DAY 4-6: Torres del Paine National Park
We drive to Torres del Paine National Park, stopping at Milodón Cave, where the remains of an extinct giant sloth were discovered. Illuminating displays show the history of human habitation and wildlife of the region. We continue to monumental Torres del Paine, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve and a place of superlatives. The landscape is big, wide and sprawling, with razor-backed ridges, Andean condors, guanacos, foxes, and rheas. Regardless of where you are, the Paine massif draws your eye with its jagged peaks, including the famous “Horns” and the three towers for which the park is named. These granite mountains are topped with a thick layer of dark slate. Chileans themselves dream of visiting this magnificent park, and it holds a special place in their hearts as a symbol of wildness.
We spend three nights at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. During our days here, we’ll discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests and grasslands, rivers and colorful lakes and lagoons. You’ll be able to choose among a variety of excursions each day, ranging from a challenging hike to the base of the towers, to a shorter walk among guanaco herds to the edge of a lake, to a scenic drive to a waterfall and the “Blue Lagoon”, with views of the towers. Or ride horseback if you wish, in this most inspiring of landscapes. You’ll leave here with the feeling you’ve really experienced an adventure. (B,L,D)