PN Torres del Paine, Chile

The Most Dramatic Patagonia

Torres del Paine I
A dirt road leads to one of the lakes surrounding the Torres del Paine.
A guanaco surveys the steppe around a high point on the slope.
a blue gray
Sculpture of the front of the Gray Glacier, an arm of the great Ice Field of Southern Patagonia.
Torres del Paine I
One of the many possible angles to the geological fulcrum of Torres del Paine National Park.
ice in the bucket
Crew members pass ice collected from Lake Gray onto the deck of the boat while sailing in front of the Gray Glacier.
southern cold
Mist surrounds the semi-snowy peaks of the Paine range.
frigid intimacy
Boat captain inside his cabin and passenger admire the Gray Glacier a short distance away.
Max. 6 Person
Suspension bridge over the Gray River, at the exit of the homonymous lake.
majestic views
Passengers on one of the boats that navigate Lake Gray to the front of the Glacier with the same name admire the surrounding scenery.
self coziness
Fox slumbers and tries to keep warm after one of the frequent rains in the Paine range.
Thaw green
The green water of Lake Nordenskjöld, one of several in Torres del Paine National Park.
A Piece of Cold
Small iceberg loose from the Great Gray Glacier.
sloth's cave
In 1890, Hermann Eberhard discovered in the Cueva del Milodón traces of a gigantic prehistoric sloth, which could have reached up to 4 meters in height.
Pampa sheep
A herd of sheep fills a huge patch of pampas as far as the Patagonia goes, around Torres del Paine National Park.
A blue gray II
The front of the vast Gray Glacier appears behind a slab of the Paine Mountains.
Nowhere is the southernmost reaches of South America so breathtaking as the Paine Mountains. There, a natural fort of granite colossi surrounded by lakes and glaciers protrudes from the pampa and submits to the whims of meteorology and light.

Punta Arenas is the capital of the 12th region of Chile, that of Magallanes y Antárctica Chilena.

It is located around the strait that made it possible for the Portuguese explorer to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, for the time being, still almost 200 km to the south.

In the small Israeli cybercafé in Puerto Natales, there were too many contemporary travelers clinging to old computers.

Internet browsing could be compared to those days – sometimes weeks – desperate for the captains and crews of vessels where not a single breeze blew.

The sterile discussions with Moshe, the non-patient owner of the establishment followed one another.

We were no longer surprised by that diaspora of young Jews, also there, in the depths of the Earth. Once dependent on wool, meat and fish exports, Puerto Natales benefited from the growing popularity of the nearby Torres del Paine National Park and became its gateway.

Even more so when the state company NAVIMAG started to admit foreign travelers on board and, in addition to the traditional ways of arriving, these started to arrive from the north, by sea, from Puerto Eden.

The Israelis are known for settling in inexpensive places and they know, in advance, that they are or will soon be part of the unavoidable itineraries of their compatriots.

As far as the Torres del Paine was concerned, it wasn't just teenage Hebrews who worshiped them. It was the universe of adventurers and curious around the world.

Accordingly, we hurriedly dispatch the missing logistical arrangements. Soon, we left the riverside town attracted by the magnetism of the most photogenic and majestic mountains in Patagonia.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Southern Cold

Mist surrounds the semi-snowy peaks of the Paine range.

Discover Torres del Paine National Park

The first road approach to that granite domain began by underlining its insignificance, as the carripan climbed, with great effort, the unprotected dirt slopes from any possible falls along long cliffs.

Further on, we crossed the goal from Laguna Amarga and the Kusanovik Bridge.

Once installed and on foot, we move to the main circular trail that skirts the main peaks and the small glaciers sheltered between them. Exposed to the elements, we felt the swift westerly wind, even sharper on our faces, due to the near-freezing temperature.

Walking it in its entirety can take from seven to nine days intermediated with rest in camps or refuges and, as we have witnessed, subject to capricious and sometimes inclement weather that can mean the four seasons in one afternoon, as well as two days of rain or almost unbroken snow.

This is a mild punishment if we consider the beauty of the scenery. The Torres del Paine (Monzino, Central and D'Agostini) are the center of everything. They rise almost vertically at approximately 2800 meters above the Patagonian steppe, each with its own altitude.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile

A dirt road leads to one of the lakes surrounding the Torres del Paine.

Paine Grande reaches 3050 meters and the peaks of Los Cuernos 2200 to 2600 meters.

Under a cloudy sky, they are somewhat grayish, but when the twilight falls on them, it dyes them and the rest of the mountain in warm tones that soothe the soul of anyone who admires them.

Although, today, Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most visited in Chile and an essential stop on adventurous itineraries in Patagonia or South America, for a long time it remained completely anonymous.

The Pre-Colonial Exclusivity of the Alacalufes, Onas and Tehuelches Indigenous

Until the arrival of the first European settlers, the natives Alacalufes, Onas and Tehuelches they lived on what they hunted, fished and gathered from nature. Not even the settlers who nearly exterminated them were able to overcome the harsh climate and soil that made any kind of agricultural attempt impossible.

Livestock was a different case.

The current area of ​​the park was part of one of the many sheep farms that occupied those parts of Patagonia.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Herd in the Pampa

A herd of sheep fills a huge patch of pampas as far as the Patagonia goes, around Torres del Paine National Park.

Almost only the settlers and some natives had had the unconscious privilege of admiring Paine and its unique panoramas.

The name of the place had, in fact, been given by a group of the last ones, the Tehuelches that the men of Fernão Magalhães called Patacões or Patacones, inspired by the predominant blue hue of its icy lakes.

The isolation was not absolute. Over time, some visitors arrived.

Lady Florence Dixie, a British Pioneer from Torres del Paine

Lady Florence Dixie, British traveller, writer, war correspondent and feminist, stood out in a group believed to have been one of the area's first tourists and, in her 1880 book, christened Paine's three towers “Cleopatra's Needles” .

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile Torres del Paine I

One of the many possible angles to the geological fulcrum of Torres del Paine National Park.

In the immediate decades, several European scientists and explorers followed until, in 1959, the national park was first established as the Lago Gray National Tourism National Park, and in 1970, under its current name.

Eight years later, UNESCO named it the World Biosphere Reserve. The fame of the place reached new proportions. Today, 150.000 visitors per year exploit it. 60% are foreigners.

We walk around the base of the Sur tower when we spot a flock of guanacos watching for the intrusion of unexpected creatures into their vast territory.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Guanaco

A guanaco surveys the steppe around a high point on the slope.

With their keen eyesight, the camelids quickly felt the relief that they were humans and not the cougars that prey on them with great voracity, like sheep and stray foals.

Guanacos and pumas coexist in Torres del Paine with llamas, rheas, flamingos, condors and many other animal species, some of which are endemic.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, fox

Fox slumbers and tries to keep warm after one of the frequent rains in the Paine range.

As we walk, we notice the frigid richness of the ecosystem that welcomes them, made up of steppe, coniferous forests, rivers, lakes and glaciers.

Grey: the Blue King of the Torres del Paine Glaciers

Some of fans of the park – as the South Americans of the neighborhood prefer to call glaciers due to their tendency to channel the wind – are small and very hidden among the rocky peaks.

This is the case of Serrano.

Others are arms of the gigantic ice field in Southern Patagonia (where Argentina and Chile continue to debate their borders) and have dimensions to match.

Gray is one of these. At that time, its front remained accessible by boat across the lake of the same name.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Lago Gray

The green water of Lake Nordenskjöld, one of several in Torres del Paine National Park.

We took advantage of the benefit. We didn't take long to approach him.

Pitch-black clouds cover the Quebrada de los Vientos and disperse over the increasingly agitated waters. Even so, we have a shipping order.

Shortly after we set sail, the Gray seems to grow and stir under the storm that is unfolding but which we can only enjoy, almost as if from the inside of a washing machine tub, protected by the boat's reinforced glass.

The flood ends in three stages. Halfway to the front of the glacier, the rain stops. To the delight of passengers, the sky clears. We immediately climbed onto the increasingly disputed deck.

The Majestic Front of the Gray Glacier

At a glance, we have the inaugural view of the seven kilometers across the glacier, still distant but already impressive, nestled between the cliffs of the Paine mountain range.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Glacier Gray

The front of the vast Gray Glacier appears behind a slab of the Paine Mountains.

The commander gets as close as he can to the ice, in slow motion.

Gradually, we see the blueness and overwhelming dimension of that incredible phenomenon intensify and the temperature drop to minus degrees of rapid freezing.

"Now let's have absolute silence, friends, please."

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, in front of Gray Glacier

Boat captain inside his cabin and passenger admire the Gray Glacier a short distance away.

The crew moves us back to a safe distance.

It asks passengers to stop whispering so that we could hear the crackle of the glacier and watch the crash of the next landslide.

The collapse takes time and disappoints. They decide to move on to the next issue. two of them come out in a small zodiac and capture tiny shards of ice from the lake.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Pure Ice

Crew members pass ice collected from Lake Gray onto the deck of the boat while sailing in front of the Gray Glacier.

On the way back to the main boat, they inaugurate a lecture about the millenary frozen waters that we had witnessed, similarly, in other glaciers and to which we did not pay proper attention.

Shortly thereafter, the return journey began.

The storm resumed its act.

With Bruce Chatwin “In Patagonia” from Torres del Paine

More than not resisting the call of this raw and powerful nature of the end of the world, some characters responded and eternalized it with the best of their art.

One of the most associated with Patagonia and these parts of Magallanes was the English writer Bruce Chatwin.

In the service of the Sunday Times Magazine, Chatwin traveled in the context of frequent international reporting. In 1972, he interviewed 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray at her Paris salon.

Among the decoration of the room, a map of Patagonia that the interviewee had painted caught Chatwin's attention. "I always wanted to go there." Chatwin told him. To which Gray replied, “Me too. Go there for me.”

Two years later, Chatwin was. It flew to Lima and reached Patagonia a month later.

He explored the region for a few months and gathered stories and anecdotes allegedly from people who had settled there who had arrived from other parts.

Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile, Majestic views

Passengers on one of the boats that navigate Lake Gray to the front of the Glacier with the same name admire the surrounding scenery.

In 1977, he published “Na Patagonia”, a narrative around his demand for a piece of brontosaurus that had been thrown out of his grandparents' office years before.

The work made Chatwin one of the most highly regarded post-war British writers.

However, little by little, the residents of the narrated areas were denying most of the characters and conversations described by Chatwin, which turned his work into fiction.

Bruce Chatwin died of AIDS in 1989. “In Patagonia” continued to inspire thousands of adventurers to explore the region.

The book has been a good ally of the images of the Torres del Paine National Park, which has gone global in the meantime.

El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Pucón, Chile

Among the Araucarias of La Araucania

At a certain latitude in longline Chile, we enter La Araucanía. This is a rugged Chile, full of volcanoes, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and the coniferous forests from which the region's name grew. And it is the heart of the pine nuts of the largest indigenous ethnic group in the country: the Mapuche.
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Rapa Nui - Easter Island, Chile

Under the Moais Watchful Eye

Rapa Nui was discovered by Europeans on Easter Day 1722. But if the Christian name Easter Island makes sense, the civilization that colonized it by observant moais remains shrouded in mystery.
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
El Tatio, Chile

El Tatio Geysers - Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

Surrounded by supreme volcanoes, the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Atacama Desert it appears as a Dantesque mirage of sulfur and steam at an icy 4200 m altitude. Its geysers and fumaroles attract hordes of travelers.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

São Pedro de Atacama: an Adobe Life in the Most Arid of Deserts

The Spanish conquerors had departed and the convoy diverted the cattle and nitrate caravans. San Pedro regained peace but a horde of outsiders discovering South America invaded the pueblo.
Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Alexander Selkirk: in the Skin of the True Robinson Crusoe

The main island of the Juan Fernández archipelago was home to pirates and treasures. His story was made up of adventures like that of Alexander Selkirk, the abandoned sailor who inspired Dafoe's novel
Atacama Desert, Chile

Life on the Edges of the Atacama Desert

When you least expect it, the driest place in the world reveals new extraterrestrial scenarios on a frontier between the inhospitable and the welcoming, the sterile and the fertile that the natives are used to crossing.
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Ascent to the Villarrica Volcano Crater, in Full Activity

Pucón abuses nature's trust and thrives at the foot of the Villarrica mountain. We follow this bad example along icy trails and conquer the crater of one of the most active volcanoes in South America.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
good buddhist advice
Ceremonies and Festivities
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
Ribeira Grande, Santo Antao
Ribeira Grande, Santo AntãoCape Verde

Santo Antão, Up the Ribeira Grande

Originally a tiny village, Ribeira Grande followed the course of its history. It became the village, later the city. It has become an eccentric and unavoidable junction on the island of Santo Antão.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Sun and coconut trees, São Nicolau, Cape Verde
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

São Nicolau: Pilgrimage to Terra di Sodade

Forced matches like those that inspired the famous morna “soda” made the pain of having to leave the islands of Cape Verde very strong. Discovering saninclau, between enchantment and wonder, we pursue the genesis of song and melancholy.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Morondava, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar

The Malagasy Way to Dazzle

Out of nowhere, a colony of baobab trees 30 meters high and 800 years old flanks a section of the clayey and ocher road parallel to the Mozambique Channel and the fishing coast of Morondava. The natives consider these colossal trees the mothers of their forest. Travelers venerate them as a kind of initiatory corridor.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
on this side of the Atlantic

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

colorful boat, Gili Islands, Indonesia
Gili Islands, Indonesia

Gili: the Indonesia's Islands the World Calls “Islands”

They are so humble that they are known by the term bahasa which means only islands. Despite being discreet, the Gili have become the favorite haunt of travelers who pass through Lombok or Bali.
Passengers on the frozen surface of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the base of the "Sampo" icebreaker, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Alcatraz Island, California, United States
Natural Parks
Alcatraz, San Francisco, USA

Back to the Rock

Forty years after his sentence ended, the former Alcatraz prison receives more visitors than ever. A few minutes of his seclusion explain why The Rock's imagination made the worst criminals shiver.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat
UNESCO World Heritage

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Bather rescue in Boucan Canot, Reunion Island
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Bright bus in Apia, Western Samoa

In Search of the Lost Time

For 121 years, it was the last nation on Earth to change the day. But Samoa realized that his finances were behind him and, in late 2012, he decided to move back west on the LID - International Date Line.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.