Torres del Paine Hiking
Photo Safari and Day Hikes in Torres del Paine
As passionate hikers and photographers we have worked out this itinerary for those travellers who might have a tight schedule but still want to catch the beauty of wildlife and landscape of our own Middle Earth. A regular fitness level is required in order to walk along easy to moderate trails inside Torres del Paine National Park, where we are going to use our private vehicle to drive you around to and from the trailheads accompanied by an experience and certified guide of the park. The idea of this 3-day hiking tour is to swept the park from west to east or vice versa in order to capture the variety of landscapes and wilflife that Torres del Paine offers to us everyday.
Another plus of this itinerary is that you can combine it with a further trip into the Argentine Patagonia connecting Puerto Natales and El Calafate via pubblic or private transportation service, getting the best out of your unforgettable travelling to Patagonia.
DAY 1: HALF DAY HIKES IN THE WESTERN SECTION
10Km (6 Miles) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Departing Puerto Natales early in the morning we travel to Torres del Paine National Park on a paved road which approaching the park becomes gravel; the lanscape gets better and better as we get to Laguna Amarga entrance with the chance to spot and photograph the Patagonian wildlife during our morning drive. Moving to the central area of Torres del Paine we start our first half-day hike visiting Salto Grande waterfall and reaching Los Cuernos lookout where the impressive monstrous-shape Cuernos del Paine appear in all their grandeour. Retracing our steps we stop for a relaxing picnic at Pehoe lake and later in the afternoon drive further to the western area of the park for a hike along Grey lake beach and peninsula. At Grey lake an alternative boat tour might be organize in order to offer you a unique encounter with the biggest glacier of Torres del Paine National Park. At the end of the noon activit we will drop you off at your hotel around this area (we suggest you to book Grey Hotel or Serrano Hotel which are located inside the National Park).
DAY 2: FULL DAY HIKE --> ALTO DEL TORO
15Km (9 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-450m (+/-1450ft) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
We pick you up in the morning from your hotel in Torres del Paine National Park to drive you to the trailhead of today Full Day hike, Alto del Toro. During this 4-to-5 hours hike we will pass different scenario dotted with colorful lakes like Laguna Honda and Laguna Verde, with the presence of Paine Massif always in the background. At almost the end of the trail you will be reaching De Agostini Pass overlooking the sediment -turquoise-colour waters of Paine river ending their run into blue-cobalt Toro Lake. A steep descent awaits for you before getting into the vehicle that will bring you back to your hotel.
DAY 3: HALF DAY HIKES IN THE EASTERN SECTION
10Km (6 Miles) - Elevation Gain: +/-300m (+/-1000ft) - Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
On our third day we are moving to a lessern known area of Torres del Paine around Laguna Azul. After picking you up from your selected hotel we'll be driving across the park in search of guanacos and their elusive main predator, the Mountain Lion. Passing near Paine waterfall we will start a 2-hour half-day hike trail in which wildlife and birdwatching is possible in addition to nice views of the imposing granitic spires of the Towers. Picnic lunch near Laguna Azul and another stroll in the afternoon along the southern flanks of Sierra Masle before starting our drive back to Puerto Natales bidding farewell to Torres del Paine National Park.
Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
Picnics and Box Lunches during the 3-day Program
Private Transportation during the entire 3-day Program
Certified Guide of Torres del Paine National Park
Breakfast and Dinner at your Selected Accomodation
Boat Tour to Visit Grey Glacier
Gratuities for the Guide
SEASON 2019/2020 (Valid until April 2020)
2 Members --- USD p.p.
3 Members --- USD p.p.
4-8 Members --- USD p.p.
Alain - April 2019
The Region: Torres del Paine National Park
Hiking in Torres del Paine
Patagonia is mainly shaped by three factors: tectonic forces, the Icefields and the Wind. The Andean Cordillera is the longest mountain range in the wolrd, stretching from Colombia to Chile for about 8000km; it represents the backbone of South America and shapes the landscape throughout the sub-continent, particularly in the southernmost part of it. The predominant western winds (the Westerlies) carry moisture from the Pacific ocean and as they slam into the Chilean coast the mountains force moisture-laden air up, drenching the western side of the range in rain and burying the summits in snow. Patagonia's extensive network of glaciers is thus built and shaped by the wind, and the delicate balance of glacial ice in these temperate latitude depends on the strength and constancy of the Westerlies. Towards the East lies instead a flat and drier landscape, the Patagonian Steppe or Pampa, dominated by yellow-cushioned bushes and grasses and where average rainfall is almost as equal as to a desert-like environment. Torres del Paine National Park lies right in the middle of this scenario, thus its importance as a special ecosystem and a worldwide recognized Biosphere Reserve; from one side the Southern Patagonian Icefield and from another the grassy Steppe, right in the middle the craggy granite peaks of the Paine Massif that we will discover during our trekking programs.
Hiking and Photography in Torres del Paine are two activities that can be combined very well due to the fact that the National Park has an extensive network of half-day to full-day hiking trails wich are easy to reach by vehicle. On average we are going to walk between 4 to 5 hours a day, covering a distance of roughly 10 to 15km (6 to 9 miles daily). Elevation gain in Torres del Paine is not an issue since the trails run along valleys and lake sides with small to average elevation gains; as well as altitude is not a concern, since the highest point we are going to reach during this 3-day program is located at 500m (barely 1500 feet).
We will be hiking with our daypack in which we will bring our lunch box, extra layers for rain and cold, a water flask and our camera.
Perhaps the most challenging element is going to be the wind, this area of South America is very famous for its strong wind gusts which sometimes can reach up to 100km/h (60 mph). This is something you can only experience in Patagonia.
Hotel Torres del Paine
During this 3-day hiking itinerary inside Torres del Paine National Park we highly reccomend you to book an accomodation within the park's boundaries or in the vicinity of it. The best options are Hotel Lago Grey, located nearby the lake shore and with beautiful views of Los Cuernos, as well as Hotel Serrano, positioned close to the southern entrance of the park and with stunning vistas of Paine Mountains.
Continental breakfast is included in the accomodation as well as dinner accordingly to the tarif that you will choose; for the lunch you don't have to worry about since we will provide you a box lunch or a picnic every day.