Southern Patagonia: One of South America’s best national parks

The only exception to Chile’s ‘year round’ rule is Southern Patagonia, as inclement weather in winter (late June to the end of August) renders the area effectively closed. The southern reaches of Patagonia are better characterised as the Torres del Paine, one of South America’s best national parks. The granite pillars tower into the sky more than 2,000 metres above the Patagonian steppes, but its natural beauty extends to azure lakes, trails that wind through verdant forests and roaring rivers that invite you to cross on rickety bridges. Most visitors to Chile arrive in the country’s southern reaches via the pioneer city of Punta Arenas, travelling through the steppes to Puerto Natales, the gateway to the park, before that break-taking first glimpse of the Paine Massif’s twisted peaks. Your time in the park can be spent exploring on foot or horseback, past turquoise lakes, thundering waterfalls and granite rocks. Take to the waters on a cruise around Lago Grey, navigating through icebergs to reach the glacier of the same name.