Salto Grande, which means large waterfall, is the biggest one you’ll see in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. It’s easy to visit as part of a day trip to the park with just a small bit of walking involved. The waterfall is the Paine River’s outflow from milky blue Lago Nordenskjöld, restricted into a narrow chute as it drops about 50 feet (15 meters) into what will eventually turn into Lago Pehoé, the lake you cross by catamaran to get to the Paine Grande campsite and refuge.
If you visit Salto Grande as part of a day trip, you’ll usually spend about 30 minutes here. There are more active options, however, with the possibility of setting out from Pudeto (where the Lago Pehoé catamaran crossing is) to do a 2.5-hour round-trip hike to Salto Grande, passing by the lookout point for Los Cuernos, a giant massif of sedimentary rock with black granite tops. It is one of two massive rock formations in the park, the other being the granite spires from which the park takes its name, “Torres (towers) del Paine.”
Expect the unexpected when it comes to weather in Torres del Paine, with strong wind and cool temperatures possible at any time of year. Dress in layers, and plan on using a windproof or waterproof jacket as an outer layer.