Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most visited places in Chile and indeed the whole of South America. My original plan was to do the 5 day trek of the famous W circuit to the mighty Torres del Paine but my dad decided to come and join me and didn’t have enough time. It’s one of the most famous and beautiful treks in the world, people from all four corners of the planet come and do it. I’ll have to come back for it in a few years and maybe at a different time of year.
We decided to book a one day tour of the park with a guide. We went through an agency “Tour 365” located near the Plaza de Armas in Puerto Natales. We had the choice of a group tour costing 35’000 pesos per person but we weren’t sure to be on time for our bus back to Punta Arenas that same afternoon so we took the private tour, 140’000 pesos for both of us.
Our guide came to fetch us at 8am at our hotel and we drove towards the park. The weather was awful when we left Puerto Natales. After raining all night, the air was foggy and humid so I slept nearly all the way as we couldn’t see anything. After about an hour and a half we reached the main entrance of the park where we had to fill in a form to be able to get in. We should have paid 7’000 pesos fee entrance per person but the day we went we could go for free, which was great, thank you ! As we drove into the park, the clouds were clearing and the sun was peeking out. Our guide took us to a view point of the Glacier Grey. When we arrived by the lake, the clouds disappeared and the snowy mountains and the mighty Torres were visible ! On the lake, icebergs were floating and we could see the glacier in the background. As with those we saw the day before, the ice was very blue.
When we got back to the car, we continued our route in the park, stopping off at a few places to see different view points. We saw a beautiful waterfall with a rainbow and countless lakes and lagoons of clear blue waters. As we drove, the Torres were getting closer. They are very impressive as are the mountains around them. Because the Torres are very vertical snow doesn’t stick to the peaks but the surrounding mountains were covered in immaculate snow.
Scenery around the mountains range is amazing: it reminded us of New Zealand. Grassy and yellowish hills then the snowy mountains in the distance and, in between, stretches of clear waters and the vigognas eating and running in the fields. Nature is supreme here. It’s easy to see that the landscape has been tormented by the particular and extreme Patagonian climate. Trees are twisted and bent by the wind, mountains have taken on a distinctive shape as the glaciers melted away thousand of years ago. It’s so magical and unique. This place is so peaceful and I wish I never left. I will be back one day for sure. Patagonia has taken my heart and breath away !