Five top tips on how to connect with nature in Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia. These tips help you go beyond the visual enjoyment of nature towards a deeper connection with the park’s scenery, wildlife, climate and famous Patagonian wind.
1) Savour the Journey
The journey to the world’s end is a perfect opportunity to disconnect from city life and reconnect with nature. Your busy life back home fades into a distant memory as you fly over the immense Southern Patagonian Ice Field
and touch down in Patagonia
, driving over 360 km across wild plains deep into the middle of Torres del Paine territory. Arriving in the park you experience the wind furiously whipping past you, rushing through the grassy steppe and the Southern Beech forests. Best of all is the first sight of the Torres, when the majestic granite peaks finally sweep into view - an unforgettable moment reminding you of nature’s power.
2) Stay in Eco-friendly Lodging
3) Embrace the Elements
In Patagonia the air is cold and deliciously fresh and can be heard hurtling through the sky, even from inside. Make the most of crazy wind rushes in places like Condor viewpoint (be careful the wind doesn’t take any loose articles of clothing with it!) and the ridges leading up to the Torres viewpoint. Your guide will explain how to stand firm-footed and make the most of these sudden wind rushes which make you feel so alive. Expect four seasons
in a day and embrace taking off and adding layers, where else in the world do you get rain, sleet, snow and bright sunshine all in one day?
4) Experience Sunrise and Sunset
In the morning the sunrise creates a warm red glow across the landscape, framing the jagged silhouette of the Torres against the orange sky backdrop. If you can brave the early wake up call, around 4.30am in summer, the scene is picture perfect and unmatched by any other sunrise. Sunset is also a magical time as the light fades and the park fizzles with a golden glow. The sun goes down around 11 pm in summer so you’ll enjoy plenty of evening light outside before sunset.
5) Get Flora & Fauna savvy
Home to 26 species of mammal
and over 100 species of bird
plus a diverse array of plant life
, Torres del Paine is the perfect place for nature lovers. Get a head start and know what to look out for by buying a guide book and hiking with a well-informed, responsible guide. The park’s four habitats house diverse types of vegetation from edible evergreen shrubs like the Calafate berry and Chaura growing in pre-Andean shrubland, to the Lenga forests lining the park’s gorges. Fauna highlights include the rarely seen golden coated puma, the endangered South Andean deer, the affable guanaco herds and the Andean condor.