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Cycling in Chile – growing trend winning rave reviews
For decades avid cyclists across the planet have taken on all kinds of terrain. Eventually they deplete their closest destinations and they begin to search further afield for new options. Chile falls into this latter category. Hidden away between the Andes, the Pacific and vast ice caps, it is not always the first choice for many as a holiday destination, let alone as a cycling destination.
However, over recent year's cycle tourism has become more and more popular thanks to the favorable conditions in Chile, leading to such great accolades as this:
"Chile leads rankings of best destination in world for cycle tourism"!
Recently published in the international magazine Cycling About, this ranking was created by asking cycling fanatics from diverse countries around the globe to nominate their favorite cycling destination on the planet. Chile was repeated so many times that when the final count was taken, it by far ranked number one beating neighboring Argentina as well as the United States (see full top 10 list here).
2. United States
So what is it about Chile that lends itself to great cycle tourism?
Views, climate and nature are the factors that lead to the top ranking... One voter said that "if you visit Chile with a bike you will never feel so alive".
Another voter described Chile as a place where "nature reigns, the climate surprises and the views are nothing short of spectacular".
Patagonia, the Southern Highway (Carretera Austral), southern lake regions, Atacama desert and the Sico pass were all nominated as immeasurably beautiful backdrops. Of course you can enjoy these views without having to put in the effort of peddling your way over thousands of kilometers of tarmac, but the country is set up to receive cyclists, and nothing replaces the joy of having expended your own energy to truly immerse yourself in the raw beauty of Chilean nature.
Pucón is a great base for peddling out from. You can do short trips such as a 19km return bike ride to the Ojos de Caburgua, spectacular waterfalls just outside the town. You can opt for a more challenging ride on much rougher terrain in the local national parks. Alternatively, and only for die-hards, you can take on the Ruta Interlagos (Linked Lake Route), which is a fully paved route connecting the regions of the Araucania, Los Ríos and Los Lagos... that means Pucón to Puerto Montt, about 1.920 km of roads showcasing the beauty of 22 lakes and bringing tourism right into the heart of a 500.000 population across the local communities located here in the central south. For more information on this option check out our previous blog here.
So, if you find you have peddled all the places you thought you wanted to visit in the world, think again. Get yourself to Santiago and straight down to Pucón and take on our beautiful corner of the planet before someone else you know does it first!
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