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Riding the Circuit in Patagonia

By Linda Tancs

Torres del Paine National Park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve in Chilean Patagonia. Rich with mountains (particularly the iconic Paine massif), glaciers, lakes and rivers, small wonder the area offers a plethora of activities like fishing, climbing, ice trekking, whitewater kayaking, environmental education and wildlife observation. The park offers a number of trails, or circuits, for day or overnight trekking. Those include the Pingo Zapata, Dickson and Grey Glacier circuits (leading to glaciers), the Paine Circuit (no pun intended–an arduous trail requiring seven to 10 days of walking), and Las Torres circuit (leading to the base of Torres del Paine). Get there via Santiago to Punta Arenas by air or via Puerto Natales overground.

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