South America, home to the second largest mountain range in the world, is a dream destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. Today is National Hiking Day and we are celebrating by featuring 4 beautiful treks and trails that provide travelers with a rewarding experience and humbling views.
Torres Del Paine, Chile
The most common trail through the Torres del Paine National Park is the W Trek., and it is commonly referred to as the most famous hike in Chile. Considered to have a moderate difficulty level, the trail weaves through 50 miles of the Patagonia region. Over a 4 to 7 day period you will pass through a variety of scenery such as turquoise blue lagoons, towering pine forests, and fields of golden pampas. Camp in hut-huts dabbled along the trail or treat yourself to a luxurious stay at a nearby lodge. The W Trek is also home to the 3 famous granite peaks of Torres d’Agostini, Torres Central, and Torres Monzino.
Valley of Volcanoes, Ecuador
Just south of the city of Quito, Ecuador, the Valley of Volcanoes hike takes you through just over 60 miles of Andean sights and cultures. Considered to be more on the difficult side, over an average of 8 days travelers will trek through some areas of dense forest, steep slopes, and tiny fields while resting in lodges along the way. Though it takes a little bit of work the journey includes passing through traditional indigenous and colonial settlements and craters harboring bright blue volcanic lakes before reaching the 2 biggest peaks, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.
Huayna Picchu, Peru
Though this may be just a small day hike of 3.1 miles, Huayna Picchu, Peru is still considered to have a moderate difficulty level since it requires a reasonable level of fitness. It is a steep hike, but you have your choice of taking the short trail (1-2 hours) or the long trail (3-4 hours). The trek will not disappoint as you pass through gorgeous fields of wildflowers with continuous sights of the grassy rolling mountains. You might even spot a guanaco or two along the way! The hike ends with the best view of one of the most famous sights in the world, Machu Picchu.
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
In the Argentinian Patagonia, the glacier region is home to dozens of glaciers and offers a variety of hikes ranging in difficulty levels from easy to challenging. The most common trek is the “loop hike” which spans 21 miles and will take you around the national park in an average of 2 to 5 days. From here you can break off into the other various hiking trails. Take an easy hike to Perito Moreno, the famous strikingly blue glacier. For those looking to trek deep into remote Patagonia, take the long hike out to Glacier O’Higgins.
Chile and Argentina are now open to international visitors. If you would like to book a trip to one of these adventurous hikes or craft a plan to hit all 4, get in touch with our South American specialist Rebecca today!