Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

A fractured land of glacier, lake, forest and windswept tundra, the southern end of Chilean Patagonia really is the end of the world. It is here that you find the Torres del Paine National Park, Latin America’s finest wilderness, dominated by the soaring, jagged peaks of the Cordillera de Paine. This may be a park that draws people from around the globe, but it remains an elemental preserve where puma, condor, rhea, flamingo and guanaco all roam free.

The awe-inspiring centrepiece of the park, the Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine), are three massive granite pillars that soar 2,800 meters above the surrounding Patagonian steppe. Nearly 2000 kilometres south of Chilean capital Santiago, these breathtaking spires are flanked by the summit of Paine Grande (3,050 meters) and the sharp black tusks of Los Cuernos (The Horns). High precipitation and cold air combine to create serpentine glaciers that spill down amost every flank, calving into the turquouise lakes and rivers below.

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