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Circuit Trail around Torres del Paine in Patagonia – Chile, South America
Text and watercolors by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, Hiking.org
The hike along the Torres del Paine W. Circuit trail in Patagonia, Chile last around 6-9 days and are approx. 130km. / 80 miles. in one of Chile’s largest and most visited national parks Torres del Paine
The Torres del Paine National Park
three tall up to 2500m. / 8,200 ft granite peaks are one of the main attractions in the huge, (181 ha / 448 Acres ) National park. The park has both glaciers, forests, lakes, waterfalls and a lot of other things that has made National Geographic call it the fifth most beautiful place on the planet. More than 250.000 visitors enter the park each year and more of half are foreigners. The Torres del Paine is on many “Must see before you die” bucket lists.
The Circuit del Torres del Paine trail
The Circuit Torres del pain Trail takes the hike through many of these places. But after a series of gigantic wildfires, some destroying more than 150 km2. 50 sq mi. of the fragile biodiversity in the park. As all these wildfires was started by hikers cooking or making campfires, the access to the park for visitors is now restricted to the trails and sleeping needs to be in the designated hotels, refugios or campsites. Hikers also need a permit to enter and book sleeping places, as the amount of hikers permitted on the Circuit del Torres del Paine trail a day is limited to less than 100, and the hiking season is only from approx. Sept – April.
Wikipedia: Torres del Paine National Park on Wikipedia
Official Website ( also in English ): Parque National Torres del Paine
Flickr.com – great photos from the park: Flickr: Torres Del Paine images
Yeti adventure films YouTube: Good 6 min. reportage from hiking the TDP by Yeti Adv films
The National park is run by CONAF, Ministry of Agriculture in Chile ( conaf.cl )
Guides and how-to
Backpacker Steve: how to and trek description on Back-packer.org