On the must-see list for travel to Chile, the Torres del Paine National Park encompasses over 700 square miles of stunning scenery. This is a land where glaciers scrape away sandstone mountains to leave narrow granite peaks and sediment-filled lakes are tinted milky green by rock flour left in the wake of the ice.
Gazetted as a National Park in 1970 and designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, the hallmark of the Park is the three towers of Torres del Paine. Towering spikes over 9000 feet high, these granite spires with a blue-green tarn forming the foreground is one of the most photographed spots in Chile. These mountains are an eastern spur of the Andes, with the glaciers of the Southern Patagonia Ice field shrouding the western area of the Park. The best known of these glaciers is the Grey Glacier, which calves into Lago Grey. A boat tour on Lago Grey is a not-to-be missed experience when visiting Torres del Paine National Park.
Hiking is the primary activity, with trails leading along lakes, through beautiful beech forests, and along windswept hillsides. There is hiking for everybody, with both flatter, shorter trails and trekking trails including the W trek, a 5 day 4 night exploration of the Park including a trek to the base of Torres del Paine and a day in the Valle Frances. Read about South America Program Director Kirsten Gardner's experience hiking in Patagonia here.
Wildlife in Torres del Paine National Park includes guanacos, foxes, and pumas, plus many species of raptors, including the Andean Condor.
Weather in Patagonia is erratic, and locals boast that you can experience all 4 seasons in one day. Read more about Patagonia weather in our Patagonia FAQs.
Visit the Torres del Paine National Park on our Trips to Patagonia or our Trips to Chile.