants of the ocean.

Since then, the cove has evolved rapidly. The rides that were previously carried out on wooden boats, without vests or inspection, now have all the security measures, equipped with flares, life jackets and a limit of 24 passengers imposed by the authorities who audit them every year to go out to high seas.

Not for nothing do they call the Chilean Galápagos. Is that anyone who travels around, will be amazed with the fauna that lives here. In addition to encountering the family of bottlenose dolphins, we saw at least three chungungos up close: one preening on the rocks; another, eating a mollusk and the third, watching his companion eat.

Another protagonist of the island is the Humboldt penguin, whose largest population in the world (80%) is protected in this reserve. Neither the giant colonies of sea lions – resting, swimming or fighting on rocks – go unnoticed or the pikemen and their striking blue peaks nesting on the steep slopes.

As if this spectacle of life were not enough, soon the blow of another whale in the distance announces its presence. Whales take between 7 and 10 minutes here to return to the surface to breathe, depending on their behavior. We must wait attentive.

A unique experience that anyone could replicate in the Atacama Region, in that small cove that awaits with open arms those who venture to know the exquisite diversity that hide its waters.

The whales identified so far in Chañaral de Aceituno, and that can be seen, are the blue whale, the humpback whale, the whale, and less frequently the dwarf minke whale and the southern right whale. All species that show their loins, fins and tail in the waters in front of Caleta Chañaral de Aceituno.

According to a study carried out by Conaf, conducted by the biologist Gabriela López, these whales first give birth to their young in tropical waters, where after a few months of suckling and raising they head towards polar waters.

And it is on this route that they reach the Atacama Region, either when they are going to feed (to the south) or when they migrate in order to reproduce (towards the north, in the tropics). In addition, the temperature, marine currents and outcrops of nutrients from the seabed allow a great variety of nutrients for whales, making it an ideal resting place for these sea giants.

This information coming from the studies of the scientist Gabriela López, allows to understand why the whales arrive in mass to the surroundings of the Isla Chañaral natural reserve and that they can be seen at a glance from boats being in the sea, among which the swimming and hunting routes.

This has caused the interest of being able to spot these cetaceans, since it is the second best place in Chile to be able to see the whales in their splendor. The first is Chilean Patagonia, where similar sightings can be made, but with a lower ambient temperature and a lower degree of connectivity, especially via land.