Antarctic Horizonte Puerto Natales

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Puerto Natales at twilight on the horizon we the South Pole. It is also a remote village it seems. A place for those out of a fiction series, Doctor in Alaska for example. Creating a community of adventurers and brave one day left their homes to seek a better world and stood at the gates of the Antarctic, in a province called Nueva Esperanza in Chile.

Puerto Natales

Photography by wallygrom (very busy at work)

The Chilean population of just over 21,000 inhabitants and located in one of the southernmost areas of the country may not be pretty at first glance, you may not be so for everyone who comes to it, generally looking for the ultimate base camp for supplies and into the Torres del Paine National Park. But each one gets a small part in the places you visit and in return we get a picture, time, energy …

Something like this happened in Puerto Natales. Cradled by cold wandering through the quiet streets, the ride ended in the bay, a landscape of icy water, mist and cormorants which stand out against a backdrop of snowy peaks. Then the tightness cold misses other sensations, the certainty that he is a distant, different, with different pace and whipped by one of the most extreme climates, it still conveys transparency and warmth.

Antarctic Horizonte Puerto Natales

Photography by wallygrom (very busy at work)

The sunset in the bay is an essential event for all comers to the XII Region of Magallanes, and if the weather permits, you may even forget the cold trying to see beyond. Smilodon is undoubtedly one of its most illustrious visitors received one of the approaches to Puerto Natales. With 3 meters high, this herbivore, also called “saber tooth” is the largest cat that has lived on Earth. Although she appeared in North America, Smilodon migrated to South America due to climate change and that was the end of extinction.

Little remains of its former inhabitants and kawéskar aonikenk. Puerto Natales is now a Chilean population with strong European roots, especially considering that there was a time when the area had more contact with Europe than with Santiago de Chile. It has attracted scientists and adventurers like Charles Darwin and Robert Fitz Roy, who would name the vertical Patagonian giants year after year to challenge the best climbers.

Shortly after the first exploratory expeditions in the area, began the colonization and in 1893 became the first British and German settlers, who settled in Puerto Natales and built other towns such as Puerto Condor, Puerto Bories and Puerto Consuelo.

Although these early colonists left Europe to engage in sheep and cattle in the region, the coal activity became after the expropriation of large estates in one of the main sources of wealth and employment in the region, the exploitation of deposits Carboniferous of Argentina’s Rio Turbio town, just 48 kilometers from Puerto Natales. These facilities are now largely abandoned and forced back to a change of direction and activity for its inhabitants.

Surrounded by a simply spectacular Patagonian landscape, not surprising that tourism has now become one of the sources of wealth of the place, next to the fishing has always been one of the most active.

In its main streets shop windows show us many different ways of approaching the Torres del Paine, from single day trips, I do not recommend (it’s like to stay half) to organized trekking guides and porters or the most exciting without doubt, get a map and buy a bus ticket to reach the entrance to the park and explore the area at your leisure.

Horizonte Puerto Natales

Photography by cordyph

In all cases, but especially if you’re on your own, it is very important to be prepared for inclement weather the worst that can happen in a day. Devote another post to explain the routes that can be done in the Torres del Paine National Park and some tips to overcome torrential rains, strong winds and even snow, although the day started with good sunshine.

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