Chile Creates 5 New Massive National Parks

If Chile isn’t already on your bucket list, get ready to add it. Then bump this wild and wonderful country straight to the top. This week, Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, signed a groundbreaking conservation measure, creating five new national parks and expanding three others.

Much of the land being earmarked for the parks comes from Kristine Tompkins, an American philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Tompkins Conservation. The not-for-profit organization is the life’s work of Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia Inc., and her late husband Doug Tompkins, founder of North Face and Esprit. Together, they spent 25 years purchasing and restoring land and, as a result, Tompkins’ donation comes to 1 million acres, making it the largest land donation in history.

Thanks to their hard work and forward thinking, this land will now be preserved for generations to come. “All of us who love the earth can see how the threats to wild places and creatures are growing,” Tompkins shared on her personal blog. “This is crucial work—it’s the work we’ve been doing for decades and will be doing with all of our energy and resources long into the future.”

Another 9 million acres has been set aside by the Chilean government, making this quite the addition to Chile’s protected areas. Check out some of those beautiful Chilean vistas in this video of the park donation ceremony:

Chile’s pioneering preservation efforts set an example for neighboring countries and the world. At the same time, these efforts protect wild land, bring in tourists and related business, and promote sustainable local development. Just look at this map shared by Tompkins Conservation, which shows how the entire length of Chile will be enhanced by the presence of these new parks:

In fact, Chile’s new national parks are more than three times the combined area of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks in the U.S., and are roughly the size of Switzerland.

The protected land showcases Chile’s varied scenery and geography. In the new parks, there are year-round snow-capped peaks, rocky canyons, glacier-filled fjords, rivers for rafting, volcanoes and more. Even the rugged landscape comes ready for adventurous visitors, with some areas equipped with lodges, visitor centers and campgrounds.

Already open to the public, Patagonia National Park Chile and Pumalín National Park will be flagship destinations in the Chilean park network. Additionally, the lands will be used to create Melimoyu, Kawésqar and Cerro Castillo parks, and to expand Hornopirén, Corcovado and Isla Magdalena. Additionally, the parks are part of what will become a 1,500-mile tourist route spanning much of Chile.

Take a look at some of the incredible images from this pristine South American wilderness. Instagram user @jhon.travels, who regularly shares travel photography from around the world, posted this adorable pic of a pair of guanacos chilling out in Parque Patagonia:

A Guanaco & it’s young Chulengo take a moment to examine us atop a windy ridge in Parque Patagonia. It didn’t matter how high or remote you climbed, if there was grass, a Guanaco would be there. To survive in this harsh terrain these animals have to be resilient. We silently watched this family eat for hours as males fought over mating territory. I’m excited to finally be able to share more of my experience in this park and the conservation efforts by the in the following weeks. • ðŸŒTag someone you would like to take a trip with to this awesome location â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â– wow😲 Follow me and LIKE @jhon.travels✳ for each day postings of visuals , fantastic traveling places✈ Like and Comment below to have a chance to be highlighted in our page â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â–â– . . . . Credit: âž¡@ chrisburkard Picture Location: 🗺📌 Conservacion Patagonia, Estancia Valle Chacabuco #aroundtheworld #lovetravel #travelgram #travelphoto #tour #travellife #tripstagram #travelblog #travelbug #travelporn #globetrotter #travelawesome #travelgoals #traveladdict #ilovetravel #lovetotravel #wanderlust #traveldiary #travelblogger #solotravel #wanderlusting #travellover #travelalone #traveltogether #travellook #foodtravel #discoveramerica

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Travel photographer Chris Burkard used his Instagram account to share a series of photos from the area. Here, he shows how the terrain really has no equal on earth:

It’s an incredible thing to witness people’s life’s work become realized. Today will go down in History for conservation & Patagonia as a whole. The long awaited creation of 5 new national parks & expansion of 3 others has been billed as the largest private/ federal National Park effort to date. 10 million acres have been donated between the @tompkins_conservation & Chilean government. I was able to visit this incredible area yet to be placed under National Park status just over a month ago while working on @djiglobal ‘s Mavic Air campaign. I got to witness first hand the efforts created by Doug Tompkins legacy & all those who fought to protect this amazing landscape. Now it is back in the hands of the people. Get down and enjoy it! . @renan_ozturk @jamesqmartin @kristine_tompkins

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Burkard also posted this great aerial view, which puts these rapids in perspective:

Here, he shows how the terrain offers endless opportunities for life-changing adventures:

As Burkard has shown us so elegantly, the views in Chile are quite simply unforgettable:

Instagram user @nicole_pls posted a pic showing how Pumalín welcomes visitors with a massive sign and distant peaks:


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And Instagram user @jose_tomas_garcia shared an aerial shot that captures the lush forest of Pumalín:

As far as campsites go, this Patagonia spot photographed by Instagram user @conservationatlas is picture perfect:

And Instagram user @trailsinmotion uploaded a snow-capped panorama that caps off a gorgeous running route:

The folks behind Explora Chila posted this pic to their Instagram feed of how the mountains jut out of the lake shore for a truly striking scene in Hornopiren:

It’s wilderness wanderlust at its finest.

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.