Photographing Torres del Paine National Park

July 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Torres del Paine sunriseTorres del Paine sunrise

 

Condors on top of the World. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Condors on top of the World. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_7058

 

After a long flight from US to Santiago de Chile and another shorter flight to Punta Arenas we drove 230 miles to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

The first three nights we lodged at Hotel Las Torres in the area of Lago Nordenskjöld. With this base we sampled some of the most iconic photos of the park.

Many other images are posted on www.tomnorring.com/patagonia

Las Torres before sunrise. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Las Torres before sunrise. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1204P-2

Photo: Las Torres in sunrise

Photographing both before sunrise and well after sunset we got different light on Las Torres.

Las Torres after sunset. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Las Torres after sunset. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C0851E

Photo: Las Torres in Sunset

 

However, in this area we also saw abundant wildlife.

Grey foxes feast on a Guanaco. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Grey foxes feast on a Guanaco. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_6930

Photo: Grey foxes feast on a Guanaco.

The Grey fox is not a natural predator to the Guanaco. This Guanaco was probably killed by a Mountain Lion.

Andean Condor in flight. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Andean Condor in flight. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C0665E

Photo: Andean Condors in flight. 

Thermals from the cliffs, peaks and valleys of Patagonia are the perfect environment for the Andean condor. An adult Condor has a wing-span of around 10 feet. In spite of being the largest of any land bird these scavengers are impressive gliders in the air and can stay aloft with minimal effort.

Guanaco portrait. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Guanaco portrait. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C0351E

Photo: Guanaco portrait

Guanacos are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America. The only natural predator is the Mountain Lion. They are cousins to the the llama and alpaca in the Camelid family. Guanaco are native to the arid, mountainous regions of South America.

Austral Pygmy Owl. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Austral Pygmy Owl. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_7191E

Photo: Austral Pygmy Owl

The Austral Pygmy-Owl is a common owl in the temperate forests of southern Argentina and Chile.

Playful Guanaco. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Playful Guanaco. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1145

Photo: Playful Guanacos

 

Our next stop was at Lago Pehoe lodging at Hosteria Pehoe.

Hosteria Pehoe. Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Hosteria Pehoe. Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1745H

Photo: Hosteria Pehoe with Lago Pehoe's characteristic green/cyan color

 

Towering over the lake was the gigantic granite monoliths of Cuernos  del Paine.

Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_7218

 

Photo: Cuernos del Paine in sunrise

Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Cordillera del Paine. Gigantic granite monoliths. Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1499

Photo: Cuernos del Paine in sunset

 

The area around Lago Pehoe was rich in picturesque landscapes.

Waterfall. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Waterfall. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1422

Photo: Waterfall

River landscape. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.River landscape. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C1200

Photo: Panorama

 

We also got lucky as a Caracara decided to pose for us.

Portrait of Southern Crested Caracara. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Portrait of Southern Crested Caracara. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_7478

Photo: Caracara portrait

Flying Southern Crested Caracara. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Flying Southern Crested Caracara. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._MG_7340

Photo: Caracara in tree

The Caracara is a bird of prey in the falcon subfamily: falconinae (source: Wikipedia)

 

Next stop was at Lago Grey bordered by the massive Glacier Grey and the jagged ridges and peaks of the Cerro Mountains. Lodging at Hotel Lago Grey.

Lago Grey. Cordillera del Paine in the background. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Lago Grey. Cordillera del Paine in the background. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C2013

Photo: Cerro Mountains

Glacier Grey at Lago Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Glacier Grey at Lago Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C2357

Photo: Glacier Grey

Glacier Grey, Pingo and Tyndall all belong to the Southern Patagonia Ice Field located at the Southern Patagonic Andes between Argentina and Chile. It is the world's second largest contiguous ice field located outside the Pole areas.

Source: Wikipedia. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Patagonian_Ice_Field

Glacier Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Glacier Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C2476

Photo: Glacier formations

 

The Magellanic Woodpecker paid a visit.

Male Magellanic Woodpecker in flight. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Male Magellanic Woodpecker in flight. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C2633E

Photo: Magellanic Woodpecker in flight

The Magellanic Woodpecker is an endemic species of the austral temperate forest. The large size, simple and elegant color pattern, as well as the curly and expressive crest of the female strongly suggest the extinct or nearly extinct Imperial (Campephilus imperialis) and Ivory-billed (C. principalis) woodpeckers.

Source: Cornell University

http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=321821

 

On day 10 we returned to Punta Arenas but had time for one more session photographing morning images of Glacier Grey and Lago Grey.

Glacier Grey at Sunrise. Lago Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere.Glacier Grey at Sunrise. Lago Grey. Torres del Paine National Park. Chile. South America. Unesco biosphere._T9C2719

Photo: morning at Lago Grey with Glacier Grey partly cloud covered

 

The trip home was another very long drive followed by three long flights.

But it was worth the travel effort.

Torres del Paine National Park is magic.

See more Patagonia images:

http://www.tomnorring.com/patagonia

 


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For many years I have enjoyed the freedom to travel the World with emphasis on photography. I have found that the Worlds wonders become more obvious through a lens. It emphasizes the beauty in the variety and details in culture, peoples, wildlife and landscapes.

Through my blog, stock photos and web site I make an attempt to share this beauty. My hope is that other people will find inspiration and motivation to protect and further share these Wonders of the World.

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