After four months of voting in a hard-fought competition with the world’s most incredible sights — including the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Maldives to name a few — Chile’s famous Patagonian national park has triumphed as the 8th Wonder of the World.
Endless sweeping views, dominating peaks, imposing glaciers, and pristine lakes—the list of reasons to visit Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is endless. To those who have seen this amazing place it probably comes as no surprise that UNESCO Biosphere Reserve took the top spot in a contest held by Virtual Tourist and the TripAdvisor Media Group, beating out hundreds of other sites from around the globe. Voting was open from June through September and the site received more than 5 million votes overall.
This huge win for Chile’s beloved southern landscape has been met by excitement by those who know the park, and its many wonders.
“The Torres del Paine National Park is well-known all over the world for its natural beauty and its views; we were always confident that it had the attributes to become the eighth wonder of the world,” Chile’s Undersecretary of tourism, Daniel Pardo, said. “We are very happy with this recognition and we hope it will encourage even more tourists and adventurers to visit Torres del Paine, enjoy its charms and take advantage of opportunities to travel and discover the many diverse beauties of Chile.”
Claudio Radonich, the regional governor of the Magallanes and Antarctic Region where the park is located, noted that this accolade is a reflection of both the natural beauty of the area and the hard work of those who love the park.
“This is also an award for the management, because it is recognizing the investment made in the park in recent years, which has effectively made it world-class, as is evident today — among 300 sites it has been voted the most beautiful place in the world by thousands and thousands of voters,” Radonich said.
In 2012 the 2,400 km² park welcomed a total of 143,253 visitors, with 87,119 coming from outside of Chile. The numbers for 2013 are already looking impressive, with the period from January through march seeing 84,413 tourists visiting the park, a 25 percent increase from the same time last season.