Disclaimer: Despite the name of this post, I quite enjoyed this National Park in Patagonia. What I didn’t enjoy were the many hours of sitting in a cramped bus on the Torres del Paine bus tour. Also, it just rhymed.
Torres del Paine Bus Tour
The main attraction of Puerto Natales is that it’s the closest entry point to the Torres del Paine National Park. I only had 1 full day, it was freezing out and I was unprepared hiking gear-wise, so I decided not to do am intense hike (mistake). I opted for a tour to see as much of the park as possible. Our guide led us to 20+ stops in the park, staying constantly vigilant for pumas using the binoculars around his neck (this is a top puma region (careful if you’re hiking); National Geographic and the likes film them here). The tour was expected, lots of incredible viewpoints, mountains, and exceptionally blue lakes. Yellow grasses dotted the landscape, with many wild guanacos (like alpacas!) running about. Throughout the tour, I chased them with love. We even saw a condor close up which was cool even though I don’t like birds.
On our Torres del Paine bus tour we also stopped at a huge beach in front of Grey Glacier, black rocks and sand leading our way, with icy waves crashing and chunks of ice planted nearby.
The wind was unlike anything I ever felt; whipping so hard and fast I almost fell over trekking the length of the giant, expansive beach.
After hours of in-and-out the bus, viewpoints, lakes, mountains and strong winds, we made our way to a cave. This cave housed remains of the maladon, the extinct prehistoric creature native to the area, as well as some other now-extinct mammals. Fossils had been found, and holes had even been dug by greedy looters over the years trying to find things to sell!
The park itself was incredible; the landscapes, the wildlife, and overall amount of trails and things to see. If I could do it again, I would definitely go for a hike next time…and visit when it’s warmer.
Plus a Girl Burned Her Coat
During our morning stop at the tourist trap slash bathrooms, a girl got too close to the pipe of the fire stove (idiot) and her coat sleeve burned and melted away, revealing the soft down feathers of her coat. “Guys, that’s my coat!” she screamed. Fumes of the coat and down feathers burning filled the shop.