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Torres del Paine Information

All You Need to Know

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

Welcome Centre

Where is the Torres del Paine Welcome Centre?

The Torres del Paine Welcome Centre is located in the Eastern sector of Torres del Paine about 1.5km from the entrance to Hotel Las Torres. Moreover, the centre is close to Refugios Central and Norte and a short distance from ECO Camp.

Most importantly, only if you are entering the Torres del Paine National Park at the Eastern end will you need to enter the Welcome Centre. As a result, you need to show that you have confirmed reservations for accommodation on the W trek, if you are staying over. Above all, you also need to present, or fill in a visitors form.

There are public WC’s here as well as information.

For more information, email us…

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

Park Entrance Points & Cost

Park Entry and Registration

Visitors need to register at the park entrance they enter by and pay for their entry ticket there, in person. Ideally bring local, Chilean currency ie cash.

The Entrances

Most importantly, the official park entrances are at Laguna Amarga (eastern entrance), Largo Sarmiento (south-eastern entrance) and Serrano (western entrance).

The Entrance Laguna Amarga

This is located on the Eastern side of the park 150km (2hrs drive) on Ruta 9 from Puerto Natales, which goes via the border village of Cerro Castillo. However, at this point the road becomes Ruta Y 150.

Lago Sarmiento Entrance

The Sarmiento entrance is also located on the Eastern side of the park 150km (2hrs drive) on Ruta 9 from Puerto Natales. Consequently, to get here you will go via the border village of Cerro Castillo. However, as mentioned above, at this point the road becomes Ruta Y 150. Moreover, about one hour from Cerro Castillo there will be a fork in the road and a signs to Laguna Amarga and Sarmiento, here you need to follow the left fork instead of right (right goes to Laguna Amarga entrance). However, note that the Sarmiento entry is often CLOSED and not used that much.

The Serrano Entrance

This is 80km (1hr drive), on Ruta 9, from Puerto Natales past the Milodon Cave. Therefore, plan in some extra time if you want to visit the cave, which is well worth the visit.

Park Entrance Cost

Torres del Paine Park entrance cost in 2020 was Ch$25.000 or approx USD35 per person.

The National Park is administered by CONAF (“Corporacion Nacional Forestal”) and income is distributed throughout the organization. Consequently, the income generated from Torres del Paine visitors does not all go to the Park. The CONAF admin centre is located within the park at the northern end of Lago del Toro, or 11 km past the Explora hotel heading west towards the Rio Serrano end. Above all, here there is an information centre and exhibits the geographical make-up of the Park as well as information on the flora and fauna.

Emergency Rescue

Torres del Paine Emergency Rescue

Trekking in Torres del Paine requires attention to safety, personal responsibility and commonsense. Moreover, you need to come with the right clothes, be very aware of changing weather conditions and also bring other items such as a torch, water and food for the period when you are out trekking. Consequently, if you are in need of serious emergency help it may well be VERY SLOW in arriving.

Helicopter Rescue

Moreover, often helicopters cannot get into the park because of high winds and the long distance from Punta Arenas.  For this reason, rescue from the remote sectors of the Park will mean transport by horseback, or being carried on a stretcher. Above all, such “extractions” from the Park will be over rough terrain to the nearest road vehicle, followed by drive for 3 hrs to Puerto Natales, or even longer to Punta Arenas. Therefore, it really would be a good idea to NOT fall down, twist and ankle or worse.

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

Self Drive (Torres del Paine Zone)

Rent a Car

Having you own car can be liberating. You can go where you want, when you want. However, there are considerations too, some of which we have outlined below.

Self Drive Advantages

Some people like independance. Therefore, we offer rent a car as part of any itinerary we are creating for you, but not as a stand-alone service. For example, only if part of the rest of your itinerary. Moreover, the advantage to renting a car is that you have total independence to go where you want, when you want. Therefore, if you intend to drive around to the sights and not trek much a car may be a good option, especially if you are four, or more people together.

The Self Drive Disadvantages

However, the disadvantages of renting a car are that the driver will usually get tired, and miss a lot of the stunning scenery. Also, you will be paying for something when it is in the car park, as it may be for several days if you are trekking in Torres del Paine. As a result, if you are trekking the W, for example, you will have to leave it in one place, but then need to get back to that place after the trek, which may require a private transfer to get you back to where the car is. On the other hand it also costs money with petrol (gas if you are from the United States), and there is a fee to pay to take it across the border to Argentina should you be doing that.

Distances Between Locations

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

Things to Consider if Rentng a Car

If you feel a car is the way to go, remember that you will need one sufficiently large enough not only for you and your passengers, but also for all your bags.

We can offer rent a car with pick up from Punta Arenas airport, or city centre. Moreover, we can also arrange pick-up from Puerto Natales city centre. And, for other destinations in Patagonia we can also arrange for pick-up at El Calafate airport or city centre, Puerto Montt airport or city centre, and at Coyhaique, Balmaceda airport.

Please note that as yet there is NO option to collect, or drop off a rent a car in Torres del Paine National Park.

Border Crossing

To take a car over the border requires a special permit. Therefore we can arrange the permit for the border crossing, as well as to drop a car off at a different city location to the pick-up location. In this case of different drop off place to where the car was collected there will be a drop-off fee.

Our Rent a Car Partner

We work with one particular, reliable, rent a car provider for the Patagonia area. As a result, here below are the car options we can offer. However, please note that to get a cost we need to know the full details of pick-up time, drop off time, location of pick up and drop off.

In the meantime please mention in your enquiry the type of car you want, time of pick-up, where and time and place of drop off.

ExperienceChile.Org can arrange rent a car from Punta Arenas, El Calafate and Puerto Natales. What follows are some of the typical types of car available in the Torres del Paine zone.

 

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

Distances & Fuel Filling Stations

Fuel Stops

If you have your own car please be aware that distances within the park can be quite long between refugios, hosterias and campsites. Therefore, it is imperative that you have a full tank of petrol (gas) prior to setting off from Puerto Natales, for example. However, at Cerro Castillo, about half way between Puerto Natales and the Torres del Paine Park entrances, sometimes has petrol, but can also be sold out.

Moreover, there is an emergency supply of petrol in the park near the CONAF centre close to Posada Rio Serrano, but again, this should not be relied upon.

Distances Between Main Cities and Places in Torres del Paine

  • 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)

Catamaran Service Between Pudeto and Paine Grande / Paine Grande and Pudeto

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

 

The Catamaran Operates Between Pudeto and Refugio Paine Grande

This service is subject to local weather conditions, and can be delayed or cancelled. Most importantly, reservations are NOT taken in advance.  Therefore, you need to organise your crossing directly at Pudeto or Refugio Paine Grande, for the 25 minute navigation.

Payment

You need to pay in cash in Chilean Pesos even though prices below are shown in USD, but in high season they accept other currencies too (established hard currencies like Euro and USD).

Prices 2020
The One way fare is approx USD40 per person / Return fare is less than two singles

One backpack is included, but USD10 per an extra backpack up to 50Kg)

Flaura & Fauna

FLORA

With regard to vegetation Torres del Paine can be divided into four different zones that relate to the different environments and conditions in the area.

These zones are:

Patagonian Steppe.
Pre-Andean Shrub land.
Magellan Deciduous Forest and Andean Desert.

Among the varied types of vegetation are these principal verities:

MATORRAL PREANDINO

This is a herb that has adapted to the cold and dry conditions found growing principally in the areas around Lago Sarmiento, the Salto Grande and Mirador Nordenskjöld.

BOSQUE MAGALLANICO

These are woods comprising native trees such as Lenga and Coigue found in the areas around Lago Grey,Valle Pingo, close to Glacier Grey, Valle Frances and Valle Los Perros.

TUNDRA MAGALLANICO

A type of grass that grows principally in humid conditions.

CALAFATE

The Calafate (the Argentine town El Calafate has its name derived from this plant) is a plant that produces a small, black fruit and yellow flower.

NOTRO

A very small tree that produces a red flower.

CAPACHITO

A floral herb with orange-coloured flowers.

ARMENERIA

A medicinal herb that produces a rose-coloured flower.

ARVEJILLA

Often confused with lavender because of its move-coloured flowering, which is is not.

FAUNA

There are 25 species of mammal including:

Pumas.
Cougars.
Grey Foxes.
Culpeos Foxes.
Patagonian F||oxes.
Skunks.
The Chilean Huemul and many Guanacos.

There are also 105 species of bird including fifteen birds of prey species.

Among the birds of prey are:

The Andean Condor.
Eagle.
Black-Chested Buzzard Eagle.
Rufous-Tailed Hawk.
Cinereous Harrier.
Chimango Caracara.
Magellanic Owl and Austral Pygmy Owl.
Other species include:
Rheas.
Black-Neck Swans.
Parrots.
Flamingos.
Raguas.
Ducks.
Caiquenes.
Escurridzos.
Nandues.
Striped Woodpecker.
Black Woodpecker.
Fish Martin.
Magellan Woodpecker.
Magellan Goose.
Buff-Necked Ibis.

Arrivals & Transfers

What transport is there for Torres del Paine?

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.

What are the transfer routes for Torres del Paine?

  • 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.

Can I rent a car for Torres del Paine?

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.

How to get to Torres del Paine

What are the principal entry points to Torres del Paine?

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 Places of Interest

There are numerous activity excursions to choose from in and around Torres del Paine, perhaps too many to mention. For this reason, what follows are only some of the more typical places of interest and activities. That is to say, that 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.

Location of 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). Therefore, here there is an excellent exhibition display of the geographical history of TDP. Consequently this centre is well worth a visit for those who are interested to know how the amazing and spectacular geographic features of the areas were created.

Some of the Torres del Paine Trekking Trails

Ferrier Mirador

(the look out at the end of the Ferrier Trek (near to Hotel Grey))

The start of this trek is located by the CONAF hut, at the entrance to Grey Beach, not too far from Hotel Grey. Above all, the return hike is about 7hrs with panoramic views over GreyLake, Pingo Glacier, Torres del Paine Massif and the Cuernos de Paine. However, 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. Moreover, the trek will be around 4hrs and is 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 where 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. Also accessible by vehicle. Therefore, this is an easy place to get to and does not involve any difficulty.

Salto Grande (Large Waterfall)

This is located about 1km up the track from Pudeto (from where the catamaran operates). Salto Grande means Large Waterfall. Most importantly, 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. However, be alert because one can easily slip over the edge!

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. Therefore, you will need to be met at the end point. This trek is moderate in difficulty.

W Trek Key Places of Interest

El Sendero de Ascensio (the Torres Base Trek)

This trek will take around 8hrs return and starts from the Hotel Las Torres area. It passes through the Ascencio Valley and Nothofagus Forest and ends up at the Mirador (view point) at 980mt altitude. Above all, from here there is a spectacular view of the three Towers of Paine and the Condor’s Nest. Moreover, there are some amazing rock formations. However, the trek is demanding although part of it can be done on horse back up to Refugio Chileno, which is half way up, from Hotel Las Torres.

It takes 2hrs to reach the Refugio Chileno on foot, from Hotel Las Torres. However, it is then another 2 hrs to reach the Torres base (the “Mirador”).

French Valley

To get to the French Valley it is necessary to take the catamaran from Pudeto across the Lake Pehoe to Refugio Paine Grande, unless you are coming from Refugio Cuernos or Camping Frances. However, the trek From Refugio Paine Grande, or Refugio Cuernos to the entrance to the French Valley is about 2.5hrs. Whereupon, the trek to the end of the French Valley from the entrance is another 2.5hrs.

The actual valley offers stark and impressive views of Glacier Frances and the Cuernos del Paine. However, if you do this trek you need to consider the time for returning to either Refugio Paine Grande, Camping Frances, or Refugio Cuernos (and Cabins here too). Note that Camping Frances is only 1hr from the entrance to the French Valley.

Glacier Grey

Access to Glacier Grey is either by boat from Hotel Lago Grey, or by trek from Refugio Paine Grande. However, by boat from Hotel Lago Grey the excursion lasts about 3 hrs and offers a close-up view of the glacial face. During the navigation you will be offered the chance to drink samples of Whisky or Pisco with millennia-old ice! Most importantly, trekking to Grey from Paine Grande takes about 4hrs.

Moreover, the trek on to the Mirador to see Glacier Grey closely takes another 1.5hrs (and don’t forget the 1.5hrs to return to Refugio Grey). Most importantly, from Refugio Grey you will need to take the boat to Hotel Lago Grey or trek back to Refugio Paine Grande.

The trek from Refugio Paine Grande to Refugio Grey is moderately demanding.

Clothes to Wear

Pack the Right Clothes

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.

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

W Trek Map

Torres del Paine Trekking and Accommodation Location Map

Our map shows, clearly, the W Trek and Circuit trek route, as well as where the refugios and hotels are located on the trail, inside the park and near to the park.

 

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

FAQ

How Large is the Area of Torres del Paine National Park?

Torres del Paine National Park

The Park covers 182,000 sq hectares and is the jewel in Chile’s tourist crown. Above all, it is in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, an massive area of invigorating, raw nature.

In order to get here, it will involve a flight of 4hrs from Santiago to Punta Arenas, followed by a 5hr road transfer to Torres del Paine. However, on certain days there are flights to Puerto Natales, which is only 2hrs from Torres del Paine.

Long Way

For many, travelling such a long way is only apparent when you arrive. For example, 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.

 

What is considered to be the Most Popular Time to Come to Torres del Paine?

The Most Popular Time to Visit Torres del Paine

As with most places that are not winter destinations, the most popular time to come to Torres del Paine is the Chilean summer.

The Summer period in Chile is: December, January and February.

These three months are popular because of the warmer, sunny weather in the Park, as well as the fact that people are escaping the cold winter of the northern hemisphere. However, during these same months it cn be very windy too.

Is There a Best Time to Come to Torres del Paine?

The Best Time to Come to Torres del Paine National Park

The best time to visit Torres del Paine is NOT, in our opinion, the most popular time. In other words, these two periods are very different. For example, the most popular time is just that, as in it is the period when most people come at the same time. However, the best time to visit reflects a period when not so many other people are around. Consequently, October and November as well as March and April are, in our view, the best months in which to visit to Torres del Paine.

April

However, out of those four months, we say that April is the best month to come. During April the weather is usually good, with less wind, sunny days and, above all, not so many people.

When is The Best Month to Come to Torres del Paine?

What is the Best Month to Come to Torres del Paine?

In the previous question we mentioned that April is, in our opinion, the best month in which to come and visit Torres del Paine National Park. Moreover, the reason we say this is because it is approaching the end of the season. The “crowds” will have gone. Also, the wind has died down and often there are sunny days.

What are the Torres del Paine W Trek and Circuit Trek Trails?

The Two Iconic Torres del Paine Treks

Arguably, the best known, and most popular trekking trail in Torres del Paine is called the W Trek. As a result of the shape of the trail when viewed from above, because it forms a “W”. For this reason the name of the trail is the “W”.

However, the other trail, which encompases the W Trek, is called the Circuit trek. This trail is called the Circuit because it starts in one place, then goes around in a circle to arrive back at the start, thus forming an “O”, or circuit. Therefore, the Torres del Paine Circuit trail takes in the back country of the Park and loops in to then follow the W trail.

Refugios

On both trails there are refugios, or hostels, with dorm rooms and bunk beds, places in strategic areas that allow for a nights sleep after many hours of trekking. Also, adjacent to the refugios are serviced camp sites.  Moreover, here at ExperienceChile.Org we can arrange accommodation in refugios or camp sites.

How can I book Accommodation on the W Trek?

Torres del Paine W Trek Trail Accommodation

Along both the W Trek and Circuit trek trails are a number of refugios and serviced camp sites. The refugios are hostels offering dorm rooms, bunk beds and communal shower and WC rooms, as well as communal dining areas. However, at the place called Refugio Cuernos, there are also some private, small A-framed Cabins. Moreover, all the refugios, serviced camp sites and hotels can be booked through ExperienceChile.Org.

 

Should I Stay Within Torres del Paine or Outside?

Where Should I Stay in Torres del Paine?

Most people want to stay “within” Torres del Paine. They feel that unless they are “within” the official Park boundaries that they will be missing out. Well, let’s stop you right there. Please read on and discover the realities of where you can stay to fully enjoy the experience of visiting Torres del Paine National Park.

Mistake

As mentioned in our introduction, many people believe, mistakenly, that the only place where they should book accommodation is at hotels, lodges and high-end camp sites within the official boundary of Torres del Paine National Park. However, this is a fallacy and leads to often-rushed decisions, and disappointment if one cannot get into a hotel “within” the park.

To illustrate our point please consider that the Torres del Paine central massif (specifically the “Cuernos” of Paine”) can be seen, on a clear day, from a point near to Puerto Natales, which is about 80km away, such is the immense scale of the mountainous formation. Therefore, it is NOT at all necessary to be in a hotel “within” the official park lines. For this reason, we have created a zone, within which you will be perfectly located for any activity in Torres del Paine.

The Torres del Paine Zone

We have created a new description for the Torres del Paine area, which is the Torres del Paine Zone. For example, the Torres del Paine Zone is the area that encompasses Puerto Natales. Therefore, anyone staying in Puerto Natales is perfectly located for day trips into the Park, incuding trekking the W.

From Puerto Natales our fictious line runs east to Cerro Castillo (the border village with Argentina).

We then go north from Cerro Castillo to Estancia Cerro Guido.

Then from Cerro Guido the imaginary line continues north until it hits the Argentine border, then goes west to Glacier Grey.

Once at Glacier Grey, our line heads south to incorporate all of Grey Lake and down to Serrano Village.

From Serrano Village we then head south and back to Puerto Natales.

Travel time from any of the points within the zone described above can be 2hrs from one place to the other, depending on where you start and end. More on that below.

The Official Park Boundary

Within the official park boundary is takes a good 2hrs to drive from the western end to the eastern end of Torres del Paine. In other words, from Lago Grey (Grey Lake) to Laguna Azul. Moreover, this is the same time it takes to drive from Puerto Natales to Grey Lake or Puerto Natales to the park entrance at Laguna Amarga (near Laguna Azul). Therefore, it does not matter if you have accommodation inside the official boundary of the Park or if you are staying in Puerto Natales.

Puerto Natales

One of the great advantages to staying in Puerto Natales is that there are a number of nice restaurants and a populated village with some “life”. It is also located in a pretty location next to the water with mountains in the distance. During your holiday, should you want a rest day then Puerto Natales is a good option, especially if we book one of the hotels with a spa and pool.

Serrano Village

If you stay at Serrano village, you will get fine views to the Torres del Paine Massif. However, if you stay at Patagonia Camp, located 15km before the entrance to the Torres del Paine Serrano entrance, you will get fine views over Lake Toro and to the Torres del Paine massif. Moreover, should you stay at the Estancia Cerro Guido you will get fine views to the Towers of Torres del Paine and if you stay at Tierra Patagonia or Awasi (both luxury-level lodges) you will also have fine views of the Torres of Torres del Paine.

Conclusion

Therefore, please, do not worry if you cannot get into one of the hotels within the official Park boundary. Moreover, daily tours from any hotel within the Torres del Paine boundary, as well as from Puerto Natales, will involve from between 1hr to 2hrs travel in a vehicle. The only exception to this is if you are trekking the W trek or the Circuit trek and for these two trails you will benefit from staying over at one of the refugios, ECO Camp, Hotel Las Torres and / or Hotel Grey.

Alternative Accommodation

Having said that, we can arrange from most of the hotels that are further away, a section of the W trek each day. Therefore, you can stay in comfort and walk a part of the W trek every day, and after four days you will have completed the W trek. In addition, there are also options to do the iconic Torres Base trek in one day from Puerto Natales.

Experience Chile is a distinguished partner with all the accommodation options mentioned in our web site. Therefore, please let us know which type of accommodation you would like to include within the itinerary we create for you.

Accommodation Options in the Torres del Paine Zone

You can enjoy the stunning scenery, fresh air, witness moving glaciers, walk through woods, challenge yourself with adventurous trekking and be in the heart of nature during the day in Torres del Paine. But at night you have the following types of accommodation where you can relax and get your sleep:

Serviced Camping Sites

The serviced camp sites offer tents with bedding and ground mats, and food taken inside the adjacent refugio or small dining hut where there is no refugio.

Serviced Camp Sites on the W trek & Circuit Trek trails:

Central, Serron, Perros, Grey, Paine Grande, Cuernos and Chileno.

Refugio, Domos &Cabins

Refugio – basically a hostel with dorm rooms and bunk beds, 6 people to a room, communal “canteen style “dining room. These are located on the W Trek and the Circuit Trek.

Refugios Located At: Dickson (Circuit Trek), and on the W Trek – Chileno, Cuernos, Paine Grande and Grey.

Cabins Located at:

Cuernos (W Trek).

Domos Located At:

Frances (W Trek)

Mid-level hotel – a hotel with private rooms and en-suite bathroom or shower rooms, restaurant, decent food and wine selection. These are located in different areas within the Torres del Paine zone and, of course, at Puerto Natales.

Mid-Level Hotels are: Hotel Las Torres, Hosteria Pehoe, Hotel Lago Grey, Hotel Rio Serrano, Hotel del Paine as well as in Puerto Natales – Hotel If, Hotel Altiplanico Sur and Weskar Lodge.

Luxury Hotels & Lodges – World-Class hotel lodges with luxury-level private rooms; en-suite, well-equipped bathrooms, plus spa and pool facilities, quality food and wines. Such hotel lodges are in the Torres del Paine zone as well as in Puerto Natales we offer The Singular and Remota Hotels.

Luxury Hotels & Lodges are: Explora Salto Chico, Tierra Patagonia, Awasi, Singular (Puerto Natales) and Remota (Puerto Natales). NOTE: For Explora Salto Chico, Tierra Patagonia, The Singular and Hotel Remota we have an offer – please see our Featured Hotels.

Estancia Hotel – Country-style, large, private rooms with large en-suite bathrooms at an authentic Patagonian working estancia. Restaurant, good food and wines. Here, you can experience life in Patagonia and also sense and feel the history of the past 100 years. There is only one such place and it is located in the Torres del Paine zone.

Estancia Hotel is: Estancia Cerro Guido

“Glamping” – Luxury kitted-out camping in either Yurt or Dome tent (two different places in different areas of the Torres del Paine zone). One has communal bar and dining area with wine, and in the other has more of an up-market restaurant with good wines. Both options are located within the Torres del Paine zone.

Glamping are: Patagonia Camp and ECO Domes

Where is the Torres del Paine Welcome Centre?

The Torres del Paine Welcome Centre

The Welcome Centre is located in the Eastern sector of Torres del Paine about 1.5km from the entrance to Hotel Las Torres. Therefore, it is also close to Refugios Central and Norte and a short distance from ECO Camp.

Only if you are entering the park at the Eastern end will you need to come to the Welcome Centre. However, here you need to show that you have confirmed reservations for accommodation on the W trek, if you are staying over. Consequently, also need to present, or fill in a visitors form. Most importantly, there are public WC´s here as well as information.

How long does it take to drive from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine?

  • Driving from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine

    Driving from Puerto Natales to the western, Serrano entrance of Torres del Paine will take 1hr.

    Coming from Puerto Natales to the eastern, Laguna Amarga entrance to Torres del Paine will take
    2hrs.

What Length of Time Does it Take to Drive From Puerto Natales to Hotel Lago Grey or Grey Beach?

Driving from Puerto Natales to Hotel Lago Grey

The drive from Puerto Natales, past the Milodon cave, and on to the Torres del Paine Serrano entrance is very picturesque, and should be enjoyed as part of your experience. Therefore, if you are driving from Puerto Natales to Hotel Lago Grey, or to Grey beach you need to allow 2hrs.

Where is the Hotel Accommodation Located in Torres del Paine?

Hotel Accommodation Locations for Torres del Paine

Hotel Locations Within the Park

There are, in total, four hotels and one up-market camp (glamping) that are within the official boundary lines of Torres del Paine National Park (TDP). Therefore, there are various alternatives to choose from.

For example, these are the Hotel Las Torres, Explora Salto Chico Lodge, Hotel Lago Grey, Hotel (Hosteria) Pehoe and the ECO Camp (glamping).

Hotels To the West

Literally just over the “boundary line” of TDP on the other side of the Rio Serrano are these hotels: Hotel Rio Serrano and Hotel Paine, with a few others such as Pampa Lodge, Lago Tyndal and Nash lodge nearby. Consequently, you need to pay the entrance fee into Torres del Paine when you enter, but this lasts for a number of days.

Over on the East

We have Tierra Patagonia, Awasi Patagonia and Estancia Cerro Guido. Therefore, most of the very best properties are not within the “official” park boundary.

To the South

The luxury camping called Patagonia Camp. Most importantly, this place has fine views over the lake and on to the Torres del Paine Massif.

Please see our Torres del Paine Map to identify where the above hotels are located.

Today & Five Day Forecast (C°)
Torres del Paine National Park

Send Us Your Enquiry

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.

Torres del Paine All You Need to Know

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