Chile registered its highest rank ever in the annual Wanderlust Travel Awards: Top Countries category, coming in seventh place and climbing a full three places from its previous best finish in 2011’s competition.
Last November, the U.K. travel magazine asked its 40,000 print subscribers and numerous online users to rate their travels during 2012, in categories including Top City, Top Airline, and Top Guidebook series to name a few.
Chile leapt up the leaderboard of the most coveted category, Top Country, which was won this year by relative newcomer Myanmar (Burma), which won Top Emerging Destination in 2011. The final positions were based on an average score for the entry (converted to a percentage) so the results are based on satisfaction rather than the number of votes.
Wanderlust describes Chile as an “adventure heaven” and expounds on Chile’s great diversity as its biggest strength.
“Skinny Chile, squashed between the Pacific and the Andes, is one giant playground for outdoor enthusiasts,” Wanderlust says on its website. “Its landscape embraces glacial wilderness and moonscapes, lakes and volcanoes, beaches, salt flats and the burnt colours of the desert. In one day you can scale a snow-capped mountain, soak off the exhaustion in a thermal bath and rest beneath the desert stars.”
The travel year in question coincided with a record-breaking amount of visitors to Chile. Almost 3.5 million foreigners travelled to the country in 2012, representing a 13 percent increase over 2011 – the largest growth rate in seven years.
Wanderlust Travel Awards 2013
1. Myanmar/Burma 96.98
2. Peru 96.58
3. New Zealand 96.25
4. Bhutan 95.63
5. Jordan 95.56
6. Namibia 95.17
7. Chile 94.29
8. Iceland 93.75
9. Vietnam 93.67
=10. Botswana 93.64
=10. Colombia 93.64
Click here for the full list of categories.