Sustainable Travel in Chile

Chile stretches some 2,653 miles from the northern tropics south to Patagonia and the icy fingertip of the continent. It encompasses an array of diverse geology and terrains from the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the planet with lunar-like topography of geysers, sculpted dunes and flamingo lagoons, to the granite spires of Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine. The Altiplano is dotted with lakes, marshes, salt flats, geysers, and 20,000-foot volcanoes. The dazzling landscapes of the Lake District, the hot springs, glaciers and temperate forests of the Carretera Austral, the Magellan Strait and far offshore -- some 2,300 miles -- the giant mysterious stone heads of Easter Island. The flora and fauna of the country are characterized by a high degree of endemism, due to its particular geography, where the Atacama Desert in the north and the Andes mountains to the east serve as barriers. Chile includes 100 protected areas covering about 20 percent in 36 national parks, 49 national reserves, and 15 national monuments. The country is also home to indigenous peoples such as the Mapuche working maintain their traditional customs. Chile’s rich menu of adventures from cultural encounters, to cosmopolitan cites and the country’s natural assets, offers something for everyone.

What are they doing right?

The National Roundtable on Sustainable Tourism brings together government entities and private sector tourism businesses to strengthen policies and practices in Chile’s growing tourism industry. Fedetur, the Federation of Tourism Enterprises of Chile, annually bestows the Most Sustainable Tourism Company Award, recognizing a Chilean travel company that best exemplifies the sustainability standards promoted by the National Sustainable Tourism Board through the “Sello S” – the Seal of Sustainable Tourism, such as Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, a project that protects and rejuvenates natural habitat and supports cultural heritage.

The Finch Ranking

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Destination stewardship planning is underway at the national level with multiple stakeholders, including government, NGOs, private sector and communities, to increase understanding and awareness of sustainable tourism best practices.

With over 2,600 miles of coastline, stretching from the Equator to Tierra del Fuego, Chile’s diverse terrain embraces some of the world's most dramatic landscapes – from the driest-on-earth Atacama Desert to the towering spires of the Torres del Paine National park in Patagonia. With a focus on adventure travel, from exploring the traditions of cattle and sheep farming across the high plains and the Pampas, to viewing the stunning geysers spitting boiling water in the high desert, to the wild rivers of Patagonia, Chile offers visitors a country embracing a modern future while working to protect its natural beauty. Learn more about the values.

Why the Finch Ranking?