The 561,665-acre (227,298-hectare) park was founded in 1959 in the southern region of Patagonia, Chile. The Torres del Paine features a diverse terrain that includes forests, lakes, lush valleys, glacier fields, and mountains. The location is home to hundreds of birds and mammal species. Miles of clearly marked trails attract hundreds of thousands of hikers each year.
When to Visit
October through April are the spring and summer months in this part of the world. After April, the temperature drops sharply and the wind blows with a vengeance. The sun continues shining in January and February. However, this is also the height of the tourist season. If desiring to avoid tourist congestion, aim for a December visit. If going in the off-season, bring plenty of warm outerwear and dress in layers.
The Torres are the trio of massive granite formations that reach into the sky from which the park derives its name. The sight is memorable at any time of day. However, many prefer seeing the monuments at sunrise or sunset. The Southern Patagonia Icefield encompasses 4,775 square miles (12,362 square kilometers) and is truly breathtaking. While experienced hikers traverse the jagged landscape, the majority of guests visit the site via boat. Take a trip that makes a point of visiting the Grey Glacier. The massive white, grey, and blue formation boasts an amazing arch.
Amazing artifacts have been discovered in the Milodon Cave National Monument since Hermann Eberhard first explored the caverns in 1895. Evidence of prehistoric people and animals have been uncovered. The entrance to the cave features the replication of an ancient bear-like species.
Trails range in length from the 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) Mirador del Cóndor hike to the 75-mile (120-kilometer) Paine Massif Circuit trail. In 2019, the popularity of the park influenced the government to open a 1,700-mile (2,736-kilometer) trail across the terrain. The paths vary in difficulty from easy to difficult.
Ice hiking is another popular sport that the more adventurous and properly equipped hiker enjoys. The trek begins on the western region of the Grey Glacier and takes the hiker through gorges, across cracks and internal streams to witness an array of unimaginable depths and colors. The journey also provides a glimpse of the Grey Lake and the Southern Ice Field.