Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales, 19th - 23rd of December

A Visit to Remember!

As you may remember we were supposed to be in Puerto Williams by Christmas and, therefore, we didn’t very much like the idea of having to go to Puerto Natales as this meant lots of extra miles and several wasted days for the sake of mere bureaucracy. But, in the end, the visit turned out to be the absolute highlight of our journey in Chile so far!

We rented a car for two days and on our first day drove to Argentina and back in order to get our 90-day permits for Chile renewed. Because the border is more or less an hour’s drive away from the town we were ready and more than willing to use the rest of the day wildlife watching. 

We had learned from our sailing friends in Puerto Montt that there is Torres del Paine National Park north of Puerto Natales teeming with the Chilean wildlife that had eluded us thus far.

The majestic mountainous landscape that characterises the National Park is the product of a series of erosive processes and geological formations that took place approximately 12 million years ago. In 1978, UNESCO declared the Park Biosphere Reserve to be included in the territories that represent the world’s most unique ecosystems.

The Park comprises more than 220,000 hectares of magnificent mountains, sparkling blue lakes and rivers, turquoise glaciers, and an abundance of animals we would never have been able to see had we sailed straight to Puerto Williams as originally planned. 

We fell in love with the breathtaking landscape and the exotic animals that inhabit it, and to make the most of our short visit the following morning we packed up a picnic and spent the whole gorgeous day in the park. We were like Alices in Wonderland as we watched in awe guanacos and nandus grazing in the meadows and condors gliding in the sky. 

Although we had decided not to celebrate Christmas at all this year, Puerto Natales, where we so reluctantly had gone in the first place, gave us the most wonderful Christmas present imaginable!

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