TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARKRegion de Magallanes,
Elevating vertically more than 2.000 m over the Patagonia steppe, the granite columns of Torres del Paine dominate the landscape of what could be the most magnificent national park in South America. Before its creation in 1959, the park was part of a large sheep ranch, and it is still recovering from the pasture, forest and wildlife exploitation it suffered over a century ago. Most people visit the park because of its fame, but once they get there, they realize that there are (less crowded) attractions with equal power to impress. We are talking about the turquoise lakes, and trips that let us walk through emerald forests. You will be able to cross noisy rivers through swing bridges and a radiant blue glacier. The variety of spaces in the vast transparency of the steppe covers the top of the mountainous land with impending summits. The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1978, and it is home to herds of ostriches like the rhea (known in the zone as ñandú), the Andean condor, the flamingo and many other bird species. The biggest preservation success in the park is, without any doubt, the guanaco (lama guanicoe) that lives in the steppes, where the puma approaches undetectable. After over a decade of effective protection from the poacher hunters, these great and growing prides do not tremble when humans or cars approach. When the weather is good, there are things to do everywhere. However, the unpredictable climate changes can cover the summits with clouds for hours or even days. Some say that this place can go through the four seasons in the same day, with sudden storms and gusts that reduce a warm start. Due to the conditions and abrupt weather changes, it is essential to bring a synthetic sleeping bag and a good quality camping tent.
Nonetheless, the maximum attraction of this 180 km2 park is the highly developed infrastructure, which makes it possible to do the complete “W” circuit while sleeping in beds, eating warm meals, taking showers and even drinking a cocktail. Reservations must be made on time (see iTravel Chile). Plan a minimum of 3 to 7 days in order to enjoy the excursions and other activities.
How Much Do We Love This Place?
- Breathtaking landscapes and spectacular sunset views
- Lakes of turquoise, aquamarine, and emerald green water
- Wide variety of trekking trails
- Unusual wildlife
- High season can be "crowded"
- Winds can be fierce
- Storms can hit without warning
Somewhere Special To Stay
|Hostería las Torres||232 USD|
|Rio Serrano||188 USD|
|Patagonia Camp||1700 USD|