A Long Day in the Park!

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January 29th 2010
Published: February 2nd 2010
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The Torres!The Torres!The Torres!

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
After an unsettling night with a very early start and the fact that I was woken up at 2.00am with two new dorm mates arriving in the dorm, I got up for a 5.30 am start for the day trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Noelina, my dorm mate, joined me and we waited in the lobby for the bus. After spending a lengthy time at Argentine/Chilean immigration/customs, we met our guide who was going to take us round the park and after a comfort stop at Cerro Castillo, a Chilean border town, we transferred to our mini bus.

We first stopped at Lago Sarmiento then onto Laguna Amarga where we saw stunning views of the three Torres, that the park is famously renowned for! We saw a variety of animals in the park including herds of guancoes, a fox, a ñandu (a small type of ostrich) and we saw condors from a distance. From Laguna Amarga, we stopped at Macizo Azul viewpoint for more photos and onto Lago Pehoe where we hiked to the Salto Grande and also to the Nordenskjold viewpoint where we admired the Cuernos del Paine. Such stunning views of the mountain ranges,
View of the Cuernos!View of the Cuernos!View of the Cuernos!

Torres del Paine, National Park, Chile
lakes and nature. We paid a visit to the information centre where we learnt facts about the park which was interesting and informative.

The weather was favourable although, at times, changeable from sun to rain and vice versa. Luckily I was prepared and used all my attire appropriately. At this time of year, it is high season in Patagonia and I was expecting the park to be crowded! However, it seems we had the park to ourselves as the roads were practically empty (We did see a small number of buses and cars on the roads during the day but only a small number of visitors at the Salto Grande and Cuernos del Paine miradors). I think it comes down to the size of the park and the fact there is so much to see and do there. I regretted not seeing Glacier and Lago Grey and this supposed to have been included in the tour...so I was disappointed and maybe it was the time schedule that did not permit for us to do so. However, I enjoyed what I saw in the park and I highly recommended the park for a visit or for doing the famous "W"
Torres del Paine National ParkTorres del Paine National ParkTorres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
circuit trek.

Afterwards, we started our long long journey back to El Calafate and spent a while, per usual, at the Chilean/Argentine immigrations/customs. The journey back felt so long and I felt that I would never make it back to El Calafate!!! The journey seemed to be forever!! Eventually, very late and around 10.45 pm, Noelina and I were dropped off at our hostel. Despite the long day, I am very glad I was able to make the trip to Torres del Paine National Park.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Cerro CastilloCerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo

Chilean Border Tower, Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
The Torres!The Torres!
The Torres!

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
A foxA fox
A fox

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
The Cuernos!The Cuernos!
The Cuernos!

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Me at the Macizo Azul MiradorMe at the Macizo Azul Mirador
Me at the Macizo Azul Mirador

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Lago NordenskjoldLago Nordenskjold
Lago Nordenskjold

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Salto GrandeSalto Grande
Salto Grande

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Lago PehoeLago Pehoe
Lago Pehoe

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
A ÑanduA Ñandu
A Ñandu

A small type of Ostrich, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

2nd February 2010

Wow, I've never heard of a nandu before! Never thought about finding ostriches in south america!
2nd February 2010

El Calafate
Hi Dawn....good reading about your Patagonia trip. I've been to Leeds - when I did the coast-to-coast in 2005. Anyway, from the US I'll be heading to El Calafate this November. Any commentary on your hotel or where to stay there? Was the bus from El Calafate to TDP comfortable? Any information you feel like providing will be a great help. Ta ta............
2nd February 2010

Hi Lynn
I would highly recommed the Marcopolo Inn in El Calafate...it´s a hostel but it´s much more than that. The room I´m staying in is just like a hotel room with ensuite facilities and the price is good. The transportation for the area is good and adequate. I only travelled to El Chalten from El Calafate on this trip and that took 3 hours...it takes around 16 hours to Perito Moreno, you stay over in Perito Moreno, then the following day, you travel a further 16 hours or so to Bariloche. Chalten Travel supposed to be the best company to do the transportation on the Ruta 40 and the package includes an overnight stay in Perito Moreno. This is the company I plan to do the trip with when I return in December. Please feel free to ask me further questions, happy travels, Dawn

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