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Torres Del Paine in Patagonia, Chile

This place is wild!
The landscape here is dramatic, uninhabited steppe and pampas, and the Torres del Paine National Park has 930 square miles of them, including spectacular glacier lakes and its own variety of wildlife. The park is a World Heritage Site, and we saw plenty of llama-like guanaco, a member of the camel family, and rhea, a small version of the ostrich. Puma (or mountain lion or cougar) live and hunt here and if you keep your fingers tightly crossed, you may see one! This is also condor country and we spotted more than one of these giant scavengers on the hill-tops surveying the landscape patiently for a meal.
Be prepared to do some walking
Torres del Paine means Towers of Blue and refers to the three peaks which dominate the snow-capped landscape which surrounds you here. You will need a cloud-free-day but the vistas are breath-taking. This really is nature in the large. This is very much walking country, if you are so inclined, which we were. So we carried on to the huge rock overhang which was home to wall painters 6000 years ago. Some of their work is still there and getting that close to something that old was yet another special moment in this extraordinary place. We also walked across the vast black sandy beach at Lake Grey, to get close to a large ice-blue iceberg that had broken of the Grey glacier. These only take a few days to melt so it was a superb opportunity to see a big one before it disappeared.
The Milodon Cave
Try not to miss the Milodon cave, where the fossil remains of this massive creature were found in 1895. This ten-foot cousin of the sloth lived 10,000 years ago and judging by the statue at the cave entrance was not something that you would want to upset. Think large polar bear…The cave itself is huge and truly awesome, with a massive opening and going back hundreds of metres. There is also Visitors Centre with fossils of dwarf horses and sabre-tooth tigers.
We slept in a Yurt!
One particular highlight of our stay was our Mongolian style yurt chalet, complete with a glass hole in the roof to view the clear night sky. It was warmer and with more mod cons than the Mongolian version, but having wanted to see the real thing for some time, it was fun. And as with everywhere else in this vast, spectacular region, the views from our patio were unforgettable
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