Trekking in Torres del Paine
Patagonia's premier national parks in Chile and Argentina, including Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy areas
Guidebook to trekking Chile's 10 to 11-day Torres del Paine Circuit, one of the world's great treks. Also included are a shorter Half Circuit (4 to 5 days), further treks and day walks in the Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks, centred around Puerto Natales. Includes information on linking routes, travel and accommodation.
SeasonsDecember-April. January-February is high season, when most visitors arrive, so can be a little crowded. Overall, March is best.
CentresPuerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine, and also the base for short trips to the Balmaceda Glacier and Sierra Baguales. There are multiple bases in the national park itself.
DifficultyNo technical difficulties, but the Torres del Paine Circuit is a long and, at times, remote undertaking from which there is no convenient exit point half way through. Sudden changes in weather, gale force winds and torrential rain can turn it into a far more difficult undertaking.
Must SeeThe magnificent granite spires of the towers (Torres), and distinctive, banded form of the horns (Cuernos); vast glaciers (Grey, Tyndall and Dickson) spilling out from the largest sheet of ice in the southern hemisphere outside Antarctica; unspoilt southern beech (or lenga) forest; rich and varied animal and birdlife; remote valleys and immense, cloud-streaked skies.
Guidebook to trekking in the heart of Patagonia, with routes in Torres del Paine National Park (Chile) and Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina). While the region is primarily a remote and mountainous glaciated wilderness, walking is easily accessible with clear trails, good public transport and regular mountain huts and campsites.
The centrepiece of this dramatic area is the 10-11 day Torres del Paine Circuit (also known as the 'O' Circuit), while the shorter Half Circuit (the 'W') visits much of the same sights in 4-5 days. The guidebook also includes four shorter day walks, a multi-day trek in Argentina's Los Glaciares national park, and several excursions from Puerto Natales and El Calafate.
This guidebook includes advice on getting to and around the regions, languages, visa, currency, accommodation and facilities in the National Parks, as well as useful guidance on what to take and expect on the treks. Also featured is background information on the geology, history, wildlife, flora and cultures of the regions, resulting in an excellent companion guide to help you explore the region.
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Rudolf Abraham (www.rudolfabraham.co.uk) is an award-winning travel writer and photographer specialising in Central and Southeastern Europe. He is the author of 14 books, and his work is published widely in magazines.View author profile
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