Patagonia - Torres Del Paine National Park

Destination Introduction

The Horns
A panoramic view of The Horns

The Torres Del Paine National Park is arguably one of the most scenic places on the planet. Located in Southern Chile and at the bottom of the Andes mountain range, the park offers picturesque mountains as well as glaciers, lakes and open grass land. The park is very remote and is 180,000 hectares in area; in the winter there are few visitors inside park. There is great seasonal climate variation in Patagonia, with summer offering a very different photographic experience to winter.

Photographic Subjects

Pygmy Owl
An Austral Pygmy Owl

The landscape in the Torres Del Paine National Park is stunning and the famous mountain outcrop called ‘The Horns’ are an extremely impressive subject to photograph. Some of the best views of the Horns can be found from the Explora Hotel, looking across an expansive lake that offers a striking foreground subject combined with the back-drop of the craggy mountains. Behind the Horns from here is the actual Torres Del Paine range after which the park is named. The difference between the park in the summer and winter is great. In winter the landscape is snowy and probably more photogenic than in the summer. Found throughout the park’s mountains, huge glaciers extend into cloudy blue lakes scattered with icebergs - these areas are spectacular for photography! The area is not short of wildlife either, the main subjects being guanacos (small member of the Llama family), condors and even pumas if you are lucky enough to see them! Visiting the local Gauchos (Chilean cow-boys) can also be rewarding as can get interesting photos of their way of life.

Photography Tips

An icy lake
A glacier lake with icebergs

Probably the best time and most unique period in which to visit Patagonia is the winter – when the land is blanketed in a layer of snow, thus making the photos even more special. Patagonia is a wild and isolated terrain which lends itself extremely well to being photographed. It is possible to portray a sense of the scale of the environment by using a wide angle lens – allowing more of the scenery to be captured in the frame. A tripod is recommended for wide-angle photographs, to ensure that the horizon is straight in the frame. There are different ways for you to get around and see the Torres Del Paine area – by vehicle, by foot or by horseback. Boat trips can be taken on some of the lakes in order to get closer to the glaciers giving close-up views of the deep blue ice.