Updated on December 7th, 2020
Are you up for a trekking adventure to one of the most stunning viewpoints on the planet? It's a lengthy walking adventure of 24 kilometers and a chance to truly conquer the famous mountains of Paine.
If this sounds like you, then join us on a life-changing excursion to the base of the Paine Towers, one of the major highlights in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Keep reading to hear my personal experience of this fascinating expedition with EcoCamp Patagonia:
It was roughly 8 AM when we departed from EcoCamp, just a few minutes after the sunrise. The clear blue sky and a nice view of the Towers made us feel confident for the day full of adventure.
Our group included: Aline (Brazil), Siobhan and David (UK), Keith and Collen (Canada), Susan (Canada), accompanied by Elda and Marjorie who work in the EcoCamp kitchen and me, Timothy, the Guest Engagement Manager at EcoCamp. We followed the lead of Diego and Sarah, two experienced Wildlife Safari Guides.
The first kilometers were pretty easy and offered an outstanding view over some blue water lakes, such as the Nordenskjold which looms on the skyline like a giant. We were all struck by the depth of the horizon and the immensity of the pampa.
Walking across the steppe, we observed some of the common fauna and flora of the area, such as the Upland Goose and the famous Wild Magellanic Goose, both which fall in love forever (they always live in couples). We also saw lots of Calafate berries, a well-known local fruit which is so tasty in desserts!
We kept trekking in the sunshine, crossing a few rivers at the feet of the impressive Almirante Nieto Mountain, which was full of snow (spring had only just sprung). From the trekking path, we could see some glaciers up ahead. After an hour, the relief changed and the path became steeper. We walked inside a shady valley (called “Valle del Ascencio”), where the sweet sound of the river below lulled us for almost two hours.
After a short break at a refuge – and a little chocolate snack – we entered a dark forest that surrounded us with dense vegetation. The silent trees and the numerous bridges we had to cross made the place rather enchanting.
We then started walking on steep terrain up high toward the base. But wow! What a view. We felt breathtakingly high up and we were surrounded by majestic snowy mountains. We were now on the last stretch, and the top of the Towers looking down on us reminded us of our noble objective. Conquering the snow and the rock, we finally faced the famous Towers.
After three to four hours of walking, our hearts were beating hard both from physical exhaustion and excitement as we stared at this marvelous landscape. Many of us had been dreaming of seeing it for years. The place was full of energy and the frozen lake made it even more majestic.
We all realized that the beauty of nature had the power to unite people, even making them cross the entire world to experience it. We sat down in front of the Towers, enjoying our lunch and staring at the wild show of Patagonia.
Aline, who came alone from tropical Rio de Janeiro, could hardly believe she was there. What a unique place! For her, who never trekked before, this was a memorable first time.
After some incredible pictures, it was time to head back…same way, opposite direction. Once back at EcoCamp, a nice, strong cocktail was our reward, and we told our friends, who did not accompany us, all about our beautiful day.
“I basically wanted to travel, but I didn’t know where. It could have been any other country. I discovered Torres del Paine on the internet, and as soon as I saw the pictures, I knew it was the place I had to go! It looked so incredible. I came to Chile only to experience the national park. Today was a very special day for me, as I reached the Towers everyone sees in the pictures. It was a bit hard, but the view and the beauty of the walk helped me to continue. The way back was the most difficult part, because I was quite tired and it got a bit cold. But it was worth it! When I saw the Towers, I felt so peaceful that I relaxed in silence for a moment before taking any pictures. The view was just…beautiful. I will recommend this experience to everyone I know in Brazil.” -Aline
Well, now it’s up to you! Don't just dream about it, make your Patagonian fantasy a reality with a trekking adventure to the base of the Paine Towers at the end of the world.