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Learn about the nature and glaciers of these Latin American national parks at the end of the world
Patagonia, a territory in southern Chile and Argentina, is one of the least populated places on earth due to its extreme climatic conditions. Because of its relative proximity to Antarctica, the cold of the place is to be feared, but also its greatest tourist attraction. Thanks to him, you can contemplate glaciers near mountains and lakes in subzero temperatures.
Leer en español: Patagonia: 3 parques nacionales que debes visitar
One of the best ways to get closer to Patagonia's landscape is by visiting the national parks that make it up. Here at LatinAmerican Post, we recommend 3, two Chileans and one Argentine.
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National Park Torres del Paine
Located in the province of Última Esperanza, in the region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, in Chile, Torres del Paine National Park was founded on May 13, 1959, under the name of Lake Gray National Tourism Park, according to the official website from the park. Two years later it would acquire its current name and begin to gain fame among tourists. In 1978 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and, after a Trip Advisor contest in 2013, it was declared the eighth wonder of the world. Finally, around 155,000 people visit its 227, 298 hectares a year.
In the park, you can perform various activities such as ice rides, sport fishing, horseback riding, kayaking or even sport climbing. One of the most sought after are the hiking trails through the park. There is as much for amateur tourists as for hikers with more experience.
A route of low difficulty that we recommend is the Cuernos circuit, which lasts 2 hours round trip and where you can see the Salto Grande waterfall, as well as lagoons and guanacos, to end with a view of Lake Nordenskjöld and the Cuernos del Paine, according to the Denomades portal.
If you already have more experience, we recommend the path to Base Torres del Paine of higher difficulty and 8 hours round trip duration. In it, you will cross the Ascensio Valley with views of the Central Tower, Monzino and D'agostini overlooking lagoons, according to the same web portal.
Cerro Castillo National Park
Located in the region of Aysén, communes of Coyhaique and Río Ibañez, in Chile, the Cerro Castillo National Park was founded on June 19, 1970, and has 138, 164 hectares, according to the CONAF (National Forest Corporation) website. In it, you can find animal species such as pumas, huemules, guanacos and red foxes, as well as enjoying the fauna of the Patagonian steppe.
We recommend two trails so you can enjoy the landscape, both recommended by the park's official website. The first, of low difficulty, is the section Caseta Las Horquetas - Camp Turbid, which lasts from 5 to 6 hours. In it you can walk through a mostly quite flat territory, starting at Laguna Chiguay, through a forest with several streams. The second, of medium difficulty, is the Campamento Porteadores - Campamento New Zealander section, which lasts approximately 2 hours. On your tour, you will see large valleys and glaciers with the panoramic of Cerro Castillo, Cerro Palo, and Cerro Chocolate. You can also deviate to the Duff Lagoon, although it implies more time.
Los Glaciares National Park
Located in the Southern Andes region, near the province of Santa Cruz in Argentina, Los Glaciares National Park contains part of the Patagonian Ice Field, the largest ice sheet after Antarctica, according to the official website. This field contains 47 massive glaciers and 200 smaller ones.
The most visited places are the Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy. The first is located in the southern part, on the Canal de los Témpanos, and is characterized by its constant movement that causes the continuous breaking and detachment of pieces given the tourist. Sounds and a view to impressing anyone. The second, on the opposite side of the park, is a 3,405km high mountain perfect for hiking and enjoying the incredible views of the Patagonian landscape. Nearby is the town of El Chalten, the youngest city in Argentina, where you can find lodging and information.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra
Translated from "Patagonia: 3 parques nacionales que debes visitar"