SANTIAGO – The Tompkins Conservation and Imagen de Chile have launched an amazing campaign to raise awareness about the importance of nature conservation, and to attract tourism to places that are often too far away.
The Patagonian “Route of Parks” connects 17 national parks covering 11.5 million hectares (28.4 million acres), an area three times the size of Switzerland and more than double that of Costa Rica, which make up the southern highway, the Patagonian channels and the End of the World Route.
The route spans a distance of 2,800-kilometers (1,700 miles) from Puerto Montt, 1,000km south of the capital Santiago, down to the most southern tip of Chile, Cape Horn.
The idea is to attract tourism and highlight the need for conservationism in the sparsely-populated region.
Although it covers the southern third of Chile’s territory, it is inhabited by only 60 communities and is far better known for its lakes, canals and rich habitat of indigenous flora and fauna.
“We want Chile to be internationally recognized for having the most spectacular scenic route in the world, and thus become a benchmark for economic development based on conservation,” said Carolina Morgado, executive director at Tompkins, a foundation set up by the late Douglas Tompkins with his second wife, Kris. Tompkins.
The foundation donated more than 400,000 hectares to Chile last year to create five parks. The foundation described it as “the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country”.
Then Chilean President Michelle Bachelet called the signing an “unprecedented preservation effort”.
Treat for Travelers
The campaign includes the new web page, which will provide all those who travel to the national Patagonia with unique information about this territory, grouping in a single site suggested excursions, transportation tips, accommodation, and more than 50 paths traced with GPS.
A contest was also unveiled today inviting participants to tell in a brief (101-word text) their experience about how national parks have changed their lives.
The best narrator will win a tour for two people for a large part of this journey and a complete first class Patagonia outdoor clothing kit.
Additionally, the idea seeks to collect the best stories and generate a digital book based on it.