TORRES DEL PAINE

PATAGONIA TRAVEL DESTINATION

W Trek  Refugio Accommodation  Hotels  Luxury Lodges

WE ARE NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS FOR TORRES DEL PAINE 

SEASON SEP 2019 – APRIL 2020

NOTE: LIMITED AVAILABILITY – BOOK EARLY

WELCOME TO TORRES DEL PAINE

Torres del Paine is quite simply one of the most amazing geographical wonders of the world. The Park is set in the heart of an area of incredible outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Patagonia. It is also a main trekking destination, home to the iconic W Trek and Circuit trek trails, as well as the stunning Grey Glacier, waterfalls, rivers and lakes.

We are a locally-based, but British-owned and managed, specialist travel operator approaching close to thirty years of experience of creating custom-built itineraries throughout the Patagonia region (and Antarctica), with a focus on the W trek in Torres del Paine.

Our service includes coordinating transfers and making reservations at the refugios on the iconic W-Trek and Circuit Trek trail within and around the Torres del Paine central massif including the Torres base; the French Valley and Grey Lake. We can also arrange Torres del Paine accommodation in general as well as at the top-end hotels of: Tierra Patagonia, Explora Salto Chico and Awasi Patagonia, each of which offer amazing all-inclusive programs, which are World-Class experiences in their own right.

This really is “our territory”, we are the specialists for Patagonia with superb local knowledge and an office in Puerto Natales.

Send Us Your Enquiry

 W TREK INFO

Circuit Trekking Route
(East to West)

W Trekking Route
(East to West)

Quality & Services
of Refugios

W & Circuit Treks
Info and Advice

Quality & Services
of Camp Sites

ABOUT TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK

The Park covers 182,000 sq hectares and is the jewel in Chile’s tourist crown. Just why it’s worth travelling 4hrs from Santiago on a plane and then driving a further 5 hrs by car is only apparent when you stand and stare in amazement at the unbelievable sight of this monumental cluster of mountain peaks that appear to stand all on their own in the middle of an otherwise flat plateau. Comprising this central massif are the “Cuernos del Paine” (Horns of Paine), covered in snow at varying altitudes and offering support to giant blue-white blobs of ice otherwise called hanging glaciers, and three other towers – which are the Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine). The sight of the almost vertical rock sides of the “Cuernos” rising up to an altitude of close to 3,000m is what causes such an awe-inspiring, mesmerising view.

“The Paine massif is unrivalled….. In its colours and form it is without doubt one of the most fantastic and spectacular sights that human imagination can conceive.” Salesian missionary Padre Agostini.


THE TOWERS

The vast Torres del Paine comprises the peaks of Torre Monzino (north) (2,600m), Torre Central (2,800m) and Torre D’Agostini (south) (2,650m). To the east of the Torres del Paine is the Valle Ascencio.

THE CUERNOS

Cuernos del Paine comprise Cuerno Principal (2,600m), Cuerno Este (2,200m) and Cuerno Norte (2,400m). To the west of the Cuernos del Paine is the Valle del Frances – one of the glories of the park – a high altitude valley ringed by a curtain of almost vertical rock.

Surrounding this jaw-dropping spectacle is a natural wilderness of turquoise-coloured lakes, waterfalls, glaciers (especially Grey glacier) and fast-running rivers. The massive Grey Glacier, 7km wide at its widest point and stretching back over 20 km., is still in the process of carving its own valley to the west of the Cuernos del Paine.


Most Popular Time to Come

The Summer: December, January and February is typically the most popular time for visitors because the weather is warmer and it is the Winter holiday period in the Northern hemisphere.

Best Time to Come

To avoid the crowds the best time to visit is before mid November or after March. 

 

ARRIVALS AND TRANSFERS

Torres del Paine Transport & Buses

ExperienceChile.Org will include in the itinerary regular bus transfers and private local transfers. We can also arrange rent a car and private long-distance transfers.

Transfer Routes:

  • Regular Buses and Private Transfers
  • El Calafate to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to El Calafate
  • El Calafate to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales
  • Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales
  • Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine / Torres del Paine to El Calafate
  • Puerto Natales to el Calafate / El Calafate to Puerto Natales
  • Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales / Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas
  • Private Transfer

For those with a higher budget, or for private groups travelling together, a private transfer between cities and / or in to and out of Torres del Paine is the way to go. A private transfer will go at the times you want and take you door to door.

Rent a Car

For those who wish to have total independence having your own car use is the ultimate winner. You can go where you want when you want. Remember that if you want to take the car across the border a permit is required and this requires about a week’s notice.

​Getting to Torres del Paine

The principal entry points to Torres del Paine are:

Punta Arenas

Most commercial flights will land at Punta Arenas some 3.000km south from Santiago. Note: There are NO commercial flights from Buenos Aires nor El Calafate to Punta Arenas. The direct flight will take just under 4hrs and the one that stops off at Puerto Montt en-route will take around 4.5hrs.

From the airport you would then either be met by a private transfer service (if you have contracted one with ExperienceChile.Org), take the regular bus from Punta Arenas city centre to Puerto Natales and change to another bus to get to TDP, have asked ExperienceChile.Org to pre-arrange a regular bus pick-up at the airport, or have arranged for your own car rental. Note that a permit is required to take any car across the border in to Argentina.

El Calafate

You need to fly to El Calafate in Argentina from Buenos Aires or Ushuaia. Here you can stay overnight with an option to go to El Chalten (3hrs away by road) and / or visit Perito Moreno glacier the following day and then the next day come over to TDP. From El Calafate you can take the regular bus across the border (departs 08:00hrs) to Puerto Natales (arrives 13:00hrs approx) and change to the regular bus that then goes to TDP departing around 14:00hrs, or arrange a private transfer service or a car rental. Also from El Calafate ExperienceChile.Org can organise a direct bus transfer to TDP (Laguna Amarga) departing El Calafate at 05:30hrs, which takes 6hrs.

NOTE: No fruit, raw meat, raw vegetables, seeds or cheese is allowed over the border in either direction. If you try to do so you WILL be fined. There is a cafeteria at the Chile border where you can buy snacks as well as at the mini-markets on the W-Trek in TDP.

Puerto Natales

Navimag operates a commercial ferry ship, which also takes passengers, from Puerto Montt. This ship arrives to Puerto Natales and offers a good-value cruise that passes through the channels and fiords in the area en-route to Puerto Natales (the cruise is available from Puerto Natales too) and ExperienceChile.Org can arrange the reservations. From Puerto Natales you either take the regular bus to TDP, have a pre-arranged private transfer meet you or organise a rent a car.

Location Distances

  • Punta Arenas to Laguna Amarga in Torres del Paine (TDP) – 370km (5hrs drive)
  • Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales – 250km (3hrs drive)
  • Puerto Natales to TDP Laguna Amarga – 120km (2hrs to drive)
  • Puerto Natales to TDP Rio Serrano (newest route via Milodon-Cave road) – 80km (1hr to drive)

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Torres del Paine National Park

There are numerous activity excursions to choose from in and around Torres del Paine. What follows are only some of the more typical places of interest and activities. Some excursions can be done by touring in a vehicle, but most are done on foot and in some cases on horseback.

Apart from the staggering visual scenery Torres del Paine is also home to many varieties of bird species including the Condor, and rare types of flora and fauna such as the Puma and Guanaco.
The Administration Centre (Sede) This is located in the sector near to Rio Serrano and is the base for CONAF (the park administration people), the Carabineros (the Police). Here there is an excellent exhibition display of the geographical history of TDP and is well worth a visit for those who are interested to know how the amazing and spectacular geographic features of the areas were created.

Ferrier Mirador (View Point Ferrier)

Located near to Hosteria Lago Grey, the return hike is about 7hrs with panoramic views over GreyLake, Pingo Glacier, Torres del Paine Massif and the Cuernos de Paine. The trek involves some difficult uphill stretches.

Lake Sarmiento

From this lake is a great view to the Paine Massif and in the immediate area is the Nothofagus wood with Lenga and Nirres trees. The trek will be around 4hrs and not difficult.

Laguna Azul

Located “around” the other side of the Park (going in an anti-clock wise rotation), this is a very blue-coloured lake from which there is a great view to the towers of Torres del Paine and also home to many types of flora and fauna and especially good for bird watching. Accessible by vehicle.

Salto Grande

Located about 1km up the track from Pudeto (from where the catamaran operates). Salto Grande means Large Waterfall. The viewing area is very close to the action and offers people the opportunity to see the power and hear the mighty rumble of vast volumes of water cascading through a narrow gap and then thunder down to the drop some 30mts below.

El Sendero de Los Lagos (The Lakes Footpath)

The start of this trek is from the Estancia (Hosteria) Mirador del Paine – which is technically outside the Park. The trek takes about 8hrs and offers a great view of Lago Toro and a panoramic view of the TDP Massif, glaciers and other mountains. It ends in the Park not far from the Weber bridge, so you will need to be met at the end point. This trek is moderate in difficulty.

Key Places of Interest Torres del Paine W trek

El Sendero de Ascencio

This trek will take around 8hrs return and starts from the Hotel Las Torres area. It passes through the AscencioValley and NothofagusForest and ends up at the Mirador (View Point) at 980mts from where there is a spectacular view of the three Towers of Paine and the Condor’s Nest, and magnificent rock formations. The trek is demanding and part of it can be done on horse back from Hotel Las Torres. It takes 2hrs to reach the Refugio Chileno and then another 2 hrs to reach the Mirador.

French Valley

To get to the FrenchValley it is necessary to take the catamaran from Pudeto across the LakePehoe to Refugio Paine Grande. From here the trek enters in to the FrenchValley which offers stark and impressive views of Glacier Frances and Cuernos del Paine. The return trek is about 10hrs and quite demanding.

Glacier Grey

Access to Glacier Grey is either by boat from Hotel Lago Grey or by trek from Refugio Paine Grande. By boat from Hotel Lago Grey the excursion lasts about 3 hrs and offers a close-up view of the glacial face and the chance to drink samples of Whisky or Pisco with millennia-old ice! Trekking to Grey from Paine Grande takes about 4hrs and then on to the Mirador to see Glacier Grey closely takes another 1.5hrs (plus another 1.5hrs to return to Refugio Grey. From Refugio Grey you will need to take the boat to Hosteria Lago Grey or trek back to Refugio Paine Grande. The trek from Refugio Paine Grande to Refugio Grey is moderately demanding.

CLOTHES TO WEAR

Try to bring LAYERS of breathable clothes that can be taken off or put on easily to adapt to any change in weather and as you heat up and cool down on a trek. Cotton undershirts are NOT recommended – see below.

Ideally clothes such as:

Over your body skin: an under vest (long sleeved if possible) made, ideally, from synthetic fibres so it dries quickly. If very cold weather (ie early spring, winter months or autumn) then thermal underwear made from synthetic fibres. The reason for synthetic fibres is because when you are walking several hours you will build up a sweat and your under garments will get wet, this then gets cold when you stop and will make you cold unless the wet material dries quickly. Cotton does not dry quickly, whereas synthetic material will dry more quickly.

Over your under vest: a breathable top such as a fleece.

Over your fleece: a waterproof windbreaker over jacket.

For your legs: trekking pants, resistant to rain and wind, but made from a breathable material otherwise you will sweat. Jeans are NOT good as they can get wet and not dry.

Over your trekking pants: waterproof shell pants to go over your trekking pants in the event of heavy rain.

For your feet: wool or synthetic socks. Waterproof trekking boots with ankle support and none-slip sole. If new make sure you break them in prior to using them on a trek.

For your hands: gloves. Close to glaciers it can be very cold.

For your head: a warm hat (not a jockey cap), sunglasses and sun-protection cream and a headband to keep your ears warm when not using the hat.

For your personal use: a back pack for food, water and clothes.

For your safety: a battery-operated torch for when power is out or if you are arriving to a refugio in the dark. Take with you during the trek extra water and snacks. Prepare for all weather conditions and dress for the outdoors. Do NOT go off the trail because if you have the slightest incident such as twisting an ankle, you may not be found.

Average Temperatures in TDP during the year
Summer (Dec – Jan – Feb) Max + 23.5°c / Min + 0.8°c.

 

 

EXPERIENCE CHILE

FEATURED HOTELS

TORRES DEL PAINE

Our featured hotels and suppliers have been selected by us for one or more of their attributes such as: location, views, surroundings, comfort, professional service, “uniqueness”, food and/or overall good feeling that one gets from being there.

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and / or political and / or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and / or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

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