Launched late last December, Chilean initiative Chile1mas1 is well underway.
The online interface invites Chileans to make recommendations about their favorite foods, places, or activities in Chile. After choosing their suggestions the player selects a foreign friend through Facebook, effectively entering them in the running for a chance to win a trip to Chile.
After almost two months of Chileans all over the country making recommendations and uploading their own unique suggestions, the page has generated over 6000 recommendations and nearly 800 posts of original material.
While the contest was originally set to culminate on January 31, its overwhelming success inspired organizers at Fundación Imagen de Chile to extend the deadline, hoping to generate even more exciting and original content.
Currently those entries with the most likes include natural wonders like the unearthly Valle de la Luna in Chile’s northern Atacama Desert, the surreal crystalline Cavernas del Mármol or marble caves in the Aysén Region of Patagonia, and the epic Torres del Paine.
While Chile’s blockbuster hits never cease to amaze visitors and locals alike, Chile1mas1 also offers the opportunity for Chileans with insider information to share their exciting and curious secrets.
One competitor recommended San Remo, an authentic Santiago eatery located on the corner of Avenida Matta and Cuevas calling it, “one of the most emblematic picadas in Santiago.”
“For 36 years, San Remo has delighted the palates of locals with generous doses of pork, stews, scallops, glorious French fries,” the unnamed uploader described. “Here they prepare their famous delicacy, the tender and flavorful Malaya con lomo de cerdo—dressed in a touch of garlic, oregano that comes wrapped in a thin skin of pork.
While surely this authentic picada would be on the tongues of Santiaguinos in the know, it’s doubtful that such information would make it into any guidebook.
Other fun and original recommendations include the half-kilo empanada served in the tiny town of Pomaire, the Chilean comic book Mampato, the banana milk and sausage sandwich combo whipped up at Kiosko Roca in Punta Arenas, or the isolated Patagonian village Caleta Tortel built on a system of piers, docks, and wooden walkways.
Even if you aren’t entered in the contest, chile1mas1.cl serves as an invaluable resource for discovering quirky and off-the-beaten track things to do, see and taste while traveling through Chile.