Never before in modern history had humanity experienced such a “lack of adventure”. In 2020 travel cancelations became the norm and Instagram probably became the most usual way to daydream about the upcoming holidays. #StayHome became one of the world’s most popular hashtags. We learnt the importance of the words “family” and “together”.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will probably last forever and already changed the way we travel. While we hope travel restrictions will be eased soon, we may still have to wear a mask, use hand sanitizers and practice social distancing for a long time. However, at a time mass vaccination is helping us see the light at the end of the tunnel, the next trip seems to be closer than ever.
Both the destination you choose and the kind of travel you opt for will make a difference when you can finally make your holidays come true. And here’s a suggestion. If you have a to choose a destination, aim for Chile. As for the kind of trip, choose Digital Detox. Here’s why.
Definition of Digital Detox, by Oxford Languages: "A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world."
1. Stop thinking about bad news
Let’s admit it: being forced to stay home with so much negative stuff going on is the world was pretty stressful. It was tempting to refresh Twitter a few hundred times a day, just to see which country had closed its borders or which city in the world had declared lockdown. It was also tempting to watch the daily press conference on TV, just to know how many new infections and deaths had been reported in the country for the past 24 hours. Did you say “anxiety”?
Unplugging from technology through a Digital Detox will make you live in the moment. You’ll decrease the risk of depression and other health issues (check out this great guide about screen additions and responsible digital use) while improving your mental health. You’ll become more aware of the beauty that’s surrounding you. Hence the fact you need a digital detox somewhere wild and beautiful.
2. (Re)connect with nature
“Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning” said Richard Louv, a journalist in San Diego who coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Today, about a thousand studies demonstrated time spent in nature (as long as there is a feeling of safety) is an antidote for stress. And that gets better if you’re far from the crowds – not only for a matter of Covid-19, but also because it improves the immersion in nature.
And Chile may just be the best country in South America to immerse yourself in nature. It has a low density of population (24 people per square kilometer – versus 35,7 people per sq. km. in the U.S.), which gets incredibly low in some areas like Patagonia (1-2 persons per sq. km.). And while most of the population is concentrated around Chile’s Metropolitan Area, you’ll find plenty of wild places. There are 106 protected areas in Chile, that include 42 national parks…. If you please!
3. Chile has an incredible diversity of places
Chile is a thin country (max. with = 360km/223mi) but a long one (4200km/2609mi from north to south). And it’s a land of extremes, with the driest desert in the world in the north – the Atacama – and the world’s third freshwater reserve in the south – the southern Patagonian ice fields. It has its own kind of rain forests, the Valdivian temperate rain forests, and it is the country with the greatest amount of volcanoes in South America with about 2000 volcanoes (of which 92 are active). A tremendous amount of islands can be found near Chile’s coastline; 3739 islands! The most peculiar island is Easter Island, also called Rapa Nui, located 3686 km / 2290 mi away from Chile’s coastline. This remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is famous for its 1000 extant monumental statues called Moai, designed by the early Rapa Nui people. It is a place known for its unique culture, but less known for its Digital Detox opportunities.
And like Rapa Nui, you’ll find thousands of spectacular spots for Digital Detox in Chile. You just have to choose the kind of landscape and climate you prefer, and here you go!
4. You’ll have the choice between hundreds of epic digital detox adventures
In 2020, Chile was awarded “World’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination” for the 5th consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, known as the “Oscars of tourism”. And it is true some of the most epic adventures on Earth can be done here. Chile is heaven on Earth for all kinds of adventurers, whether you are a hiker, a kayaker, a climber, a horseback rider or a mountain biker. And the best of all, most of those adventures happen far from the WiFi network, so you won’t have to concern about reading your WhatsApp messages.
Some of the best “Digital Detox adventures” include Patagonia’s trekking routes, such as the Torres del Paine Circuit (“O Trek”), the Dientes de Navarino Circuit (the southernmost in the world) and the Cerro Castillo Trek. All of them are recommended if you’re an experienced hiker willing to spend up to one week with no WiFi.
But we offer plenty of other adventures, both full-day and multi-day. You can check them out here:
5. Stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, Chile’s best place for a Digital Detox
Have you ever thought about a hotel that is proud not offer WiFI? Well, welcome to EcoCamp Patagonia! The world’s first geodesic hotel, located in the wilds of Torres del Paine National Park, was built in 2001. Since its early years, EcoCamp has been promoting the motto “disconnect to reconnect”. Forget about the television in your room or WiFi in the communal areas. Instead, you’ll explore the trails of Chile’s finest national park during the day and connect with fellow travelers at night in the community domes. You can even take one of the daily Yoga classes or even a multi-day yoga retreat.
All of this in an incredible location, with true sustainability and a view of the three famous granite towers. And there is wildlife everywhere, including pumas, condors, foxes and guanacos. You’ll be more concerned by the family of foxes that lives near the domes than by the evolution of the pandemic. And that’s exactly what Digital Detox is about: “disconnect to reconnect”.
Bonus. Chile, amongst the safest Digital Detox destinations
Chile often ranks in the top 25-30 safest countries in the world for safety, and as the safest country in South America. But it’s not only about low crime rates and safety for tourists we want to talk about. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chile has been doing an incredible job of mass vaccination. To this day (24/05/2021) Chile has vaccinated more than 50% of its population (wih both doses)! It was the first country to start vaccinating in South America. And while the country has gone through difficult times during the peaks of the pandemic (from April to August 2020 and in March/April 2021), it is now an example on the whole planet. With that in mind, we’re optimistic traveling to Chile with less concern about COVID-19 in mind will be possible soon!
Willing to practice Digital Detox in Chile but unsure about what to do? Contact us!