Torres del Paine Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn

Torres del Paine Highlights

  • Pro
    Trekki profile photo

    Trekki says…

     Serenity - magic - unpredictable weather - magnificent light moods 

  • Con
    willy_wonka profile photo

    willy_wonka says…

     unpredictable weather conditions, as far from perth as you can get! 

  • In a nutshell
    elsadran profile photo

    elsadran says…

     Don't miss this !!! 

Torres del Paine Things to Do

  • Bird watching - Black-faced Ibis

    Another wonderful bird that I was happy to watch for a while. The Ibis is indigenous to Chile and Argentina. The section from Chileno to Cuernos was just loaded with wildlife. When you hike this section, really be observant of the ground around you. It is easy to hike just looking up at the mountains but there is a whole world on the grasslands...

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  • Wild Horses!

    While hiking between Chileno and Cuernos, I came upon this heard of wild horses. Another beautiful experience with wildlife. The horses were simply grazing along the trail. Several were "painted" horses which are my favorite to see. I had no idea they were present in the park. Another piece of wildlife to keep an eye out for.

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  • The beautiful Guanaco

    I am fascinated by wildlife local to an area I've never been before. I have seen Guanaco's in zoos and in the United States there are farms with domesticated Llamas that look very similar. But seeing them in the wild definitely gives you a different perspective. Guanaco's can be seen in the high grasslands grazing. There were herds of them during...

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  • Bird watching - Darwin's Rhea

    I just love the name of this wonderful bird. Darwin's Rhea. I did not do any research before arriving in Torres Del Paine about birds. I was shocked when I saw these birds. They are about one meter tall and cannot fly. But they can run really fast. All the ones I saw were on the approach road to Torres Del Paine National Park. They are typically in...

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  • Mirador Britanico

    By the time you reach Campamento Britanico, you will be exhausted. I saw some turn back at this point. If you can and have enough day light, push on another 30 minute to the terminus of the valley. There you will arrive at the Mirador Britanico and the most amazing cirque of mountains. The peaks include Paine Grande, Cerro Hoja, Cerro Máscara,...

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  • Mirador Frances

    Mirador Frances is about half way up the French Valley en route to Mirador Britanico. It sits on a beautiful bench within the valley directly below Paine Grande. There are usually many people here resting from the steep hike up.Some return from this point while some will continue up the valley. More beauty awaits ahead. So plan plenty of time and...

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  • Hike the "W" - Third Leg - The French...

    Here's where the hike gets a little more serious. The third leg is a hike up the French Valley to it's terminus. Leave Los Cuernos early and bring plenty of food and a way to purify water. The hike leave Los Cuernos and drops down to Lake Nordenskjold. But not for long, before it start to ascend. For the next several hours the trail rolls up and...

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  • Hike the "W" - Second Leg

    The second leg of the "W" route is to hike from Refugio Chileno to Refugio Los Cuernos. When hiking back out from Chileno you immediately must hike back up hill to join the main trail. Then continue down nearly to where you enter the "W" from Torre Central. The trail is clearly marked and you would have seen the trail when hiking up the previous...

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  • Mirador Las Torres

    The highlight of the first leg of the "W" is Mirador Las Torres. The Mirador consist of four major peaks. This includes Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte and Cerro Nido de Cóndor. My first visit on this trip had the peaks engulfed in clouds. So I decided to wake up very early the next morning, before sunrise and make the 3 mile hike in the dark...

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  • Hike the "W" - First Leg

    The first leg of the "W" route is from Torre Central to Mirador Las Torres. This is usually done in two days after spending the night at Torre Central. The hike on the first day is on a well maintain trail and ascends to Refugio Chileno. Chileno is about half way on this leg. This is a good stop for lunch and recommended to spend the night. There...

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  • Visting the Main Sights in the Park (Day...

    On the day tour, you get to see the main sights that can be accessed from the road. A standard tour would include Lago Sarmiento, where there's an excellent view of the Torres themselves; Laguna Amarga, the main park entrance; Lago Nordenskjold, via a 45 minutes to an hour hike, for stunning views of Valle Frances and Los Cuernos and finally...

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  • Valle des Frances

    The middle section of the W, and my favourite area of the park. We had great weather for the hike up and down French Valley, which took about 5 hours in all. We started at Campamento Italiano and hiked up to the mirador beyond Campamento Britanico. The path is well marked and easy to follow.

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  • Dont go in summer

    Despite everyone saying summer is the best time, I believe it is not. I was there mid march and still found that there were to many people on the trek. Not so much the full circuit but the W.I can only imagine its 5 times worse in the warmer months.So wait till mid March at least and if you dont mind the cold it may be worth waiting till early...

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  • La Cueva de Milodon

    This is the Big Milodon. It's in the front of a cave, where they found the remains of an immense sloth. You can come by bus or as a part of an excursion, booked at a travel agency. The cave is nothing to write home about...

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  • Torres del Paine- the easy way

    We wanted to see the national park but only had three days and weren't particularly trek minded. So, we booked a one day excursion from Puerto Natales which fitted in most of the main sights. It took the following route:1. Myledon cave- where they found myledon hair and skin. Not much to look at but good comedy photo with the giant myledon...

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  • Mirador Cuernos - Horns(Cuernos)...

    Es un paseo de un par de horas muy agradable y sencillo que empieza en las cascadas de Pehoe y se va por un bosque magallánico , lleno de arbustos y flores (zapatitos de la virgen , calafates...) hasta llegar al mirador desde donde se ven los impresionantes CuernosIt is a walk of a pair of hours very nice and easy that starts in the Pehoe...

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  • Cascada - Paine - Waterfall

    En el río Paine está la cascada con el mismo nombre que tiene unas vistas espectaculares de las TorresIn the river Paine is the waterfall with the same name that has spectacular views of the Towers

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  • Porterías - Torres del Paine - Main...

    Hay tres Porterías de acceso al parque : Laguna Azul , Laguna Amarga y Lago Sarmiento .En ellas te dan información del parque , se sacan los billetes , se toman los autobuses...También hay una Sede Administrativa del CONAF donde te pueden dar todo tipo de información y ayudarte a organizar tu visita y además hay un pequeño museo y se pueden ver...

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Torres del Paine Hotels

Torres del Paine Transportation

  • El Calafate to Torres del Paine by car

    A car is the best way to see Torres del Paine. We stopped when we wanted, and saw many beautiful sights. And while we did, the tour busses just drove past. When a tour bus did stop, often they scared away the animals. You do not need a 4x4 to get to to Torres del Paine from El Califate. A normal car will do fine. A 4x4 would only be needed if you...

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  • From Punta Arenas airport and Puerto...

    You can arrive to Torres del Paine National Park by boat from Puerto Natales, and previously Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales by coach.Here's how:If you are arriving at Punta Arenas airport, you don't need to go downtown Punta Arenas. You can catch the bus to Puerto Natales in the airport.http://www.busesfernandez.com/en/Buses Fernandez make a first...

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  • transportation in Puerto Natales

    If you have planned to take the boat trip for Puerto Montt you have to book your trip well in advance. If you haven't yet, you can go to Comapa and do it before you go to Torres. For transportation to the Torres you can take the local bus or you can book it with a travel agency together with any other package you wish to book for your stay on the...

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Torres del Paine Local Customs

  • El Cuatrero / The Rustler

    Dice la leyenda que un cuatrero viajaba un día de invierno entre el cuerno Principal y el cuerno Este y en este cuerno se quedó grabada su imagen , así que si le hechas un poco de imaginación podrás ver al cuatrero montado a caballo y con su gran sombrero en la cabezaThe legend says that a rustler was riding a winter day between the Main and East...

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  • Flora - Patagónia - Flora

    Dentro del parque hay cinco tipos de flora completamente diferentes , en función de la altura , que producen cambios importantes en el paisaje Los tipos son : Estepa Patagónica , Matorral preandino , Bosque Magallánico , Tundra Magallánica y Desierto de AlturaAl empezar la primavera estaba todo lleno de floresIn the park there are five types of...

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  • Chulengos

    El chulengo es la cría del guanaco que en la primavera Austral se pueden ver gran cantidad de ellos alrededor de sus madresEl problema que tienen es que son atacados por los pumas que acaban con el 40% de los que nacen cada añoThe "Chulengo" is the baby Guanaco that in the Austral Spring you may see a lot of them around their mothersThe problem...

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Torres del Paine Warnings and Dangers

  • Crossing streams

    When doing my research to hike the "W" I came across reports of swollen streams and different recommendations on how to do this. I was fortunate in that the streams were not that swollen. Or maybe I just have enough experience on how to cross these without a panic.There are two schools of thought. Remove your hiking boots to keep them dry in case...

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  • Avalanches

    We saw quite a few avalanches during the hike up the French Valley. Most were from Paine Grande. They are relatively small, unless of course you are standing under one. The trail is definitely far enough away to observe in safety. Don't wander off the trail and hike off trail to the base of Paine Grande. You will be very safe on the trail.Keep...

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  • beware of the sun burning

    Always carry your sun screen lotion and apply it often on your unprotected skin because even the clouds can not protect you.

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Torres del Paine What to Pack

  • elsadran's Profile Photo

    by elsadran Updated Nov 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Store your big bags at the hotel you are staying in Puerto Natales and travel light.
    A sleeping bag is necessary even if you stay at the hotels. Refugio Pehoe has no bedclothes. Of course, you can rent one there for 3 dollars.
    Use a day pack while walking where you can have an empty bottle of water as you can fill and refill it in the creeks and rivers . The water is absolutely safe.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking or trekking boots. Flip-flops are not suitable for trekking but can be used in the bathroom and leisure time of sunbathing.
    A warm feather jacket is highly recommended.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun screen is not to forget. The sun is ruthless there. Clouds let the dangerous rays pass.
    Don't take much toiletry as it is heavy and very difficult to carry.
    Don't forget bandages (adhesive strips) for the small wounds and blisters.

    Photo Equipment: Take everything you have!!!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you have a good tent and think you can carry it , do take it. In this way you will have many sleeping options as there are so many camping sites. Even in the summer time the temperatures in the night can drop very low so you need to get warm.
    During the winter, of course, you will need special tents and sleeping bags.
    Of course you can rent one there so that you don't have to carry it all the way.
    Walking sticks are very helpful and you can make them out of fallen branches.

    Miscellaneous: Before you leave the city buy some dried fruits and nuts. They give a lot of energy, are easy to carry and can be shared with others easily.

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Torres del Paine Off The Beaten Path

  • Laguna Verde hike

    This hike, which is accessed by either a trail near the administration area or the Hosteria Mirador del Paine, is much less visited than the W. You get great views of the Cuernos and other mountains, and many more opportunities to see wildlife.

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  • Lichen "garden"

    When hiking to Refugio Pingo, we found this little area of wonderful colorful wild lichens - the view was just magic :-)It was so tiny that we almost overlooked it - so better you look at the ground from time to time to discover some of these little beauties :-)

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  • Hike off the crowds along the Rio Pingo

    As PN Torres del Paine is getting quite cowded during december and january, I prefered the less hiked trails.The trail along Rio Pingo is one of them. It starts in the southwestern part of the park, just close to Lago Grey and the Hosteria there.The hike is easy, takes about 3 days round trip, but at least sleeping bag is required.Overnight stays...

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Torres del Paine Favorites

  • Refugio Info

    I hiked part of the W January 2012. Much was closed due to the fire and we couldn't do the circuit. We stayed in the Refugios and ate the food at each as well as sleep there. It cut down tremendously on the weight of our packs making for a much more enjoyable trek. The food was great for breakfast and dinner. Lunch, while you get a lot in a brown...

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  • Storyin Base of the Tower

    everything about Patagonia!grand nature, tower up to sky, clear water, sounds of stream, changeable clouds, crazy wind, hiker around the world.

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  • Don't feed wild animals

    DON,T feed wild animals. You destroy their natural habits of finding their food. It's unacceptable !!!I have seen tourists in the park feeding a fox just to make a picture ....Unbelievable !!!

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