Chile’s most well-known national park: Torres del Paine is a must visit in the south of the country. With its formations and geographic reliefs will astonish every tourist that comes to visit. It is a place that holds unique biodiversity in the country with a wide variety of native flora and fauna. It is recognized worldwide because of its impressive landscapes and hiking trail enabled that go through a wide variety of places including magellanic forests, lakes and ponds with imposing glaciers in the surroundings. All this attractions contrast with the main highlight: Torres Del Paine, gigantic granitic mountains that are an icon of the south of Chile. In the park itself several glaciers can be found like Dickson and Grey glaciers; this formations make part of the immense patagonic ice field, the world’s third biggest freshwater reserve. For its natural magnificence this park was named biosphere’s reserve on 1978 by UNESCO, conserving in this way the 240,000 hectares of this natural scenario.
Our guide will meet you at the Punta Arenas airport. Transfer to Puerto Natales, a threehour drive through the Patagonian pampa. Lodging in Puerto Natales at Kau Lodge, dinner and meeting to discuss trip program. (www.kaulodge.com) (D)
Transfer by van to Torres del Paine National Park. This is a two hour journey crossing the pampa Patagonica. Arrival at Torres del Paine. We will begin trekking to the Ascencio Valley where from above you see the river (of the same name) running wildly past refugio Chileno. After a quick stop here we will continue through a forest of the native Lenga (Beech) trees until reaching the glacial moraine. From here it’s a 1 hour trek to the top where the towers appear from nowhere! This trek is spectacular where you get to view the 3 pink granite towers with its glacial lake below that made the park famous. (7 hours round trip, 19 KM). Lodging & dinner at refugio las Torres. (B/L/D)
Today we will trek along Lake Nordenskjold (named after the Swedish geologist who’s studies formed an important contribution to world glacial geology) and below the hanging glaciers of Mount Almirante Nieto, where we will reach the base of Los Cuernos (5 hours, 11 km). Lodging and dinner at refugio or Los Cuernos. (B/L/D)
Trek to the French Valley. This valley, the most beautiful in the park and one of the most unique in the world. Its surrounded by hanging glaciers (where you can see & hear the ice calving off at various intervals) and an amphitheater of granite walls and spires. There are amazing views throughout this trek and the further you trek into the valley the better they become! On the return journey you will notice the extraordinary turquoise colour of Lake Pehoe (hidden lake in the Tehuelche Indian language). The trekking is 68 hrs depending on how far into the valley you go with a total of 24 km. Lodging and dinner at Lodge Paine Grande where you can enjoy a pisco sour in the bar that overlooks Paine Grande & Los Cuernos in the beautiful evening light. (B/L/D)
Trek along enchanting Lake Grey (34 hours, 11 KM ) with magnificent views of Glacier Grey and floating icebergs. Visit to the glacier lookout point and to the lakeshore for up close views of vibrantblue icebergs (Paine is a Tehuelche Indian word for "blue"). Accommodation in the new lodge Grey, lunch. From our base camp Bigfoot, located on the northeast coast of Lake Grey. Here our guides introduce us to the equipment needed for the tour and we will have a safety briefing. After this, we will carry the kayaks approximately 20 meters to the lakes’ edge. Now the tour really begins! We will be paddling around icebergs that are floating in the lake and afterwards we paddle towards the eastern side of the Grey Glacier to wonder at the spectacular scenery in this special place. If conditions permit, we can paddle closer to the glacier to get a really good view. After this, we will paddle back to the start point. Dinner and night. (B/L/D)
Ice Hike. After breakfast, the guides will have an introductory chat, and explain the route, the time the tour will take and also test the equipment, and adjust it correctly for each passenger. Then, we go in a zodiac boat for 15 minutes until we reach the west side of the Grey Glacier. On arrival, we will disembark on the island at the glacier (nunatak) and we will walk on it for about an hour until we reach the ice. Before walking onto the glacier, the guide will talk to us about the safety aspects, and they will explain the techniques of displacement in the ice and the correct use of the equipment. Once the safety briefing is complete we will begin our exploration of the Grey Glacier which will last approximately 3 hours. During this time we will be able to observe cracks, rivers, lagoons and tunnels with their different tones of blue. After 3 hours on the glacier, we return to the zodiac boat and ride back to the base camp. After lunch navigate in Grey II boat, 2 hours navigation in this magic lake surrounded by ice bergs. Transfer from Hosteria Grey to Puerto Natales, lodging and dinner at Kau Lodge. (B/L/D)
Transfer to Punta Arenas. End of trip. (B)