Consider Backpacking at Torres del Paine in Patagonia

 

Patagonia pic
Patagonia
Image: rei.com

A mental health professional with Episcopal Hospital Public, Todd Belok also maintains certification as an emergency medical technician. In his leisure time, Todd Belok enjoys traveling, and he recently completed a week-long backpacking trip in Patagonia, Chile.

Located 1,500 miles south of Santiago in Patagonia, the Torres del Paine hike covers 52 miles of terrain with spectacular views of wildlife such as the llama-like guanacos and scenery ranging from glaciers to the enormous granite pillars that give the trail its name. The reality far surpasses any pictures. Those wanting a shorter hike (requiring only about four days) can take the W route. Begin in the west and travel east for the best views. The other option, known as the Circuit, includes the rear section of the park as well as the W and requires at least a week. Both trails have clear signposts.

Backpackers can choose to stay at free campsites along the way but should be aware of their scarcity and plan on arriving early. People also can stay at some of the paid camps or in the dorms at the refugios for a more expensive yet comfortable option.

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