Torres del Paine Trek
Southern Patagonia, Chile
Southern Patagonia, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park, lies in southern Chile’s Patagonia region. The Cordillera del Paine is the park’s centrepiece with 3 soaring granite ‘Towers of Paine’ and the horn-shaped peaks called Cuernos del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park encompasses lakes, rivers, glaciers and forests with incredible wildlife, which together make it an exciting destination for a trekking adventure. The park's two picturesque trekking routes, "W" route and the "Circuit” can be covered between 5-10 days.
The trails in between the Torres del Paine famous craggy mountains are among the world's classic trekking routes. Breathtaking views together with glaciers, rivers, lakes, forests and abundant wildlife provides the trip with constantly changing scenarios and experiences. During summer (Nov-Mar) there are 18 hours of daylight that give the explorers plenty of time for the walking journey. With Andean condors circling overhead and guanacos grazing in the valleys, this amazing trek offers a genuine wilderness experience.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 7-DAY TORRES DEL PAINE ADVENTURE…
And, experience staying in dome tent designed with luxury amenities.
What is an Ecocamp?
It's a luxury camp, of a kind never seen before in Chile and similar in concept to the famous African lodges. It is a more comfortable alternative, but above all environmentally friendly, especially in a national Park with the characteristics of Torres del Paine.
The Ecocamp has been designed with the comfort of our travelers in mind but above all stressing the importance of interfering as little as possible with the surroundings in which we have installed it. This need to protect the environment has meant that we have had to be very efficient in managing the eco-camp; this has meant that we cannot offer some of the comforts normal in unprotected areas (private bathroom with septic tank, diesel generators etc) and, on the other hand, utilizing technologies and sustainable processes but ones which demand a greater effort and more patience from our guests (less availability of water and solar energy for electricity, making compost, less waste etc).
What is the Eco-camp like?
Sleeping is in big comfortable domed tents that take 2 people. They are 2 meters high and the floor is of vitrified wood. The tents are resistant to the strongest winds, rain and even Patagonian snow and they are each equipped with 2 single beds, fleece sheets (very popular among our guests!), blankets and feather cover. The domes are very well insulated allowing comfortable temperatures even in cold nights. The Ecocamp also has a large dome for kitchen/dining room – this is a dome of 9 meters diameter (30 ft) and 4.5 meters high (15 ft). It is equipped with a living area, dining room and kitchen. The space is light and airy with a big panoramic window and it invites our guests to enjoy in a completely new way the surprising evenings of Patagonia. The Ecocamp also includes a bathroom module with showers and hot water. The toilet system uses a composting process (i.e. it transforms human waste into compost). A chef runs the kitchen of the Ecocamp.
Our programs include stay in refugios. This are typical mountain huts, open to the public that visits Torres del Paine. It has rooms for 4-6 people. The beds are single, bunk type and we will provide you with a sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner (you don't need to bring a sleeping bag!). The bathrooms are also shared and they have hot water. The refugios are heated and have a very comfortable dining area.
This trip is for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. To enjoy this trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a programme of conditioning well before departure -in fact as soon as you book- and be aware that short walks on the flat do little to prepare you for the gradients of the Torres del Paine National Park. Regular aerobic excercise (power walking, jogging, cycling on hills, swimming, cross country skiing, etc) for al least one hour 4-5 times a week is suggested. Consult your physycian if you have questions concerning your underlying health.
Flights from the UK and Ireland: There are currently no direct flights from major UK airports. Most flights are via a European, Latin American or US city; LAN, Iberia, British Airways and Air France are all options. It’s worth paying attention to the routes used by the different airlines; even the shortest and most convenient ones via Madrid or Buenos Aires entail a total travelling time of over 16 hours. Flying via the US is longer still (though sometimes cheaper).
Flights from the US and Canada: US travellers shouldn’t find it too hard to get a fairly convenient flight to Santiago. American Airlines, Delta and LAN offer non-stop flights from airports such as Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta. It is also possible to travel via other Latin American countries such as Peru and Brazil.
Torres Del Paine Trekking
Torres del Paine, Grey Glacier, Laguna Azul, Punta Arenas
(7 Day – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
Torres del Paine Arrive around noon in Punta Arenas with the earliest morning flight from Santiago. Drive to Ecocamp (345 km/ 216miles /5hrs) inside the famous Torres del Paine National Park. In summer time (Dec-Mar), the sun sets around 11PM giving us plenty of light to admire the landscape en route and the craggy mountains while entering the park. We will make short stops in the township of Puerto Natales, to take a look of the town (you have here the chance to leave in our office in Puerto Natales any luggage that you will not need during the trek), and in the enormous Cueva del Milodon, a giant geological wander that once sheltered a prehistoric sloth.
Overnight – Ecocamp in Las Torres (L , D)
Day 2 – Hiking Tour
Paso Los Cuernos/ The Horns The 5-6 hours hike starts at the Ecocamp and ends at refugio Los Cuernos. The name of the trail is taken from the fact that it passes under the horn-like Cuernos del Paine —peaks with beautiful black "horns" of slate atop gray granite. (Your clothes and personal belongings needed for this night and the following are transported separately in duffel bags we provide you with on day 1).
Overnight refugio Los Cuernos(B, L, D)
Day 3 – Hiking Tour
French Valley/ Valle del Frances Today the trekking will go over 8 kms/5 mi (3 hrs) up to Campamento Italiano and will continue with a round trip to Mirador del Frances (3 km/2 mi, 2 hrs), one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine Range. We start walking (1 hr) by the shore of lake Nordenskjold until arriving at Campamento Italiano. We continue following the river Frances upstreams until El Mirador (lookout point) facing Glaciar Frances which descends from Paine Grande, the highest summit in the Paine range. From here we have a magnificent view of the lakes below.
Optional trek (2 hrs) to Mirador Britanico available. Once back at Camp Italiano, the track between Camp Italiano and Camp Pehoe makes its way through undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching Refugio Pehoe for overnight. Duffel bags are carried by porters.
Overnight – Refugio Pehoe (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Hiking Tour
Pehoe/ Grey Glacier We'll hike about four hours from Refuge Pehoe at the shores of Lago Pehoe to the northern end of Lago Grey. Enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat which sails alongside the face of Glaciar Grey. You will have ample time to marvel at this calving glacier before the boat crosses Lago Grey (40 min.). Your clothes and personal belongings are transported separately from the Refuge in duffel bags. Transfer (2 hrs or less) from Lake Grey's southern end to the Ecocamp. 1) If the weather conditions do not allow us to navigate the Grey Lake, we'll instead hike to the Grey Glacier (6-8 hrs, roundtrip) and then at Pudeto board the catamaran to cross Lake Pehoe. From there, drive 45 minutes to camp.
Overnight – Ecocamp in Las Torres (B,L,D)
Day 5 and 6 – Hiking Tour
Torres del Paine/ Laguna Azul Our hiking itinerary for the day is weather dependent. If we have a clear day, we will do an all day hike (10 km/6 mi, 8 hrs round-trip) to the foot of the impressive granite massif of El Paine where the towers rise majestically before us, and the glacial lake is visible below – one of the most scenic sights in the world! The famous Torres del Paine (2.900m/9.400ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, remains of a great cirque that has been sheared away by the forces of glacial ice.
If it is clouded with no chances to view the Torres del Paine, we hike instead (40 min.) to the lookout point of Laguna Azul from where we have a beautiful view of Laguna Azul and the Torres. We continue along the eastern side of Lago Sarmiento until the calcium formations at the shores of Lake Sarmiento where we have a good chance to see guanacos. Later we trek (3 hours) the Paso Las Cornizas with views of Rio Paine, Lake Pehoe and the massif of Paine. Depending on the group, we could also hike (2 hrs or less) to lookout point Toro with views to Lago Toro and typical pampa (steppe). Once back at the Ecocamp, a farewell dinner is honoured with a typical Patagonian lamb barbecue.
Overnight – Ecocamp (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Depart
Punta Arenas Early in the morning board the vehicle back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight back to Santiago. (B, L).
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Shaped like a long and narrow strip, along the western edge of South America, Chile is a country of startling contrasts and extreme beauty. Travellers are drawn to this country because of its magnitude in natural attractions, from the towering volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of the Lake District. It has some very good parks, and plenty of opportunities for fine adventure travel. Chile is justly famous as the location of Torres del Paine, considered by many to be the finest nature travel destinations in all of South America.
Where to go Chile is a long, narrow sliver of land, clinging to the edge of a continent. The Andes, the great mountain range forms its eastern border, are a formidable barrier of rock and ice that cuts the country off from Argentina and Bolivia. To the north, the Atacama Desert, a 1000km stretch of parched wasteland, separates it from Peru. And to the west, only a few islands dotted in the Pacific Ocean break the waves that roll onto Chile’s coast from Australasia.
You will probably start in Santiago, the Chilean capital, a city of nearly six million inhabitants, yet it has an almost provincial atmosphere, dramatised by the constant backdrop of jagged Andean peaks looming over the smog on the horizon. Its main highlights for visitors are its Cathedral and the leafy hillside parks of Cerro Santa Lucía and Cerro San Cristobal.
Most travellers who prefer a wine tour, head to the picturesque country town of Pirque, which is the home of one of Chile's most well-known vineyards. The owners' original country estate and mansion can be seen from the road, surrounded by the smaller cottages of the vineyards' workers.
In the middle is the Lake District is Chile's natural wonderland. Implausibly symmetrical snow-capped peaks reflected in looking-glass lakes, quaint wooden hamlets steeped in healthy alpine air. One of the most breathtaking journeys in all South America, from Puerto Montt to San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, traverses lakes Llanquihue and Todos los Santos.
Lying at the far south of the Andes mountain chain, Torres del Paine is Chile's most impressive national park, bursting with glaciers, lakes and gnarled Magellanic trees, and providing some of the most magnificent walking trails in the world.
At the land southernmost tip of South America is Tierra del Fuego, the bleakest, stormiest part of the continent, yet it exerts a constant fascination for travellers who want to visit the last land-call before Antarctica.
Not to forget the Easter Island, Chile's Polynesian possession, nearly 4,000 km west of the mainland, is one of the world's most intriguing islands, dominated by more than 600 giant stone statues of unknown origin. The first inhabitants of Easter Island called their home Te Pito o Te Henua - the Navel of the World.
When to go Nov–Feb (High Season): This is best and most expensive time to visit Patagonia. Early in the year as temperature begins to warm up the beaches throng with crowds.
Mar–May & Sep–Nov (Shoulder): March is the period for grape harvest and wine festivals and April is fall. Between September and November is possibly the best time to visit Santiago, the temperatures are pleasant and good value for money.
Jun–Aug (Low): A good time to visit the North but the mountain passes may be blocked due snow. The best time for ski resorts.
Between mid-December to end February and two-middle weeks of July and Holy Week (Semana Santa), the week proceeding Easter Sunday is holiday time for Brazilians and Argentines. Popular destinations are Pucón and Viña del Mar.
Visas If you are a British passport holder visiting Chile for less than 90 days, you do not need a visa. On arrival in Chile the immigration authorities will issue you with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo - Tourist Card’, an A5 sized white form. You must retain this document and present it to immigration when you leave.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
For further information check with the Chilean Embassy.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk