Classic Destinations

The best places of Torres del Paine

Friday, July 31, 2009  
Base Torres del Paine Torres del Paine (Photo:Sernatur)

- Not to be missed in Torres del Paine

- Torres del Paine

- Preparation guide to trekking in Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine Base Camp: This is one of the most stunning places in the National Park. To get there you have to hike from the Hostería Las Torres, which can be reached by car. The route passes through the Chilean camp, located on one side of the river and covered in forests. The last half hour of the trail brings travelers to an uphill moraine, which your legs need to be prepared for. The effort is rewarded with the arrival at a glacial lake that is the prelude to the three granite structures that emerge from the waters and rise to the sky.

These are the Torres del Paine. Weather permitting, you should stay for as long as possible and appreciate the beauty of the North Tower, or Monzino, which rises 2,600 meters; the Central Tower, at 2,800 meters, and the South Tower, or D’Agostini, at 2,850 meters. The Nido del Cóndor hill is off to one side. Take extra camera memory and batteries for this spectacular awe inspiring sight.

Grey Lake: This is one of the lake basins of greatest scenic grandeur in the park. Its location at the foot of mountain Paine Grande, the highest in the area, lends it a monumental attraction. A 270 m2 glacier, the end of the Southern Ice Fields, covers the waters of Grey Lake with ice floes of different sizes.

You can reach the area by car or on foot. There is a hotel nearby, a pier to navigate to the glacier walls twice a day and a one-hour trekking trail that leads to a small peninsula where the wind blows hard and the glaciers take on a powerful dimension.

Valle del Francés: From the Italiano camp, located in the middle of the “W,” take a 3-hour trail among the Paine mountains. After passing the Francés glacier and the Británico camp while in constant ascent, you reach a plateau or formidable lookout point overlooking the main granite mountain summits.