Experiences > Trekking opportunities > Latin America > Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in South America. The snow-capped jagged granite peaks, lush green valleys, blue and green lakes and great glaciers of ice contrast and complement each other to produce a stunning setting. The scenery and mountainous landscape make Torres del Paine one of the world's great trekking destinations - options range from extended circuits taking over a week to day hikes. The most popular (and must-do) day trek is an ascent along the beautiful valley of the Rio Asencio up to the viewpoint overlooking the Torres del Paine (Mirador Las Torres) - the three towers which are emblematic of the park. The final ascent over rough boulders is difficult but rewarded with the view of the granite peaks rising dramatically to the sky (often with their peaks shrouded in clouds) over a lagoon and landscape shaped by glacial ice and the elements. There are numerous other trekking options as well as the chance of a boat ride on Lago Grey to get close to the blue-tinged ice of the Grey Glacier (and enjoy a pisco sour with glacier ice when there), kayaking on the lake near some discarded glacier chunks or horse-riding through the stunning landscapes. The parks other attractions include the Salto Grande Waterfall, the breathtaking views from the Mirador Ferrier and the wildlife which inhabits the park including the ubiquitous guanaco, fox, rhea, condor and flamingo.


Location: Chile

Torres del Paine
Map of Torres del Paine
W Trail
The W trail is the shorter of the classic Torres del Paine treks, comprising three long hikes between the mountain peaks and the connecting trails between them. The trail begins with the classic trek to the viewpoint underneath the famous three towers, the return trip taking 8-9 hours. Starting from Refugio Las Torres, you'll walk along the valley of Rio Ascencio before climbing over steep boulders deposited by glaciers to the mirador or viewpoint. From the base of the towers, the three granite monoliths rise imperiously over a landscape shaped by glacial action. The next day is a gentle trek along Lago Nordenskjold to Refugio Los Cuernos followed by the longest trekking day up the Valle del Frances. The destination is a mirador on the other side of the three towers and on the route there is a stunning view of the Glaciar del Frances. Returning along the valley, you walk to Refugio Paine Grande through forests and grassland. The final day's trek is along the eastern banks of Lago Grey to Refugio Grey with stunning views of the lake and glacier. From here you can take a boast ride on Lago Grey to observe the glacier up close or try ice walking or ice climbing on the glacier itself.
Torres del Paine Circuit
The full Torres del Paine circuit incorporates the classic 'W' trek along with the extended route over the northern boundaries of the Torres del Paine mountains. Starting from Refugio Las Torres or Guarderia Laguna Amarga, you walk north to the Seron camp. The next day the trek is along the banks of Lago Paine and Rio Paine, through forests and grasslands to Refugio Dickson. The views of the north side of the Paine Massif and the South Patagonia Ice Field and Dickson Glacier are spectacular. The next section is the wildest and least accessible section of the trek, along Rio Los Perros and through ancient virgin beech forests to a campsite at Laguna Los Perros. The following day there is a steep ascent to the highest point of the circuit, Paso John Gardner at 1241m, where you are rewarded with a stunning view of the Patagonian ice fields and the enormous Grey Glacier as it descends the valley into Lago Grey. The route continues south along forested slopes, gorges and streams to Refugio Grey. From here you can try ice trekking on the glacier or continue along the 'W' route to complete the Torres del Paine circuit.

Travel to Torres del Paine

Organised group tours: The following tours for Torres del Paine are available:


Details and Booking

Tour Map of Paine & Fitz Roy Trek

Paine & Fitz Roy Trek

£2990

excl. flights

15 days

Since the early days we have maintained that trekking is ideally suited to exploring villages and monasteries in remote regions and getting close up to inspiring mountain scenery. We design trekking holidays to perfection as so many of our past trekkers will testify. Our treks help you discover the remote trails of the Himalaya in Nepal, Tibet, India, Sikkim and Bhutan; the dramatic Karakoram in Pakistan; the Andes from Patagonia to Peru; the Table Mountains of Venezuela; the Rockies and National Parks of North America; the High Atlas of Morocco; the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia; Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru in East Africa; along the Great Wall of China and ancient pilgrim trails in Japan; hill tribe country in Vietnam and Thailand; Turgen Mountain in Mongolia; the; the European Alps and Dolomites; Iceland’s rugged wilderness; the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Australia’s remote outback and Tasmanian trails.

Many of our Adventure Touring trips include day walks.  May of these day walks are optional and whilst we hope that all participants will join in, they are definitely not compulsory. Day walks are defined as 1-6 hour walks, which may include a city tour, exploration of some ruins, a jungle boardwalk or on certain trips, a more demanding day hike. Some trips include more day walks than others, and we recommend you refer to the trip notes to assess whether this is the trip for you.

Paine & Fitz Roy Trek

The Patagonian Andes forms a wonderland of glacial lakes, towering granite peaks, impressive glaciers, secluded lakes, beech forests and rolling grasslands. A spectacular region ideally suited to the walker who does not want to commit to a strenuous trek. On our day walks in Los Glaciares National Park we stay in comfortable lodges and trek to the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre – the granite peaks that have inspired mountaineers and trekkers throughout the world. We transfer to Puerto Natales for a taste of Chile before cruising up the stunning fjords to the impressive Balmaceda Glacier. We continue on a series of fast Zodiacs and a catamaran through pristine waterways to our refugio in Torres del Paine National Park. Viewing the beautiful scenery from the riverways is an unforgettable highlight of this trip. By contrast our fully supported classic ‘W’ trek leads into the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park. From comfortable mountain refugios we trek beneath a panorama of impressive granite peaks rising above the tumbling glaciers and deep blue lakes and undertake exhilarating walks to clamber across the glacial moraine to the base of the peaks. Crossing the button grass we may also appreciate the guanacos and other wildlife, while we hope to spot a mighty condor soaring overhead.


Details and Booking

Patagonia Paine Circuit

£2595

excl. flights

11 days

With over 200 holidays to choose from, KE Adventure Travel has one of the very best collections of trekking and walking holidays worldwide. Graded on a scale from 1 to 12, we have holidays to suit everyone. Our tougher treks are likely to involve multi-day hikes through wilderness regions, with porter support and tented accommodation. Whilst at the other end of the scale, our softer walking holidays are more likely to be hotel or lodge-based with a day-walk format and an emphasis on uncovering the area's history, culture and cuisine. From our earliest days we've developed a range of treks that include celebrated classics such as Peru's Inca Trail trek, the ascent of Tanzania's Kilimanjaro and the ever popular Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal. Alongside these, we have always made it a priority to seek out distinctive and unique itineraries in less familiar areas such as Armenia, Cameroon, Madagascar and Burma. Whichever of our trekking or walking holidays you choose to undertake, you can be sure you'll enjoy breaking out of your day-to-day routine and exploring exotic landscapes on foot, with the chance to experience different cultures.

Patagonia Paine Circuit

Located at the southern tip of mainland South America, the rugged territory of Patagonia is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and particularly for the incredible Torres del Paine. At its heart is the Torres del Paine National Park, where pink granite towers, iridescent blue lakes and surreally sculpted glaciers compete for the viewer's admiration. This is also the setting for one of the world's great trekking challenges, the 130 kilometre circuit of the Torres del Paine Massif. Involving 6 days of hiking, by way of several lakeside camps and the remote John Garner Pass, this is the ultimate Patagonia trekking holiday: enhanced by excursions on foot to the most spectacular viewpoints in the Ascencio and Frances valleys. Our Patagonia holiday itinerary now includes a day's hike along the northern edge of Lake Nordenskjold, which effectively completes the whole circuit of the Torres del Paine. A support team means you are free to devote your energies to enjoying what has been voted the most dramatic mountain region on the planet!


Details and Booking

Spires and Ice, Trek Patagonia's Fitzroy & Paine

£3295

excl. flights

13 days

With over 200 holidays to choose from, KE Adventure Travel has one of the very best collections of trekking and walking holidays worldwide. Graded on a scale from 1 to 12, we have holidays to suit everyone. Our tougher treks are likely to involve multi-day hikes through wilderness regions, with porter support and tented accommodation. Whilst at the other end of the scale, our softer walking holidays are more likely to be hotel or lodge-based with a day-walk format and an emphasis on uncovering the area's history, culture and cuisine. From our earliest days we've developed a range of treks that include celebrated classics such as Peru's Inca Trail trek, the ascent of Tanzania's Kilimanjaro and the ever popular Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal. Alongside these, we have always made it a priority to seek out distinctive and unique itineraries in less familiar areas such as Armenia, Cameroon, Madagascar and Burma. Whichever of our trekking or walking holidays you choose to undertake, you can be sure you'll enjoy breaking out of your day-to-day routine and exploring exotic landscapes on foot, with the chance to experience different cultures.

Spires and Ice, Trek Patagonia's Fitzroy & Paine

Southern Patagonia presents a veritable wilderness of huge glaciers and awe-inspiring granite peaks, the most famous of which are the Torres del Paine and Cerro Fitz Roy. Our popular itinerary accesses all of the best viewpoints, without the need for sustained multi-day trekking or backpacking. Throughout the trip, we make use of comfortable fixed camps with excellent facilities, including hot showers. We begin our adventure with a 6-day exploration of the Paine region, including excursions to Lago Grey and Lago Pehoe and day-walks up to the base of the majestic rock towers. Transferring to Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park, we stop-off at the unmissable and extremely impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Then, 3 days of trekking will enable us to seek out the best views of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. This is your chance to experience one of the wildest and most spectacular corners of the world.


Details and Booking

Tour Map of Torres del Paine Circuit

Torres del Paine Circuit

£2490

excl. flights

14 days

Since the early days we have maintained that trekking is ideally suited to exploring villages and monasteries in remote regions and getting close up to inspiring mountain scenery. We design trekking holidays to perfection as so many of our past trekkers will testify. Our treks help you discover the remote trails of the Himalaya in Nepal, Tibet, India, Sikkim and Bhutan; the dramatic Karakoram in Pakistan; the Andes from Patagonia to Peru; the Table Mountains of Venezuela; the Rockies and National Parks of North America; the High Atlas of Morocco; the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia; Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru in East Africa; along the Great Wall of China and ancient pilgrim trails in Japan; hill tribe country in Vietnam and Thailand; Turgen Mountain in Mongolia; the; the European Alps and Dolomites; Iceland’s rugged wilderness; the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Australia’s remote outback and Tasmanian trails.

Torres del Paine Circuit

This is an outstanding circuit for the trekker looking to complete a spectacular foray around the high peaks of Torres del Paine. On the initial stages porters carry some of our gear (and we carry some of our own gear) as we follow remote trails through undulating grasslands and woodlands to the least visited part of the national park. Hiking above the forests we enter a world of granite peaks, hanging glaciers and glacial lakes as we forge a route over the John Garner Pass. From the pass we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Grey Glacier and as far as the Patagonian Ice Cap before completing a rugged descent to the shores of Lago Grey. A day is set aside to explore the surface of the Grey Glacier using crampons, which for many is a trip highlight. We continue our circuit to the south for a different perspective of the 'towers' from the 'W' trek. We enjoy forays up the French Valley and the Ascensio Valley before we finally ascend to the base of Torres del Paine for one of the most unforgettable mountain views in the world.


Details and Booking

Tour Map of Trekking the Full Torres del Paine Circuit

Trekking the Full Torres del Paine Circuit

£2429

excl. flights

12 days

Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences. Camping most nights with some hotel stays to start and throughout. Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction.

Designed for outdoor adventurers. Hungry to walk, hike, trek, bike, raft and kayak your way across the world's greatest destinations? You don't have to be a decathlete to take an Active trip, just someone with a healthy love for getting active and the outdoors.

Trekking the Full Torres del Paine Circuit

Gazing upon the towering, steeple-like peaks of Patagonia’s Cordillera del Paine for the first time, you’d swear they were lifted straight from a Lord of the Rings movie. But these massive rock formations are very real. Built for physically-active travellers, not hardcore mountaineers, this trip brings you to remote, lesser-visited sections of the Torres del Paine National Park and the truly unimaginable scenery to be found here. With top-notch mountain guides at your side, you’ll be able to concentrate on spotting condors in flight instead of staring blankly at a map.

Further Exploration for Torres del Paine

Footprint Patagonia

Patagonia

Oct 2009 (3rd ed.), 416 pages

Footprint

Lonely_Planet Trekking in the Patagonian Andes

Trekking in the Patagonian Andes

Sep 2009 (4th ed.), 284 pages

Lonely_Planet