Patagonia is an area of the world that defies description. Sitting at the southern tip of South America, it is a land of extremes, where massive storms whip off the Pacific and create huge glaciers, sculpted mountains, deep glacier lakes, and flora and fauna that exist nowhere else on earth. The Torres del Paine national park is the jewel of Patagonia, and one of the most incredible parks in the world.
Our Torres del Paine trekking trip visits this impressive region of Patagonia, and combines travel by private vans with supported trekking. Walking is the only way to really experience Patagonia. While we are able to explore areas of the national park far from roads and tour buses, an extensive lodge and camp system means we do not need to carry heavy packs. Each night we will have meals in the lodges (and then sleep outside in quiet and clean permanent tents) that are scattered throughout the park, where we finish long days of walking and exploring in front of roaring fireplaces.
Our 8-day expedition takes full advantage of all that the region has to offer. We begin in Punta Arenas, a town famed as a starting point for countless Antarctic expeditions. From there we head into the national park, trekking for 3 days to the base of and then around the Torres del Paine, jagged granite towers that have become the icon of Patagonia. Three days gives us time to see these incredible mountains from all sides, and to explore the different ecological zones that exist on each. The towers are a photographer’s dream!
Leaving the towers, we explore two of the region’s largest lakes, Lake Grey and Lake Pehoe. Each have glaciers that come off of the mountains all the way into the lakes, where pieces regularly break off to become floating icebergs. And since Alpenglow is a mountaineering guide service, those interested will have the unusual opportunity to spend a day on the glacier, learning the basics of walking in crampons and using an ice axe. Exploring a huge Patagonian glacier will give you a view into the icy world that covers much of Patagonia. And two trips across the lake by boat will give us another unique view of the park, and a way to explore the huge floating icebergs. Finally we return to civilization, by boat and then van, to Punta Natales, a small town on Last Hope Sound.
Our Patagonia adventure is designed for anyone interested in exploring this incredible place on foot. No backpacking, mountaineering, or hiking experience is required. Participants should be in good physical condition, and able to walk on rugged trails. Our longest day might include up to eight hours of walking. We would be happy to provide you with recommendations on how best to get ready for your expedition.
Trekking in Patagonia is extremely remote. Choosing to travel with an experienced guide and guide service will increase both your safety and your enjoyment of this mountainous region. We combine our North American guides’ experience with the local expertise of one of Patagonia’s best logistics operators. This ensures we have the best in private transportation, food, and lodging and that your experience will be one you will never forget!