Laguna Verde a good alternative to famous Torres del Paine Trails
The internet it’s filled up with plenty of pictures and descriptions of the most famous and popular trails of Torres del Paine National Park, such as the path leading to the lake at the Towers’ Base, which despite being challenging and beautiful can get quite congested in the peak season right before Christmas holidays, or the trail leading to the head of the French Valley in which you get the chance to see Los Cuernos from a different angle and to walk through part of the forest affected by the recent fire of 2012.
All these popular trails are located along Torres del Paine W Trek, which is by far the best option in terms of views, hiking experience and time you can spend in this corner of the Chilean Patagonia; but what if your time is limited, or you’re not looking for a challenging multi-day hiking program or let’s say you’re travelling with your family and your kids love hiking, you love photography and you’re looking for a great full day hike that can fulfil your expectations and fit with your schedule of your trip to Patagonia.
Well, it turn our that Torres del Paine can offer that and we’ve got the right answer to your question. We care about the logistic and guiding, you just bring along your daypack, your camera and the good outdoor spirit which is needed when travelling in Patagonia!
The trail I’m going to describe in this post is located on the southeast corner of this incredible protected area which is Torres del Paine. Some people called it Lazo-Weber, due to the connection between two iconic and historical spots that are estancia el Lazo and Weber bridge; some others named it Laguna Verde trail, due to the stunning emerald lake in which Paine Massif is often mirrored, others instead named it Paso De Agostini, Alto de la Sierra, Water track and so on…all in all we’re talking about the same trail. A 14km (9 miles) path making its way through rolling hills, prickly shrubland, dense Magellanic forest, an endless number of colourful lakes and ponds all crowned by the peaks of Torres del Paine Range constantly in the background.
A beautiful thing about this trail is that it is little known and hiked, therefore the likelihood of being alone during the walk gives you a nice feeling and opportunity to stay away from the beaten trails; its overall length and almost absence of strenuous elevation gains to tackle makes it affordable for everyone who’s little prepare to trekking and most of all if you’re travelling with your kids I’m telling you they’ll love it and enjoy the day as much as you will.
In spring the meadows are dotted with wildflowers and tiny orchids, in summer plenty of birdlife gathers in and around the lakes and in autumn deciduous austral beech explodes in a kaleidoscope of colours. Sometimes guanacos roam around Laguna Verde or Laguna Honda and can be spotted while grazing very closed to the trail; in other occasions, when it’s windy for instance, chances to see Andean Condors soaring above Lago Toro are quite high. Don’t forget that we’re in a wilderness area and some parts of the trail are exposed to the wind while some others can get a little wet or muddy especially if it had been raining during the previous days.
We love so much this trail that we have decided to put it on our Self-Guided Torres del Paine trekking, in fact we recognize the high panoramic value of the path and most of all possibility to give you an introduction to Patagonia and Torres del Paine just before you continue on your own along the incredible trails of the W trek. If this is your choice, then we’ll guide you along an alternative and even more remote trail, drawing a loop in the map which is going to show you at the beginning the turquoise waters of Paine river, later we’ll pass beside small lakelets dotted with grebes and coots reaching a ridge from where you can admire at one side Paine Massif and on the other Laguna Honda, Laguna Calafate and Lago Sarmiento aligned one after the other to finally get back to the main trail completing the loop with an incredible sight of the azure and pristine waters of Lago Toro.
Either your choice we’ll be walking the trail on your own or to join us during our guided day hike, we highly suggest you to have a look at this option and add it to your travelling schedule. You won’t regret it and the contrasting colours and pristine of the landscape will be impressed in your memory.
For more information about Torres del Paine National Park, its trails, valleys, glaciers and how to hike and visit them follow these links through our website: