I traveled to Patagonia in the far southern part of Chile with two friends. We spent three days hiking in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.
We took a bus from Viña del Mar to Santiago, a flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, a bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, a bus from there to the national park, and a catamaran Refugio Grey, the camp ground where we spent our first night before beginning the hike. This picture is taken while on the boat across the incredibly clear blue Lago Pehoe.
Hiking along one section of the “W Trail”, one of the most common trails to hike in this national park. Lago Grey is pictured to the left and Glacier Grey is in the background.
We went sea kayaking on Lago Grey past a bunch of icebergs and right up to Glacier Grey itself.
We were able to get out of the kayaks and walk right up to the glacier. In the front, the ice measures about 12 meters. In the middle of the glacier, it is around 35 meters high.
We didn’t have enough time to hike the entire “W Trail”, so we took the catamaran back and a bus to the third part of the trail to hike up to see the towers. This is Hotel Torres del Paine at the bottom of the trail.
We hiked along a very thin trail along the side of a mountain and following a river in the valley below for about 2 hours before reaching Refugio Chileno.
We camped the third night at Refugio Chileno right next to the river, which runs all the way down to Hotel Torres del Paine where we began the hike that day. The next morning, we woke up around 4:30 a.m. to hike up to the towers before sunrise.
These are the famous towers for which the park is named as the sun is rising over the mountains.
We traveled back to Puerto Natales and spent a morning there before heading to the airport to return to Santiago and continue studying abroad in Viña del Mar
. The plaza had many statues and vendors selling souvenirs. Many of the stores and restaurants were closed, however, because it was a Sunday.
We walked along the sidewalk in Puerto Natales to see the Straight of Magellan.
Emily Shaw is the Spring 2013 CEA MOJO inViña del Mar, Chile
Read more about our CEA Content Creators.