PLACE: Cordillera del Paine
LOCATION: Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
NOTORIOUS: Tower Mountains
NEAREST AIRPORT: Punta Arenas (a day’s bus ride from park)
COORDINATES: 51.0000° S, 73.0000° W
CURRENCY: Chilean Peso
Apparently this hike is spectacular – the best part is you can do a quick day trip to see the towers, walk the popular “W” route in about five days, or trek the full circle in 8 to 9 days. This region is the transition between Magellanic subpolar forests (a refuge for the Antarctic flora) and the Patagonian Steppes (one of the largest cold winter deserts in the world), so expect to see some unique and magnificent plants and wildlife.
Due to Torres Del Paine’s ridiculously southern location, the austral summer is the only time to go. The high tourist season is January and February, so if you want to avoid it go in December. The park has a temperate cold rain without a dry season so dress accordingly (ie. layers). On your trip, try to get a glimpse of Glacier Grey which is supposedly one of the most beautiful glaciers in the world. Also, don’t miss the Frenchman’s Valley – the most scenic lookout over this transitional region.
Done this hike before? Leave any travel suggestions for the area below: