Torres Del Paine is the 5th most beautiful place in the world, as voted by the National Geographic. Needless to say the views are staggering and the hikes are extremely commendable, both for their beauty and challenge. Its national park in Chilean South Patagonia encompasses a wild make-up of mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. The name “Torres Del Paine” originates from the Tehuelche translation for ‘Blue Towers’ due to this predominant color that manifests itself on the icy Patagonian Steppe. There is more than just a hillside of things to do in Torres Del Paine. We have picked out a varied Top 4 to help you grasp a sense of the opportunities available here.
1) Full-Day Hike to the Base of the Towers
This hike makes up a third of the famous ‘W’ circuit along with the French Valley hike and Grey Glacier hike and is top of the list of things to do in Torres Del Paine. Come in the summer months for the longest periods of daylight and indulge in a full day of embracing this dry and dramatic landscape. This hike takes 8-10 hours for the round trip. The first 2 hours are very tiring due to a steady ascent into the park but after this, and with views of Ascencio river, you will enjoy an easier walk until you get to Refugio El Chileno. From here, you have one hour more through the Lenga forest, until you finally get to the morrein. This is the last beat- and the hardest. But every effort will be compensated for by breath-taking views of this massive granite mountain that looms over a blue lake and disappears into the clouds above.
2) Trekking to the French Valley
This is a must for the real, full-hardy trekkers. Known to be the least visited of the hikes here, it is also considered the most challenging and most incredible. The first three hours entail a demanding combination of ascents and descents with wonderful views of the Nordenskjöld Lake before you reach the French Glacier lookout. Here you can observe landscapes of hanging glaciers and tiny avalanches. The route continues until the ‘Mirador Britanico’; one of the most overwhelming spots in the circuit for its selection of mountains and towers that surround it.
3) Boat Trip to Glacier Grey
As the most easily accessible glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, visitors have the option of viewing the beautiful Glacier Grey from a boat. While the park’s other glaciers allow visits by way of hiking only, visitors who want to see a truly remarkable sight can take a boat cruise to the Glacier Grey. A navigation of around 2 to 3 hours, seeing the massive glacier up close is well worth the trip. The cruise is highly regarded for the great photo opportunities it offers and guests are always left in awe from the stunning blue colors on display at such a close proximity to this gigantic formation of ice. This is an activity that anyone will enjoy and is something that should not be overlooked when visiting Torres del Paine.
4) Feel the Wind at Salto Grande
Another noteworthy attraction in Torres Del Paine is the Salto Grande waterfall. Found within a beautiful setting, Salto Grande lies on the Paine River and is located nearby the famous Cuernos (Horns) of Torres del Paine, which provides visitors gorgeous views while surveying the falls. Guests can hike to the waterfall, where they will experience unusually strong winds, a feature that makes this attraction even more unique. Together with the gorgeous colors of the water and the sky above, the picturesque surrounding scenery and the sporadic gusts of wind, the Salto Grande waterfall is a great place to visit while in Torres del Paine.