Torres del Paine National Park

Macizo del Paine in Torres del Paine National, Chile

Macizo del Paine in Torres del Paine National, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park has 598.593,02 acres surface, was created in 1959 and declared World-wide Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 1978. Torres del Paine National Park is located between the Mountain range of the Andes and the Patagonian steppe with heights that vary between the 65,62 feet and the 10.006,56 feet. Torres del Paine National Park is administered by CONAF. The city of Puerto Natales, to 89,48 mi to the south of the park, is the closest  inhabited spot in its area.

There are 1.553,43 miles approximately that separate to Torres del Paine National Park from  Santiago, the capital of Chile. This, plus the uneven of the geography of the south of the country and the climate, has allowed that Torres del Paine National Park became a point of contact for which they please of the emotion and the adventure.

The climate in the Torres del Paine National Park is  rather unstable. In summer, even in sunny days, the winds can reach 74,56 miles/hours speed. It is not a rainy sector, the area has only 27,5591 inches of rainfall annualy,  neither has snow storms as one would imagine.

There are three access points to Torres del Paine National Park: Puerto  Sarmiento, Amarga Lagoon and Azul Lagoon. In addition there are seven day-care centers where outdoor tours and other activities can be arranged.

Torres del Paine National Park Video



Cuernos del Paine and Pehoe Lake in Torres del Paine, Chile

Cuernos del Paine and Pehoe Lake in Torres del Paine, Chile

The park is internationally recognized like one of the most beautiful natural scenes, free of man intervention. Its greatest attractiveness is in the spectacular relief, the lakes, the flora and the fauna that turns it an ideal site for the practice of the eco-tourism and the outdoors adventures.

In Torres del Paine National Park there are four differentiated communities of flora: the Pre-Andean Scrub, which grows mainly in the areas of the Sarmiento Lake, Great Jump and the Nordenskjöld viewpoint. Adapting to the cold and the drought, it is made up of shrubs as the muddy bush and calafate, associated to herbaceous like coirón; the Magallánico Forest Deciduous, fundamentally composes lengas, that appears in two forms: little forest associated to herbaceous, like capachitos and orquídeas, in the proximities of the Azul lagoon, Amargo lagoon and Pehoé camping, or forests of lenga and coigüe of great development, in the areas of Grey lake Pingo valley, glacier Grey and French’s valley.

Between the most common wildlife that live in Torres del Paine National Park are the guanacos, ñandúes, condors, pumas, gray and culpeos foxes, in addition to a great variety of birds that mainly inhabit in the lakes and lagoons.

The first inhabitants of the wild fauna that receive to the visitors of Torres del Paine National Park are the families of guanacos that are located in the environs of the Puerto Sarmiento. Nevertheless, also it is feasible to see aquatic birds in the viewpoint that there are in the Administrative Plaza of Torres del Paine National Park, where are seen species such as: swan of black neck, pimpollo, tagua and huala, among others.

In order to cross Torres del Paine National Park, the Forest National Corporation, CONAF, to qualified several footpaths of excursion by the most beautiful places of the protected area. These, are safe and protected, thought for the tourist who wishes to walk, to see and to photograph. Nevertheless, for the most dared, in Torres del Paine National Park diverse activities related to the adventures tourism can be made: hiking, kayak, rafting and trekking.

Natural patrimony

The landscape of Torres del Paine National Park was originated by Earth movements makes 12 million years ago, that gave origin to impressive summits like Monte Paine Grande, with 10.006,56 feet above sea level, the Horns of Paine 8.530,18, 7.874,02, 7.217,85 feet above sea level, Torres of Paine 7.381,89, 8.070,87 and 8.202,10 feet above sea level, Fortaleza 9.186,35 feet above sea level, Escudo 8.858,27 feet above sea level, remaining glaciers in some of them. The Horns of the Paine are known internationally by its magnificence: they are gigantic rocky masses that can be seen from the footpaths that compose the Park, in addition to the lagoons covered with icebergs and glaciers and the Grey Lake, under the same name a hostery provides one of the most incredible views from its rooms, the Lago Grey Hostery.

One of the highlights in Torres del Paine National Park is the Bulk of Paine, formed mostly of granite and which origin goes back to 12 million years ago. The most representative and famous summits of Torres del Paine National Park are those called “Horns” and “Towers” of the Paine. Both sets have three peaks: the horns North, Main and East, and the South, Central and North Towers. The formation of the bulk was 12 million years ago when a heavy sedimentary rock layer under which, later, magma  introduced, when the magma cooled off, it formed the hard granite. This, put under enormous tectonic pressures,  formed it and elevated the bulk. During the glacial time the ice fields covered the bulk and, in its displacement, undermined the sedimentary soft rock. When retiring the ice was discovered the granite, of grey color, crowned in its high parts by the sedimentary, of dark color no covered by glaciers.

Must-see in Torres del Paine National Park: Grey Lake, Glacier Grey, Great Jump, Small Jump, Paine Mountain range, Horns and Mounts Admiral Nieto, and Bases of the Torres del Paine National Park.

Salto Chico near Grey Lake in Torres del Paine National Park

Salto Chico near Grey Lake in Torres del Paine National Park

Lakes, rivers and lagoons in Torres del Paine National Park

The waters of Torres del Paine National Park come mainly from the defrosting of the glaciers that exist in the area of the South Ice Field, located within the National Park Towers of Paine. Due to the vicinity of the South Ice Field, the Park Torres del Paine National Park has innumerable rivers, lagoons and lakes that owe its formation to defrosting of the glaciers that compose it. Between the lakes are emphasizes the Sarmiento, Nordenskjold, Pehoe, Grey, Paine and Dickson; and an endless number of the varied lagoons of so large: Verde, Azul and Holanda, among others.

The largest rivers in Torres del Paine National Park are the Pingo, Paine, Serrano and Grey. Most important it is the Paine, which origin is in Lake Dickson, North end, which borders to the bulk by the east, crossing several lakes, to end at the flow of the Lake Toro, South end of the reserve. In its route, the volume originates three spectacular jumps: Paine, Great Jump and Small Jump.

From the glacier Dickson the river Paine is originated, most important of the park, that it crosses a group of lakes, located to different heights and connected by three cascades: Paine, Great Jump and Small Jump. The river flows at the lake of Toro, of 49.915,29 acres, that are drained by the Serrano River.

Also in Torres del Paine National Park there are other lakes and lagoons of closed river basins that drain by filtration or evaporation, like the Sarmiento Lake and the Amarga lagoon. These have a great salinity and concentrate the greater diversity of flora and fauna. The Amarga Lagoon is populated with colonies of flamenco. Its mane it is for the to the bitter flavor of its waters, with high content of ferruginous salts, that appear in its borders and take shape by evaporation, leaving a white and soft layer in the shore, that contrasts with the color to the interior of the lake.

Passed the Amarga Lagoon it will arrive at a deflection, that leads to the Azul lagoon, where is the Ranch Amarga Lagoon, where it will be able to enjoy to the best views to the Torres del Paine National Park; its waters are green-grey, due to light effects on sediments in suspension, and are clarified as the affluent of the Paine river converge.

Torres del Paine-Trekking Circuits:

In general the footpaths of Torres del Paine National Park are apt for all  who is prepared with the right trekking gear. Along several of the circuit, there are refuges that allow the visitors to rest or to spend the night.

Circuit Pingo-Zapata: The footpath begins in the Administrative Plaza of Torres del Paine National Park and goes through a road apt for vehicles until reaching  the Day-care center  Grey  lake(11,18 mi) by low hills until arriving at Pingo refuge, refuge Zapata, arriving until the glacier Zapata.

Paine circuit: The footpath goes round to the Paine Bulk, first at half mountain and then going up until the 4.429,13 feet above sea level, passing glacial rivers and lakes like the Grey, Dickson and Perros. Last 7 to 10 days of long walk.

Circuit Glacier Dickson: The circuit begins in the day-care center Amarga lagoon by a plain until the Serón camping, then continues by small hills passing through the Coirón camping and again through a plain until the refuge Dickson, from where the glacier is descried.

Circuit French Grey glacier: The footpath begins in Pampas very exposed to the wind, and then continues to half mountain until reaching the glaciers.

Circuit the Towers: The footpath begins in the day-care center Amargo lagoon by a road apt for vehicles 4,35 mi, until the Paine Hill Ranch (particular), later begins to raise passing by the Chilean camping until arriving at Bases of the Torres del Paine National Park at 1.968,50 feet above sea level.

Circuit Lago Paine: The footpath begins in the Day-care center Azul lagoon, until arriving at the Cebolla  lagoon to follow by one old track of vehicles until the refuge Paine Lake.

Circuit Verde Lagoon: The footpath begins in the Administrative Plaza and goes by a road apt to cars by 1.55 mi, after it is turned to the right to begin to raise the mountain range of the Toro (2.624,67 feet above sea level) and to continue by small hills until arriving at the Day-care center Verde lagoon.

In Torres del Paine National Park there are the following facilities:

Day-care centers and Control stops: The Administration of the Area, is located in the sector Toro lake to 90,10 mi les of the city of Puerto Natales and to 20,51 miles of the main access to the park. In that same building, the Center of Visitors works, where activities of environmental education are practiced.

The attention schedule is of 8:30 to 20:00 hrs.

The day-care centers are located in: Porter Sarmiento Lake, Porter Amarga Lagoon, Porter Azul Lagoon, Day-care center Lake Pehoé, Day-care center Lake Grey, Day-care center Verde Lagoon.

The sites to encamp are handled by concessionaires.

Camping Pehoé Lake:

It is located in the sector Pehoé Lake, 85,75 miles of Port Natales and to 7,46 miles of the Administrative Plaza.

Camping Serrano River

It is located in the  Toro Lake sector, to 97,56 miles of Port Native and 4,35 miles of the Administrative Plaza. They are 28 sites in charge.

Camping Blue Lagoon: located in the sector Azul Lagoon, are 15 sites.

Snack Area: there are snacks areas in camping Pehoé Lake, Azul lagoon and Serrano River.

Refuges and Camping: extended through the routes of several footpath are refuges and camping that allow the visitors to rest or to spend the night, and for those who want the contact with nature and the comfort, there also hotels and hostery in Torres del Paine.

Food Supplies: In the Day-care center Amarga Lagoon there is kiosk of non expired food.

Telephones there are in the Administrative Plaza, in the Hostery Pehoé and in the Explora Hotel. In addition in the park there is a small clinic of first aid (Host Administrative of Torres del Paine National Park), and an outpost of Customs officers.

** Information related to Hours, Rates and Dates might change without any previous notice **