Torres del Paine
In the Chilean Patagonia lies one of the most beautiful national parks of our planet. The Torres
del Paine (meaning Towers of Paine) National Park, which covers an area of 2,400 km2
(1,000 square miles) is a popular hiking destination. There are clearly marked paths and many
refugios which provide shelter and basic services.
The park is located in the South of Chile and can be visited from the nearby cities Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. For those of you seeking an unmatched travel adventure Torres del Paine will challenge your wildest dreams.
Declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978, the Torres del Paine National Park, (located in the Chilean Patagonia) is one of the most mesmerizing places on the planet. There are many hiking opportunities and the choice will depend on the time that you have at hand.
The main attraction of going to Torres del Paine is to do a spectacular, long-haul backpacking
trip that takes hikers around the entire Paine Massif.
You can do it two ways: with the "W" included (this segment of the Paine Massif is so called because hikers are taken along a trail that forms a W) or without.
If you do the circuit with the "W", you'll need 8 to 11 days; without it, from 4 to 7 days. So have a look at the time at hand. This trail is for serious backpackers only because it involves several difficult hikes up and down steep, rough terrain and over fallen tree trunks.
This is one of the most mesmerizing places on earth so you'll be rewarded constantly for your adventurous spirit. Grassy meadows, winding rivers, thick virgin beech forest, snowcapped peaks, and, best of all, the awe-inspiring view of Glacier Grey seen from atop the John Garner Pass.
The major attraction of the park is the Paine Massif composed mostly of granite and has been around for about 12 million years. The granite peaks and towers soar from sea level to upward of 2,800 meters (9,184 feet).
The Torres del Paine are three sheer granite towers (see picture), that make a challenging and much wanted prize for experienced climbers. The hike to the towers is not easy but you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable sight.
The Torres del Paine National Park is located 113km (70 miles) north of Puerto Natales; 360km (223 miles) northwest of Punta Arenas.
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