The Torres del Paine National Park is an obligatory visit for lovers of ecological tourism in South America. Situated in Chilean Patagonia, this incredible destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the category of Biosphere Reserve. Its trails blend various climatic experiences, breathtaking views, and contact with one of South America’s most exotic ambiances.
Its history is linked to the first international actions for the environment. The park was created by the government in 1959, and in 1978 it was recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. In short, this categorization creates rules for the use of the space, but also offers solutions for sustainable growth to those who have always lived there. This shows an effort for the preservation of an extremely unique ambiance in South America.
And throughout all these years, Torres del Paine has become a great tourist destination. The access to the park, especially for tourists from Brazil, can be time consuming. The airport nearest to the park is 417km away, in the city of Punta Arenas. From there, one can either go by bus, or rent a car for the final part of the trip.
The park offers some options for tours, which vary in distances and difficulties for travelers. The hike to the base of the park, all done on level ground, is 20km long, and is more accessible to tourists. Though very simple, it holds many natural beauties, such as lakes and examples of the native biome of Torres del Paine. The two other options, Circuits “W” and “O” are more challenging. They cover, respectively, 70km and 120km in length, and are normally faced by tourists that are used to long-distance hikes. The difficulties, however, are well worth facing. The views offered by these trails are highly rewarding.
Finally, it is important to know when to go to Torres del Paine. Since it’s a biome with an unstable climate, summer is the safest option, in order to avoid problems with snow and cold weather. However, since it’s the high season, it is also the most expensive time to visit the place. The daily prices of the visit can vary almost 100%, depending on the season.