Chilean Patagonia is a magical land of volcanoes and lakes, glaciers and gauchos, and home to the iconic Torres del Paine National Park, named as the 8th wonder of the world.
It’s a breathtaking banquet of beauty and wildlife. You can see the main sights in a single day but to really capture its magic you’ll want to linger a little longer. Here are six reasons why:
Magnificent views greet you in every direction and most are easily accessed however going on hikes is where you can find some real hidden gems. Snow dusted mountains hold glaciers defiantly hanging to their sides while the towers rising 3,000m from the Patagonian steep provide one of the most inspiring views a traveller could ever hope to see.
Excellent facilities make the park perfect for all travellers. Choose to explore remote valleys on foot while staying in beautifully located cabins or indulge in a more relaxed stay in a luxury lodge.
The extended daylight, up to 17hrs in summer, is full of intense colours, contrasts and textures thanks to its southern location. Make sure you rise early for sunrise, when the Cuernos (horns) of the Paine Massif turn purple and then red in the early light.
The park offers some of the best trekking in the world. Walking trails take you through dense forests, alongside waterfalls and past turquoise lakes. Views reach up to the Southern Ice Field, stretching back 350km, with an area of 12,330 km2. Walks vary from short and easy, to extensive and challenging, with the legendary “W” spread over 4 long days.
There’s a great variety of activities to choose from. Take a cruise to the Grey glacier, or paddle a kayak among enormous icebergs. Experience the culture and join the gauchos for an exhilarating horse ride through the pristine wilderness. Fly fishing, cycling, and even a marathon are also available.
An extensive range of indigenous animals call the park home and you’ll easily spot condors, foxes, and guanacos. There are packages focussed on tracking and observing animals, including the elusive puma.
Find out more: forwardtravel.com.au/chile