Chile's first ever "UFO trail" was established in San Clemente in 2008. Like in the rest of the Americas, UFO spotting is a serious hobby in Chile. But unlike other extraterrestrial-devoted tourism, this scheme is funded by the country's national tourism board.

Chile's central region is well known by amateur UFO hunters for alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects. It's also a remote region that the Chilean government is trying to boost in terms of tourism. Their decision to finance the UFO trail seems to have worked; the tourism board has announced a 5.5% rise in tourism in the past year.  

The trail in question is a 30-kilometre path which crosses El Enladrillado, an enigmatic landscape of 200 perfectly sliced blocks of land, thought by some to be a landing pad for UFOs. To get there you need to travel for four hours on horseback through the Altos del Lircay national reserve, climbing to an altitude of 2,200 metres. Another hotspot is the Colbun Lake, a few kilometres from San Clemente.

The trail and the hunters

El Enladrillado. Photo posted by Gonzalo, on Flickr.

Tourists on the plain. Photo sent by Hugo de la Fuente.  

Photo sent by Hugo de la Fuente.

Photo sent by Hugo de la Fuente.

“This kind of activity sets us apart from any other kind of specialist tourism”

Hugo de la Fuente is head of the San Clemente tourism office, a partner of the "UFO trail".

Our tourism office is interested in the trail because this kind of activity sets us apart from any other kind of specialist tourism. We've already organised three ‘international UFO hunter gatherings' here, and we've seen the number of tourists in our town rise. El Enladrillado is a unique place which is well worth visiting anyway."

“Media all over the world have reported on the appearance of UFOs in this area”

Rodrigo Fuenlizada runs a UFO hunters group and has followed the trail several times.

UFOs come to this region often because of the abundance of minerals. I think that the trail is interesting because you get to visit the home of the Pehuenche [indigenous people of the Andes] and at the same time have the chance to witness a phenomenon. Media all over the world have reported on the appearance of UFOs in this area."