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Trekking the Chilean Patagonia

Chilean Patagonia has much to offer trekkers, with its dramatic, beautiful scenery and National Parks. Depending on which part you travel to, you can enjoy treks up mountains, along rivers, and even on glaciers! A popular location is Torres del Paine National Park, with stunning mountain scenery and valleys. The park also has a variety of flora and fauna, including the Chilean Flamingo and Austral Pygmy Owl. There are marked paths to follow, where trekkers can enjoy breath-taking views. A trek known as the 'W Circuit', due to the shape of the route, is a 4 day trek that can be taken in the park. This trek takes in the Ascensio Valley, the French Valley, and Lago Grey. The walk along Lago Grey goes towards the Grey Glacier on the edge of the Patagonian Ice Cap. There is also the full circuit, which is an 8-9 day hike that takes in amazing views of the Patagonian Ice Cap. The remote island of Tierra del Fuego is also ideal for trekking, with coastal walks, large lakes and snow topped mountains. The cuisine that Chilean Patagonia is known for includes seafood, grilled meat and empanadas. You can also enjoy exotic fruit and fine wines. Spanish is the main language of Chilean Patagonia, but English is widely spoken by those in the tourism industry. Although a beautiful place to visit, there are important factors to consider before travelling. While trekking in Chilean Patagonia could be a rewarding experience, some of the terrain is very challenging. There are different treks for different ability levels, but it is important to research before you go, as some of the treks can be demanding. You will need to ensure that the trip is appropriate for your experience and fitness level. You will also need to consider which time of year to go. The weather in Patagonia can be very extreme, most tourists visit between October and April. Cost is another factor that needs to be considered. A 7 day trip to Torres del Paine from the UK in October, including the 'W Circuit' can be around £1,000.00 excluding flights. An economy flight from the UK in October can be found for around £800.00. The prices will vary depending on the time of year you travel, and how much is included in the trip. If you decide that trekking in the Chilean Patagonia is the trip for you, it could be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

1 comment

  • Patagonia is a beautiful place to hike. I’ve done a couple of trips there and love the area. I’d highly recommend doing the full circuit of Torres del Paine (9 or 10 days) rather than just the W. The stretches in the north of the park are beautiful and the campsites are empty compared to the fairly busy campsites on the W. I couldn’t belive the increase in visitors between my two trips in 1999 and 2005!
    Fiztroy just over the border in Argentina is another area not to be missed. The peak of Cerro Torre is one of the most beautiful in the world and is full of mountaineering history. The park’s a lot wilder than Torres. The amazing Perito Moreno glacier is also in this area where you can watch huge blocks of ice carving off the glacier into the lake – an incredible site to see.
    Enjoy your hiking in Patagonia – just one word of warning – come prepared! The weather is really changeable and snow is common even in summer. Make sure your tent will stand up to the high winds and brink plenty of pegs!

    Walking in Spain

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