Now here is a way to have a vacation in one of the most amazing
places on earth and to do a good deed while you’re at it. First, though, I have to tell you how incredibly amazing Torres del Paine is. Located far, far South in
Patagonian Chile, Torres is one of the loveliest, most adventure-laden places you will ever go. I was there for a few weeks years ago and
did part of the Torres circuit. The trail wanders through a glacier scoured land dotted with cerulean lakes and teeming
with unusual wildlife. We were actually talked by a rhea (a South American ostrich) while hiking and saw herds of wild
guanacos (sort of a llama-like animal) scampering around the hills. So, yes, Torres is unforgettable. Really the
Yosemite of South America…and without the crowds.
But beginning March 18, you can head to Torres and help fix the trails and make the place
even better. Imagine the friends you’ll make? The nine-night excursion is being sponsored by the U.S.
Forest Service and Chile’s park service. You’ll get to explore the park for a couple of days and then hunker down
and fix up the trail system on other days. During the time you’re there you’ll stay in a local hostel with
hot showers and an incredible view of the park. Good stuff. It will, of course, cost you, so you are doing this for the
good of the park. The cost is $2,700 per person, including round-trip international airfare to Santiago from Pittsburgh.
There are also “extension” trips that you can take, should you have not satisfied your travel jones that
take you to Easter Island or Machu Picchu in Peru. Get more details