A Wonder Called Torres del Paine


The nature reserve, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and described as an idyllic landscape, became a National Park in 1959.



Horse ridings at Torres del Paine.
Photo: baqueanozamora.cl
Tourism company, Puerto Natales, Chile.

   The word "paradise" takes on all its meaning in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine: 227,298 hectares and an exceptional geography composed of imposing massifs, virgin forests and turquoise lakes. All this with a sky that acquires fantastic colors and invites you to discover the reason for the many awards it has received as one of the most beautiful places on the planet. 

Located 154 kilometers northwest of Puerto Natales and 399 kilometers from Punta Arenas, this nature sanctuary is located near Los Andes, at the southern tip of Chile. It was founded as Parque Nacional de Turismo Lago Grey on May 13, 1959, when the main regional activity was livestock and tourism was reduced to some few adventurers. 

On April 30, 1970 the park added 11,000 new hectares to its protected area and was renamed as it is known today. Since then, it has not stopped adding recognitions and tourists interested in knowing it. Within the Park's limits you'll find an imposing geography composed of massifs, lakes, icebergs, glaciers, rivers, oak forests typical of Tierra del Fuego and extensive pampas visited by guanacos, rheas and pumas.

A privileged environment that one of the first visitors defined as "one of the most spectacular landscapes that the human imagination can conceive." Every year, this place opens its doors to thousands of tourists looking for experiences in the midst of nature and with all kinds of comforts: marked trails, hiking and adventure activities, as well as accommodation and catering alternatives.

The name Torres comes from its two characteristic elevations, also called Cuernos del Paine, which are eroded remains of an elevated region, created by granite plutons that raise superimposed sedimentary layers of which the lowest is a dark red slate. Overlapping materials have eroded completely, leaving only several round and tall granite towers: the park's real towers. Some of the original materials remain and, as these have different gradients and colors, shaped the characteristic peaks.

According to studies conducted in the area, the Paleoindian utensils found around the park indicate that it was inhabited about 12,000 years ago by the Aonikenk. The Tehuelche Indians, descendants of the Paleoindians, later gave the name Paine to the massif, which means "blue" in their language. Since the fifteenth century the area has also been home to the Kaweskar who live with wild pumas, condors and guanacos.

Unfortunately, in recent decades the action of man has deteriorated the surroundings causing several forest fires which have consumed vast areas of vegetation.


 Photo: Vertice Patagonia
On February 10, 1985, a tourist threw a burning cigarette butt, which unleashed a fire that consumed about 14,000 hectares of the park. Twenty years later, another visitor knocked over a kitchenette and caused another fire that burned an area of more than 15,000 hectares, of which more than 11,000 directly affected the park. At the end of 2011, Torres del Paine National Park suffered a new forest fire that consumed more than 17,000 hectares, this time due to the bonfire made by another visitor.

Torres del Paine National Park, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and chosen the eighth wonder of the world in 2013 by Virtual Tourist in a contest in which it received more than five million votes, has established itself as a tourist attraction and also as in an example of nature conservation.
 

Translated by: Raul Silva M.
Sourcechiledesarrollosustentable.cl
                 
________________

4.90/5 – 532

No comments:

Please feel free to ask your Chile-related questions here