1. Don’t… visit Torres del Paine during high season.
December to March in this vast national park in southern Chile is not the time to find quiet solitude — especially on the trekker-happy “W” circuit.
The park fills up with people, the concessioned campsites turn into cities, and the “rustic” ones turn into villages.
Do… go during shoulder season.
Or better yet, visit another Patagonia park, such as Queulat, home to bursting fuchsia plants, the elusive huemúl (a stocky, endangered deer that appears on Chile’s coat of arms), and a glacier-spawned waterfall.
Slightly farther north is the practically unvisited Tolhuaca National Park, full of monkey-puzzle trees and red-crested woodpeckers the length of your forearm.