Torres del Paine Chile
The Park is located in the heart of Chilean Southern Patagonia the Torres del Paine National Park (which was declared a World UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978) is one of the most impressive natural geographical spectacles on Earth. The are known as Torres del Paine covers 182,000 sq hectares and is the main jewel in Chile's tourist crown. Just why it’s worth travelling 4.5 hrs from Santiago on a plane and then driving a further 5 hrs by car is only apparent when you stand and stare in amazement at the unbelievable sight of this monumental cluster of mountain peaks that appear to stand all on their own in the middle of an otherwise flat plateau. Comprising this central massif are the "Cuernos del Paine" (Horns of Paine), covered in snow at varying altitudes and offering support to giant blue-white blobs of ice otherwise called hanging glaciers, and three other towers - which are the Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine). The sight of the almost vertical rock sides rising up to an altitude of close to 3,000 m is what causes such an awe-inspiring view. For outdoor lovers Torres del Paine is a must to see before you die.
Torres del Paine Accommodation for Hotels and Refugios
Hotel Tierra Patagonia, Hotel Awasi, Hotel Explora, Hotel Salto Chico, Hotel Explora Salto Chico, Hotel Las Torres, Hosteria Las Torres, Hotel Grey, Hotel Lago Grey, Hosteria Lago Grey, Hotel, Cabanas Paine, Hotel Paine, Hotel Mirador del Paine, Hotel Mirador del Payne, Hosteria Mirador del Payne, Estancia Cerro Guido, Cerro Guido, Patagonia Camp, Eco Camp, Hotel Pehoe, Hosteria Pehoe, Hotel Serrano, Hotel Rio Serrano
Torres del Paine Cuernos (or "horns")
Cuernos del Paine within the Torres del Paine comprises the Cuerno Principal (2,600m), Cuerno Este (2,200m) and Cuerno Norte (2,400m). To the west of the Cuernos del Paine is the Valle del Frances - one of the glories of the park - a high altitude valley ringed by a curtain of almost vertical rock.
Torres del Paine Towers
The meaning of Torres del Paine is "towers" and the vast Torres del Paine comprises the peaks of Torre Monzino (north) (2,600m), Torre Central (2,800m) and Torre D'Agostini (south) (2,650m). To the east of the Torres del Paine is the Valle Ascencio.
Surrounding this jaw-dropping spectacle is a natural wilderness of turquoise-coloured lakes, waterfalls, glaciers (especially Grey glacier) and fast-running rivers. The massive Grey Glacier, 7km wide at its widest point and stretching back over 20 km., is still in the process of carving its own valley to the west of the Cuernos del Paine.
Torres del Paine Accommodation and Options
The vast majority of people coming to Torres del Paine will come to hike the famous Torres del Paine W trek and the more serious trekkers will hike the complete Torres del Paine circuit. The Torres del Paine W trek is called so because the route forms a pattern like a “W” and the circuit, although encompassing the “W” also takes in the back area behind the Central Massif and completes a circuit of the Park and hence its name. Each route takes a number of days and involves serious trekking, therefore trekkers should be reasonably fit.
Accommodation in Torres del Paine can be found in hotels with private bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, hikers hostels called refugios and camp sites as well as one dome camp site.All accommodation must be pre-booked. Options on the trails include a number of hikers’ hostels called "refugios" (refuge) and / or serviced camp sites. Refugios offer rather basic, shared dormitory-style accommodation along with communal shower rooms.
For those who prefer something more comfortable there are a number of hosterias, which are actually hotels with en-suite bathrooms and nice restaurants – but the hosterias are not generally located on the hiking trails, bar one: Hosteria Las Torres. Hosterias, apart from offering nicer accommodation, are better suited for those who have a rental car and who wish to drive out to stunning beauty spots as well as participate in some of the excursions such as visiting Grey glacier, horse riding, or trekking other than the main trails.
The top-of-the-range accommodation in Torres del Paine is to be found at the Hotel Explora Salto Chico where the all-inclusive packages are of the highest level. Hosteria Las Torres, as mentioned, can offer hotel accommodation as bed and breakfast or as an all-inclusive package and is a less costly alternative to Explora Salto Chico Hotel. The hotel Las Torres is also an option for those wishing to trek the Torres del Paine W trek and have their first (or final) night or two in a decent hotel.