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The French Valley: A Home to Natural Beauty

Nestled deep in Chilean Patagonia, you’ll find a massive valley that is home to some of the most spectacular mountain formations in the world! Located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, the French Valley marks the middle of the W Circuit and is a highlight to visitors from all over the globe. The French Lookout sits halfway up the valley and offers a 360° view of Mt. Hoja, Espada and Fortaleza along with Nordenskjold, Pehoé and Toro lakes. If you’re lucky, you may also catch an avalanche cascading down the East face of Paine Grande, a dramatic and powerful sight! The name “French Valley” comes from Adrian Bader, the former owner of the land that was originally from the province of Alsace in France.

Rich and diverse in wildlife, the French Valley is the perfect destination for photographers, animal enthusiasts and nature lovers! Inside Torres del Paine National Park, there are approximately 170 insect species and about 120 different bird species. As you hike, keep your eyes peeled since it is common to spot various birds, such as: condors, owls, sparrows, woodpeckers and more! The valley is also home to larger animals like the gray and red fox, Patagonian skunk, puma and huemul (Andean deer).
Even though you may experience some wildlife sightings, the French Valley is most recognized for its magnificent native landscapes and jagged granite formations. Sitting at the end of the valley is the Britanico Viewpoint, a gigantic natural amphitheater made up of a large number of sheer granite walls. Here, you’ll be mesmerized by stunning mountain peaks, such as: Cota 2000, Catedral, Los Gemelos, Cabeza de Indio, Aleta de Tiburón (Sharks Fin), Trono Blanco, among others!

After reading this, you’re probably wondering what you need to visit this magical and impressive valley! Most importantly, you’ll need a spirit of adventure and a lot of motivation! Hiking in the French Valley can be challenging, so it is important to be in decent physical shape and have extra time built into your schedule to fully appreciate the scenery without feeling rushed. You’ll also need to have the appropriate hiking gear (lots of layers, rain gear, etc.), since Patagonia is best known for its always changing weather conditions and having all four seasons in one day!
Get inspired! Come and breathe the fresh Patagonian air, experience the beauty of nature and simply enjoy the unique and incredible views of Chilean Patagonia!

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