Where We Be
Torres del Paine, Chile
The snowy peaks of Torres del Paine framed by blazing autumn colors in the Valle Frances
Torres del Paine National Park was the highlight of
our time in Chile. Like Iguazu Falls in Argentina, it
was absolutely world-class. If you like mountains,
it's quite simple: you must come here!

Our first day was hot enough we ended up hiking
in T-shirts. Here we were in southern Patagonia
near the end of autumn but the weather was mild –
and there was no wind! We overheard one guide
say it was the best day in the park in over a month.

But the best of the best was our second day, when
we did a 14-mile hike to Valle Frances and back.
Other people had told us of Valle Frances and said
the views were “precioso,” which is THE Chilean
word to describe jaw-dropping scenery. At our
furthest point, 7 miles in, we reached an incredible
valley filled with autumn oranges and reds, a
roaring river through the middle, and AMAAAAZING
mountains all around. We could see all the most
famous peaks in the park including the Torres
(Towers) and Cuernos (Horns). Over the roaring of
the river we could still hear the booming of the
calving glacier we'd passed earlier. What a place!
We’d walk a few feet, say “Oh!” and out would
come the camera again for another angle on
The multi-colored peaks of Torres del Paine as seen from the catamaran during the half-hour journey across Lake Pehoe
The weather was so calm we were able to catch this perfect reflection in the waters of Laguna Los Patos during the hike to Glacier Gray
Perfect mix of fall foliage and mountain reflections at Laguna Los Patos
This is the impressive view of Glacier Gray from the "mirador" (lookout point)
Bright mix of autumn colors
Gorgeous autumn colors running right up the mountains
One of several waterfalls during the Valle Frances hike
This little owl flew right up to us, showing no fear whatsoever -- I think it was curious about us!
Wow! Love this view! This is at the far point of our hike into Valle Frances. Imagine the roar of rushing water as you drink it in.
Autumn colors blanket the hillside in front of the Torres (Towers) -- the three sharp peaks in the foreground
The trail was incredibly mucky in places and we only had sneakers to hike in
Water droplets on Christmas-like red-green leaves
Llama-like guanacos are a common sight during the drive into and out of the park
A mix of weather -- clouds and rain to the left, blue skies to the right
The variety of scenery during this one hike to Valle Frances was stunning
Final view of Torres del Paine with autumn colors in the foreground
Even the bus ride into the park was amazing -- we were blessed with a perfectly sunny day with no wind
Thick snow blankets the distant mountains -- another gorgeous view from the catamaran
Posing at Mirador del Nordenskjold, where our bus driver was kind enough to stop for a few quick photos
We hiked to this lovely waterfall called Salto Grande -- just a half-hour's hike from the catamaran pickup point
We felt blessed to get such a perfect first day in a park notorious for its fickle weather
Rickety wooden bridge leads across rushing river
I removed three extra layers of clothing during the hike to Salto Grando
Reflected view of Torres del Paine
Robin looks completely happy to be back in the mountains
This is the magnificent view from the Paine Grande Mountain Lodge where we stayed for two nights
We thought we were hearing thunder booming until we got closer and realized it was Glacier Frances calving like crazy