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Torres del Paine: the world’s most unique natural spectacle

Published on December 9, 2014 under Chile
Torres del Paine: the world’s most unique natural spectacle

It is one of Chile’s best known natural attractions and was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The name “Paine” comes from a Tehuelche indian word meaning “blue”. The park has more than 450,000 acres and you can find lakes, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls and forests. These tower like formations made of granite were formed by glacial ice. More than 170,000 tourists visit the park each year. It is a great destination for nature lovers.

The alternatives when exploring this park are many. You can see all the panoramic views in one day. In a week you can participate in the trekking circuits which allow you to be in contact with nature. The main attractions are the famous Towers and the Horns of Paine when the sun produces shades that go from purple to intense red.

The circuits of three to eleven day treks, have varying grades of difficulty. Touring with a guide is recommended if you’re not familiar with the terrain and weather conditions.The W Circuit is the smaller trek and can be done in four to five days. The route takes you to the towers, the Torres, the Cuernos del Paine (the horns) and Grey lake and glacier. It’s called the W because each of the treks goes from Lago Nordenskljöld into the mountains and ice fields, then back to the base and up again, three times.

Here is a great video about the W trek.

Atlas’ member which represent Chile is Cascada Expediciones. They offer a great 7 day W trek tour of the Torres del Paine National Park.

Highlights:
  • Trek Valle Frances
  • Sail to Grey Glacier
  • EcoCamp Patagonia
  • The Challenging ‘W’ Trek
  • Views of Los Cuernos
  • Milodon Cave
  • Start in Calafate (Argentina) or Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales (Chile)
  • Ask to start in Santiago or Buenos Aires
  • Cycling excursion – New
Brief Itinerary:
Day 1 (Mon): Travel from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate to Torres del Paine NP
Day 2 (Tue): Trek Paso Los Cuernos trail
Day 3 (Wed): Trek Valle del Frances trail
Day 4 (Thu): Trek Pehoe – Grey trail
Day 5 (Fri): Trek to the Towers
Day 6 (Sat): Eastern Lakes
Day 7 (Sun): Drive to Punta Arenas
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