Waking up at five in the morning is never pleasant, but sometimes the rewards make it more than worth the effort. Besides, you can sleep in the bus! Our tiredness soon disappeared as the scenery around us started to change. As we drove through the grasslands, we anticipated what lay ahead of us at one of Chile’s premier destinations, Torres Del Paine National Park. Breath-taking views and chances for incredible wildlife awaited us, and any discussion of the early morning soon went away.
National Geographic Explorer
Waking in the protected harbor of San Juan de Salvamento, we began our operations for the day in true Patagonia weather: a bit cloudy with strong winds. We took our Zodiacs to the landing to visit the “Lighthouse at the End of the World.” After a winding hike through low southern beech trees, we crested the top and were treated to a view of the cliffs below and an ever-present fog hanging just above our heads. After lunch, we sailed back to pick up a few researchers we had dropped off in Isla de los Estados a few days prior. The conditions looked favorable, so we were able to make a short Zodiac cruise to see steep cliffs with nesting rockhopper penguins.