Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine is one of the largest and most visited national parks in Chile. Located in the Extreme South region of Patagonian Chile.
The Torres del Paine (Spanish for “Towers of Paine”, “Paine” being the old indigenous name for the colour blue), three immense rock towers give the park its name.
Other attractions include the Cuernos del Paine (Spanish for “Horns of Paine” — horn-like mountain tops), Grey Glacier, Lago Grey, Lago Pehoe, Lago Nordenskjöld and Lago Sarmiento.
It is a popular hiking destination in Chile. There are clearly marked paths and many refugios which provide shelter and basic services. Hikers can opt for a day trip to see the towers, walk the popular “W” route in about four or five days, or trek the full circle in 8 to 9 days. The refugio locations also have campsites. Cooking with the campstove is not permitted except in refugio locations. Camping is only allowed at specified campsites and wood fires are prohibited throughout the park. Since October 2016, it is mandatory to book campsites or refugios before entering the park. For less adventurous visitors, there are several hotels located around the park.
Hikers are not allowed to stray from the paths in the national park. The visitor impact on the park has been scientifically measured.
A certified guide is required to access some parts of the park. These arrangements need to be made before entering the park.
The park has been elected as the fifth most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic, and the 8th Wonder of the World by TripAdvisor.