Torres del Paine National Park is part of the National System of State-Protected Areas in Chile and it covers an area of approximately 2400 square kilometres. It is one of the largest National Parks of Chile and one of the most important receiving the third largest amount of visitors per year. Of these visitors 75% are foreign tourists, most often Europeans.
Torres del Paine National Park can be reached by two roads leading to entrances at opposite points of the Park. The north entrances at Laguna Amarga and Lago Sarmiento can be reached via Cerro Castillo and are at a distance of 112 km. A southern entrance can be reached through a new road spanning 85 km, which has been inaugurated in May 2007.
The park was created on the 13th of May of 1959 and was declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on the 28th of April 1978. Since 2007 Torres del Paine National Park and Yosemite National Park have been bonded in brotherhood. The goal of this alliance is to broaden the experience of the Park's staff, interchanging information, technology, and to improve practices.
The park offers the possibility to get to know nature in its most exuberant state. There are various ways to achieve this; for the more adventurous travellers there is a 10 day trekking-circuit taking them around and through the Paine Massif, known as one of the best trekkings in the world.
For tourists who like to travel in comfort there is a complete internal circuit from which they can get to know the Park in comfort. These routes can take them to places like Laguna Azul, Laguna Amarga, Mirador Lago Nordenskjöld, Salto Grande, Lago y Glaciar Grey.
Alternatively, the most famous route is the "W"-trekking, taking visitors to the three main look-out points of the trekking circuit: "La Base de las Torres", "Mirador Glaciar Grey", and "Valle del Francés". The latter being also referred to as the lungs of the Park, a stunning anfitheatre of granitic rock and hanging glaciars which make it into a unique place in this world.
The types of accomodation range from completely equipped camp-sites, through increasingly comfortable mountain-shelters, to hotels, strategically located to offer first-class services.