Torres del Paine closed
Replies: 195 - Last Post: May 20, 2012 11:55 AM Last Post By: vnrose
Dec 30, 2011 5:04 AM
Torres del Paine closedThis thread is for posting information or questions concerning travel to Torres del Paine or updates on the general situation.
No new entries are being permitted into the park due to the fire burning there. There has been no mandatory evacuation so far, except from the refugios which had to be closed yesterday. People in the park can be evacuated out of the park if they wish. If mandatory evacuations should become necessary, the authorities prefer to deal with those already in the park and not new visitors.
If you had plans to visit, make some alternate plans for at least a week, probably longer. There is plenty to see and do in the area on both the Chilean and Argentine side. Do be careful to book ahead for lodging if you want to head to El Calafate or Chaltén as places are quite booked up anyway at this time of year and others will be also looking for alternatives.
Edited by: Yersinia
Dec 30, 2011 5:32 AM
1I think we should ask the mods to make this a sticky thread. There are some good links to chilean media on the former thread
I have been several times to the park and after looking at the images in the links posted by the OP, it makes really no sense at all to go to the park actually.
In the local news
The Pehoe park ranger office at Pehoe burned down and the Lodge Paine Grande had been affected too. According to the same news, Hotel Explora is threatened too.
Dec 30, 2011 6:20 AM
Dec 30, 2011 7:17 AM
3There hasn´t been much media coverage outside Chile. Many tourists will still go on and be surprised once there.
Dec 30, 2011 7:20 AM
Dec 30, 2011 7:57 AM
Dec 30, 2011 9:49 AM
Dec 30, 2011 12:17 PM
7Finally the news are in the important international media too
I have been reading in the chilean media that the park will be closed all january according to the President Pinera. He also got already critics about the slow reaction and his image has been fallen very low these days.
Dec 30, 2011 12:58 PM
Dec 30, 2011 1:05 PM
9I think most of the people who think the reaction was slow have never been to Patagonia. It is the sort of "someone should do something" reaction. Just getting anywhere near to the fire proved to be extremely difficult and wind conditions were as bad as they could possibly be. As government reactions go, this one was not slow. Piñera asked for international help about a week quicker with TdP than Bachelet did after the 2010 earthquake. It is just a 'cuestión de piel' with Piñera. A personality thing. People, including me, just don't warm to him.
Dec 30, 2011 2:43 PM
10The updated weather forecast looks much better for tommorrow for the TDP area. Not much wind and light rain. But for sunday, there is more wind predicted. Weather forecasts are highly unreliable in southern Patagonia anyway.
Dec 31, 2011 6:27 AM
11Wow, thats horrible news about the fire. I hope they are able to put it out quickly and fingers crossed for rain!!
My husband and I will be heading north from Ushuaia to the TDP area starting at the very end of Jan, but I would say it would be the first week of Feb before we hit El Calafate. Do you think we need to book places in Punto Arenas, Puerto Natales and El Calafate? We werent planning to...
Dec 31, 2011 6:49 AM
12Punta Arenas shouldn't be a problem as there are a lot of options. You might try booking something a bit ahead in Puerto Natales just in case, but my feeling is that people will be cancelling TdP. If you do book, try Erratic Rock (1 or 2) and go to the 3pm chat. They are always up to date about most recent conditions in the park. Some of it may not be accessible when you go as trails will have to be recovered and we still don't know what the final tally on campgrounds and refugios might be. This time the fire directly affected some of the most visited areas. I would book El Calafate as many will be going there as an alternative, and keep up with what is happening in the park before you travel there.
There are already people suggesting that, due to the huge increase in numbers visiting the park and to the lack of outdoor experience of many of them, a system of mandatory guides should be put in place, much like the Inca Trail. It would be a great shame if it came to that.
Dec 31, 2011 9:41 AM
13The police have arrested a 23 yr old Israeli citizen called Roter Singer, who has confessed to starting the fire. He doesn't risk much under the 'ley de bosques', a fine and a max of a couple of months in jail. However, Israel will be handed a bill for damages which should be quite large.
This will not help counter a current of anti-Israeli sentiment already present in some South American countries (not anti-semitism, which is different), but we should remember that responsibility is personal and not according to your nationality.
There is increasing pressure to make trekking with a guide mandatory in the park, much like the Inca Trail which suffered the same problems of too many tourists and not enough control over the ones who don't know how to behave. There was a post yesterday about camping outside the designated areas of the park, and that with the fire still burning.
Dec 31, 2011 12:54 PM
14for updated info follow the twitts of radiopolar.com
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