Torres del Paine in Patagonia: 14 photos that capture the magnificent trek
Patagonia, the very name conjures up images of wild places, of majestic mountains and of great ice fields. Found here, in a landscape that seems to be taken from your imagination, and in its own national park, is the most famous trekking circuit in Chile - Torres del Paine (The Towers of Paine).
The Torres del Paine National Park is situated in the south of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Images and text: Issie Inglis, Manuel Jose Cerda and Virginia Sanz. Taken from Torres del Paine: an interactive guide. Published by World Adventure Guides. Available as an iPhone app, a book for iPad and a Kindle book.
The Torres del Paine National Park is well known for the three magnificent granite massifs shaped by glaciers, to which it owes its name.
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The O circuit, referring to the circular shape of the circuit, walks around the massif and takes about 8-10 days and is approximately 125km.
The summer season (December to March) is the most popular time for this trek but it can be busy with visitors.
Puerto Natales is considered the entrance gate to the national park of Torres del Paine. It is a city and an important harbour situated in the far south of the country.
Going in a clockwise direction, the walk starts at La Estancia, and from here a gently undulating trail takes you to Sern. Day 2 is longer but finishes at the Dickson hut and some amazing views.
Day 3 is mostly through native Lengas and Coiges forest (two types of beech), and along the banks of the Ro de los Perros, At Los Perros, you can see the glacier and both hear and see noisy ice falls.
Day 4 is over the demanding but spectacular Gardner Pass. The climb is quite steep and rocky, but easy enough, and takes about four hours so take plenty of snacks with you.
Day 5 is fairly short and flat but with amazing views of the Grey glacier, stopping for the night at the Paine Grande hut.
Be sure to leave early to see the first rays of sun on the massif of Paine Grande and the Cuernos. Leave your backpacks at Campamento Italiano and go via the panoramic views of the British viewpoint.
Today, finally, we will get close to the amazing Torres del Paine! Ifyou want to see the sunrise at the base, leave the camp around 4am in the morning. It is something you will never forget.
A beautiful walk, almost entirely along the Nordenskjold Lake; taking you along the foot of Los Cuernos del Paine and all the way back to your starting point at La Estancia.
We leave you with sunset over Los Cuernos. It is a long way to the edge of the world but definitely a trip worth making.