THE highlight for hikers in Patagonia: Base las Torres
Patagonia is a paradise for tours with a rental car in Chile and the Torres del Paine (Towers of the Blue Sky) are probably the most important reason for many tourists to come to Chile. Not for nothing is the Torres del Paine National Park a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and has prevailed against 300 other destinations in 50 countries in the election for the 8th World Wonder of the US website VirtualTourist.com.
In order to really see the “Torres”, one has to go on a quite challenging hike: The full-day hiking tour to the viewpoint “Base Las Torres” covers about 20 km of total distance and takes about 8 hours, depending on the condition. Starting point is at the Hotel Las Torres Patagonia in the Laguna Amarga sector. Starting in a hilly landscape the hike goes up the valley of the Río Asencio, which is fed by high-altitude glaciers, through typically Chilean Lenga forest. The rising is slight but steady in the beginning. After about two or two and a half hours, hikers reach the Refugio Chileno, which is ideal to take a first break. From there, you can catch a glimpse of the tops of Torres del Paine hidden behind a moraine for the first time – if not covered by clouds. The hike continues along the Asencio River through the forest to the tree line, from where it goes over steep, rocky terrain, until finally the deep blue glacier lagoon appears behind the last moraine of large boulders. And behind them, the granite towers of Torres del Paine tower steeply into the sky! The wonderful sight and the feeling of “having made it” are simply incomparable!
Tourists who do not have a good enough condition to do this tour, can also do it on horseback.
How to get there? With a rental car from Punta Arenas, it is about 330 km mostly on gravel roads to Laguna Amarga. Car rental tours in Patagonia are something for “slow travelers”. We recommend to arrive 1-2 days in advance so you can reach your starting point without stress, be it Puerto Natales (for early birds, 110km distance to starting point of the hike) or a hotel in the Torres del Paine National Park. Contact us and we will gladly make suggestions for your rental car trip through Patagonia and find you the cheapest suitable car. We look forward to your request!