Do you fancy trekking for about 7 hours/22 kilometers to Base Torres? Would conquering the mountains make it all worthwhile for you? Then you should undertake the hike to “Base Torres”, which may just be Torres del Paine National Park’s top spot.
Indeed, whoever comes to this spectacular region of Patagonia dreams of seeing the famous tours from their base. Getting there is an adventure, and reaching the towers makes you feel something special, much more than the sensation of being in the middle of a postcard. Keep reading if you think you’re up to the challenge of this fascinating expedition!
We started walking at 8am from EcoCamp, a few minutes after the sunrise, and a clear blue sky and a nice view of the towers made us feel confident for the day. Aline (Brazil), Siobhan & David (UK), Keith and Collen (Canada) and Susan (Canada), accompanied by Elda and Marjorie who work at the kitchen of EcoCamp, and Timothy, our Guest Engagement Manager, followed the steps of Diego and Sarah, two experienced Wildlife Safari Guides. The first kilometers were pretty easy, but 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 could observe some of the common fauna & flora of the area, such as the Upland Goose and the famous Wild Magellanic Goose, which falls 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 the refuge – and without forgetting to eat some chocolate, of course! – 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! The last section was the steepest. 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.
Our hearts beating hard both from physical tiredness and excitement, 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. Aline revealed to everyone her story:
“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.”
Well, now it’s up to you to judge if it is worth coming to see the 8th wonder of the world!
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