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Winter in the Patagonian Steppe

It’s winter in Patagonia and the steppe is covered in fresh snow. This far south, the sun rises just before 1000h and it’s still pitch black as Benja, our Patagonian guide, gets ready for his day hike in the eastern part of the Torres Del Paine National Park.

The Patagonian steppe is rich in wildlife, and it is common to see herds of guanacos, one of the four South American camelids, here. Even while they are grazing, guanacos have to stay alert, keeping an eye out for the elusive puma, which have also been spotted in this area. But no luck for Benja today; only the puma's footprints in the snow.

The view of the Paine Massif is open and spectacular from here. The late sunrise lights the snow which covers the Massif’s granite peaks in hues of pink. I still remember this view very distinctly from the same hike I did a few autumns ago. On the same trail, there are also ancient cave paintings to be seen.

Photos by Benjamin Campos and Gino Pereira. There is also a stunning documentary series about Chilean wildlife - Wild Chile (Chile Salvaje) - and the first episode is about wildlife in Torres Del Paine National Park. You can find the full episode here (in Spanish only).

This half-day hike (3 hours) is available as part of our customised itineraries in Patagonia, and is suitable for hikers with no experience (Grade I; see our Grading System here). If you are interested in visiting Chilean Patagonia, get in touch with us at

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