Torres del Paine is a source of Chilean pride and rightly so as it offers visitors arrestingly beautiful scenery. Glacial formations and towering icy granite peaks create a uniquely stunning landscape. A highlight of the trek is Grey Glacier, truly a sight to behold. For an equally spell-binding alternative in nearby Patagonia, Argentina, enter into the world's largest ice field outside of the Polar Regions, the Patagonia Ice Field. Our 11-day Patagonia Ice Trek – Expedition is for keen mountaineers with a desire to experience the might of Cerro Torre and its surrounding kingdoms of ice.
The star hike: The Torres del Paine, Chile
A source of national pride, tell a Chilean you’ve trekked the Torres del Paine and watch them bubble over with enthusiasm for their Patagonian national park. Their pride is not misplaced; standout moments like the towers themselves, those vast fingers of granite pointing skywards, or Grey Glacier calving icebergs into frozen waters, are inspirational sights, the very reason people put on questionable-looking technical clothing and brave many a blister on their feet. The ‘W’ is the most popular trek around these parts, but whatever route you choose, make sure you get a feel for the park’s diversity – from dense woodlands to glacial lakes, the Torres del Paine is one of South America’s great treasures.
The lesser known: Ice trekking, Argentina
The background: Welcome to the world’s largest ice-cap outside of the polar regions – the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, an icy wonderland and the venue for incredible adventure. Spend days tackling glaciers and ice fields and nights camping at the foot of some of the world’s most beautiful mountains.
Why go: the trip is called 'Patagonian Ice Trek' – need we say more? You’ll feel like you’re negotiating the Antarctic on this trip, with crampons donned to negotiate steep glaciers that lead to a world of ice fields and vast mountains, your surroundings all but untouched by man. It’s a physically demanding trip, but you don’t need technical experience – more than anything else, you need a thirst for adventure.
The highlight: The feeling of having left the civilised world behind stays with you throughout the trip, accompanied by a growing appreciation of how rare it is to see somewhere that remains truly wild and untouched, untamed and untameable - never more so than when you’re camping by Cerro Torre, a vicious, beautiful mile-high spike of a mountain.