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.
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.
Ecocamp Patagonia, in Suite Dome.
Overland sightseeing, nature walks, trekking and biking.
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.
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 –
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.
Modern van or minibus according to group size. Air-condition.
Slight itinerary modifications might occur due to weather and or road conditions, or force majeur.
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/
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.