Torres del Paine Trekking
This is a shorter version of our classic Torres del Paine trekking trip that suits travelers with less time but who are equally as active. The itinerary includes the three most remarkable areas in the park: Ascencio Valley, French Valley, and Grey Glacier.
THE ECOCAMP is a type of luxury camp similar in concept to the famous African lodges. It is an environmentally friendly camp, especially important in a National Park with the characteristics of Torres del Paine. It was designed with comfort in mind, yet stresses the importance of interfering as little as possible with the natural surroundings. Sleeping occurs in big comfortable 2-meter-high domed tents that have wooden floors and are resistant to the strongest winds, rain, and even Patagonian snow. They are each equipped with 2 or 3 single beds, sheets, blankets, and down comforters. The EcoCamp has a large dome tent equipped with a living area, a dining room, and a fully equipped kitchen run by a chef. The EcoCamp also includes a bathroom module/cabin with composting toilets, showers, and solar-heated hot water.
REFUGIOS at LOS CUERNOS and PEHOE are typical mountain huts and are open to visitors of Torres del Paine. The Refugios have shared rooms for 4 to 6 people. The beds are single and bunk-style, and you will be provided with a sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner (although you may want to bring your own sleeping bag liner for comfort). The bathrooms are also shared, and they have hot water. The Refugios are heated and have a very comfortable dining area.
Day 1 Santiago/Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
You’ll be met at the airport in Punta Arenas (arrive around 1 pm with the earliest flight from Santiago) for your transfer (216 miles/ 5hrs) to the EcoCamp or Hosteria Las Torres inside the famous Torres del Paine National Park. In the southern hemisphere’s summer, the sun sets around 11 pm giving you plenty of light to admire the landscape and the craggy mountains while entering the park. Along the way you’ll stop in the township of Puerto Natales to view the town and enjoy lunch. Here, you will have the chance to leave any luggage that you will not need during the trek in our local office in Puerto Natales and to take the short walk to see the enormous Cueva del Milodon, a giant geological wonder that once sheltered the remains of a prehistoric sloth. Continue on to Torres del Paine, where you will have dinner and spend the night at the EcoCamp or at Hosteria Las Torres.
Day 2 French Valley
Transfer to Pudeto (30 minutes) to board the catamaran which crosses Lake Pehoe. Today the trekking will go over a distance of 5 miles (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours) up to Campamento Italiano and will then continue to Mirador del Frances (2 miles, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours roundtrip). Mirador del Frances is one of the most spectacular cirques in the Paine range. The trail from Camp Pehoe runs through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until it meets River Frances and Camp Italiano. From here follow the river upstream until you reach El Mirador, a lookout point facing Glacier Frances, which descends from Paine Grande (the highest summit in the Paine range). From this vantage point, enjoy a magnificent and broad view of the lakes below. Head back to Camp Italiano and then return to Refugio Pehoe for dinner and your overnight stay.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Lake Pehoe/Grey Glacier
Today you will hike about four hours from Refugio Pehoe to the northern end of Lago Grey. Here board the boat that will take you alongside the majestic Grey Glacier. We will have ample time to marvel at this mighty glacier before the boat crosses Lago Grey (40 minutes). If the weather conditions do not allow for navigation on Lake Grey, you will instead hike to the Grey Glacier (6 to 8 hours roundtrip) and then board the catamaran at Pudeto to cross Lake Pehoe. Later today transfer from Lake Grey’s southern end back to the EcoCamp (1 1/2 hours) for dinner and your overnight stay.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Torres del Paine
Today enjoy an all-day hike (6 miles, 8 hours roundtrip) to the foot of the impressive granite massif of El Paine, where the towers rise majestically before you, and the glacial lake is visible below. It is truly some of the most beautiful scenery in the world! The famous Torres del Paine (9,400 feet) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, all that remains of a great cirque that has been sheared away by the forces of glacial ice over time. Once back at the EcoCamp, enjoy a farewell dinner of a typical Patagonian lamb barbecue, served in your honor. Overnight at the EcoCamp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas/Santiago/Onward
Early this morning you leave for Punta Arenas. Arrive at the airport in time to catch the evening flight back to Santiago. In Santiago, you will catch your onward international flight.
What to Expect
Duration 5 days
Regular Wednesday departures from October to April
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.