Famed for its awe-inspiring vistas, variety of terrain and sheer volume of things to see, South America is considered among the leading areas in the world for walking and trekking holidays. Here is a run-down of some essential destinations if you’re looking for a walking holiday to South America.
The first is the Torres Del Paine National Park. Time and time again, this stunning area is mentioned as the definitive place to go for outstanding natural beauty, stunning wildlife and more photo opportunities than you could possibly capture. The sheer scale of the park is one of its appealing aspects – it is almost 2,500 square km, and walking trails criss-cross most of the area. In addition to these walking trails, there is a huge choice of alternative activities, such as kayaking, mountain biking and horse riding, if you’re looking for new ways to explore the park. However, the definitive trail in the Torres Del Paine is the ‘W’ trek. This route takes you in and out of the spectacular ‘Torres’ – three peaks of rock jutting out of the earth, forming one of the most striking views on the planet – in the shape of a ‘W’. This walk is usually guided and affords you views of the Torres from all angles. Alternatively, you can take a ‘round trip’ and walk all the way round to the lesser-seen north face of the Torres. All in all, although this is not a trek for the faint-hearted, you will be rewarded for your efforts with exceptional views and a lasting sense of satisfaction.
Moving away from Patagonia and up into central Chile, the joys of the Atacama Desert await. Again, the sheer size of this area is astonishing to witness – arid salt flats stretching for miles and miles into the horizon. Here you can accomplish a 20km walk known as the Morro de Bahia Inglesa (which covers a number of beautiful areas of the Atacama). This is especially good if you are a keen photographer or wildlife expert, as you may be given the opportunity to see the famous Desierto Florida, located on the Western coast of the Atacama Desert where rainfall is significantly higher. These beautiful flowers bloom for only a few months of the year and only if that rainfall is high enough.
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