shades of blue
In the morning we leave toward the north along the Fjord of Última Esperanza; then we will drive in a long valley, next to lakes and mountains. We will pass by the small village of Cerro Castillo, a gaucho town on the border with Argentina.
From there on, we get deep into the Patagonian steppe. Having snowed mountains as a background, we will watch condors soar, rheas and flocks of sheep cross our way, and guanacos grazing on the pampas.
Suddenly, the very distinct silhouette of the Torres del Paine will appear. We will stop at several viewpoints on the road to admire it. Entering the National Park by the north, we will reach the Laguna Azul. From its eastern shore, the view of the slender granite towers is magnificent.
We will resume our trip to surround the Paine mountains from the northeast toward the west. This will allow us to see the peaks from many angles as we change our point of view. On the way, we will discover waterfalls, rivers and lakes of all possible shades of blue – from light green to deep turquoise – as well as abundant wildlife. We will do some short hikes to get closer to cascades, groups of guanacos, or simply to take in the beauty of this breathtaking land.
As we follow the River Paine toward the west, amazing views of the Andes and the Southern Patagonian Icefield will appear.
To return to Puerto Natales, we will take a route on the west area, more humid and lush, driving along the enormous blue Lake Del Toro. We will leave the spires and granite peaks of Paine behind, to again admire the Andes and the Fjord of Última Esperanza.
Total time: 10 - 11 hours
Hiking time: from 3 to 5 hours, optional
Difficulty: all levels