"Torres del Paine - serenity in Patagonia" Top 5 Page for this destination Torres del Paine by Trekki
Torres del Paine Travel Guide: 83 reviews and 353 photos
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is located some 100 km north of Puerto Natales, lattitude more or less 51 S. To it's northern border, Argentina's Parque Nacional Los Glaciares starts (home base for famous Perito Moreno and Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre mountains). To it's northwest, the eternal Hielo del Sur (Southern Patagonian Ice Field) starts. To the east, the pampa stretches out, the famous steppe.
The area of approx 242.000 ha has been established as Parque Nacional in 1959, and in 1978, Unesco has declared it international biosphere reserve.
The park offers inumerous trails for day hikes, as well as the two famous trekks - "El Circuito", the 8 day hike around the center massif Macizo Paine, and the "W", which is a more easy 5 day hike along the southern part of Macizo Paine, following the 2 valleys (Valle Ascensio and Valle Francés).
The landscape of Parque Nacional Torres del Paine was "modelled" mainly by the eternal ice of the Hielo Sur (southern ice cap) and the wind.
Four major glaciers still flow down from the ice cap into the park: Glaciar Pingo (west), Glaciar Grey (middle west), Dickson (north) and Tyndall or Geike (southwest).
Glaciar Grey here being the most famous, as it is the biggest one and also the one which is most easily accessible for all park visitors.
But not only these lakes, directly fed by the glaciers form the park's landscape, also inumerous little and bigger lakes add to the scenery. While the effluent rivers make their way mostly down to Rio Serrano and the Sono Ultima Esperanza in the south, they flow through Lago Nordenskjöld, Lago Pehoé, Lago del Toro in the middle and south part, as well as Lago Dickson, Lago Paine and Laguna Azul in the northern part.
The best way to feel the magic of Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is by hiking around.
No matter how many days you have to explore the scenery, you will always get the benefit of magnificent views and magical moments.
Please see my general tips or off-the-beaten-path tips for day hikes.
Update December 31, 2011:
Parts of this marvellous national park is on fire. It seems that again some $$%&§&%§ who wasn't at all prepared for the very much windy weather conditions down in this gorgeous part of the world, was the cause....
As of now (end Dec 2011), the park is closed for visitors and according to the news will likely be closed during January 2012.
It breaks my heart to read the news and to see footage of the fires:
BBC News, video,
LP Thorntree thread,
Newsfeed Researcher about the fire.
And I hope and pray that the firefighters and helpers will be able to control it.
This all made me plan to rewrite my page about this gorgeous national park, with emphasis on the weather conditions.
And with a strong warning:
who isn't prepared for this heavy kind of weather should stay clear of this pristine wilderness. When I came to Torres del Paine NP for my very first time in December 1996, my companions of these days weren't prepared and after only two days of heavy wind and rain started to whine and complain so much that I told them to go home and cry there but not waste our all time anymore. I stayed and it was one of the trips of my lifetime, with two more times in this park in the following years.
The fire started in the forest on the right hand side in my "Icebergs Lago Grey" picture.
- Pros:Serenity - magic - unpredictable weather - magnificent light moods
- Cons:The famous spots can be crowded in december and january
- In a nutshell:A magical place to experience Patagonia's natural history
Most of Patagonia's terrain has been formed in a way by the glaciers. Sometimes, the hiking / trekking tours lead you... more travel advice
Every bus into PN Torres del Paine makes the first stop at Laguna Amarga, which is the park's entrance gate. Every park... more travel advice
Written Sep 22, 2004
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Written Sep 23, 2004
Hiking in Valle del Rio Pingo (Torres del Paine)
Written Sep 26, 2004
Hiking to Torres del Paine Lookout
Written Sep 8, 2004
Torres del Paine - off the beaten track
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