The Stella AustralisThe Stella Australis

Chile is promoting itself as a leading adventure tourism destination, citing its 2016 recognition as such by the World Travel Awards group.

The tourism board said that this accolade demonstrates the potential of the South American country's striking geographic contrasts, providing tourists with incomparable natural scenery for sports and adventure tourism.

In recent years, Chile has made an effort to promote the country internationally as a natural and adventure destination with diverse landscapes that enable visitors to engage in a large variety of activities such as surfing, hiking, mountaineering, rafting, kayaking, fly fishing and horseback riding, among others.

Said Chile's Undersecretary of Tourism, Javiera Montes, in a prepared statement: “This recognition confirms what we are doing to promote the country internationally as a tourism destination, with nature and adventure as the key concepts behind our campaigns and a strategy of diversifying our offering.”

Debbie Feldman, CEO of Turismo Chile, the institution responsible for implementing the campaigns to promote Chile in foreign markets, commented: “This is one of the most important awards that Chile has ever received. It puts us on display to the world and gives us greater prospects and exposure as a leading adventure tourism destination in the markets where we are promoting the country.”

Among the natural landscapes that Chile has to offer, several stand out as unique such as the Torres del Paine National Park, which was selected as the 8th Wonder of the World with some of the best hiking in Patagonia.

San Pedro de Atacama offers extraordinary geography said to have some of the most unique landscapes on the planet, such as Valle de la Luna. This small town in the middle of the Atacama Desert features more than 300 tourist attractions, most involving adventure tourism.

The Austral Highway is described one of the great journeys open to visitors in Northern Patagonia. Here, one can access attractive destinations such as Queulat National Park, San Rafael Glacier and the Marble Cathedrals in General Carrera Lake, the largest in Chilean territory.

A number of cruise lines offer sailings in the region, including Chilean Australis offering three-, four-, five- and seven-day cruises to Patagonia and the Fjords of Tierra del Fuego roundtrip from Punta Arenas or from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia.