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Approaching Mirador las Torres with the towers coming in to view

Torres del Paine Trek

Example 8 Day Tour
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Hike the Torres del Paine! Granite peaks, enormous glaciers, waterfalls, turquoise lakes and temperate rainforests supply visitors with wonderful trekking set against an extraordinary backdrop. Its ecosystem is uniquely its own -- territory is secluded, uncharted and simply breathtaking. We'll spend 5 days hiking through this inviting landscape. Most evenings will be spent in camp sites carefully chosen for their spectacular views and easy access to the park's many refugios. Before you enter the park you'll have some time to explore Punta Arenas and the charming port town of Puerto Natales as well as mingle with penguins.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Punta Arenas
Day 2 : Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales
Day 3 : Laguna Verde trailhead
Day 4 : Grey Glacier
Day 5 : French Valley
Day 6 : Cuernos to Refugio Chileno
Day 7 : The Towers
Day 8 : Punta Arenas/Return Home

Places Visited


Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Approaching Mirador las Torres with the towers coming in to view View from the mirador at the top of Valle del Frances Atacama Moon Distant view of the towers Confronting our first glacier View of the wildlife in Torres del Paine Salto Grande Falls in Torres del Paine Good hit!

Day 1 Arrive Punta Arenas


Day 2 Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales

  • 1 Breakfast
Spend a leisurely morning in Punta Arenas. This afternoon we'll continue onward to Puerto Natales. Before continuing to the park entrance, we visit Seno Otway Penguin Reserve where thousands of Magellanic penguins come to breed each year. The penguins show little fear of humans, and various trails and blinds provide excellent opportunity to observe their comical antics. As we continue to Puerto Natales, we will receive a full-briefing on our Torres del Paine trek to prepare ourselves for the upcoming days. This evening there is time to relax, enjoy the region and to go out to enjoy a Chilean meal before our hiking adventure begins.

Day 3 Laguna Verde trailhead

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We start early and transfer to the Laguna Verde trailhead. We'll enter Torres del Paine park on a seldom-used trail; a nice alternative to prevent crowding on the trails. Our route takes us around Lake Sarmiento, along the shores of Laguna Verde and through ancient southern beech forest toward Sierra del Toro. Our 4-hour hike ends at a visitor's center where we can brush up on the park's history at the museum, and fill our back-pockets with maps and brochures on general information on the park (great tools to use when explaining your trekking adventure to those who couldn't join you on your travels). After a picnic lunch we arrive at camp along the Serrano River. The afternoon is free to spend as you wish. Optional activities include horseback riding, sea kayaking, fishing, or the simple freedom to do a little exploring on your own.

Day 4 Grey Glacier

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we transfer to Grey Beach for a walk along Lago Grey. Icebergs float quietly in the dark waters of the lake. We'll take a boat to Grey Glacier, the largest in Torres del Paine and hike toward the glacier for excellent views of this blue-icy mass. You'll have the option to continue your hike with a challenging trek toward the pass, or strap on crampons for an optional ice walk on Grey Glacier. Later in the afternoon, a four-hour hike takes us to Pehoe Lake where we'll enjoy a hearty meal at the refugio and camp along Pehoe's shoreline.

Day 5 French Valley

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we leave Refugio Pehoe and head towards the Valle del Frances. The trail into the French Valley ascends gradually through rocky terrain. After 25 minutes you reach a vantage point with terrific views of turquoise blue Lake Nordenskjold, and you can also look back at the landscape we've just passed through. Your day is spent hiking between the turquoise lake to the south and the imposing mountains and vertical rock walls to the north and below the Cuernos (horns) of black slate that sit atop the grey granite of the massif. The views are magnificient from the Cuernos refugio, nestled in the center of this landscape and protected from the Patagonian wind. The refugio provides clean dormitory style accommodations where we can swap stories with travelers from around the world.

Day 6 Cuernos to Refugio Chileno

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today's trek takes us from Cuernos to refugio Chileno. We'll walk in the foothills of the Horns of Paine with Lake Nordjenskold to our right. The lake offers a chilling dip for those brave enough to enter its waters (I dare you!). We'll have our meals at the refugio, but spend the evening in a quiet camp site. An early afternoon arrival allows for some down-time to relax along the river. Enjoy the quiet beauty of a Patagonia evening.

Day 7 The Towers

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we tackle the fantastic los Torres (the Towers) and hike to the foot of the gigantic spires of El Paine (8 hours roundtrip). Weather permitting, we'll witness the most famous sight of the Torres del Paine - the three granite monoliths reaching 9,400 feet and testifying to the massive glacial forces that carved them out of the earth. The climb is steep, traversing rocky trails, rivers and valleys, but incredibily rewarding. Satisfyingly exhausted, we'll return to our campsite at refugio Chileno for dinner.

Day 8 Punta Arenas/Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Rise early and stretch your legs on a one-hour hike to meet up with our transfer back to Punta Arenas, return flight to Santiago and catch your international flight home. With a few more days, you can add extensions to the Atacama Desert, Isla Chiloe, a cruise around Tierra del Fuego to Argentina, or rafting in the Lakes District to continue your Patagonia travel adventures.
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  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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