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5 reasons you need to visit Chile in 2018

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Chile did 2017 right, launching British Airways’ new direct flights from London to Santiago. But 2018 looks like it'll be even better, as the South American nation has received a number of awards and hot list accolades, projecting it into a bright future. 

So, we've compiled five reasons you should be visiting Chile in 2018, just to make sure you've got no excuses

1. Chile has been recognised by Lonely Planet and National Geographic in travel awards and 2018 hot lists

Chile has been awarded a series of prestigious accolades in the past few months, the most noteworthy being ranked the number one country to visit in Lonely Planet’s much anticipated Best in Travel 2018 list. It was also awarded Best Adventure Tourism Destination in the World by the World Travel Awards for the second year running.

Meanwhile, Santiago ranked in National Geographic’s top 21 ‘Places you need to visit in 2018’ with the urban art galleries of Chile’s capital highlighted as one of the top attractions to visit next year along with Stgo Street Art Tours and street art in neighbourhoods such as Bellavista, Brasil, and Yungay. 

2. Chile celebrates 200 years of Independence in 2018

On 18th September every year, Chile celebrates Independence Day commemorating the day that the country officially broke free from Spanish rule and the War of Independence began. The war went on for eight years before Chile could officially proclaim independence on 12th February 1818. 

The country will host two days of national celebrations showcasing the power of the Chilean Army and the strength of national pride. Across the country, communities also celebrate with parades, air shows, festivals, patriotic decorations and local foods. Individual families often host traditional "asados" or barbecues, where they eat, drink and dance to mark the occasion over a long weekend of festivities.

3. Chile has South America's first dedicated Puma Foundation

Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is home to many native species, including guanacos, Darwin’s Rhea and pumas. As visitor numbers increase each year, these animals are forced to leave the boundaries of the park in search of new territories and food. To protect Chile’s puma population, the Awasi team have expanded their private reserve to 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) to create the first Puma Foundation in South America.

The lodge features just 14 private villas and a main lodge. Each villa is assigned with a private guide and 4WD so guests can explore at their own pace. 

4. Nevados de Chillán in Biobío Region is amongt the 25 best ski resorts in the world

With 1,400 acres of slopes, 13 ski lifts, and over 30 pistes, one of them the longest in South America, the Montaña Nevados de Chillán resort was chosen as one of the best in the world at the World Ski Awards 2017, the Oscars of winter sport travel. Meanwhile the Gran Hotel de Termas de Chillán also won best mountain hotel in Chile at the awards.

Under-Secretary of Tourism Javiera Montes said these awards “come as the result of public-private cooperation to boost Chile’s position as a winter sports destination in a number of key markets, offering visitors quality and variety. The numbers back it up: the 2017 ski season attracted over 1.4 million visitors to the country’s ski resorts.”

5. Chile's also home to the  first completely solar powered hotel in South America 

Located in Chile’s Atacama Desert, Tierra Atacama has introduced a new state of the art solar panel and battery storage system. So far the system has exceeded expectations, providing enough energy for the hotel and its guests both day and night and significantly reducing Tierra Hotels’ environmental footprint.

They've also gone ahead with the installation of a NASA designed water system supplying still and sparking water to guests in their rooms and in the communal areas of the hotel. The system uses no plastic bottles, saving around 41,000 bottles per year!

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