Parque Torres Del Paine, Chile

Torres Del Paine 8

Our main objective for visiting Patagonia was to hike the “W” trail at Parque Torres del Paine outside of Puerto Natales, Chile. We had incredible luck because it was sunny and dry almost our entire four-day hike. Many hikers are inundated with water through the trek and camping. I spoke to a girl who visited over Christmas, and the area was rainy and enshrouded with clouds the entire hike. She didn’t see anything.

The lakes, glacier, and towers of the park are astounding. The area is a UNESCO site. The mountains and land remind me of the south island of New Zealand.

Torres Del Paine 1

Torres Del Paine 2

This is Glacier Grey. You can see icebergs in bottom of the lake. We started the “W” at the left hand side, so we saw the glacier on our first day. It was raining the first two hours into the hike but wasn’t too uncomfortable.

If you decide to hike this trail, it’s recommended that you take two sets of clothes–one dry and one wet. You may have to put on the wet clothes to walk during the day, but you’ll always have the dry clothes to warm yourself up at night. Staying dry will be a theme in this hike.

Torres Del Paine 3

I loved the layers in this mountain.

Torres Del Paine 4

This bird had bright red eyes.

Torres Del Paine 5

A strange aspect of this trail is that you can camp or stay in fancy refugios (cabins) where you can find all the amenities of a hostel. There are also stands at each campsite where you can buy food, cooked meals, gas, and other camping necessities. While we brought everything we needed in our backpacks, we knew that there were back up options should we run out of something. We also camped in a tent. The refugios are very expensive; however, if you are looking for a little more of a pampered vacation, it would be nice to hike in the harsh weather for the day and come in from the elements at night.

Torres Del Paine 6

Torres Del Paine 7

Other than the mountain views, perhaps the coolest thing about the hike is that you don’t have to bring in water. It’s possible to dip your bottle in any mountain stream and access water the entire time. That was excellent because it saved us from carrying weight in the packs and it tasted pure.

Torres Del Paine 9

This lake is called Lago Azul–blue lake. In person, the color is so blue it looks unnatural. The photos reminded me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

Torres Del Paine 10

You can see our tent. We spent the second day at Los Cuernos camp site. The wind was so strong in the morning that I thought our tent would be ripped from the spikes. I’ve never felt such strong gales. It blew dirt into anything we tried to eat. As we started hiking, the wind was so strong that it literally pushed me up a couple hills. That was great. But it also tried to push me down some embankments.

We had never been on a trek which provided so  much natural resistance. A lot of times we walked on loose stones which took some concentration and extra effort. The section of the trail on private land (on which the towers are located) is not well marked.

Torres Del Paine 11

Torres Del Paine 12

That’s me at the bottom–completely wind swept. It was an exhilarating day. The sun and wind dry everything out quickly. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to visit this park, even for a day trip.



Filed under Chile

19 responses to “Parque Torres Del Paine, Chile

  1. Truly stunning photos–that bird! And I so admire your abiliity to pitch a tent and be out there–I love the scenery, but don’t think I’d want to sleep over 😉

  2. What incredible vistas! I’m glad you had nice weather so you could enjoy all of that wonderful scenery. It sounds like a very physically challenging hike too.

  3. Sherry

    Absolutely amazing!

  4. Astoundingly beautiful. Especially Lago Azul.

  5. what a trip of a lifetime.
    some of the trees are so unusual. i love that.

    i can’t get over how beautiful it is!

  6. Wow! You really have been adventuring! What views and what conditions… I’ve always been a bit of a wimp when it comes to hiking. You guys inspire!


  7. I still envy you mightily for your good weather juju. As you know, I did not have your weather luck, but I believe I can also honestly say I was never once hot! Nice pictures. I wonder where you’ll write about next?

    The juju: karma, I hope?

    La proxima entrada–los penguinos.

  8. I absolutely love the quality of the pictures, sometimes is just too perfect to believe is real. Good thing you were on that picture!
    The skies are stunning! And now… I’m craving Chile.

  9. Wow, what incredible surroundings… Thanks for sharing these pictures, they’re beautiful. 🙂

  10. absolutely beautiful I am so glad I found your blog adventure is wonderful your pictures are great

  11. Jorely

    What an amazing adventure! The pictures are beautiful, especially the one of the lake.

  12. Your photos are so unbelieveably beautiful, especially the lake that looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting. You must have felt so alive. It is amazing that you didn’t have to carry your own water and could ” dip your bottle in any mountain stream and access water the entire time.”

    Aside from the scenery, that was my favorite part. It was such a treat not to have to worry about contamination. And it was free mountain spring water! 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for your lovely posts!! You make me want to go to Chile now!! So badly!!
    My name is Sarah Maxwell and I live and work here in Argentina…I am currently working for an organization to coordinate some service trips in the country, so if that interests you at all, please let me know and we can talk in further detail!!

  14. WOW. That just looks beyond stunning.

    I can’t believe I haven’t been yet. I need to get my butt down there!

  15. i could so get into this! awesome.

  16. Very, very cool. And great photos.

  17. jill ross

    hi there!

    just wanted to say hello and see how you an e are doing 🙂 i love that you are still traveling to amazing places. when will you visit la again? you have an open invitation at our house whenever you visit.

    please take care!

    jill and kyle

  18. Are you returning through MDZ anytime soon? we’d love to finally meet you if possible. great pictures. i invite you to visit the blog this week…a full travel log of our latest adventures in the lake district. we should write a book together!


  19. Pingback: Still Life Year in Review – 2009 « Still Life in Southeast Asia

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