Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine view

Torres del Paine view

I’m not often one to throw around superlatives haphazardly, but Patagonia is really deserving of many. It was simply a beautiful place, awe-inspiring and pristine. It’s an incredibly diverse area of the world that really should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetimes. You have towering mountains, crystal clear lakes, green valleys, glaciers, and so much more. And all of this in just one place, the Torres Del Paine National Park.

We spent 5 days there, and it wasn’t nearly enough, although when you look back on it, the amount of sights and feelings you experience makes it feel like much more. While we were there it felt like not nearly enough. We trekked across the towering ridges near the first valley on day one, then across country on day two, skirting a number of lakes. Day 3 we headed down into the Frances Valley, and then up through the Grey Glacier on days 4 and 5.

Salto Chico

Salto Chico

Much of this trek is called the W trek, a well known path for tourists through this wilderness wonderland. Along the way there are little huts called refugios where you can bunk up for the night, chat with other travellers, and rest. We ended up walking about 80 km along this trek all told, and honestly I don’t remember my legs or feet complaining once. My mind was probably ignoring them though, putting all its power into my eyes and ears to fully take in the sights and sounds I was witnessing. From climbing jagged peaks for a bird’s eye view of the valleys and lakes below, to skirting icy glaciers and crossing over boulder fields, we really experienced a year’s worth of joys in just 5 days.

The water was one of the most striking things about the park, absolutely clear and beautiful. I had no reservations about filling up my water bottle at them and drinking deeply and greedily. There were simply no contaminants or pollutants anywhere in the area to befoul it.

Lago Grey

Lago Grey

The weather was very cooperative which helped make the experience so much better. The weather is supposed to be very volatile in this region, but you wouldn’t know it from the 5 days we were there. Other than a light rainfall on one of the days, it was brilliant weather throughout. The winds were quite something though, so powerful at times that it was tough just moving forward in them when they were in your face.

As sad as it was to leave, I took plenty of photos that I’ll look over and share with pride often. It really was the type of unforgettable experience that you hope all vacations will be, but few ever achieve.