Lonely Planet names Chile world’s top travel destination for 2018


Khawaja Dawood/The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO – Chile has been named in Lonely Planet’s just-published Best In Travel 2018 book as the No1 country to visit in 2018, followed by South Korea, Portugal and the obscure Djibouti.

The best cities for 2018 have been named as Seville in Spain, followed by Detroit, Canberra and Hamburg, while Belfast and the Causeway Coast are named as best region and the UK is the seventh best-value country.

Santiago de Chile

The book of the world’s largest travel guide book publisher, also picks out the coastal city of Valparaiso as a big plus point for Chile, with its ‘art-filled streets, bohemian cafes and romance-inducing promenades’.

The country also boasts the wilds of Patagonia in the south and the Atacama desert in the north where ‘there’s been a big bang in astrotourism, with new stargazing hotels and geektastic tours to groundbreaking observatories’.

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South Korea, meanwhile, is described as a ‘compact playground of Asian modernity’ with ‘mountainous delights’ and ‘steamy urban life’.

The No 3 entry, Portugal, is praised for ’emerging from the long shadow cast by neighboring Spain and seizing the spotlight as a dynamic centre for art, culture and cuisine’.

Fourth-placed Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, offers something completely different – spectacular geology.

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San Juan, Puerto Rico, landed at No. 8. “While Puerto Rico’s capital was hit hard by the hurricane last month, San Juan’s resiliency will have it back on its feet for travelers in 2018,” Lonely Planet Central America and Caribbean destination editor Bailey Freeman said in a statement.

The Best in Travel 2018 lists of countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations were announced Tuesday.

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Top Countries to visit next year are:

1. Chile
2. South Korea
3. Portugal
4. Djibouti
5. New Zealand
6. Malta
7. Georgia
8. Mauritius
9. China
10. South Africa

Top Cities to see in 2018 are:

1. Seville, Spain
2. Detroit
3. Canberra, Australia
4. Hamburg, Germany
5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
6. Antwerp, Belgium
7. Matera, Italy
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
9. Guanajuato, Mexico
10. Oslo, Norway