Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

Saturday, 29 May 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © flickr.com – Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Torres del Paine National Park(Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. The park is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas. The park borders Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to the west and the Los Glaciares National Park to the north in Argentine territory. Paine means “blue” in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay, while Torres means “towers”.

Torres del Paine National Park is part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado de Chile (National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile). In 2013, it measured approximately 181,414 hectares. It is one of the largest and most visited parks in Chile. The park averages around 252,000 visitors a year, of which 54% are foreign tourists, who come from many countries all over the world. It is also part of the End of the World Route, a tourist scenic route.

The park is one of the 11 protected areas of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica (together with four national parks, three national reserves, and three national monuments). Together, the protected forested areas comprise about 51% of the land of the region (6,728,744 hectares).

Lake Nordenskjöld © flickr.com - Jan Reurink/cc-by-2.0 Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0 Torres del Paine massif and Laguna Azul from Cordón Masle © LBM1948/cc-by-sa-4.0 French Valley © flickr.com - Mirko Thiessen/cc-by-sa-2.0 Hiking trail in Torres del Paine © Likeminas/cc-by-sa-3.0 Lake Grey © panoramio.com - Pavel Špindler/cc-by-3.0
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Looking at the Cuernos del Paine from the Lago del Toro in the morning © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0
The Torres del Paine are the distinctive three granite peaks of the Paine mountain range or Paine Massif. From left to right they are known as Torres d’Agostini, Torres Central and Torres Monzino. They extend up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, and are joined by the Cuernos del Paine. The area also boasts valleys, rivers such as the Paine, lakes, and glaciers. The well-known lakes include Grey, Pehoé, Nordenskiöld, and Sarmiento. The glaciers, including Grey, Pingo and Tyndall, belong to the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.

The national park has over 252,000 visitors per year. 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, French Valley or Glacier Grey or a multi-day trek. Multi-day treks include the popular “W” route, which takes about three to five days, and the full circuit or “O” route, which typically takes 7 to 9 days. The refugio locations also have campsites and tent for hire. 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 in and 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. Visiting the park is recommended between September and April, during the southern spring, summer and early autumn. During summer, daylight hours are long given the southern latitude. Outside of this time frame, the weather becomes extreme for the majority of the public. During the southern winter, daylight dwindles to only 8 hours a day.

Read more on Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.travel – Torres del Paine National Park, Wikivoyage Torres del Paine National Park and Wikipedia Torres del Paine National Park (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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