Peru, Chile and Ecuador. These three Latin American countries have been chosen as the best world tourist destinations in different categories in the World Travel Awards 2021 (WTA).
WTA have published their annual ranking, highlighting the Maldives as the Best Tourist Destination of the year.
In the case of Latin America, Peru took the award to Best Culinary Destination and Best Cultural Destination.
“The richness of its lands and cultural diversity give Peru an exquisite and tremendously varied gastronomy”, highlights the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism on its website.
“Each city has its own regional dish with unique flavors. Thousands of products from the countryside and dozens of living cultures, which for centuries have shared the same territory, create a practically infinite offer.”
Lima is home to one of the most important gastronomic fairs on the continent. And its iconic dishes, ceviche and tiradito, have turned this city into one of the gastronomic capitals of the world.
In recent decades, Peruvian chefs have taken the ingredients used by their ancestors before Spanish rule, successfully incorporating them into international cuisine. Thus, a new culinary style emerged, which is inspired by the culinary traditions of pre-Hispanic Peru and combines them with trends in international cuisine.
In the case of the award of Best Cultural Destination, Peru stands out for a rich variety of destinations that include cities with an important historical legacy, as well as natural beauties: cities such as Arequipa and Cusco, or the department of Ancash, with its peaks dominated by Mount Huascarán, which makes it one one of the best places on the continent for climbing.
In Cusco you can visit Sacsayhuaman, make an offering to Mother Earth with a shaman, learn how the locals dye wool to produce colorful typical clothing and end your tour at Qorikancha, the Inca temple on which the church and monastery are located. from Santo Domingo.
Arequipa, for its part, is dominated by volcanoes. This is evident in the walls of its streets, buildings and churches; in the wonderful geography that has created a fertile valley and one of the deepest canyons in the world.
Machu Picchu has positioned itself as one of the most visited tourist attractions in Latin America and now also as the Best Tourist Attraction 2021 of the WTA.
Discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, it is located on top of a mountain in the middle of a tropical forest and is considered the tourist attraction par excellence of Peru.
The historical sanctuary is a place that captivates the tourist not only for its dazzling architectural beauty, but also for its important historical and cultural legacy.
Declared Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity in 1983 by Unesco, it is probably the most amazing architectural construction of the Inca Empire.
This citadel is made up of temples, palaces, terraces, monuments, ensembles and walls; in addition to water channels, built with large blocks of stone, without any amalgam, proof of the great wisdom of the Inca civilization.
Surrounded by forests in the province of Urubamba (Cusco), Machu Picchu annually receives approximately 1 and a half million visits.
But what about adventure, Chile positioned itself as the Best Adventure Destination 2021. From Atacama Desert in the north to Patagonia and Antarctica in the south, the country offers travelers a changing geography from region to region.
In the north you can visit for example the city of San Pedro de Atacama and watch the sunset in the Valley of the Moon.
Also do a bike tour in the Pali Aike National Park in Magallanes; or go on an excursion in the Dientes de Navarino, 2.8 kilometers from Puerto Williams, which is called “the southernmost city in the world.”
And Ecuador, for its part, crowned as Best Eco Destination 2021. Its activities in contact with nature make it an outstanding destination for diving, bird and whale watching and excursions.
But although Peru, Chile and Ecuador positioned themselves in the world rankings, the WTAs did not overlook other destinations in the region in different categories.
- Best Beach Destination: San Andrés (Colombia, South America) and Cancun (Mexico, Central America)
- Best City Destination: Bogotá (Colombia, South America) and Mazatlán (Mexico, Central America)
- Best City Break: Guayaquil (Ecuador, South America) and Oaxaca (Mexico, Central America)
- Best Cultural Destination in the City: Santiago de Cali (Colombia, South America)
- Best Cultural Destination: Peru (South America) and Cuba (Caribbean)
- Best Destination in South America: Argentina
- Best Destination in Central America: Costa Rica
- Best Emerging Tourist Destination: Montevideo (Uruguay, South America)
- Best Nature Reserve: Río Secreto (Mexico)
The WTAs were established in 1993 to recognize, reward and celebrate key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. The one in 2021 was its 28th edition.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.