Today we will head to the Torres del Paine National Park- an official National Park of Chile. The area encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine, a range of rugged mountain peaks that stretch out into the crisp cool air is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes and is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales.
Along the way, we will stop to visit the Mylodon Cave, a large, impressive cave system where well-preserved fossils of a giant ground sloth some 12,000 old were recovered. The cave system acted as home to the Mylodon up to approximately 5,000 years ago, and subsequently other animals, such as the “Dwarf Horse” Hippidion, the saber-toothed cat Smilodon, and the litoptern Macrauchenia. Human remains have also been found there confirming that early humans periodically used the cave for shelter.
From here, depending on the path we take, we will pass the Amarga Lagoon or Toro Lake. As we make our way through the Pampa steppes we will have the opportunity to look for local wildlife of the region including rheas, guanacos, foxes, black-necked swans, condors, and eagles. We will also observe the beautiful views of the Paine Massif, Almirante Nieto, and Torres del Paine.
Meals (B, L)