Torres del Paine
At the Southern tip of the Andes in Chile lies Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and home to some of the world͛s most classic trekking routes. The park is located in Chile͛s southernmost and largest region, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, where the main economic activities are sheep farming, oil extraction and tourism. The population density is sparse at 1.1 per km² but the region͛s main city Punta Arenas is home to 120,000 people.
The park encompasses ancient forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and fauna including guanacos, foxes, pumas and a diverse array of birds. The park draws in approximately 100,000 visitors each year who visit the Paine Towers, Los Cuernos, French Valley and Grey Glacier. The park͛s coordinates are 50°S latitude and 73°W longitude.
Eco Camp is situated in the very heart of Torres del Paine National Park, perfectly placed right at the start of our trek.
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the influence from the strong marine currents and Southern Patagonian Ice field makes the weather hard to predict.
In Torres del Paine in spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and possibly snow. Autumn can also be unpredictable and winter is bitterly cold. Even in summer (December to March), cold strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall are not uncommon. The summer͛s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min). Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm. Night-time temperatures will most likely range from –1°C to -5°C (30s and 40s ºF) depending on the weather.
Torres Del Paine has a diverse array of wildlife, with unique flora, 26 species of mammal and over 100 species of bird. Eco Camp Patagonia supports CONAF's preservation of local wildlife and contributes to flora and fauna conservation by educating guests, keeping structures as low impact as possible and using raised wooden walkways to not disturb animal and plant life.