General Description of the Park
The Torres del Paine National Park is part of the National System of Protected Areas of the Republic of Chile. In 2006 the park covered an area of about 242,242 hectares. It is one of the largest parks in the country and one of the most important. It is the third most visited by tourists of which about 75% are foreigners, mostly Europeans. The National Park is located 112 km north of Puerto Natales and 312 km of the city of Punta Arenas. It is one of the eleven protected areas existing in the Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica (along with four other national parks, three national reserves and three national monuments). Together, the protected areas cover 51% of the area of the region (6,728,744 ha). Bordered on the north by Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. The park was created on May 13, 1959. The UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve on April 28, 1978. The park features a variety of natural environments: mountains (among which the complex of Cerro Paine, whose main summit reaches 3,050 meters, the Torres del Paine and Cuernos del Paine), valleys, rivers like the Paine River, important lakes like the Grey Lake, the Pehoé Lake, the Nordenskjold Lake and the Sarmiento Lake, glaciers (Grey, Pingo, Tyndall and Geikie, that belongs to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field).