The New York Times has published its hottest travel destinations for 2011 and I must admit the number one surprised me: Santiago de Chile.
It shouldn’t really since I gave it a big tip a few months ago too, and it looks like we agree on a lot of attractions. But even though I was confident Santiago was on the up, I didn’t expect it to be getting a plug of this size.
But it’s great to see a South American city in the top spot and one that previously has been somewhat overlooked.
I pitched the article to the Guardian not long after the earthquake, after people I knew working in Chilean tourism said they were really worried the news coverage would keep tourists away. It seemed like a huge battle they had to climb.
So that’s another reason why the Chilean media is getting very excited about the NY Times hotlist.
I’m tempted to head back there for the first South America-based Lollapalooza festival. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the line-up.
In the meantime, here’s a set of lovely Bella Vista pics I recently found on Flickr. They were taken in the one of the traditional cités (ie row of houses that extend down narrow alleyways).
Photo: Santiago Central Market. Copyright Vicky Baker.