6 Days Trekking Chilean Patagonia – Torres del Paine National Park
It’s our pleasure to introduce featured guest blogger, Céline, The GlobeTrekkeuse. Céline is a French traveler, trekker and blogger who’s passion is hiking beautiful trails around the earth. She shares in this article a thrilling experience she had a few months ago, trekking Chilean Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park, over a 6 days trek.
Some clues to discover Torres del Paine :
- Position : 51°02’20’’S 73°07’28’’W (Chile – Ultima Esperanza).
- Access : bus between Puerto Natales and one of the three entrances of Torres del Paine park (110 km).
- Period : December to March. Stronger wind but mild temperatures.
- Price : $18 000 CLP for foreigner (26 EUR), $5 000 CLP for chilean.
- Remember : walking shoes, poncho, camping equipment (high price and reservation required well in advance in refuges), hot sleeping bag, food (expensive and infrequent supplies), plastic bags (for reporting waste), binoculars, cash.
- Wildlife : guanaco, rhea, fox, Magellan geese, condor, and huemul for lucky hikers.
- Tips : leave classical paths, abandon the catamaran, prefer leaving the park by the camp “Las Carretas” : absolute solitude guaranteed.
An unforgettable place for hikers.
Created in 1959, the Torres del Paine park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1957. Its main function is the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic diversity del Paine massif. Its surface is characterized by a heterogeneous landscape where mountains, glaciers, valleys, ponds and lakes converge.
It takes its name from three iconic granite formations del Paine massif : the “Torres del Paine”, which is the strong tourist attraction of the place. Many trails and refuges make it a must for trekking.
The park attendance is significantly increasing every year: 8 338 visitors in 1986, 41 402 in 1995, 107 091 in 2005 and 144 109 people in 2010, of which 78% are foreigners.
The massif has the shape of a rectangle, oriented no rtheast-southwest, with two deep parallel valleys giving it the shape of an “M”. Its dimensions are approximately 24 km long and 13 km wide.
Memories of my 6-days trek.
J1 : Laguna Amarga – Campamento Torres (6h incluing viewpoint)
J2 : Campamento Torres – Campamento Italiano (8h)
J3 : Valley del Francès (4h)
J4 : Campamento Italiano – Campamento Grey, by Pehoe lake (8h)
J5 : Campamento Grey – Campamento Las Carteras (6h)
J6 : Output by Laguna Linda
A trek in Torres del Paine National Park is unforgettable. Nature is still wild. The wind blows continuously. Walking is between successive lagoons, steppes, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and glaciers. Everything seems excessive : the height of the peaks, the size and the blue color of the lakes, glaciers extent and trail length.
Impossible not to go up to the foot of the majestic “Torres del Paine”, not to walk in the valley del Inglés and along the azure blue lake Pehoe (my favorite place), not to admire the Glacier Grey impressive power.
Discover my patagonian favorite place : “Patagonie, un paradis nommée Pehoé”
The weather also invites respect, constantly changing between sun, rain, and wind. The wind that drives you crazy, I know now who he is and how strong he is. The nights are cold. Although I slept with a hot water bottle in the sleeping bag, I was always awakened at dawn by the cold. I finally got sick (nausea and headache) but I had no other choice but to continue my journey in the hope it gets better … fortunately, it was the case.
I chose to walk out of the park (most trekkers take the catamaran on Lake Pehoe) to stay as long as possible close to nature, and I took my last night alone in the middle of nowhere.
It was an unforgettable experience, that requices practice, patience, and the ability to live without comfort in a hostile but LIVING environment.
To go further :
Torres del Paine portal : TorresdelPaine.com
A few words to get to know more Céline:
Travels and treks are the meaning of my life. My love of natural spaces and unusual places remains intact despite a world tour of several months and many trips on the most beautiful trails in the world. I share my experiences, itineraries, photos and tips on my french blog (Globe Trekkeuse.com) and never miss an opportunity to share information with world travelers. Roots Travelers gives us a golden opportunity !
Thanks a lot Céline for sharing your experience! Don’t forget to go and Like GlobeTrekkeuse on Facebook to get more ideas, advices and beautiful pics around the world : https://www.facebook.com/GlobeTrekkeuse
Have you ever been to Torres Del Paine National Park or Patagonia? How much did you enjoyed? Do you agree this Park should feature in the 10 hiking trails to walk once in a lifetime? Please share with us in the comments box bellow!