The National Park of Torres del Paine, with an area of 598,000 acres, is considered to be the most beautiful in the country; with its yellow steppes, immaculate peaks, emerald lakes, and golden forests. It holds 170 species of birds (condors, rheas, swans...), and 25 species of mammals, including the puma, the wild cat, and a small wolf (the culpeo zorro).
The park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1978 and its importance for the protection and development of vegetation and wildlife has been recognized by conservation giants such as the WWF.
Whilst in Torres del Paine, it is worth visiting Perito Moreno, one of Chile's most famous glaciers, also accessible from the Argentinean side via the Glacier Park. This giant ice sculpture hosts a wealth of flora and fauna such as the Chinese Lantern plant, the orange Notro flower, and the Calafate berry. For the adventurous traveller, day-long treks are available along the glacier, as well as the opportunity to camp overnight in this icy wilderness.
Cruises and day long boat trips are also available to see Perito Moreno but do be careful which tour operator you use as some companies are more environmentally friendly than others. The Detour website promotes local travel companies to ensure that your money supports the local economy, community and environment. Detour has four day cruises to Perito Moreno and the Upsala Glaciers for £467.