Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina-Torres del Paine,
Southern Argentina and Chile share an immense, sparsely populated expanse divided by the Andes Mountains, commonly known as Patagonia. Dramatic granite peaks and spires tower over the surrounding plains, creating some of the most impressive mountain vistas in South America. Begining in El Chalten, we entered Los Glaciares National Park, walked the trails and climbed on the legendary Torre Mount Glacier. We made a Tyrolean crossing of the Fitz Roy River (Milk River), pulling ourselves over the fast moving and cold water. All necessary equipment (rope, harness, crampone, ice-axe) was provided. El Calafate is the end of one of the worlds' longest ice fields. The Perito Merino glacier stretches 19 miles into the Andes and is 230 feet high when it reaches the coast. The roar of massive ice blocks collapsing into the water can be heard miles away.
We drove through the Patagonian plains to Torres del Paine National Park, a crown jewel in the Chilean National Park system. After passing through Cerro Castillo, a small village near the Chilean border, we had our first views of the Paine massif towering above the plains in the distance. Upon entering the park (established in 1970 and given World Heritage status in 1978), we were greeted by small herds of guanacos, a wild relative of the llama. Two days later, we boarded a catamaran for the 20-minute ride to the far side of Lake Pehoe. From the arrival dock, we followed a short trail to our campsite. After setting up, we began hiking through the rolling foothills at the base of Paine Grande peak. Two days later, we crossed the French River on a foot bridge and followed a steep trail along the narrow gorge. Our route took us through lenga forests on the southeastern slopes of Cerro Paine Grande (the highest peak in the park at 10,007 feet) and crossed a few small creeks. As we gained altitude, we scrambled through rocky sections of the mountain's boulder moraines to a breathtaking lookout point. We had views of the high peaks that surrounded us from this extraordinarily beautiful cirque. The Paine Horns (8,530 feet), as well as the Máscara (7,545 feet) and Espada spires (8,205 feet) were among them. We marveled at the geology of these incredible rock formations as we watched patches of snow break loose and thunder down Cerro Paines' rock and ice face. We spent two nights at the Pehoé Lake Campsite.
Ushuaia, the Southernmost city in the world, is enchanting and mesmerizing. It is located in Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) Patagonia, Argentina.
Iguazu Falls is taller than Niagra Falls and twice as wide, with 275 cascades spread in a horsehoe shape over two miles of the Iguazu River which borders Brazil and Argentina. Photos were taken from both countries
(1) Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina (2) El Calafate to El Chalten. (3) Trek Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. (4) Perito Moreno Glacier. (5) Torres del Paine, Chile. (6) Las Torres, Ascensio River Valley. (7) Lake Pehoe boat trip to French Valley. (8) Grey Glacier, Puerto Natales-Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego-Tierra Mayor Valley. (9) Ushuaia (10) Iguazu Falls. (11) Buenos Aires to Miami