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Torres del Paine trekking – all you need to know

Torres del Paine trekking - all you need to know

Torres del Paine is a really well-known and fashionable nationwide park within the southern Patagonia, Chile. Hundreds of individuals come right here for trekking yearly in consequence it will get fairly crowded through the season. The park has good infrastructure; properly-marked trails, designated campsites, picnic areas, eating places and store, ranger posts and so forth. You possibly can come to the park as a day customer and do brief hikes or enterprise to one of many longer routes; W-trek or O-circuit and spend trekking right here between 5 to Eight days. The highlights of Torres del Paine; Las Torres (three sharp granite peaks), Gray glacier, Pehoe lake, Salto Grande, Nordenskjold lake – it’s an awesome place for outside, mountaineering and nature lovers. 

Torres del Paine information

  • The Nationwide park was established in 1959.
  • It’s situated within the Southern Patagonia, Chile.
  • Complete space of the park – 181 400 ha.
  • It acquired its identify after three granite peaks of the Paine mountain vary that appear to be towers (Torres from Spanish is “tower”).
  • 248 400 individuals visited Torres del Paine in 2017, 60% of them have been foreigners.

Treks in Torres del Paine

The park is large, with a number of someday and multi day hikes, all trails are nicely marked and straightforward to comply with. The W-trek and O-circuit begin at Lodge Las Torres, 7km from Laguna Amarga (the doorway) to get right here from the gate you can take a bus (US$four,four) or stroll. 

  • Day hikes – there are 25 day hikes within the park, distances between 5 and 20 km.
  • W-trek – 100km path, three to 5 days to full. 
  • O-circuit – 134km, a loop that goes across the park, within the Southern a part of the park it joins with the W-trek, 7-9 days. Opened – November to March.
  • Q-route – 154km, it’s principally the identical because the O-circuit plus 20km extension; from Paine Grande to Administration exit, Eight-10 days. Opened – November to March.

Which route to select?

Relying on how a lot time you have and what sort of expertise you’re looking for for. 

Day hikes


  • You possibly can stroll with a day pack, no need to carry a heavy backpack.
  • Staying in a lodge as an alternative of tenting (for tenting lovers it could be an obstacle).
  • You possibly can select when and what you need to see in accordance to the climate circumstances.
  • You possibly can spend extra time making an attempt to get an ideal shot or footage.


  • It’s costlier, there are not any price range lodges contained in the park however you nonetheless can camp.
  • It takes away an enormous adventurous a part of the hike.
  • You gained’t have the opportunity to see some remotes elements of Torres del Paine. 



  • It’s a superb compromise between a day hike and every week circuit, takes between three to four days to full, plus the route goes via the extra developed a part of the park with lodges, eating places and so forth.
  • You continue to have to carry meals and kit however just for three-four days.
  • If you don’t thoughts paying extra you may even keep in inns and eat in eating places.


  • This a part of the park could be very busy and will get fairly crowded in season you don’t get an opportunity to get off the crushed path.
  • There are not any free campsites on this route solely extra personal or lodges.



  • You see much more of Torres del Paine.
  • You get an opportunity to skip crowds; some elements of the trek are fairly distant and never accessible for day guests.
  • It’s an actual climbing journey. 


  • You have got to carry a heavy backpack with gear, meals and garments for 7-Eight days.
  • If you’re unfortunate with the climate it’ll be a really lengthy stroll in pouring rain and powerful wind (it could actually occur anyplace in Patagonia not solely in Torres).



  • The identical as for the O-circuit.
  • You see much more locations within the park.


  • It’s an extended hike, you’ll need Eight-9 days to full it – quite a bit to carry in a backpack.
  • The extension a part of the path shouldn’t be a round route, it’s a return trek. The easiest way to full this route is to take a catamaran to Paine Grande from Pudeto, CLP 18000/US$28 from there stroll the O-circuit and end with Paine Grande – Administration stretch.

Torres del Paine trekking map; W-trek, O-circuit, Q-trek.Torres del Paine trekking map; W-trek, O-circuit, Q-trek.

Obtain Torres del Paine map.

Essential info

  • There’s a CONAF workplace in Puerto Natales the place you can e-book free campsites and get affirmation (for now on-line reserving by means of the location is just not obtainable). Workplace opened Mon – Thu from Eight.30am until noon and from 2.30pm to 5pm; Fri from Eight.30am until noon and from 2.30pm to 4pm; Sat., Solar. closed. Workplace’s situated on the nook of Baquedano and Yungay streets, close to Erratic rock hostel.
  • To get extra info on Torres del Paine and a few sensible ideas go to go to day by day free speak assembly at 3pm at Erratic Rock hostel, close to CONAF workplace.
  • All climbing routes within the park are properly-marked and have indications, distances, maps and so on.
  • The O-circuit and Q-trek may be walked solely counterclockwise.
  • The O-circuit (the Q) are opened solely from 1st November to 30th March for 18/19 season.
  • The W-trek may be walked any path.
  • A lot of the trails have closing time, you gained’t be allowed to begin strolling a stretch after the required closing time. 

  • If you’re planning to keep for an evening contained in the park you should ebook your lodging (campsite, lodge) beforehand.
  • Take printed campsites reserving affirmation with.
  • Convey passport your bookings are made in your passport particulars. To maintain your paperwork and telephone dry on the trek use a waterproof pouch.
  • There isn’t a/very restricted cellphone reception within the park.
  • Hikers in all the time contained in the park should keep on established trails.
  • Tenting is simply allowed at designated campsites, wild tenting is strictly prohibited.
  • No open fires are allowed contained in the park.
  • Utilizing of tenting range is allowed solely at designated areas, campsites.
  • Water within the park is drinkable, SteriPen or LifeStraw are optionally available.
  • All waste have to be carried with you outdoors the park (some personal campsites have garbage bins).

Grey glacier, Torres del PaineGray glacier, Torres del Paine

Value of trekking in Torres del Paine

  • Transport – bus Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine (return) – CLP 15 000/US$23. Bus Lodge Las Torres – Laguna Amarga (for the O, Q and W-trek) – CLP 3000/US$5, elective. Catamaran Pudeto – Paine Grande (W trek) – CLP 18 000/US$28 a method. 
  • Entrance payment – CLP 21 000/US$32 in season, off season (Might to September) – CLP 11 000/US$17; the worth is fastened and doesn’t depend upon period of your go to; regardless of if you keep for a few hours or every week.
  • Lodging – resorts between US$130 and US$350 for a double room, relying on the situation and amenities. Hostels – between US$60 and US$80 per mattress. Personal campsites – between CLP 5000-13000/US$Eight-20. At present there are solely two free campsites in Torres del Paine.
  • Meals – cooking your personal meals – US$10 per day per individual; consuming out – between CLP 11 000/US$17 and CLP 16 000/US$25 per meal.
  • Gear rental (non-compulsory) – to lease tenting gear (tent, sleeping bag, cooking range and so forth.) in Puerto Natales will value you between CLP 13 000/US$20 and CLP 20 000/US$30 pp. per day, relying what you lease. At most paid campsites you can lease a tent, mat, sleeping bag nevertheless it’s costlier than within the city. 
  • Excursions in Torres del Paine (optionally available) – boat journey to Gray glacier – from CLP 70 000/US$107 pp.; hike on Gray glacier – CLP 100 000/US$154 pp.; kayaking to Gray glacier – CLP 66 000/US$100 pp.

Tour operators cost; for a day tour from Puerto Natales from US$80 per individual, for five-day W-trek –  round US$1200 (together with transport, lodging, meals, gear, park entrance charge), for 7-day O-circuit – US$2000 (together with transport, lodging, meals, gear, park entrance charge). 

Guided vs unbiased trek

Unbiased hike


  • It’s less expensive, particularly for longer treks.
  • It’s extra adventurous.
  • You’re extra versatile.


  • You carry a heavy backpack with gear and meals for the entire trek.
  • You pitch and break down a tent, make meals, pack and so on.

Guided tour


  • The preparation stage is straightforward; no need to ebook campsites, discover buses, lease gear or pack – all you have to do is to discover a good firm and pay. 
  • The trekking half is simpler as nicely; no carrying a heavy backpack, pitching a tent, cooking, packing and so on. You stroll with a day-pack and your guides do the remaining.
  • Often it’s extra enjoyable to be a part of a gaggle if you journey alone however in Torres del Paine there are various individuals probabilities of you mountaineering and tenting by yourself are principally non existent.  


  • It’s costlier.
  • It takes away the adventurous half.
  • All the paths within the park are nicely-marked and straightforward to comply with, you don’t actually need a information to present you the best way or to discover the campsites.

Packing listing for Torres del Paine

All particulars and recommendations on packing for climbing and tenting in Patagonia you’ll discover on this submit. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

Greatest time to go to Torres del Paine 

If you marvel when it’s the greatest time to go to Torres del Paine right here is a few climate associated knowledge to assist you planning. To characterize Patagonian climate in a single phrase I’d say “unpredictable” – it may well change in a blink for an eye fixed from good and sunny to stormy and wet. Patagonia has 4 nicely-outlined seasons; Spring – September to November; Summer time – December to February; Fall – March to Might; Winter – June to August. Summer time and the start or fall is the most effective time for climbing in Patagonia. Temperature; December – March are the warmest months when even night time temperatures are fairly snug. April and November – are shoulder season; warmish days and never chilly nights. 

On this a part of Patagonia wind not rain is the primary drawback, it will get very windy which turns pitching a tent or cooking to a sophisticated process. The start of summer time November – January are the windiest months in Torres del Paine. February is probably the most snug in sense of wind and temperature. April to September is the least windy interval nevertheless it’s too chilly for mountaineering, plus lengthy treks are closed for off season.

As you can see probabilities of rain are fairly even all year long, summer time and fall months get various rain, February once more is one of the best month for mountaineering in Torres with the least rainfalls. In winter probabilities of rain are fairly small although it could snow.

Day period in summer time in Patagonia is sort of lengthy, up to 18 hours of daylight! You’ve gotten lengthy mountaineering days even when you begin later you’ll have sufficient time to full a stretch with solar nonetheless excessive up. November – February it principally will get darkish round 11pm, the solar rises between 4am and 5am. In winter daylight are half so long as in summer time.

From all the above you could make a conclusion that February is the perfect month for trekking in Torres del Paine; heat, little wind and rain, lengthy days nevertheless it’s the busiest month for the park with probably the most guests coming right here. November, December and March could be a greater choice if you need to skip the crowds, plus all climbing trails are already or nonetheless opened, however these months get fairly a bit extra rain and are windier. We hiked in March and have been fortunate with the climate, out of seven days within the park we had just one wet day and it wasn’t pouring rain, wind didn’t hassle us an excessive amount of.

Getting to Torres del Paine

You have got two choices of getting right here from Puetro Natales; taking a bus or hitchhiking. Buses depart each day at 7.00am (we’d recommend to be there earlier to get a spot on first buses) and a couple of.30pm (in excessive season; December – February) from Puerto Natales, most hostels and motels promote bus tickets. It takes about 2 hours to get to Laguna Amarga entrance. Worth CLP 15 000/US$30 return pp. To get to Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas you should first get to Puerto Natales after which take a bus to the park, the identical for different cities within the space. 

Hitchhiking is perhaps troublesome in season there are various individuals on the street all will depend on your luck, it’s higher to begin early. We hitched in March and have been fairly fortunate to get to the park in two rides, it took us three hours in complete simply 1 hour longer than by bus. 

To get again to Puerto Natales you can catch two buses, one leaves within the afternoon and one within the night, they cease at three totally different park entrance.

Park entrances

In season (October to April) entrance is from 7am to 10pm; off-season (Might to September) – from Eight.30am to 5.30pm. There are three entrances to the park (which one to select is determined by your route; Laguna Amarga – O-circuit and day hikes (if it’s the closest entrance to your lodging).  You can begin mountaineering from the doorway or catch one other bus that may get you to Las Torres – the official begin, 7km. Bus prices CLP 3000/US$four,50 pp. Pudeto – W-trek, Q-trek, day hikes (if it’s the closest entrance to your lodging), to get to the park you need to catch a catamaran, CLP 15 000/US$23 a method. Observe! Administration workplace entrance (close to Guardería Serrano) in excessive season can be utilized just for exiting the park. The stretch Paine Grande – Administración can’t be walked different means round.

Campsites map, Torres del PaineMap of the campsites in Torres del Paine Nationwide park, Chile

Torres del Paine tenting

Contained in the park there are three totally different corporations operating the campsites; CONAF (the Nationwide Forest Company) – runs free campsites; Italiano, Paso and Torres (closed for 18/19); Vertice Patagonia – runs paid campsites; Gray, Paine Grande, Dickson, Los Perros and Fantastico Sur – runs paid campsites; Torre, Los Cuernos, Frances, Seron and Chileno. The campsites might be booked on-line; e-book CONAF (they’re nonetheless implementing new reserving system as for July 2018 it didn’t work but); e-book Vertice Patagonia; ebook Fantastico Sur. Don’t overlook to print and take together with your reserving affirmation and passport.  

Free campsites

There are 2 campsites, they belong to CONAF, have very primary amenities, situated subsequent to rangers stations. To get a spot in season (January, February) you should e-book lengthy prematurely.

Have a lot better amenities however in excessive season they get overcrowded to use any of the amenities e.g. bathe or rest room you have to look forward to some time. There are 9 paid campsites in Torres del Paine Nationwide park they’re run by two corporations; Vertice Patagonia and Fantastico Sur. 

Vertice Patagonia

Good amenities and average costs – between CLP 5000-6000/US$Eight-9 pp. On-line reserving is obtainable. Two out of 4 campsites are opened all yr round.

Torres del Paine, ChileLovely surroundings of Torres del Paine, Chile

Fantastico Sur

They campsites are the costliest one – CLP 13 000/US$20 pp. for tenting with your personal gear. On-line reserving is obtainable.

Campsites outdoors the park

Pehoe (good cease for guests with their very own car), at Pehoe lake, removed from any treks, opened all yr spherical, CLP 11000/US$17 pp.

  • Rest room – sure
  • Bathe – sure
  • Operating water – sure, at every website
  • Electrical energy – sure
  • Tables, benches – no
  • Store – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Additional – shelter to pitch a tent underneath, hearth, garbage bins

Pehoe lake, Torres del PaineLodge at Pehoe lake, Torres del Paine

Resorts in Torres del Paine 

All of the inns are fairly luxurious; rooms with good views, personal toilet, heating, TV, towels, snug beds, breakfast and so on. Some have choice of full board with three meals included. There are extra price range choice as properly (although every part right here is comparatively price range) referred to as ‘refugios’, a few of them have dormitory rooms and personal with shared rest room.

Wildlife within the reserve 

In excessive season possibilities to see wild animals within the busy a part of the park (W-trek, day hikes) are fairly small however you nonetheless could be fortunate. We noticed most animals on the O-circuit, in additional distant elements of the reserve. If you’re fortunate you can see a puma and our associates did see one strolling close to tenting Serron one morning. Gray and pink fox – you have good probabilities of recognizing them on the longer routes. Huemul – native deer, we noticed a few them however from far. Guanaco – a much bigger and wilder model of llama. There many smallish mammals; Patagonian skunk, dwarf armadillo, condor, rabbits and mice.

Dwarf armadillo, Torres del Paine, ChileDwarf armadillo, Torres del Paine, Chile

Lodging in Puerto Natales

In Puerto Natales the whole lot is about Torres del Paine, it’s the closest to the park biggish city; many resorts and hostels, a few campsites, restaurant, gear rental outlets and so forth. Right here you can get all the data concerning the trek, guide campsites or inns within the park, purchase meals for the hike and perhaps improve your gear (if it’s needed) and so on. The most cost effective lodging choice is to camp there are two or three campsites within the city the primary disadvantage of tenting is you and your gear can get moist earlier than you begin the hike if you’re unfortunate with the climate.

If tenting on the trek was sufficient for you and you’d quite keep in a heat and luxury room, there are a number of nice choices for various budgets.

In search of a price range lodging – Refugio Hoshken is perhaps an excellent choice for you! They’ve dormitories and double rooms with shared toilet. Good, clear and really social place, nice for solo vacationers. The hostel options wi-fi, scorching bathe, shared kitchen, heating, backyard. laundry service and so on. Breakfast included.

For many who want to keep in a quiet place, have extra privateness and don’t pay an excessive amount of Hostal Treehouse Patagonia is an effective various. It gives double rooms with personal rest room, rooms are usually not huge however neat and comfy and have; wi-fi, heating, huge snug beds, hairdryer, communal kitchen and so forth. Continental breakfast is included.

What could be higher than checking into a comfortable room after every week of climbing and tenting within the wild!? If you’re not on a really tight finances Toore Patagonia is a superb place to think about their bungalows look very inviting and have good amenities; personal toilet, absolutely outfitted kitchen, wi-fi, huge mattress, heating and so on. The surface backyard with BBQ is a superb place to chill out and have fun the top of the trek with wine.

Hotel Toore Patagonia, Puerto Natales.Lodge Toore Patagonia, Puerto Natales. Photograph;

Beneficial books and guidebooks

Within the final years guidelines in Torres del Paine have modified quite a bit ensure to purchase an up to date information ebook.

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