Discover the seven sites in Chile that have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, with Rapa Nui standing out among them.

Every November 16th, the world celebrates the International Day of World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This date commemorates the signing of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in Paris in 1972, allowing for the celebration of over 1,000 heritages each November, including those preserved in Chile.

The mentioned convention not only represented a global commitment to the protection and preservation of culturally and naturally significant places but also serves as a guiding light for nations to understand and safeguard their most precious treasures. Chile, a country of geographical and cultural contrasts, proudly stands out by hosting seven treasures recognized by UNESCO, each of which serves as a window to the rich history of the country and a magnet for tourists from around the world.

The 7 treasures in Chile recognized by UNESCO

  • Rapa Nui National Park: Located on the remote Easter Island, known as Rapa Nui in the indigenous language, Rapa Nui National Park is a living testament to cultural originality. From the 10th to the 16th century, a Polynesian society brought grand architectural and sculptural forms to life, featuring the iconic "moai." These colossal stone figures not only give the island an unparalleled cultural landscape but also fascinate the world, becoming a renowned tourist attraction.

  • Churches of Chiloé: The Churches of Chiloé, entirely constructed in wood, represent a unique example of religious architecture in Latin America. Initiated by the Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries and enriched by the Franciscans in the 19th century, this architectural tradition has endured to the present day. Beyond illustrating the cultural richness of the archipelago, these churches, such as those in Dalcahue, Achao, Castro, among others, stand as tourist landmarks, showcasing the successful fusion of indigenous and European techniques in an environment that continues to captivate visitors.

  • Historic neighborhood of Valparaíso: Valparaíso, a colonial city framed in a natural amphitheater, stands out as a notable example of urban and architectural development in Latin America in the late 19th century. Its urban landscape, with church steeples and industrial structures from the industrial era, has not only preserved its formal unity but also attracts tourists exploring its picturesque alleys and enjoying the living history that permeates every corner.

  • Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works: The saltpeter works of Humberstone and Santa Laura, in northern Chile, narrate the story of a communal culture forged by workers from different countries. From 1880 to the mid-20th century, these workers lived and extracted sodium nitrate, transforming global agriculture. This site, with its history and struggle for social justice, is not only a cultural monument but also a tourist destination inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the past.

  • [VTS001]Sewell Mining Town[VTS001]: Sewell, built at an altitude of over 2,000 meters in the Andes, was home to the workers of the El Teniente mine, the world's largest underground copper mine in its time. This site, with its unique structure and colorful buildings, is a tourist journey into Chile's industrial history. Although abandoned in the 1970s, its central stairs and squares still resonate with energy.

  • Qhapaq Ñan - Andean Road System: The Qhapaq Ñan, an Inca road network of 30,000 kilometers, stands out as a masterpiece of engineering and planning over the centuries. This system stretches from the snowy peaks of the Andes to the Pacific coast, traversing diverse landscapes. This site, with 274 components over more than 5,000 kilometers, is not only a tourist gem but also a testament to the social, political, and religious importance of this unique road network.

  • Chinchorro Culture Archaeological Sites with Artificial Mummification: In 2021, this was the latest World Heritage site added to the Chilean list. In the Arica and Parinacota region, this site bears witness to the Chinchorro culture, marine hunter-gatherers who practiced artificial mummification from around 5450 B.C. to 890 B.C. This place, with its complex funerary practices and unique tools, is a unique portrait of the spirituality and complexity of this culture.

Chile, through these seven treasures, invites travelers to explore its most historical and picturesque corners, reminding us that world heritage is not only a legacy for the present but also a jewel that shines more brightly when shared with the world. This World Heritage Month is an occasion to immerse oneself in the cultural and natural richness that defines this beautiful country and strengthen the commitment to preserving these wonders for future generations. If you want to visit any of these incredible sites, contact czuniga@gochile.cl or make reservations through the provided links

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