Chile: Chilean Fjords

99 Coastal Destinations Rated: Top Rated

Score: 79

The "stunning scenery" of the Chilean coast's southernmost section has been discovered by the travel industry. Cruise ships now navigate its mountain-flanked channels and inlets in increasing numbers. Thankfully, local officials are "aware of the damage cruise-ship operators have done elsewhere and are working to create a sustainable tourism strategy."

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Becoming a cruise-ship destination. Local entrepreneurs and officials are working to create a sustainable tourism strategy, but this is new. The ecology is intact. I am hopeful about the future of this destination because people are aware of the damage that cruise ships have caused elsewhere."

"Generally pristine and uninhabited. Some access by infrequent cruise ships and local ecotours. Limited logging and some fish farming take place, but there is generally very little development. Essentially natural. With global warming, some glaciers visible from the sea may recede."

"One of the world's relatively untouched natural wonders. A sparse population and limited number of visitors make for a well-balanced regional environmental system. Existing tourism activities try to preserve this balance as well as they can."

"Beautiful. At risk from various forms of industrial development."