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CHILE NATURE

TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK

Nature in Torres del Paine (Source: National Tourism Service of Chile - Sernatur).

Torres del Paine National Park

This was created in 1959 and declared a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in 1978. It has three access spots: Porteria Sarmiento, Amarga Lagoon and Azul Lagoon.

Its surface area is 242,242 hectares, with heights from 200 up to 3.050 meters (Paine Massif).

This park possesses really beautiful views and trekking paths that traverse different areas including pampas, thick Magellan forests, ponds and lakes with icebergs and impressive glaciers in and around them, all of this surrounded by the giant rocky masses that are typical of the profile of the Cuernos del Paine ("Horns of Paine").

Currently it is the national park in this region that has the best infrastructure and equipment, with tourist lodgings (hotel, inn, campsite) and their complementary items, as well as a large number of guided tours such as horse treks, foot trekking, sailing excursions and walking on ice, among others.

Activities that are possible are:

- High mountain climbing, with mountains up to 3,050 meters high above sea level and unfavorable weather conditions, adding a little extra spice for the climbers. Some important peaks are: Paine Grande, Cuernos del Paine, Torres del Paine, Fortaleza, Monte Balmaceda and Serrano, etc.

- River kayaking, a new activity in Torres del Paine National Park, which has been in great demand during the past few years, especially by adventure tourism fans, because of its extremely low environmental impact. Among the excursions may be mentioned: approximation to glaciers, sailing between icebergs, and white river (rapids) descents.
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    - Photography. The National Park and the Milodon Cave are the places of greatest interest for photographers, since they offer a large variety of views of great scenic beauty.

    - Fauna and flora observation. A large variety of flora and fauna are to be found, and special circuits have been prepared for this activity.

    - Trekking. Torres del Paine National Park possesses a large number of trekking paths, each with its own landscape attractions and difficulty level, making this park one of the world's most important trekking places.

    Source: www.sernatur.cl


    Bernardo O'Higgins National Park

    Created in 1969 and extended in 1985, this is Chile's most extensive National Park, with a surface area of 3,525,901 hectares. Out of this, 2,615,901 has. Correspond to the province of Ultima Esperanza, while the remaining 910,000 has. are located at the southern border of the Aysen Region.
    This place is noted for its large surfaces covered with ice, including the Southern Ice Field, Dr. Juan Bruggen Ice Field and the Patagonian Ice Field, which jointly cover 1,100,500 has.
    Seagoing excursions allow one to carry out a spectacular crossing to Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, sailing along Seno de Ultima Esperanza up to Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers. During this trip it is possible to view an area completely surrounded by hills and forests, with sea lions gamboling among the rocks and hundreds of cormorants flapping their wings or flying around.
    The launch approaches Balmaceda glacier and then stops at the Serrano glacier, where one can walk through the forest to view the lagoon full of floating icebergs.

    Activities that are possible are:

    - Photography. Both the National Park and the Milodon Cave are places of great interest to photographers as they are full of items of exquisite scenic beauty.

    - Flora and Fauna Observation: Here there are a great variety of species of local flora and fauna and specially prepared viewing paths.

    Source: www.sernatur.cl



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