Should you do 'the W' or the 'Full Circuit' route to the magnificent Torres del Paine?
As the South American continent curves and flattens out towards the tattered landmass of Cape Horn, the Andes play a scenic trump card. Crowning the desolate, wind-blasted steppe is the Torres del Paine massif, which provides a dramatic and otherworldly bulwark against the remorseless incursions of ancient ice. Sculpted into twisted, often two-tone mountains, their granite cores ground into strange tooth and nib-like shapes, these peaks form a stunning backdrop to what is undoubtedly the finest trek in Chile, if not all of South America.
If you’re visiting Chile between November and March, when the winter snows have released their grip, the question isn’t should you visit Torres del Paine but how you should go about exploring its many natural highlights.
Numerous trails wriggle through the landscape, climbing passes, crossing through forests, and skirting lakes and glaciers, but the two main options are The Circuit and The W.