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Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race photos

February 9th, 2011

We present you photos how the teams of Wenger Welcome Patagonian Expedition Race were welcomed to Hotel Las Torres…

World’s wildest race

February 8th, 2011

In a spectacular start under the crystal clear mountains of Torres del Paine, the 2011 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race began with a wild ride for the racers as they tailed a herd of horses down the dirt track on the opening cycling leg of the event.

The teams face a 60 km ride on the dirt tracks of the park, passing over three bridges and enjoying fantastic views of the Torres and Cuernos del Paine. They will then reach the Hosteria Lago Grey, where they will switch to kayaks in front of a spectacular ice-filled lake.

The 56 competitors from 15 countries compete in the nine-day race across the  Chilean Patagonia.

Each team has four athletes who compete in separate disciples, including sea kayaking, cycling, trekking and climbing. The race  will continue until Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race is gaining a reputation as both the toughest and wildest race in the world, having run editions through the diverse region of Chilean Patagonia, including Tierra del Fuego, the Darwin Range, Torres del Paine, Straits of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.

The challenge, the isolation, the unpredictable weather, and the unexplored landscapes all add to the mix – and the glory of finishing, and finishing first, is what everyone strives for.

Thanks to the continued support of Wenger, maker of the genuine Swiss Army knife and precision outdoor equipment, and other sponsors, up to 60 international athletes have the opportunity to take on the most rugged and diverse challenge known to expedition racing.

Chilean Patagonia is rewarding, but you have to earn it,” says race organizer Stjepan Pavicic. “When planning the course for the race each year we always make sure it is a good mix of virgin terrain and stunning views and I guarantee that 2011 will be no different – it will once again show competitors just how spectacular the scenery in this region of the world can be, but for sure it will test them to their limits.”

Sources: www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com, The Patagonian Times

Taste of the Patagonia “Asado de cordero”

February 2nd, 2011

Every person who visits Las Torres del Paine must try a true Patagonian lamb. “Lamb barbecue” or “asado de cordero”is traditional dish of the Patagonia. It is considered as one of the best meat in the world.

Meat of the Patagonian lamb has achieved great international recognition thanks to its delicious taste, excellent quality and its product image from one of the least polluted parts in the world. The lamb is raised on natural pastures and in consequence the meat has natural flavor, more tender, juicy, soft and tasty.

Traditionally Patagonian lamb is raised with his mother until reaching 60 - 90 days and the weight ranging from 19 to 24 kilos. The ideal weight of meat for roasting is about 9 kilos.

The final taste of the barbeque always lies in the hands person who grills the lamb, depending on her experience and roasting technique.

How to prepare “Asado de cordero”?

Preparing and sharing a Patagonian roast lamb is part of a ceremony. First you make a good fire, if possible, from the type of wood known for its hardness.

Flavor meat with salt. Then thread the lamb along on a stick, with the bracket well stretched. It should hang down with the chops to get more heat to the legs and parts with more meat. It´s cooked over a low fire until the meat is almost crispy.

The locals eat this meat without removing the skin. It is also rich with herbs and other species.

Film Festival Banff in Hotel Las Torres Patagonia

January 25th, 2011

BanffOnce again, the world’s best Mountain Film Festival arrives to Chile to gather together the community of climbers, hikers and lovers of outdoor adventure. The festival will take place in our exclusive Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.

On the 13th and 14th of February during the 11th version of Banff Mountain Film Festival 2010, you can enjoy movies such as “Africa Tour Revolutions “, “Take a Seat”, “Re: Session” or “Progression: World Cup” any many others.

Since October 2010 Banff Mountain Film Festival 2010 has visited several cities in Chile, through San Pedro de Atacama, Santiago, Talca, Pucón, Puerto Varas and Puerto Natales.

The festival comes with Reel Rock Film Festival Tour, which presents films about the most extreme rock climbing, BASE jumping, skiing, kayaking and paragliding.

Attendees will enjoy the films in the Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, Refuge Torres and Fantástico Sur, all places in the Torres de Paine National Park. Prices of tickets range from $ 2,000 (CLP) for students to $ 2,500 (CLP) for General Public.

For more details about the program and activities check out the BANFF website.

Excursions to Nordenskjöld Lake and Salto Grande

January 20th, 2011

Nordenskjöld Lake Las Torres del PaineThe Nordenskjöld Lake is located below jagged peaks in Torres del Paine National Park.

The lake is named after the Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskiöld, who in 1879 discovered the passage of the Northeast, the sea route linking the Arctic waters with the waters of the Pacific, through the Bering Strait, just on the other side of the world.

This amazing lake was formed by a melting glacier. With its profundityof 200 meters, it is ideal place for navigation and practising other aquatic sports.

The main attraction is the greenish color of the waters of Lake Nordenskjold. The lake has its beautiful color thanks to the high concentration of minerals, produced by the glaciers and carried into the lake by water.

The lake offers great views of French Valley, Paine Grande Massif and the Horns (Los Cuernos). Its accessible all the year. The annual average temperature of 8 º C, in summer varies between 10 º C and 18 º C.

The recommended activities are hiking, boating and photographyof the beautiful flora and fauna.

Option: horseback

The trip to Lake offers a great way to learn and enjoy horses riding. We will cross rivers, go down and visit beautiful environments.

Difficulty: Medium, Time: 2-3 hours

We leave on horses Hotel Las Torres and go around the base of the nearby Monte Almirante Nieto. We will enjoy amazing views of Lago Nordenskjöld and the Andes Mountain during the way over the gently rolling terrain.

Option: Trekking

On this three-hour trek we will learn about the plants, mammals and birds living close to the place, where the Río Paine enters Lago Nordenskjöld. We will admire views of the southern part of Lago Nordenskjöld, as well as of Monte Almirante Nieto and the Torres.

Salto Grande

Salto GrandeThe outfall of Nordenskjöld Lake consist of a waterfall called Salto Grande. Salto Grande Falls is the largest waterfall that has the Rio Paine. Connects Lake Nordenskjöld with Lake Pehoe. It´s point on the way to the viewpoint of Los Cuernos.

How to reach the Salto Grande?

The excursion to Salto Grande is a good alternative to see the National Park Torres del Paine in half of day.

We will arrive at the Salto Grande area by car where we´ll find one of the best views of the Paine Massif. After a short walk we will visit the Salto Grande, the natural connection Nordenskjöld and Pehoé Lakes. During the way we should see many plants, animals and birds for which the par is known – flamingos, condors, water and predatory birds.

Welcome to Patagonia!

Welcome to our new website!

January 11th, 2011

New Site Hotel Las TorresWe know that for our clients and guests it is very important to have practical and authentic information about the Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park. And, of course, about our Hotel Las Torres. Therefore, we’ve rebuilt our site to make it much easier to find and share different recourses and options which offers this beautiful place.

We are giving at your disposal site, on which you will make your first an unforgettable virtual tour to Chilean Patagonia and… we hope that soon you´ll desire to come here …

First we will lead you by Patagonian paths to unforgettable places in the park, we will propose to you the routes of tours and expeditions, we’ll show you pictures of the flora and fauna, mountains and glaciers. Thanks to videos you will not only see but also hear the breathing and live of Patagonia.

We will also invite you to our hotel. On the website you can find all necessary information, how to get here, maps and practical tips.

In the section Hotel Las Torres you will get know the incredible story of our family, who, bears the tradition and spirit of the Chilean Patagonia and shares it with guests and travelers.

To help you plan an unforgettable stay, in the part Services we have gathered a description of all facilities which we have prepared for our guests. Transport, accommodation in the heart of the park, restaurant, spa, conference center o and much more is waiting for you.

We invite you to new web site of Hotel Las Torres.

Baqueanos Welcoming

December 10th, 2010

The baqueano is one of the most important characteristic symbols of the Southern Patagonia and Torres del Paine Park. Being adventurers connected with their land, they represent the essence of Southern culture.

[SinglePic not found]They describe themselves as country people who know very well their land , natural resources and the way how to extract them. Since the appearance in middle of twentieth century, the baqueano is characterized by staying in darkness and in adverse areas like snow or pampa. Besides this the baqueano is very good horseman and an excellent hunter.

At first glance, baqueano is identified by his typical clothes which consist of baggy trousers, beret, scarf, belt / sash, knife close to belt, and leather accessories.

Although he can be considered a bit shy, when baqueano trusts, has a great relation and interacts with the tourists and visitors, who amass to share with original people from the zone.

By family tradition, baqueanos since the childhood have been taught to riding and trusting the instincts of the horses. This has made them excellent guides of the excursions which permit cross the park without any restriction rather than contemplate the incredible scenery.

Hotel Las Torres is aware that the experience of visiting the Torres del Paine should be fully enjoyable and we have included “Welcome from Baqueanos” in the program “All Inclusive” and transportation (new service).

One kilometer before the guests arrive to the hotel, a group of galloping baqueanos escort van, with the regional flag and yelling that celebrate the arrival of new visitors. Is a unique opportunity to experience up close the wealth of the people, who live in the far south of the country.

Photos gallery:

Majestic Torres del Paine

September 24th, 2010

Las Torres del PaineThe famous Torres del Paine (Towers of the Blue Sky) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, three jagged peaks that stretch skyward at a completely vertical angle. They are the main tourist attraction in the park.

The Torres del Paine belongs to ones of the most demanding and wildest rock climbs in the South America.

Although there are many interesting and difficult climbing objectives in Paine National Park, the Las Tres Torres are the most famous.

La Torre Sur with 2850 meters is the highest and hardest to get. It was reached first time by Armando Aste. La Torre Central has almost 2800 meters. It was first reached in 1963 by Chris Bonington and Don Whillans. La Torre Norte (2600 m) was reached by Guido Monzino.

Many tourists walk to the base of the Torres from Hotel Las Torres. It’s quite easy day of hiking.
The best time to climb it’s since August through February. Although during the summer months exists high possibility of blizzards and long storms.

Horns of Paine

Horns of PaineMany tourists confuse Los Cuernos del Paine (Horns of Paine) and Las Tres Torres. Located in the south of the Torres Park, los Cuernos retain, similar to Torres, a cap of darker metamorphic rock at the top.

Three peaks of the Horns of Paine are recognizable first off all by their color and mass. Their top and base are dark, the central part is clearer and distinguished.

How to explain the difference of the colors?

The characteristic black rock that crowns the Horns of Paine is the result of tectonic and glacial forces that carved the massif.

Millions years ago, the sedimentary rock covered wide areas in the region. In some moment those rocks had contact with the magma which shaped the granite rocks. Then, the enormous pressure from the inside of earth created the impressive mountains known today as the Torres del Paine.

During the ice age only peaks of the mountains stuck out above the ice. The granite which was not covered by glaciations retained its black color. And the light-colored have those parts that suffered the erosion caused by wind and the movement of glaciers.

The darker areas resemble the design of a cowboy on horseback and that gave the name for the monoliths
The Horns of Paine, which can be seen from many places in the park, are really impressive. The peaks measure above 2000 meters: East (2.200m), Home (2600m), North (2.400m).

The best views for the horns offer the “W” trail along the north shore of Nordenskjöld Lake, between Hotel Las Torres and Pehoé Lake.

If you have already visited Torres del Paine share your experience at our Blog. If you’re planning to visit the Torres del Paine National Park or you have any questins, write us. Welcome to Torres del Paine!

Must see: French Valley

September 22nd, 2010
French Valley

French Valley

The French Valley is the most beautiful valley in the National Park Torres del Paine, a steep hike that includes the middle point in the “W” trek. Offers incredible its 360 degree unique panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro.

One of the tourists writes about the valley: “The French Valley is famous for this: you sit back and watch, and big chunks of ice spall off the glaciers, crashing hundreds of feet below onto the rocks…“

Any verbal description can’t give you complete image and atmosphere of that place. All around are glaciers hanging out of mountain peaks, and down below lakes, trees, rivers cascading down the valley walls.

It’s really worthy walk to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif. From this point, you can enjoy first truly wonderful view and then continue up the route until reaching the upper parts of the valley. In the high valley you will admire the granite peaks of Espada (Sword), Hoja (Blade), Mascara (Mask), Paine Grande, Aleta de Tiburón, Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress).

How to get to French Valley?

One of the possible ways to experience the beauty of French Valley is the route, which goes around the lake Nordenskjold and after five hours of trekking leads to the foot of Paine Horns. Here you find the Refugio Cuernos (lodge). Going on, after two hours you will get the Italian camp, where is possibility of camping. The place offers great view for the French Valley and, what is important, is well protected from the wind. If you don’t want to stop in Italian camp, and you are in good physical condition continue walking up to the British Camp. During two hours walk you will enjoy the view of the glacier and French River.

From the Hotel Las Torres we go first by the catamaran from Refugio Pudeto to Refugio Pehoe. We pass Lago Skottsberg, then ascend later Valle del Frances, where we will have a good view of Paine Grande, Glaciar Frances and Los Cuernos. It´s probable to see avalanches on the snowy mountains. View video from the excursion.

In summary the circuit has well-designed paths and allows a lengthy excursion to the inside part of the Massif of Torres de Paine Park. Offers several places to stop and rest in the journey.

Patagonia has not been affected by the earthquake

February 27th, 2010

The earthquake that has affected Chile was felt in the regions between Valparaiso and the Araucanía, fortunately Patagonia has not been affected by the earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was nearly 2000 kilometers or 1200 miles from Torres del Paine, all cities within Patagonia were not affected and all operations of the hotel are functioning with absolute normality. However , we are very shocked by the suffering of all the Chileans who have experienced this catastrophe, losing their families and homes.

According to information of Civil Aeronautics, the airport of Santiago, A. Merino Benitez will be kept closed for many flights for the 1st and 2nd of march. However there are alternative routes and flexibility of airlines and Las Torres to accommodate dates and itineraries so your vacation will go smoothly. As the airport prepares infrastructure flights will gradually reach normal operating status between the 4th and 5th of March. Our company will do its best to help all our guests, operators, agencies, collaborators and campaigns of solidarity.

If our guests need more information or asistance reorganizing itineraries please call the telephones 56 – 61 – 617450; 617451; 617452 or write to info@lastorres.com.

On the map appears the epicenter of the earthquake and the distance of Patagonia from the affected area.

mapa-sismo

Faithfully,

Hotel Las Torres Patagonia