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Patagonia Itinerary – 10 Days in Torres del Paine


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When you think about epic adventure destinations around the world, Patagonia and more specifically, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile checks all the boxes. It has vivid turquoise lakes, sublime glaciers, towering mountains, jaw-dropping hiking, doe-eyed guanacos, cunning puma, and Indigenous paintings. It is wild upon wild here.

Dreaming about Patagonia is one thing but planning it is something else. As you delve into all the major and subtle details about how Torres del Paine has to offer, the different ways to do it, and how to assemble it all together, you realize that there is a lot to take in. That is why we’ve put together an extensive Patagonia itinerary that covers 10 days in Torres del Paine that will get you on the right track.

Read more about Patagonia

How to get a deal in Torres del Paine?

  • We are currently offering two different offers with the companies we personally worked with in Torres del Paine. With Chile Nativo, if you use Going Awesome Places as a referral, you’ll save 5% off one of their available packages.

Here’s what we’re covering:

10 Day Patagonia Itinerary in Torres del Paine

las torres base viewpoint at sunrise in 10 day patagonia itinerary

For some, Patagonia is the outdoor gear company. For many, it’s that famous shot of the Base of the Towers that the location evokes. Whether you knew it or not, Torres del Paine National Park is where you were thinking about in Patagonia.

The region of Patagonia encompasses two countries and starts at the end of the continent to a quarter of the way up the length of Chile. It is a big area but for any first timers, most people will either focus on Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina.

This 10 day Patagonia itinerary focuses on Chile and making sure you see as much as you can in the legendary Torres del Paine.

The construction of this itinerary heavily relies on two trusted leaders that operate in the national park – Chile Nativo and Hotel Las Torres. The first 5 days are part of the Multisport Torres del Paine tour package with the Puma Tracking add-on combined with a 3 night all-inclusive at Hotel Las Torres.

It’s one way of an infinite number of ways to put an epic adventure together but we feel that this captures the magic of Torres del Paine by allowing you to feel and see as many different things as possible instead of just focusing on one particular trail.

How To Use This Itinerary

If you’ve seen our other trip itineraries, you’ll know that we love to get into the nitty gritty. Too often, we read itineraries that loosely go through what’s on the program but don’t give you a real sense for what every day is like.

This itinerary is a close replica to what I was fortunate enough to do on my first trip to Patagonia. It’s meant to show you how 10 days could potentially look like and reinforces what why you don’t need to do the W Trek in order to see the best that Torres del Paine has to offer.

Uncovered in each day are details that tour operators and other online guides simply don’t get into. These are drawn upon my own questions I had as I was planning this leg of our larger month in Chile (coming soon).

Where you’ll also find a lot of value is in the downloadable Google Sheet of the itinerary to help in planning your trip, the interactive maps, and alternative ideas that we suggest (look for the box a little further down).

Something to keep in mind is that these 10 days don’t include the transit days from your home country or other parts of South America you might be coming from or going to.

Lastly, we understand that itineraries like this aren’t one-size-fits-all. Feel free to use bits and pieces of it as inspiration and mold it to your own trip.

What You Need To Know Before Planning Your Trip

There’s a lot more to cover and before even getting into this 10 day Patagonia itinerary, there’s foundational knowledge you need to know. Instead of packing this itinerary with those details, we recommend you head to our Torres del Paine travel guide (coming soon).

This will help you answer the basics such as:

  • Where is Patagonia?
  • What is the difference between Chilean and Argentine Patagonia?
  • What’s different at Torres del Paine post-pandemic?
  • How many days do you need?
  • How to get to Torres del Paine?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is it safe?
  • Where should you eat?

How Come The W Trek Isn’t On The Itinerary?

The elephant in the room is why the W Trek isn’t part of this Torres del Paine itinerary. Let me explain why it isn’t on here.

In planning this trip, I’m sure you will end up feeling like I did, that you have to decide between the W Trek or get to see other parts of the park that are equally as incredible.

It’ll feel quite binary until you dig deeper and realize that you can actually see a great deal of the W Trek without actually doing it and that’s when my mind was made.

We delve into more of it in our piece on Why You Don’t Need To Do The W Trek but essentially, I opted for less punishment on my knees in favour of see more of Torres del Paine.

I know, not all of you will agree with this approach but as you follow through this itinerary and compare with others, you’ll see that you’ll get to see and do so much. There are tradeoffs of course, but I definitely didn’t come away from the trip with too much FOMO.

Special Discount with Chile Nativo

chile nativo patagonia discount and promotion

Chile Nativo was the main operator I used for my trip to Torres del Paine and they are the leaders in helping organize independent W and O treks but also do incredible guided experiences in the park.

We have your back! We’ve negotiated a special 5% promotion with Chile Nativo. This applies to existing packages that they offer but not add-ons & upgrades or fully customized tours.

How? Type in “Going Awesome Places” under “Referral discount”. Simple as that!

Day 1: Hike Estancia Lazo to Weber Bridge

lazo weber hike panoramic view in torres del paine national park
Panoramic view with Weber Bridge below

For most people coming into Patagonia, you’ll be catching a flight from Santiago in Chile to the Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. We recommend that you arrive the day before so you can get organized as this is your only chance to stock up.

Before we begin, a few things you should do Puerto Natales on Day 0:

  • Purchase a prepaid Entel SIM from a convenient store or pharmacy such as Cruz Verde.
  • Ask the hotel reception to help activate your SIM card.
  • If you forgot any supplies (gear and food), buy them here. There are no shops in Torres del Paine.

On your first day, you’ll be picked up by your tour operator and the private transfer will take you directly to Estancia Lazo.

Estancias are essentially privately owned ranches that you’ll find all over this region of Chile, typically used for raising livestock such as sheep or cattle. Many of these have started to incorporate tourism into their livelihood.

With Estancia Lazo, you get exclusive access to their 13,000 hectares and a rarely seen view of the Paine Massif along the shores of Laguna Verde.

From private lands, you’ll hike directly into Torres del Paine National Park and along the way, you’ll see a part of the park that is teeming with wildlife. Passing through native forests in the valley, you’ll have a chance to see condors, guanacos, owls, woodpeckers, and smaller Austral birds.

laguna honda along the lazo estancia to weber bridge
Laguna Honda

Along the way, you’ll pass by Laguna Honda before getting to the main highlight which is the Toro Lake viewpoint that has sightlines to Grey Lake, Serrano and Paine Rivers, Tyndall Glacier, Geike Glacier, and Mount Balmaceda.

Along the way, you’ll be having a packed lunch that’s provided to you as you soak in nature’s majesty. The boxed lunches consist of a delicious sandwich, fruit (apple or orange), granola bar, trail mix, and chocolate bar treat.

What you’ll really enjoy about the Lazo-Weber Trail is that it’s not a frequented hike for those visiting, so you’ll likely have it all to yourself.

Make your way down to Weber Bridge where you’ll be picked up by van and taken to your base of operations for this segment of the Patagonia itinerary – Riverside Camp.

Once your luggage arrives at your assigned Lotus Belle Deluxe Tent and you get settled in, you’ll have a bit of time to relax before everyone in the group convenes in the dining lodge.

Time in the lodge is always a favourite after a long day of hiking. With the fireplace flickering, you’ll be able to kick back on the comfy couches, share stories with new friends, and gaze out at the sun setting over Paine Massif while having a drink in hand.

Once the group is assembled, your guide will recap the day and then do a full briefing of what to expect the next day. This will go over details such as background information, breakfast times, transfer logistics, equipment recommendations, and answer any questions you have.

During the briefing, you’ll have sharable snacks for the group and your choice of pisco, beer, and wine.

Dinner is typically right after. Your camp host and the kitchen do a remarkable each night with different meals and an open bar of the drinks they have available.

Day 1 Summary

Hiking map:

Length: 2 hour transfer to Estancia Lazo, 5 hours hiking (13km/8mi), and 20 minute transfer to camp.

Difficulty: Moderate

What you’ll see:

  • Estancia Lazo
  • Laguna Verde
  • Laguna Honda
  • Toro Lake
  • Weber Bridge

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Hotel in Puerto Natales
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is it like to stay at Riverside Camp?: Our review Riverside Camp (coming soon) will break down the entire experience so make sure to read it.

Tips:

  • Get organized: Since you’ll going right into hiking, take out unnecessary things out of your day pack and re-organize them into your other bags.
  • The van is safe: Don’t worry about your luggage, it’ll be in safe hands within the van. You’ll also be able to leave loose items behind in the van if you decide to take things out last minute.
  • National park passes are taken care of: The nice thing about doing a guided trip like this is that you don’t have to stress about buying the tickets online ahead of time. They’re just ready for you.
  • Get acquainted with your tent: It shouldn’t be too hard to get things set up in the tent. The trick will be to be efficient with how you charge your devices everyday. You can charge in the adjacent wooden shelter which has an outlet but since the dining lounge is more comfortable, bring all of your equipment there to maximize on charging time.

Looking for the full Patagonia itinerary?

Simply subscribe to be an Insider and get access to the 10 day Patagonia itinerary in an easy-to-use and copy-able Google Spreadsheet will be given to you right away in this box. Submit your e-mail and the download link will appear right in the form. You’ll also be enrolled in the weekly flight deal newsletter!

Day 2: Horseback Riding to Tyndall Glacier

tyndall glacier horseback riding day 2 of patagonia itinerary

Once you see the expansive plains, wide valleys, fast-moving rivers, imposing glaciers, and impassable mountains, you’ll understand why horses are so important to living and surviving in Patagonia.

In fact, the rugged landscapes have been explored on horseback long before hiking on trails became popularized here. That’s why we say that you haven’t really experienced Torres del Paine unless you’ve been riding in the wild country.

Originating from Argentina, the nomadic horsemen and cowhands of this region are called gauchos and those that specialize in pathfinding with horses are called baqueano. Think of them a close cousins to the cowboy in western North America.

After a hearty breakfast in the dining lodge, you’ll be transferred over to Pampa Lodge which is south of Riverside Camp and a mere 10 minute drive. The horses and your baqueano guide will meet you right by the lodge and you’ll suit up helmets and half chaps (equestrian gaiters) and get assisted onto your horse.

When it comes to horseback riding, they are designed for both novices and experienced riders. Your baqueano will provide a quick lesson including the western style of riding with a loose rein in one hand and the double-kiss to get your horse’s attention.

Starting from Riverside Camp, you’ll ride towards a secret trail towards a valley that borders Torres del Paine.

Expending less energy throughout the day, you’ll be able to hone in on the gorgeous landscapes of lakes and wetlands while the postcard views of Paine Massif are always in sight.

You’ll eventually make it to a lookout point where you’ll see the lesser-known Tyndall Glacier. This is easily one of the largest glaciers that’s fed by the South Patagonian Ice Field and falls towards Lake Geike.

You won’t be able to get closer to the glacier since it’s closed to tourists, but you’ll see how it has retreated significantly as it used to be in direct contact with the lake.

The lookout is your lunch stop.

horseback riding along serrano river on second day of patagonia itinerary with chile nativo

For the second half of your ride, you’ll take a different route back towards camp, this time following the shores of Serrano River.

At the end of your ride, you’ll arrive back at Pampa Lodge where your private transfer will be awaiting your group to take you back home.

Back at Riverside Camp, you’ll be able to build a bit of a routine, putting your bags down, re-organizing for the devices you need to charge, showering, joining the group for the briefing, followed by dinner.

Day 2 Summary

Hiking map:

Length: 6 hours of horseback riding with a mix of slow riding, trotting, and cantering.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

What you’ll see:

  • Tyndall Glacier
  • Serrano River

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Tips:

  • Pack different for horseback riding: Ask your guide whether your day pack is suitable for horseback riding. You may not be able to bring a very large backpack especially if there are opportunities for galloping. We suggest a smaller sling or packable backpack to keep things light. The baqueano may also have a saddle bag if you want to carry something larger. Make sure to ask.
  • Wear pants with zippered pockets: You’re definitely going to want to carry your phone but you’ll need a place to put it while not in use. Open pockets are dangerous because your phone might pop out.
  • Your tent is safe: Your tent is very safe but if you’re worried about your belongings, you can make sure your valuables are inside your locked suitcase. If you want to be extra careful, you can always let the camp staff for a lock and key for your tent.
  • Prepare a separate tip: Since the horses and baqueano come from a different operator, have your tips ready because you won’t have a chance to get sorted after the ride. The general guidance is $10 to $15 USD per person for guides.

Day 3: Hike French Valley

lake pehoe catamaran ferry for french valley day hike

As part of the W Trek, French Valley is the middle section of the hike. This is a deep natural valley carved into the mountains that features a hanging glacier, granite peaks encircling all around, a lush and dense forest, with a picturesque river flowing through it.

Your morning starts in the dining lodge where a spread of breakfast items will be ready for you including cold cuts, cheese, bread, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pastries, and of course, coffee.

From Riverside Camp, you’ll take a 30 minute scenic drive north into Torres del Paine and eventually make it to Pudeto Pier.

Depending on the time of year, your schedule will vary because everything depends on the catamaran ferry. The full schedule reveals that in the low season, there’s only 1 morning ferry a day and at high season, there are 2. This ferry are first-come-first-serve. As there are no seat reservations, you’ll get there with a lot of time to spare to make sure you get on (at least 30 minutes).

The first part of the French Valley day hike experience is the ferry ride itself. The best views are on the upper open deck of the catamaran. For 35 minutes, you’ll get stunning views of the Los Cuernos mountain, so have your camera ready.

Your hike starts at the Refugio Paine Grande. After a quick bathroom stop, your group will embark on the famed section of the W Trek.

The first section is a traverse is relatively flat and will get you nice and warmed up. Along the way, you’ll have a great view of Lake Pehoe, Lake Skottsberg, and Cerro Paine Grande.

Crossing over a bridge, you’ll make it to the currently closed Italian Campsite (Campamento Italiano), the entrance and start of French Valley.

You’ll be scrambling boulders and following the French River upwards through the glacial moraine. While focusing on your steps, don’t forget to look up because eventually you’ll see the glacier clinging onto the mountain to your left.

There’s an ethereal quality to this hike as the tumbling of water is never far away and the greenery of the forest blanket the valley provide a calming zen quality, and the mountains act as sentinels guiding your way.

Don’t be fooled though, the terrain gets increasingly steeper and challenging with the boulders that you’ll need to maneuver around.

french valley viewpoint in torres del paine

Your reward is the French Lookout (Mirador Valle del Frances) with beautiful panoramas of the valley below, French Glacier, and mountain peaks all around. You’ll also be having your packed lunch here.

The power of the glacier can often be heard and felt with the thundering crunch from subtle movements or the glacier calving.

In most cases, this’ll be your turn around point. There’s an additional viewpoint called the British Lookout but that’s another 1.5 hours upwards which there may not be enough time to do.

Hike the same way back. This part of the hike will usually be at a fast pace because your guide will be focused on getting the group back to the catamaran at least 30 minutes before departure (5:30PM for 6PM departure). Again, you’ll be able to use the bathroom at Refugio Paine Grande before the boat ride.

Take the ferry back across Pehoe Lake, where your van will be waiting to take you back to the Riverside Camp.

Similar to the previous days, you’ll be have some time to relax and wind down before the group briefing and dinner.

Day 3 Summary

Hiking map:

Length: 30 minute transfer to catamaran, 35 minute catamaran ferry, 7-8 hours of hiking (17km/10.6mi), 35 minute catamaran return ferry, and 30 minute return transfer to camp. It’ll take 2-2.5 hours to get to the Italian Camp. The ascent to the French Lookout is 60-70 minutes.

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

What you’ll see:

  • Lake Pehoe
  • French Lookout

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Tips:

  • Catamaran is cold: The morning ferry ride on the second deck can get pretty chilly so make sure to bundle up before going up.
  • Dress in layers: The start of the hike is also cold but once you get going, you’ll warm up and you’ll have to lose layers. From toque/beanie, gloves, and waterproof jacket, you’ll get down to hat and sweater quickly. Remember to check out our Patagonia packing list.
  • Ask about the British Lookout: The view from the French Lookout incredible but if you’re gung ho on making it up to the British Lookout, make sure to bring it up to your guide to find it whether it’s possible or not with your group. If you do it, expect a pretty aggressive pace.
  • New horse trail: Newly reopened is a trail that used to be for horseback riding that allows you to create a loop trail for this day trip to the French Valley. You take this route on the way up to the lookout and come back down the standard route. If this isn’t suggested, ask your guide.

Day 4: Kayak Amongst Icebergs in Grey Lake

On the previous day, you did one arm of the W Trek. On day 4, you’ll get to see a part of the W Trek from a completely different vantage point. Instead of hiking out to a viewpoint of the Grey Glacier, you’ll be paddling with the icebergs that break away from that same glacier.

Following an early breakfast, you’ll get a private transfer to Hotel Lago Grey.

The stop at this hotel will allow you to use the bathroom and you’ll do a quick briefing by the sea kayaking operator, Kayak Sin Fronteras.

From there, you’ll walk down to the open shores of the lake where all of the equipment will be waiting for you. One by one, the kayaking staff will help each person with the full dry suit, sea kayak skirt, life jacket, helmet, and paddle.

You’ll be buddying up with someone else in your group as they only offer double kayaks for safety reasons. The guides will also go through a safety briefing and mini lesson on paddling.

In the calm of Grey Lake, you’ll head out in the water one by one, following a straight line path set out by the lead guide. The first section of the paddle will have you making your way towards the Grey Glacier, weaving amongst the floating icebergs small and large.

This is the best part of the day because you’ll be able to get up close to these unique natural ice giants that have been sculpted by wind and sun.

Depending on the water conditions that are highly influenced by the wind, you’ll paddle the lake for 2 hours. Afterwards, you’ll start turning back and make your way down the Grey River which meanders through canyons and easy rapids.

The group’s pace will also dictate how far down the Grey River. In our case, we spent so much time in Grey Lake that we had lunch near Hotel Lago Grey and got out of the water by the first bridge that crosses Grey River. If the group is fast, lunch is at that bridge crossing, and you paddle all the way until Grey River meets the Serrano River. From there, you can pretty much paddle right to Riverside Camp.

Once you arrive back to camp, you’ll want to relax your muscles with a hot shower and a pisco in hand in the dining lounge for the briefing and dinner.

Sleep early because you have a BIG day tomorrow.

Day 4 Summary

Kayaking map:

Length: 30 minute transfer, 4-5 hours of paddling (25km/15.5mi), 10 minute transfer back to camp.

Difficulty: Moderate

What you’ll see:

  • Grey Lake
  • Grey River
  • Serrano River

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Pop up lunch site by the lake or river.
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Frequently asked questions:

  • Does it get cold? The dry suit will keep your body very warm. The only part that might get cold are your hands if the water drips down the paddle and to your hands.
  • Do we get to kayak right up to the glacier? You’ll be able to see Grey Glacier from the water but you won’t be kayaking right up to it. If you look at the length of the lake, you’ll going 1/4 of the way. A big part of it is that the water gets quite rough as you get closer.
  • Pick your kayaking partner ahead: Depending on your skills and photographing priorities, pick a partner for your double kayak. The one in the rear is doing most of the steering and will be using more power. The front can slack a little, making it better for the photographer of the duo.
  • Can I take photos? Using your own waterproof phone pouch or borrowing one from the outfitter, you’ll be able to use your phone to take photos without worrying about the water. If you want to bring a larger camera, you can either have it accessible in a dry bag secured by the kayak’s bungee cords or you can keep it between your legs underneath the kayak skirt. In both scenarios, you’ll have to stop paddling, open the skirt or 20L dry bag, use the camera, and put it back. It’s not easy but do-able and it helps to have a good kayaking partner.
  • Can you take a single kayak? They only offer double kayaks because they aren’t able to gauge how much experience everyone has. The double kayak is safer.
  • What kind of food will be offered during kayaking? While kayaking, your guides will have some homemade granolas to hand out. For lunch, there’s a mix of sandwiches, biscuits, fruit, coffee, and tea.
  • How rough are the rapids? The rapids on Grey River are very gentle and can barely be classified as them for anyone that’s gone whitewater rafting. For the one rapid that’s a little stronger, those that are interested can go for it but if you don’t want to do it, there’s an alternate route with no rapids.

Tips:

  • Gear up for kayaking: You’ll want to pack completely different for this day. Instead of your hiking backpack, we recommend that you have a dry bag with all of the things you might need in your kayak including a bottle of water, waterproof phone pouch, sunscreen, camera, GoPro, mounts, wallet, and sunglasses.
  • Dry suit: The dry suits offered are unfortunately made for men which means it’s a tighter fit around the hips for women, making it hard to put on and take off. It may help to wear slimmer and smoother pants.
  • Clothes you should wear: You might be surprised but you don’t need to wear anything too different from your regular hiking gear since you’ll be slipping into the dry suit. The only exception is that you won’t want to wear any type of shell jacket or insulated jacket. Simply wear a long sleeve shirt with a thin fleece if you need the extra warmth and your regular hiking pants. Your shoes, hat, and gloves won’t matter since the dry the dry suit, helmet, and paddle pogies provided will cover you up. If your hands get cold easily, you could pack waterproof paddle gloves.
  • Equipment offered by the kayaking operator: If there’s any clothing you don’t need to gear that you need to leave behind, they have large duffels that will meet you at the kayak pick up point. Shoes will be in a separate duffle. They also have a selection of waterproof cases for smartphones for anyone that has forgotten.
  • Think about your GoPro set up: You can’t assume they will have a helmet or kayak with a GoPro mount so have a plan going into it. You’ll want to make sure you have a hands free solution so we recommend a GoPro helmet mount or 3-way pole which can be creatively tightened into the bungee cord. As we recommend in our packing list, make sure you have a floaty for your GoPro.
  • Prepare a separate tip: Since the kayaking experience is with a separate operator, have your tips ready because you won’t see them again after you get on your transfer back to camp. The general guidance is $10 to $15 USD per person for guides.

Day 5: Hike the Base of the Towers

las torres base sunrise torres del paine hike

This is the day that you’ve been waiting for. A trip to Torres del Paine National Park and Patagonia almost doesn’t feel complete unless you’ve conquered the part of the W Trek that takes you up to the iconic Base of the Towers.

This location comes in many names and much of it has to do with its name in Spanish or partial translation so you’ll see it being called the Base of the Towers, Mirador Las Torres, Las Torres Base, and Base of Torres del Paine.

Your day will start early because the start of the hike is a 1.5 hour transfer away on the other corner of the national park.

From the parking lot and Welcome Center (operated by the Las Torres Reserve), it starts off easy with a 20 minute flat walk where you’ll pass by Hotel Las Torres and continue onwards. Once you cross the old hanging bridge over Ascencio River, the ascent begins.

ascencio valley ascent trail for mirador las torres

This first stretch is a dramatic change in elevation with the trail splintering in a number of different ways as people over the years have tried to find easier routes. Here, you can see the deterioration of the trail with a deep ditch of mud, boulders, and streams of water. Your knees will feel the burn after this hour of climbing.

You’ll finally get a break when the trail levels out and you follow a ridge that sits above the Ascencio River and eventually leads into the Windy Pass. This area is notorious for its strong gusts that funnel through.

ascencio valley view towards chileno refugio

Enjoy this stretch of the hike as you’ll have stunning views the river below, glacier-capped mountains head, and the crawling of forests on both sides of valley.

You’ve made good progress once you get to the Chileno Refugio where many W Trek hikers make camp overnight.

The next phase of the hike will have you descend into the forest. The trail has ascents, descents, switchbacks, and bridges crossing rivers. It’s a long stretch that isn’t particularly memorable.

ranger station gate for final stretch to the base of the towers

Exiting out of the forest, you’ll get to the ranger station with multiple sign posts that indicate the conditions of the trail, last point of entry, and warnings that it gets much harder from this point forward. You still won’t be able to see the granite towers from here.

The final leg is a short distance but is the most intense because it’s a constant elevation gain. For 45 minutes your knees will be put through the ringer as you navigate large piles of rock, streams of water, strong winds, and potentially ice if you’re going in the spring or fall.

The steep moraine of boulders keeps going until it finally levels out and the towers miraculously peek over a ridge of rock.

Deceptively, it feels like you’ve made it, but you’ll need to make a short traverse across the spilling of more rocks before you ascend the full sight of Las Torres and its turquoise lake is revealed.

mirador base las torres hike sunrise view

At 900 meters above sea level, explore the various angles of view, take tons of photos, and have your boxed lunch.

The way down is the exact same route and will be much faster than the way up. That said, the steep downhill sections near the top and the initial ascent into the valley will put your knees on overdrive.

You’ll get a private transfer back to Riverside Camp where you’ll no doubt be ready to collapse. Have the rest of the day off!

chile nativo riverside camp traditional bbq dinner

Since this is the final day of the Chile Nativo 5 day Multisport package, they will end off with a big farewell dinner. Using the big grill that’s in the middle of the dining lodge, you’ll have a huge Chilean BBQ feast.

Day 5 Summary

Hiking map:

Length: 1.5 hour transfer, 8-10 hour hiking (22km/13.7mi), 2 hour transfer back to camp.

Difficulty: Challenging

What you’ll see:

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Are there bathrooms on the trail? Yes, there are bathrooms at Chileno Refugio (there may be a fee), and one at the ranger station before the final ascent (may be closed during low season).
  • Can you do the sunrise hike without a guide? Currently, you are able to but new rules will be in place soon where a guide will be mandatory.
  • How long does it take to get to the viewpoint? At a decent pace, you can make it to the Base of the Towers in just over 3 hours.

Tips:

  • Ask about sunrise: While it isn’t part of the standard program, if everyone in your group wants to do the hike at sunrise, all you have to do is ask and they could make it happen. Personally, I think this is the best way to do this hike because you won’t be distracted with the views while hiking in the dark, allowing you to make it to the top quickly and then enjoying all the views on the way back.
  • Bring your hiking sticks: If you’ve packed or rented them, today’s the day to use them. You probably won’t need them for the first half but once you get of the forest and to the foot of the moraine, that’s when you’ll really need them to help your knees. These Black Diamond hiking poles are worth the investment..
  • Temperature changes: Be prepared with layers because your body temperature will fluctuate with the amount of elevation change, and the climates will be different in the valley, Windy Pass, in the forest, final hike up to the Base of the Towers, and at the viewpoint itself.
  • Beware of ice in the spring and fall: Above the forest, there is a high chance the water freezes and you’ll find snow near the Base of the Towers. The ice is particularly tricky on the boulders because you can’t even tell they’re frozen. For the snow, crampons may be helpful.
  • No cover: Outside of the stretch in the forest, you’ll be fully under the sun so make sure you apply and re-apply sunscreen.
  • Take a break at Chileno Refugio: On your way back down, you can use their picnic tables or restaurant to buy some food and drinks.
  • Safe to drink the glacier water: You don’t need to pack as much water as you think. Start off with 1 to 1.5L of water because you’ll be able to fill up on any of the waterfalls you encounter on the trail.
  • Watch the time: Depending on the time of year, there’s a last entry sign for the final ascent. In the spring and fall, it’s 2PM. In the summer, it’s 3PM.
  • Photography: The main spots to take photos are:
    • There are a few large boulders that you can hop on smaller rocks to get to. These all make great portrait photos.
    • The outlet of water from the lake is a great spot to capture the reflection of the Towers in the water.
    • Anywhere around the edge of the lake, try to get low to capture interesting angles and reflections.
    • Climb up the rocks on the backside of the viewpoint to get photographs at a higher elevation.

Day 6: Puma Tracking

close of up 3 pumas in patagonia during puma tracking tour

Pumas are quite the elusive cat, not because they are shy, but for a long time, their population has dwindled because of a loss of land and they were being hunted as well. Thanks to the efforts of Torres del Paine National Park with an active role in rewilding and protecting the pumas, they’ve started to flourish again.

Currently, Torres del Paine has the highest concentration of pumas in the world. That makes it the best place to see them in the wild.

With a puma tracking experience like this, you really won’t know how the day will turn out. The special tracker that’s brought in will have their own intel and intuition on where the chances are to spot them. Spotting puma isn’t a guarantee so you you might see number of them or you might not see any at all.

The following is how our day worked out when Chile Nativo brought in Jose Wayaja Puma.

Puma tracking days normally start early. You’ll grab your normal breakfast at the dining lodge at 6AM and head out by 7AM. Mornings are usually a great time to spot these big cats but also because it’ll take some time to drive over to the Sarmiento Lake Gate where the puma tracker will be waiting.

The trail that starts right at the gate is the Aonikenk Trail which cuts through to the Amarga Lagoon Gate. This is a 7.8km (4.8mi) trail and one often used because even if you don’t see any puma here, it has fabulous views and has site of archeological importance.

aonikenk trail indigenous rock wall paintings

The name Aonikenk Trail comes from the fact that the Indigenous Aonikenk people used to live and roam these parts. Partway through the hike, you’ll encountered a sheltered rocky outcropping where rock wall paintings can be found.

Pumas are known to frequent these areas because there is a lot of guanacos that graze here. You’ll also see fences lining the trail which they strategically use to trap their prey.

As you walk to the trail, it’ll be hard not to miss the bones and remains of guanacos.

In our case, our tracker noticed a large herd of guanacos and echoing throughout the plains was a peculiar call, a warning if you will. By locating the solo sentinel guarding the group and making the call, it was clear a puma was near.

Just as predicted, not one, but two pumas came into sight, silently prowling closer to the sentinel. Unfortunately, the pumas were spotted and the attack was called off. They then slunk behind the hill and that was the last we saw of them.

You’ll complete the trail where your van will be on the other side to pick you up.

Next, you’ll head to Laguna Azul nearby. This crystalline lake is one of the best locations to see the Towers. Find a spot along the lake’s shores to eat your packed lunch.

The puma tracking continues and for the rest of the afternoon, you’ll drive slowly around the road to see if luck is on your side. Even if you don’t see pumas, you’ll be guaranteed to see more guanacos, rhea (small South American ostrich), and condors.

For us, our tracker got a lead on another tracker spotting 3 pumas near the side of the road and so we head there. Instead of puma on the hunt, we watched a well-known puma mother, Blinka, with her two cubs, basking in the sun from a golden grass field.

This should be a shorter day than the others so far so enjoy your last night at Riverside Camp and pack your things because you’ll be on the move tomorrow.

Day 6 Summary

Length: 8-10 hours guided tracking with varied amount of time hiking depending on puma tracking.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

What you’ll do:

What you’ll see:

  • Indigenous Rock Wall Paintings
  • Laguna Azul
  • Pumas

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast -Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Riverside Camp

Where you’ll stay:

Tips:

  • Camera gear: If you’re hoping to photograph the puma, make sure you’re equipped with the right telephoto lenses. In all likelihood, they will not be that close to you. I photographed with the OM System OM-1 and 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x lens (this has a 1000mm full frame equivalent reach). For our second puma sighting, because they were so far away, I also needed to add a 2x teleconverter to get a whopping 2000mm full frame equivalent.
  • Be prepared for anything: There’s no fixed plan for this day as it’ll really depend on where the pumas are. Just be prepared to hike because you might not be able to see them from the car.
  • Find a good position in the van: You might not have a choice in this but if you can, sit beside the window and ideally a window that can slide open. Sitting next to the van’s sliding door is also a good idea.
  • Prepare a separate tip: Since the puma tracker is a separate operator, have your tips ready because you won’t see them again after you get on your transfer back to camp. The general guidance is $10 to $15 USD per person for guides.

Save When Booking With Chile Nativo

There aren’t a lot of big deals to be had when planning a Patagonia trip but we’ve been able to secure a 5% promotion with Chile Nativo. This applies to existing packages that they offer but not add-ons & upgrades or fully customized tours.

How to get the discount? Type in “Going Awesome Places” under “Referral discount”. Simple as that!

Day 7: Relaxing at Hotel Las Torres

hotel las torres superior cipres room interior

After an action packed 6 days in Torres del Paine in this Patagonia itinerary, it’s time for a change of pace. Enter, the legendary Hotel Las Torres.

Hotel Las Torres is owned by and is on the grounds of the Las Torres Reserve. We go into more detail in our Torres del Paine Travel Guide (coming soon) but a large chunk of the national park is privately owned.

What started as a cattle ranch transitioned to focusing on tourism with a portfolio of refugios, its hotel, and NGO focused on conservation. They’ve really become stewards of the land which includes the primary start of the W Trek and the Base of the Towers hike.

Have breakfast at Riverside Camp and get your bags ready for the transfer organized by Hotel Las Torres. It’s a 1.5 hour drive and the drivers are great about making any photo stops you want along the way so don’t be shy and just ask.

hotel las torres bracelet for all inclusive guests

The check-in process is seamless. The staff there will provide you with your keys and bracelet that indicates you’re an all-inclusive guest. The only paperwork you’ll need to do is a guest information page which will also requires your signature.

You’ll head over to your room where your bags will be waiting for you. Take time to get re-organized as you’ll be here for 3 nights. All rooms at the property are well appointed with Indigenous art, spacious storage, are comfortable and cozy, and have fantastic views.

pionera bar intrior hotel las torres

Start off with lunch in the Pioneer Bar (Pionero Bar), the bar and restaurant that is at the fulcrum of the hotel, with wide open windows that brings in great light and has panoramic views of the mountains.

The bar will be one of your favourite places of the property because their bar tenders are truly experts at combining traditional drinks and adding a creative and local Patagonian twist. Each drink has its own unique persona, each elegantly presented in one-of-a-kind mix of glass and straws that have been repurposed from glass bottles and copper.

The food served here is more of the pub variety with an offering of pizzas, burgers, and traditional eats. Their own craft beer made on-site are the perfect pairing!

Remember, since you’re an all-inclusive guests, all your drinks and meals are included. The bar is almost wide open except for a small selection of premium beer, wines and spirits.

For the afternoon, you can hang out in your room, one of the lounge areas, or in one of the comfortable sofas at Pioneer Bar.

If you’re up for a few activities, here’s what we suggest:

  • Regenerative Kitchen Garden – One of the remarkable initiatives they’re doing here is growing most of the vegetables that are used by the restaurants and bar. Come here for an easy few hour tour, learning about their sustainable solutions and what’s currently growing.
  • Wellness Center & Spa – A massage session is the perfect remedy for your aching muscles. A heads up that these services aren’t included in the package

For those that don’t have all the excursions line up or have questions, drop by the Excursion Center sometime during the day or evening (they are open 9AM – 8PM).

To end off your night, have delicious dinner at either Ciorón Restaurant or Pioneer Bar.

Ciorón Restaurant is more of an upscale dining option on property, serving traditional Chilean dishes infused with a creative flair by the head chef. Look at their menu to get an idea of what they offer.

bartenders working at pionero bar at hotel las torres

You can always head to Pioneer Bar after dinner for a night cap.

Day 7 Summary

Length: 1.5 hour transfer

What you’ll do:

  • Regenerative Kitchen Garden excursion
  • Hotel Las Torres Wellness Center & Spa

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Riverside Camp
  • Lunch – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar
  • Dinner – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar or Coirón Restaurant

Where you’ll stay:

Tips:

  • You’ll have a new park pass: Hotel Las Torres will be purchasing a new pass for Torres del Paine. This will be sent to you via PDF with the QR code via e-mail. It’s recommended to take a screenshot of it since data will be spotty.
  • Book your excursions before your arrival: Especially on the first day, you won’t have time to review your excursion options and have them booked for the same day. If you follow this itinerary, let the hotel know your choices ahead of time so they can book you in.
  • There are excursion minimums: The only wrinkle in the above recommendation is that not all excursions run every day and it is very much dependent on whether the minimum numbers can be met.
  • Wellness Center & Spa books quickly: If you want to go to the spa on your first night, you will definitely need to book ahead of time.
  • Tipping: You can tip individually each time you sign the bill or you can tip at the end of your stay (they have a special envelope with special instructions on how to divide the tip)
  • Wifi: The wifi at the hotel was measured to be 11.73 Mbps down and 2.35 Mbps up. This was good for most things but for some reason I had trouble uploading IG video stories.
  • Reserve traditional Patagonian BBQ: You can only choose one night to do this at Coirón Restaurant. Find out which night is available and reserve this ahead of time.
  • Laundry service: If you need to do laundry, ask the front desk for a bag and laundry slip. This comes at an extra fee and is a-la-carte per item like other hotels.

Day 8: The Baqueano Experience

horseback riding excursion with hotel las torres to lake nordenskjold

To understand what life in Patagonia is like is to understand the baqueano and more broadly, the gaucho lifestyle. While most of Torres del Paine National Park is about enjoying nature, what’s often missed are the people that inhabit it.

Baqueanos are an integral part of this region because they are the ones that know the terrain the best. These are the cowboys that bring supplies to the refugios and campsites around the park, they wrangle the horses and cattle that roam the wild, and they also now guide visitors on trails that you can only do on horseback.

Start your morning with a breakfast at Pioneer Bar which is transformed into a buffet with an assortment of cold cuts, bread, pastries, grilled vegetables, bacon, and of course tea and coffee. You’ll also be able to get a made-to-order omelette or scrambled eggs from the kitchen.

With 200 horses under their care at Hotel Las Torres, spend a day with the descendants of the horsemen that came to Patagonia to work the ranches over a century ago between two different excursions:

  • Half Day Lake Nordenskjöld Horseback Riding – This is a great way to get comfortable with horses. From the stables, you’ll cross the hotel, Ascencio River, and out to Lake Nordenskjöld with absolutely remarkable views of the surrounding landscape. If you’re up for it, you’ll be able to get up to a full gallop.
  • Baqueano Cultural Experience – Spend an afternoon with the baqueano of Hotel Las Torres, learn about the culture of drinking mate, eat traditional sopaipillas with salsa, listen to their songs, ask tons of questions, and dive deep into what it’s like to work and live in Torres del Paine.

The nice thing about an all-inclusive stay at Hotel Las Torres is that you’ll get to relax and have a hot lunch in between activities.

For dinner, you’ll again have your pick of either restaurant depending on what you’re feeling.

Day 8 Summary

Length: Lake Nordenskjöld Horseback Riding – 8 km(5mi), 3 hrs, Baqueano Cultural Experience – 3 hours.

Difficulty: Easy

What you’ll do:

  • Half Day Lake Nordenskjöld Horseback Riding excursion
  • Baqueano Cultural Experience excursion

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar
  • Lunch – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar
  • Dinner – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar or Coirón Restaurant

Where you’ll stay:

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is horseback riding beginner friendly? Yes, the baqueanos are great about making beginners comfortable on the saddle, teaching basic techniques, and going at a gentle pace. The horses are also very well-mannered and are almost on autopilot.
  • How is the riding experience for pros? While a majority of the riding is in a line with the group, there will be opportunities when the horses can stretch their feet by giving the command to go to a faster trot, canter, or full gallop.

Tips:

  • Horseback riding: We’ve covered many of our horseback riding tips on Day 2 but to reiterate, wear pants with zippered pockets, pack specifically for the activity including a smaller daypack, and let the baqueanos know if you want them to bring your bulkier gear in their saddle bag.
  • Baqueano timing: This cultural experience is only in the afternoon. For us, this was at 4PM in September but may change throughout the season.
  • Equipment is provided: You’ll be provided half chaps and helmets. This means you won’t be able to wear a hat or beanie/toque. You can wear gloves if you feel like your hands will get cold.
  • Special requests during baqueano experience: They might not be able to accommodate but ask about learning how to lasso horses, mount horses without a saddle by using their mane, and watch a herd of horses galloping towards you.
  • Try different cocktails: The lead bartender, Federico is a genius and so creative with his drinks. While you’ll be tempted to try the different types of pisco sour, we recommend that you ask to try a drink called Runacca. Pioneer Bar is the kind of place that I wouldn’t hesitate to say “surprise me!”.

Exclusive Deal with Hotel Las Torres

Friends of Going Awesome Places will also receive a complimentary 30min back or leg massage (value: $75 USD) if you book 3 or more all-inclusive nights between now and March 31.

How to get the discount? Type in “GoingAwesomePlaces” under “Promo code” when filling out the contact form.

Day 9: Summit Cerro Paine

cerro paine summit view of the towers in torres del paine

One of the must-do hikes of Torres del Paine is Cerro Paine. It’s a hidden gem of a viewpoint that doesn’t gets mentioned often but is truly stunning.

las torres reserve territory in torres del paine
Las Torres Reserve property highlighted in yellow

When you look at the map above, the Las Torres Reserve covers a large part of the base of the Paine Massif, spanning from the French Valley all the way out to the northeast side of the O Circuit.

Cerro Paine are the parallel mountain peaks across the Ascencio River from the hike to the Base of the Towers. Notice how the reserve property line comes right up to the treeline.

As a result, the Cerro Paine hike is exclusive to Hotel Las Torres. No other guided tours can go this way which makes this an exclusive experience.

After another hearty breakfast, you’ll make your way back to the stables where you were at the previous day. The advantage of riding on Day 2 and 8 is that you’ll be very comfortable with horses at this point.

Today, your horses will be doing a bulk of the hard work, making a 300m (1000 ft) elevation gain that’ll take roughly an hour from Hotel Las Torres. Since the path will be almost all uphill, you’ll get used to leaning forward to make it easier on your horse.

By the time you stop near the tree line, the horses will be glazing in sweat like you’ve never seen before.

You’ll take off your half chaps and helmet, and the rest will be on foot.

The last section is downright impressive, with constant views of the granite towers in view to your left as you meander uphill on the rocky path. You’ll also see a trail of hikers as tiny ants on the stretch of the W Trek that follows the Ascencio River.

elevation change hiking cerro paine with hotel las torres

It’s a steep but steady climb with an elevation gain of 487m (1600ft) but take comfort in the fact that it isn’t as hard as the hike up to the Base of the Towers. There’s a lot of loose shale and rock along the way up but it’s a well-marked path and the guides will allow you to take plenty of breaks.

At the peak, you’ll be able to break open your packed lunch for the most well-deserved lunch. Look out in wonder and take in this unique view of Mount Almirante Nieto and the Towers that many rarely get to see.

The way down can be more challenging if there’s snow. There’s also a lot of loose rock to be careful with so you’ll be sticking close to the path that the guides blaze.

You’ll be glad to connect back with your horses and baqueano in the forest because that means you’ll be off your feet for the final stretch.

Break for the rest of the afternoon.

traditional patagonian bbq at hotel las torres

For dinner, you’ll have your reserved slot at the Coirón Restaurant for their legendary Patagonian BBQ. Sitting around the open stove and fire pit, you’ll see an entire lamb being roasted, in addition to a mix of vegetables.

With a healthy flow of red wine, juicy pieces of meat, salad, and finally dessert, this will easily be one of your favourite meals at Hotel Las Torres.

Day 9 Summary

Length: 6.5-8 hours, 8km (5mi) horseback, 8km (5mi) hiking.

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (if icy)

What you’ll do:

  • Mount Cerro Paine Horseback Riding & Hiking excursion

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar
  • Lunch – Boxed lunch
  • Dinner – Coirón Restaurant Patagonian BBQ

Where you’ll stay:

Tips:

  • Dress for the summit: Similar to your hike to the Base of the Towers, hike with layers. You will warm up as you ascend but once you reach the peak, it’ll get quite chilly, especially if the wind is howling.
  • Backpacks are allowed: Unlike your half day horseback ride to Lake Nordenskjöld, full packs are allowed on this because there won’t be any trotting, cantering, or galloping.
  • Ask for the tip envelope: The front desk has pre-prepared envelopes with a piece of paper where you can indicate how the money should be divided. You can be as specific or general as you want.

Day 10: Puerto Natales

puerto natales milodon sculpture at entrance to the city

Alas, all good things have to come to an end. You’ve had a remarkable time in Patagonia by splitting time between Chile Nativo and Hotel Las Torres.

After a final breakfast in the main hall of Pioneer Bar, your transfer to Puerto Natales awaits at 11:30AM (time subject to change). Before you head out, remember to check out and put your tip envelope in the special tip box.

Your transfer will take under 2 hours and you can either be dropped off at your hotel, Hotel Costaustralis, or the airport.

Depending on where you are in your trip, you’ll want to adjust the 10th day of this Patagonia itinerary accordingly. For instance, if it’s your first time here, you’ll want to go out and explore everything from the waterfront (i.e. sculptures, pier, and Milodon at the entrance). If you’ve been before, you may want to have a relaxing day at your hotel, reorganizing your pack for the next destination or flight home.

Puerto Natales is a low key, walkable, friendly, and safe city so feel free to explore the town, so much so that it has a mountain village vibe to it. A great place to start that exploration is around the main square, Plaza de Armas Arturo Prat.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, make sure to check out Pueblo Artesanal Etherh Aike, a market featuring many local artisans and crafts makers. You’ll find everything from basic magnets to large alpaca blankets.

For food, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of great Italian restaurants in town. The ones we recommend are La Guanaca Pizzeria, Mesita Grande, and Artimaña.

Day 10 Summary

Length: 1 hour 47 minutes

What you’ll do:

What you’ll see:

Where you’ll eat:

  • Breakfast – Hotel Las Torres Pionero Bar
  • Lunch – La Guanaca Pizzeria – A popular spot in town that is best known for their tasty wood oven pizzas and juicy burgers.
  • Dinner – Mesita Grande – You’ll find quite a few Italian restaurants in town and this is always packed. They have serve delicious gnocchi, pizza, pasta, seafood, and even guanaco.

Where you’ll stay:

  • Hotel Costaustralis – A large and modern hotel property in Puerto Natales with a fantastic location by the waterfront. A fantastic buffet breakfast is included.

We also recommend staying here:

  • Hotel Vendaval – A hip, modern, and clean hotel featuring a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, and garden that’s centrally located. Breakfast is included.
  • Kau Lodge – A cozy, lodge inspired hotel with rooms featuring bunk, twin, and double beds. It’s only a 5-minute walk from the main square, private parking is free, and breakfast is included.

Tips:

  • Souvenir shop stop: For your private transfer, you can request a restroom and souvenir stop at a place called El Ovejero. They’re a popular stop for tourists because they have an extensive selection of souvenirs, they sell snacks and coffee, and their restrooms are free to use. They also sell stamps here which is a big bonus if you don’t have time to make it to a Correos.
  • Reload your Entel SIM: While you can, head to the local pharmacy and reload your SIM if you’re running out.

How You Could Tweak This Patagonia Itinerary

There are so many different ways you can build a 10 day Patagonia itinerary focused on Torres del Paine. What we’ve presented is one practical way that it can be done but there are certainly things that can be swapped in depending on your interests or the amount of time (more or less) that you have.

Here are a few alternative ideas that you can also think about:

  • Add more puma tracking days – While the chances of seeing puma are quite high, you can really improve your chances by adding a second day.
  • Hike Grey Lake – This itinerary has you kayaking Grey Lake but if you want to do a hike that parallels the W Trek, you can hike out closer to the glaciers.
  • Ice hiking Grey Glacier – This is a 5 hour excursion that’ll take you right onto the Southern Patagonia Ice Field which feeds the Grey Glacier.
  • Take the Grey Lake cruise – A more popular way to see the Grey Glacier up close is to take the boat navigation across Grey Lake
  • Go cycling or e-biking – There are so many good trails to choose from including cycling around Laguna Azul.
  • Hike Pingo Valley – This is an easy but interesting hike trail that features unique geological formations, waterfalls, and views of Pingo River, and the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.
  • Hike Cerro Ferrier – This is a summit opportunity at the western side of the park that has a fantastic panoramic view of the Paine Massif and Southern Patagonia Ice Field.
  • Do the O Circuit – Also called the Paine Big Circuit, this is a 7 day trek that will take you around the entire Paine Massif.
  • Look for fossils – There is a Chile Nativo package called “Hunting for Fossils” which takes you to parts of the national park that most never get to see. A big portion of the experience has you hiking all the way out to a place where they’ve found Chile’s first complete Ichthyosaurus fossil, and many other examples by Tyndall Glacier.
  • Milodon Caves and Cave Paintings – This is outside of Torres del Paine but a fascinating part of Patagonia’s history where you’ll see caves with large numbers of cave drawings. At the Milodon Cave Natural Monument, you’ll see the remains of a large ground sloth (a mylodon).

With companies like Chile Nativo, they are capable of putting together custom itineraries so if you’re looking to do something a little different from the standard packages, they’ll be able to find a way to accommodate.

Beyond the above, keep in mind that this itinerary doesn’t include the other parts of Patagonia including Argentina, the northern parts of Patagonia (Route of Parks), and southern Patagonia (Tierra del Fuego).

Map of this Torres del Paine itinerary

The below is an interactive map broken down by layers for each day of the itinerary so you can see where things are in relation to each other within Torres del Paine.

TIP: To create a copy of this map for your own use, simply maximize the map to open it up in a new tab. From there, go into the menu and select “Copy map”. You’ll be able to make your own adjustments and open it up in the Google Maps app as well.

6 Essential Tips for Adventuring in Torres del Paine

sunrise over hotel las torres

While we’ll leave a lot of the details to our Torres del Paine travel guide, here are 6 of the primary things I came away from my trip to Patagonia that you should keep top of mind as you’re building out your itinerary.

  1. Be prepared – The details matter for this kind of trip because there isn’t a lot of margin for mistakes but working off of a solid Patagonia packing list, ready first-hand accounts like through our travel guide, and working with a good operator company will make all the difference.
  2. It’s not all about the W Trek – We write about this ad nauseam in Why You Shouldn’t Do the W Trek but you’ve seen this already in our itinerary.
  3. Get a SIM card – You can try to roam off of your home SIM but it might not lock onto to Entel which is the carrier that performs the best in Torres del Paine. We recommend that you get a prepaid Entel SIM in Santiago or Puerto Natales or find out if Chile Nativo can help.
  4. Have cash – The sure fire way to make sure you have money to work with is to convert Chilean Pesos (CLP) in your home country unless you know you’ll have time to go to an ATM or money changer in Santiago or Puerto Natales.
  5. Accept the fact that you won’t see everything – When you start digging deeper in to travel research, you’ll discover so many different viewpoints, lakes, and trails that are “must-see”. Even though 10 days is more than most people spend in Torres del Paine, you still won’t see it all so focus on an itinerary that’s well-balanced and gets you to see and do a bit of everything.
  6. Expect things to be fluid – Be prepared for things to change. Weather could happen and times may change for whatever reason. The best approach is to keep an open mind.

How Much Does This Patagonia Itinerary Cost

Calculating the costs of a 10 day trip like this to Torres del Paine is relatively easy if you don’t include the flights since the packages that we selected are all-inclusive.

Actual itinerary costs

Here’s what the costs break down to (prices in USD per person):

  • Chile Nativo 5 Day Multisport – $2,295
  • Chile Nativo Puma Tracking Add-On – $895
  • Hotel Las Torres 4 Day – $3,240
  • Hotel Costaustralis – $200
  • Meals – $20
  • Souvenirs – $30
  • Entel Data – $15
  • Tips – $365

Trip Total = $7,060

Here are a couple of notes:

  • For Chile Nativo, their prices scale based on how many people are on the tour. It is the cheapest if there are 4-8 guests in the group which is what is quoted above.
  • Prices above are also quoted for high season (November to March).
  • Tips are actual amounts that I tipped from the trip.

How this compare to other itineraries

That’s a big amount for 10 days but it may help to put it in perspective against other itineraries.

You’ll find that there’s no apples to apples comparison here because of how unique of a trip we’ve built but you can see how wide the range is.

  • Independent W Trek (5 days) with gear rental in town and cooking own food – $220
  • Independent W Trek (5 days) with equipment rented at each campsite – $300
  • Independent all-inclusive W Trek (5 days) in refugios – $1,595
  • Guided all-inclusive W Trek (5 days) in refugios – $2,395
  • Guided O Circuit all-inclusive (7 days) – $2,895
  • G Adventures O Circuit (11 days) – $3,525
  • Intrepid Trek Patagonia (10 days) – $3,981
  • EcoCamp Multisport (6 days) – $4,670
  • Quasar Patagonia Revealed (9 days) self-guided – $7,100
  • Explora Torres del Paine all-inclusive (9 days) – $22,240
  • Tierra Patagonia all-inclusive (10 days) – $25,971

Ultimately, what makes our itinerary expensive is the premium stay at Hotel Las Torres but I hesitate to replace it because of how good their horseback riding experience is and their special access to Cerro Paine.

Luckily, if you can go during the off season of April in 2023, you can save $1000 by getting 4 nights for the price of 3. On top of that, get a free 30 minute massage when you use “GoingAwesomePlaces” as the Promo Code.

Is this Patagonia itinerary of Torres del Paine for those on a budget? No, but when you put in perspective that this is, fully guided, covers 10 day, goes incredibly in-depth and shows how dynamic the park is, and isn’t as expensive as the luxury brands, you can see this having a place in the spectrum of how you can experience Patagonia.

Who Is This Itinerary For?

That leads to this final section about the ultimate type of traveller this is for.

This is the type of traveller this trip is built for:

  • Seeks adventure and challenges but also appreciates the finer things.
  • Enjoys a mix of roughing it and comfort.
  • Loves travelling deeper and having a better understanding of the land, its people, culture, and history.
  • Wants to have control of the itinerary but want the small details handled by someone else.
  • Enjoys hiking but doesn’t like the idea of trekking for 5 days.

Who this is not for:

  • Budget backpacker looking to do it as cheap as possible.
  • Someone that wants to see Torres del Paine in as few days as possible.
  • Crossing the W Trek off the bucket list.
  • Top-end luxury.

Closing Thoughts

jagged mountains of torres del paine

Patagonia and Torres del Paine is the kind of destination that has wide appeal but most know very little about it. It often starts with the image of the 3 granite towers and expands from there. Some may be drawn to the W Trek and others to the allure of exploring its magical landscapes and wildlife.

To us, Torres del Paine National Park separates itself from all other places in the world for its epic mountain scale, underrated food and culture, precious wildlife, and raw wonder.

It’s not hard to connect with nature here because you’re constantly reminded of how amazing nature is. This place is truly magnetic.

As traveller’s to this place, you experience it wild and dramatic and truly go with whatever comes your way. There’s beauty of what you expect to see in Torres del Paine but also in the unexpected whether it’s the pumas that decide to cross your path, ferocious winds blowing you aside, or the crackling of calving glaciers.

It’s a place like no other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are drones allowed in Torres del Paine?

Drones are not allowed in Torres del Paine National Park.

When is the best time of year to go to Torres del Paine?

The most popular time to go to Torres del Paine in Patagonia is November – March but the best time to go is April and October during their shoulder season because of smaller crowds and better prices.

Where do you fly into for Torres del Paine, Patagonia?

The closest airport is in Puerto Natales (PNT) which is an hour away by transfer to Torres del Paine National Park.

How safe is Torres del Paine?

Torres del Paine is incredibly safe since it is so secluded, away from a city center, and barely any instances of crime.

How many days do you need in Torres del Paine?

You need at least 5 days to see Torres del Paine but 10 days is ideal to have a more complete exploration of this part of Patagonia.

Where can you stay in Torres del Paine?

There are multiple accommodation styles available in Torres del Paine including camping, mountain lodges, glamping tents, fixed domes, and hotels.


If you’ve gotten to the bottom of this article, kudos to you! It’s a long itinerary but hopefully it provided value to you as you get started on your journey to Patagonia and Torres del Paine. If there’s something we missed in this or our other related articles, make sure to drop a comment!

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Patagonia Itinerary - 10 Days in Torres del Paine





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