New long Chilian hiking trail links national parks
The Chilean government has just launched the Route of Parks a new 2700km long hiking trail that runs through Patagonia to Cape Horn. The trail route connects 17 national parks and winds through lakes, volcanoes, rainforests, and the Andes Mountains. It will be one of the world’s longest hiking trails, and was done with the efforts of Douglas and Kristine Thompson, a husband-and-wife team who in the 1990s, bought millions of acres of land in Chile and Argentina with the intention to preserve large swaths of South American countryside. Douglas was founder of the North Face clothing company in the 1990’s. When Douglas passed away in 2015 after his kayak capsized, Kristin donated over much of their land to the Chilean government. Together, they turned it into an ecotourism marvel. The Route of Parks opening has been a highly anticipated one with “The New York Times” newspaper cited it as one of their 52 Places to Go in 2018. And Chile, as a whole, is currently in the midst of a tourism boom—the United Nations World Tourism Organization reported a double digit increase of visitors from 2016 to 2017.