11km / 7mi
Start the day near Amarga Lagoon, up close with the literal origins of life on earth. This lake is one of the few left on earth that contain cyanobacteria, which played a fundamental role in transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen and permitting life to evolve. You’ll head south through an area that local guides have dubbed the “puma restaurant.” While the likelihood of seeing this iconic feline during daytime are slim, the evidence of their presence is apparent on the trail. But, by keeping the noise down and your eyes open, you have a good chance of spotting foxes, condors and rheas, the Patagonian version of the emu.
You’ll have the opportunity to visualize the evolution of Patagonia’s habitation, from the dinosaurs and large mammals to the first group that chose to settle and make this area of Torres del Paine their home. The original groups of hunters and gatherers inhabited this region 7,000 years ago and about halfway along the trail, we’ll see a large, overhanging rock formation displaying their renderings in pictographs.
We’ll enjoy the tremendous view before continuing to Lake Sarmiento, where you’ll get a glimpse of that same life-giving bacteria, this time in the form of a lumpy structure called Thrombolites. These coral-like formations get to 2 meters / 6 feet in size.