Chile Unveils Scenic Trail Through Patagonian Parks
By Sofy Robertson
In an effort to boost tourism, Chile has launched a huge scenic route through its Patagonian wilderness.
Last week, the 1740 mile Route of Parks was revealed spanning from the city of Puerto Montt down to Cape Horn. The inspiration for the trail came from Tompkins Conservation; a foundation set up by US billionaire Douglas Tompkins and his wife Kristine.
In 2017, the foundation donated vast amounts of land to Chile’s government which helped to create the network of seventeen national parks. The newly announced Patagonian Route of Parks will connect them all.
The terrain that the route covers is known for its lakes, waterways and rich habitat for flora and fauna. With very few inhabitants, walkers will be able to experience a true wilderness.
Founder Douglas Tompkins had bought vast swathes of land in Southern Chile and Argentina for conservation purposes. Tompkins, who also founded North Face Clothing, died in a kayaking accident in Chile in 2015. His widow, Kristine, signed an agreement with the Chilean government in 2017 to donate the land. Her vision was to create a network of National Parks roughly the size of Switzerland.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet called the signing an:
“unprecedented preservation effort” (BBC).
To view the trail route and find advice on transport and accommodation, visit the official website.