Torres del Paine National Park

It’s in Torres del Paine that everything beautiful is magnified. Every granite spire, snowy summit, and brilliant blue glacier is scaled to show off Earth’s best across a range of panoramic mountains, lakes, and thick forest green. Thousands camp along the trails as they’re drawn deeper into the park, the stunning natural beauty like a call to the soul.

Buckingham Palace


Plan on a lot of travel time before you arrive at the park. Flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas take about 4 hours. And since there’s no airport in Puerto Natales, that’s another 4 hours by bus. If you’ve taken both these trips in one go, you’ll want to take a long rest before embarking on the 1- to 2-hour bus ride into the park. Once inside, most buses will stop at Laguna Amarga ranger station: 9:30 am and 4:30 pm for drop-off and 2:30 pm and 7:45 pm for pick-up. A one-way trip costs approximately 8000 CLP (approximately $12 US dollars). It’s better to purchase a one-way ticket rather than a round trip in case you want to linger on the trail and avoid rushing back.

Hours of Operation:

Daily 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Spring, fall, and winter each offer their own wonders, while summer is actually the harshest season, accompanied by strong winds and a gust of tourist crowds.


Torres del Paine National Park

To visit Torres del Paine’s website click here


Torres del Paine National Park

21,000 CLP, winter 10,000 CLP (credit cards not accepted)


Torres del Paine National Park


Many trails prove that Torres del Paine is not only for experienced hikers. The walk to Lago Grey is flat, leading to a lookout point where you can see Glacier Grey in the distance. A more difficult, 3 1/2 hour hike through forests and past icebergs takes you to Glacier Grey. A lookout point allows you to see the immensity of the glacier, its jagged surface like a forest of ice, but you can also take a boat right up the face of the glacier.

Three other popular formations are Los Cuernos, the French Valley, and the Torres. Curving upward with sharp, defined edges, the three mountains of Los Cuernos are aptly named “the horns.” The French Valley is a theater of natural sights. Stand upon a ridge and see hanging glaciers, water cascading down cliffs, and mountains sweeping all round to form the basin, accompanied by the sound of shifting, falling ice. The valley is not a trail to a destination; it is the destination. But even greater are the Torres. Those that give the park its name are one of the most popular attractions, although they demand a good deal of effort. It’s a two-hour hike accompanied by long, steep ascents. But when dawn or dusk tips into the basin, the contrast between the cold, gray lake and the three fiery towers is startling, a sight that can’t be prepared for.

To see these sites, and more, most people opt for the W Trek or the full Circuit. The W Trek takes 4 – 7 days, following a trail up and down three valleys in the shape of a W. It’s shorter than the full circuit and leads to Torres del Paine’s major attractions, including Glacier Grey, Los Cuernos, and Las Torres. Trekkers can stay overnight at a few refugios along the way, so they can carry less gear.
The Circuit is a hike around the entire Cordillera Paine mountain range, a daunting but rewarding experience. The trek takes either 4 – 7 or 8 – 11 days, depending on whether the W Trek is included. The terrain is rough and steep and the winds can be fierce. But all along the way, spectacular scenery ranges from snowy mountains to forests to colossal icebergs and glaciers. All the while, condors and over a hundred other bird species spiral overhead.


Torres del Paine National Park

What’s nearby? 

Unless you’re planning on a very long drive to and from accommodations, you’ll be spending most of your time in Puerto Natales when you’re not trekking through the park. The best-reviewed restaurant in Puerto Natales is Afrigonia (Eberhard 343), a fusion of African and Chilean food that produces mint-roasted lamb, salmon ceviche cooked with lime, mango, and coconut milk, along with other unique flavor combinations. Guests enjoy their meals within an African ambiance accentuated by wooden masks, figurines, and animal skins. The Puerto Natales museum (Manuel Bulnes 285), about Patagonia’s indigenous people and later settlers, contains artifacts such as canoes and photographs and costs only about 2000 CLP. About 15 miles out of town, Milodon Cave once held remains of extinct animals, including a milodon; a replica has been constructed at the entrance to draw visitors further into the region’s history. Kayakers often head to Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to get close to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers, which are less crowded than the more well-known Torres landmarks yet still tremendous and magnificent.


Torres del Paine National Park

Interested in touring Patagonia and visiting Torres del Paine National Park? We offer four different tours that explore this region.

Clink on the links below and explore the incredible country of Chile.

Explore South America – 30 Days      Best of South America – 21 Days      Best of South America – 23 Days      Best of South America: Peru, Argentina, Chile, & Ecuador – 25 Days

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Torres del Paine National Park, Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park

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