Duration: 6 Days - 5 Nights
Location: Patagonia Torres del Paine - Chile
Special Info: From USD $2,250 per person

Discover Torres del Paine in Patagonia with an experience that will surprise you day by day. The Chilean Patagonia is home to some of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and to some of the world’s most classic trekking routes encompassing ancient forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and fauna including guanacos, flamingos, condors, foxes and pumas. 

 

Hiking Tour Patagonia Experience Torres del Paine Chile

Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine 6 Days

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Hiking Tour Patagonia Experience Torres del Paine Chile

At the Southern tip of the Andes in Chile lies Torres del Paine National Park. The park is located in Chile’s southernmost and largest region, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, where the main economic activities are sheep farming, oil extraction and tourism. The population density is sparse at 1.1 per km² but the region’s main city Punta Arenas is home to a sizable 120,000 people. The park draws in approximately 100,000 tourists each year who visit the main attractions – Paine Towers, Los Cuernos, French Valley and Grey Glacier. The ‘W’ trek and the Paine Circuit are popular routes. During 6 days you’ll have the freedom to choose your adventure day by day, with activities that include nature walks, trekking and biking.

Our Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine program has two daily hiking options – easy and active – and a cycling option three
times a week. The easy hiking options are not strenuous and can be enjoyed by anyone in reasonable physical condition. The active hikes are more challenging and involve up to 8 hours hiking a day, often over difficult terrain. The best part? You can choose each night which options appeals most for the following day, depending on how that day’s trek has left you feeling!

When you take this trip, you are supporting conservation actions in Torres del Paine with The Legacy Fund and Fundacion Patagonia.

*Click on Day Title to see the activity.

  • Day 1 Santiago – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine

    The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. En route we make a couple of stops – First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of “Seno de Ultima Esperanza”, where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there’s plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.

    Accommodation at ECOCAMP PATAGONIA – SUITE DOMES

  • Nature Walk options (easy) for your Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine

    1. Sarmiento and Laguna Azul + BBQ (Mon & Thurs, 5 km/3 mi, 2 hr walking)We start the day driving to the western shore of Sarmiento lake, walking down a trail from the road towards the lake edge. The shoreline is very scenic and we can enjoy watching birds, as well as observing the Gunther Plüschow monument (the first man to film Patagonia by air, in the 1920s). After soaking up our surroundings we drive to Laguna Azul where a BBQ lunch is being prepared for us! We enjoy lunch looking out over the lake, with the three granite towers in the distance, from the warmth of the BBQ ‘quincho’. After lunch we walk south to Macho Cañon where we can observe typical Torres del Paine fauna including guanaco herds. From here we board our van heading back to EcoCamp in time for cocktail hour.

    2. Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Navigation Glacier Grey* (Tues & Fri,  0,8km /0.5mi, 45 min. walking): We start off driving across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. We stop at various viewpoints on the way to enjoy observing and photographing herds of guanacos, Andean condors and interesting flora. We drive down past Pehoe lake and enjoy a short scenic walk along the tip of its southern shore, with views of the vast Toro lake. From here we drive up to Grey Lake and wander along the beach on the shores of the glacial water. Here we enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on a boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. After this incredible sight of the glacier up close, we drive back to EcoCamp. (*During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.)

    3. Salto Grande, Cuernos viewpoint & Fauna Trail (Wed & Sat, 6km /4 mi,  5 hr walking): After breakfast we head out in the van westwards, taking a route along the southern shore of Nordenskjold lake. Our first stop is the magnificent Salto Grande waterfall, with its impressive cascading waters falling from Nordenskjold lake into Pehoe lake. From here it’s a short walk to Cuernos viewpoint, with a panoramic view of the mighty Horns. From here we drive back eastwards along the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake until we reach the starting point of the Fauna Trail. As we walk northwards along the trail we see park fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! We pass by Goic lagoon and after an approximate 5 km relaxed walk we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we’re picked up and driven back to EcoCamp.

    4. Hike to Serón woods (Sunday, 7km /4 mi, 5 hr walking)The trek to Seron means doing the first part of the classic Paine circuit, bordering the eastern side of the Massif. After breakfast we head off on foot along the trail leading us north of EcoCamp, through plains home to Lenga forests and other flora, and with great views of Laguna Azul and Sierra Masle. Hopefully we encounter the park’s animals that roam around this sector, in their quest to avoid the more populated areas of the Park. Our guide will introduce us to the different flora and native vegetation in the magical Serón woods, before we break for lunch. We continue to admire the scenery as we walk back to Ecocamp in time for cocktail hour.

  • Trekking options (demanding) for your Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine

    1. Trek Towers Base (Mon & Thurs, 22km /14 mi,  9 hr trekking): After a hearty breakfast we set off from Ecocamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world’s most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

    2.  Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Hike Pingo Trail (Tues & Fri, 14 km /9 mi, 4 hr trekking): We drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until we reach its spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, we are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey where we walk to reach the start of the beautiful Pingo Trail taking us through a fairy-tale Magellan forest full of local fauna and flora. As we walk, huge rock formations in nearby hills and the strong Patagonian wind give us a good idea of just how wild Patagonia is! We reach a small sightseeing point with splendid views of the Massif’s west face, and then walk back to Grey Beach to meet our fellow travelers coming back from the boat ride. Together, we all head to Ecocamp to enjoy dinner and relaxation time.

    3. Navigation Pehoe Lake and hike French Valley* (Wed & Sat, 21km /13 mi, 8 hr trekking): After breakfast, we start our day driving towards Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We board the catamaran that’ll take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we’ll begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups’ rhythm – An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail to the upper section of the valley where we admire the valley’s entire group of geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). Here we picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn’t keen on resting. Then, we descend through a rippling terrain of grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here the catamaran takes us back to Pudeto and we’re driven back to EcoCamp.

    *The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe: September, October and Abril (shoulder season) the navigation will not operate and therefore the excursion will be replaced by an excursion from Estancia Lazo to Weber Bridge. 1st to 15th of November: Hike is limited and only reaches camp Italiano 16th of November till 15th of March: excursion operates on a regular basis 16th of March till 31st of March: Hike is limited and only reaches camp Italiano.  

    4. Hike along Los Cuernos (Sunday, 18km/11 mi, 7 hr trekking): After breakfast we set off on foot towards Nordenskjold lake. On the walk towards the lakeshore we’ll have wonderful views of the park’s vegetation and flora and if we’re lucky we’ll see Andean condors circling overhead as we make our way along the trail. As we head east we enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. We reach Arriero River, our goal for the day, and enjoy our picnic lunch looking out over the beautiful turquoise Nordensjkold lake.  We also enjoy a fantastic view of the Cuernos. After lunch we make or way back to EcoCamp in time for our well-deserved cocktail hour.

  • Biking options (easy to moderate) for your Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine

     

    1. Laguna Azul (Mon & Thurs, 10km /6 mi, 2.5 hr biking): We start the day driving to the western shore of Sarmiento lake with the rest of our group, walking down a trail from the road towards the lake edge. The shoreline is very scenic and we can enjoy watching birds, as well as observing the Gunther Plüschow monument (the first man to film Patagonia by air, in the 1920s). After soaking up our surroundings we drive to Laguna Azul where a BBQ lunch is being prepared for us! We enjoy lunch looking out over the lake, with the three granite towers in the distance, from the warmth of the BBQ ‘quincho’. After lunch the real adventure begins as we mount our bikes to start the cycle ride back to EcoCamp! We ride along the scenic road making stops along the way to enjoy our surroundings. Back at EcoCamp we reunite with our group to enjoy the evening aperitif.

  • Day 6 Departure Day from Torres del Paine – Punta Arenas – Santiago

    We board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Those heading to Argentina board an earlier transfer heading to the border.

  • ◦ If you are interested in this tour, please book now or send us an email to [email protected]
    Low Season (SEP 08th to OCT 15th 2017 and APR 18th to MAY 6th 2018) 

    Rate per person in Suite Domes, USD $2,250 based in double occupancy. Single Supplement USD $1,350
    Shoulder Season (OCT 16th to OCT 31st 2017 and APR 1st to APR 17th 2018) 
    Rate per person in Suite Domes, USD $2,625 based in double occupancy. Single Supplement USD $1,510
    High Season (NOV 1st to DEC 14th 2017 and JAN 21st to MAR 31st 2018) 
    Rate per person in Suite Domes, USD $3,125 based in double occupancy. Single Supplement USD $1,795
    Peak Season (DEC 15th 2017 to JAN 20th 2018) 
    Rate per person in Suite Domes, USD $3,595 based in double occupancy. Single Supplement USD $2,065
    ◦ Let us know you are interested and we will email you our booking form.
    ◦ All our programs can be modified according to your requirements or your needs.
    ◦WE ALSO HAVE A LUXURY VERSION OF THIS TOUR, ASK FOR OUR PRIVATE DEPARTURE LUXURY TOUR AND ITS RATES.

    ◦ When you take this trip, you are supporting conservation actions in Torres del Paine with The Legacy Fund and Fundacion Patagonia. 

  • ◦ Pick up and drop off from Punta Arenas airport.
    ◦ Ground transportation.
    ◦ Accommodation at Ecocamp Patagonia in Suite Domes.
    ◦ Meals as per itinerary (05 breakfasts, 05 lunches and 05 dinners).
    ◦ Professional English speaking tour guide..
    ◦ Accidents insurance
    ◦ All activities according to the itinerary
    ◦ Entrance fees
    ◦ USD $50 donation to Torres del Paine Legacy Fund

  • ◦ International and local flights .
    ◦ Extra beverages & cocktails.
    ◦ Laundry.
    ◦ Reciprocity fees for VISA in Chile.

  • ◦ Departures every day from September 08th 2017 to May 6th 2018.

  • + MORE INFO

    DIFFICULTY

    This tour presents three difficulty levels. Every day you can choose an excursion that is easy, intermediate or advanced level.

    Easy Hiking: You don’t live for hiking, but you definitely love to spend time in nature. These hiking excursions are appropriate for all people and suitable for older adults in good health with overall good mobility, who are comfortable participating in up to 3 hours hiking per day. Excursions at this level generally involve nature walks of light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, mostly walking, sometimes on slightly uneven terrain.

    Intermediate Hiking: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these hiking trips can require sustained endurance levels, hills and longer days. These outings are more demanding than the previous level, intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to 4-5 hours of hiking per day. They may include hiking on difficult terrain, sometimes steep and/or uneven trails, with obstacles such as wet logs, branches and muddy areas.

    Advanced Hiking: You love hiking. These hiking excursions are physically demanding and best suited for strong people with a high endurance level. These hikes are more demanding than the previous level, intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to 6-9 hours hiking per day. A typical day may include hiking over fairly hilly terrain offering lots of challenges. Trails are along high meadow paths and/or maintained cliff-side or Andean trails, with some steep ascents to make you feel exhilarated.

    VISAS

    Visa to enter Chile: No advance Visa application is needed for entry into Chile. Australian and Mexican citizens entering Chile for tourism purposes will be charged a $160.00 processing fee payable on arrival. Cash and credit card accepted. USA, Canada and New Zealand citizens no longer need to pay the reciprocity fee ($160.00)to enter Chile. A valid passport is required  travelling as a tourist for 90 days.

    HOTELS

    Ecocamp Patagonia, in Suite Dome.

    ACTIVITIES INCLUDED

    Overland sightseeing, nature walks, trekking and biking.

    PACKING TIPS

    For your Patagonia Experience in Torres del Paine we recommend the following packing list:

    Underwear: Synthetics are easier to wash and dry. Synthetic thermal underwear. You need a lightweight long underwear top and bottom of a polyester-type fabric. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable.

    Clothing: Long-sleeved, synthetic or wool shirt. Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts. Medium-weight sweater or jacket of synthetic fabric, such as fleece. Gore-Tex wind parka for foul weather. Full-length pants, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric. Hiking shorts, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric.  Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around camp.

    Accessories: Sun hat with wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off. Bandanna. It will keep your neck from getting sunburned and can double as a hand towel. Wool or pile hat or ski cap. Gloves or mittens (wool or pile).

    Foot wear: Sturdy, properly fitting footwear can make your trip much more pleasurable. If you’re buying new boots for this trip, please break them in beforehand by wearing them as often as possible before the trip. Medium-weight, all leather, sturdy trekking boots with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your trekking boots should be well broken in, and suitable for prolonged walking on sandy and rocky terrain. Running shoes are NOT appropriate for this trip. Medium weight synthetic socks (we recommend Thorlo® Lt. Trekking). Athletic socks (synthetic for easy washing and drying) that are suitable for the shoes you’ll be wearing while in towns. Inner socks (synthetic) that can be washed and dried quickly.

    Other Items: Swimsuit (you never know!); One set of casual city clothes that are dressier than your trek clothes (for the cities);  Hiking sticks (optional but highly recommended). These are helpful, if not essential, to relieve the impact on your knees during long downhills; Camera with plenty of memory!; and Binoculars.

    Travel Accessories: Wide mouth water bottles, 1-liter capacity. Bring two and make sure they are leak-proof, heavy duty plastic (preferably Nalgene brand). Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, and so on; Moisturizing lotion; Ace bandage or brace if you’re prone to sore knees or ankles; Sunglasses (very important); Sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. The sun in Patagonia can be much more intense than you probably imagine; Sunscreen lipstick of SPF 15 or higher; Small flashlight with spare batteries, or small headlamp with spare batteries; Zip-lock bags (they’re great for camera gear); Personal first aid kit; Swiss Army-type pocket knife with can opener and scissors.

    Your favorite snack food. We’ll have plenty of excellent food, but you might want to bring along your favorite snack food (such as raisins or chocolate). Although we accommodate vegetarians, meat is one of Chile’s main staples, Vegetarians might want to bring some protein supplements.                                                            

    NATIONAL PARK RULES

    Torres del Paine is a national park and as such enjoys protection by Chile’s National Forestry Corporation who are in charge of ensuring legal and environmental standards are met. The park’s ecosystems are fragile and precaution needs to be taken to ensure wildlife is protected from potential harm caused by visitors.

    The following rules apply inside the national park to ensure no harm is caused to the wildlife and ecosystems:

    – Lighting fires is prohibited in all circumstances
    – Only walk on marked paths or paths indicated by a guide
    – Plan your hike according to the path closing times
    – Only camp in authorised campsites, for your safety
    – Remember that conditions are extreme in Patagonia and any carelessness can be fatal
    – If you see something you consider a risk alert a park ranger or guide immediately                         – Ceasefire! Causing forest fires is a crime punishable by law.

    INSURANCE

    Any policy you purchase should, at the very least, cover trip cancellation, loss of baggage, accident/life coverage, travel delays, and non-refundable airline tickets.

    Carriers for travel insurance include World Nomads, Travel Guard and Travelex. You may also consider insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Search the web to find the best deal that suits your needs – read the fine print –

    WEATHER NOTES

    The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the influence from the strong marine currents and Southern Patagonian Ice field make the weather hard to predict.
    In Torres del Paine in spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and eventually snow. Even in summer (December to march) you should come prepared to find cold, strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfalls. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min). Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm! Night-time temperatures will most likely range from –1°C to -5°C (30s and 40s F) depending on the weather. 

    VEHICLES

    Modern van or minibus according to group size. Air-condition.

    ITINERARY MODIFICATIONS

    Slight itinerary modifications might occur due to weather and or road conditions, or force majeur.

    CURRENCY

    In Chile, the local currency is called “Peso”.

    The current exchange rate is $1 USD = $650 Chilean Pesos (CLP).

    Travel checks are not convenient because only few places accept them and the exchange rate is 10% lower than dollar bills. Most credit cards are accepted at shops, restaurants and hotels. The most common cards are Master Card, Visa and Dinners Club. American Express is less commonly accepted that the others. ATM machines are available at the airport in Punta Arenas. There are also ATMs in Punta Arenas centre and Puerto Natales. We recommend taking a small amount of cash into Torres del Paine to pay for drinks at EcoCamp’s bar, souvenirs in the shop, tips for guides and staff etc.

    For up to date information we suggest you visit the website www.xe.com/ucc/

    GRATUITY

    In Chile, the gratuity for hospitality services is normally 10% of the bill. People usually tip in restaurants, hotels and the local staff of guides. You shouldn’t tip taxi drivers, baggage carriers and bar tenders, they do not expect any tips. At the end of the trip gratuity for the crew for a job well done is highly appreciated. We encourage you to use your discretion and tip according to the caliber of service you receive. As a guideline, the industry standard is $120 dollars per person, per guide.

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