Every year, hundreds of tourists come to the Magallanes region to visit one of the most famous parks in our country and its iconic granite figures. It is that Torres Base, in Torres del Paine National Park, is one of the busiest trails that require greater care and preservation in its planning. A scenario that is beginning to change today thanks to the trail reconstruction project led by the NGO AMA Torres del Paine, Las Torres Reserve, Conservation VIP, CONAF, and Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.
May 2022. There is no doubt that the variety of landscapes and our unique geography have been key elements in positioning ourselves as an unmissable tourist attraction for lovers of nature, outdoor life, and adventure sports. The landscapes surprise all our visitors.
And if we talk about attractions, Chilean Patagonia is one of the most sought-after destinations by both domestic and foreign tourists. A place where you can experience the four seasons of the year in a single day and where the passage of time does not seem to matter when you contemplate its majestic postcards, worthy of international recognition.
Nowadays, it is one of those iconic images that make the news. Certainly, because the famous trail to Torres Base – in Torres del Paine -one of the busiest and that required in-depth solutions- had its first stage of reconstruction. All this, thanks to a project that contemplates new sections and improvements in the route that leads to the imposing granite towers, an action that has been possible through the collaborative work of Las Torres Reserve, NGO Ama Torres del Paine, Conservation VIP, CONAF, and Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.
In its first stage, which took place during the months of March and April of this year, the construction included more than 500 meters of a new trail for hikers, 1.5 km of a new horse trail, in addition to 30 meters of construction of rock steps in the moraine area, removal of roots, and drainage improvements, which positively impacts the preservation of nature and the visitor experience.
For Mauricio Kusanovic Olate, president of the NGO AMA Torres del Paine and executive director of Las Torres Reserve in Patagonia, “trails are the way for human beings to reach natural attractions and enjoy parks, therefore, to have good trails you have to have a philosophy of sustainable tourism and conservation of the environment and wildlife”.
In addition, Kusanovic assures that providing the parks with infrastructure is vital to be able to offer incredible experiences immersed in nature and to value the work that is being done with sustainable practices, the territorial management of the park, and the preservation of the pristine natural environment. He reasserts “It is very important that the different institutions that care for, protect or work in private and state wild areas, understand about sustainable trails and advance in international standards.”
Another interesting factor within the project is the construction of 1.5 kilometres of an exclusive trail for horses that plays a logistical role within the park. With this project of construction and separation of trails, it is possible to improve the safety of walkers who visit Torres Base.
In 2021, contact was made with the Conservation Volunteers International Program (Conservation VIP), a program dedicated to restoring trails led by specialists who travel to destinations around the world and collaborate with their expertise.
Conservation VIP has been working hand in hand with CONAF and the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund for more than 15 years in emblematic projects such as the bridges in the ravines of Torres del Paine O circuit, the French Bridge, footbridges on the Dickson area trails and the last trail, Skottsberg, between Paine Grande and the French valley areas.
Cindy Beitner, a Conservation VIP volunteer with 18 years of experience in projects developed in other countries, said “We are happy to work on this beautiful project to make a new trail. It’s a very challenging thing. For me, the responsibility lies in being able to teach young people through my experience, and especially women, that we can all do it. You don’t have to be someone physically big or strong.”
This partnership contemplated the bringing of 10 experts from the United States, thanks to the contribution of LATAM airlines, who, led by Conservation VIP, directed and collaborated in the reconstruction of the new trail. On the other hand, there was also the support of Cerveza Austral, which allowed more than 3,256 hours of volunteering: 1,680 hours of American experts, 928 hours of Chilean volunteers, and 648 hours of members of Conservation VIP.
Undoubtedly, this project is one of the most emblematic of Torres del Paine, which will continue for the next 4 to 5 years until we can say that the 8th wonder of the world has a trail worthy of its fame.
For more information about this sustainable project and others in Las Torres Reserve, visit www.lastorres.com