Lago Grey and Glacier Gray, Torres Del Paine National Park

In 2006, I attended my first-ever Society of American Travel Writers Annual Conference, in Chile. It was my first trip to South America. While I was fascinated with Santiago and a side trip to Valparaiso, being a nature lover, it was the post-trip to Patagonia that compelled me to spend 14 hours in flight to reach the southernmost airport on the South American continent. Three hours on paved roads through the steppes and three hours on dirt roads the day after, our small group entered Torres Del Paine National Park.

I took many images on that trip, but this one remains a favorite for expressing the scale of landscapes in Torres del Paine. A glacial tongue from the Southern Patagonia Ice Field reaches Lago Grey, a favorite destination for visitors due to its lodge. The windswept brown plain in the foreground extended from the lodge to the lakeshore, which has been receding. Look carefully at the icebergs and you’ll see a band of hikers walking along them.