Torres Del Popular
Eco Tourism in Torres Del Paine Chile - August 2016
Torres Del Paine is a wild land, overlooking the patagonian ice fields it is shadowed by stunning lenticular cloud formations, and towering granite giants. It exists at the southern tip of the continent, and is home to puma, the endangered huemel deer, and though generally remote it is often a short term stop for between 200,000 and 300,000 migratory, traveling humans each year.
The area is protected under a National Park status by the the Chilean Government, and its unique beauty has prompted rampant growth in the local eco-tourism industry. Look to any major outdoor brand and you will find photos of the park somewhere in their social media newsfeeds. The amount of attention is well deserved, but resulting visitors in the last three years has put a huge amount of pressure on the ecosystem.
Half the park was burnt in a devastating fire in 2015 set by a tourist, and park rangers have closed trails because inexperienced and ill-prepared hikers kept needing to be rescued. There was a few Noro virus outbreaks over this last summer season, and somewhere between the thousands of selfies and the boxed wine dinners shared between travellers all over the world, we’ve forgotten that getting into nature is important as protecting it.