TORRES DEL PAINE 7 DAYS TREKKING TOUR W
EcoCamp inside Torres del Paine National Park is the most sustainable way to visit this world famous destination. They use 100% renewable energy and electricity is very limited. Services are full board, with amazing views of the famous towers and you’ll be able to visit Milodon cave, conquer Paine Towers, sail on Grey Glacier, and trek on French Valley. If you need help buying local flights, let us know. The tour departs every Monday on regular dates, from October to April - Ask us for private departures - email@example.com DATES 2013-14 - EVERY MONDAY OCT 07/14/21/28 NOV 04/11/18/25 DEC 02/09/16/23/30 JAN 06/13/20/27 FEB 03/10/17/24 MAR 03/10/17/24/31 APR 07/14/21
Starting / Finishing Points The trip starts on Monday’s morning in Punta Arenas, last pick-up time: 12:30 pm at the airport. The trip finishes on Sunday at Punta Arenas Airport at 4 pm or later depending on the group flight schedule. For domestic flights you have to be at the airport 1 hour before the flight leaves
HIGHLIGHTS - Trek Valle Frances - Optional start in Calafate, Argentina - Catamaran cross Lake Pehoe - Sail to Grey Glacier - Full board - Enjoy EcoCamp Patagonia - The Challenging 'W' Trek - Terrific Views of Los Cuernos - Visit Milodon Cave
Day 1, Monday, the Patagonic Adventure Starts… Torres del Paine NP, Chile The trip starts in Punta Arenas city during the morning either at your hotel or at the airport. From Punta Arenas we drive to Cascada EcoCamp located in world famous Torres del Paine National Park. During summer the sun sets around 11 pm, so as you drive in you’ll have plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanaco and snow-peaked mountain horizon. Before arriving though, there are a couple stops. One is at Puerto Natales, a small but lively town on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza - “Last Hope Sound”. You are invited to check out the town, leave any luggage you will not need for the trek in our office, and finally enjoy a hearty lunch with delicious local food. The other stop is at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The surrounding area is very scenic with plenty of wild birds to be seen. The day ends with an overnight at the EcoCamp in Las Torres. / L / D /
Day 2, Tuesday, Warming up in Los Cuernos Torres del Paine NP, Chile We start our adventure in the Park with a pleasant walk through the curly Cuernos trail located beside beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this ‘appetizer walk’ we take in the park’s charming flora and fauna, its strong wind and the curious 4-seasons weather that will accompany us for the next days. As we advance through the trail we enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns which are majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. We will of course stop to get some great first shots of the park and also enjoy a delicious box lunch to energize us for the rest of the walk. The trek ends at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain refuge located by the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. The evening is left free to enjoy dinner and share experiences. / B / BL / D /
Day 3, Wednesday, Stepping into the Paine Massif’s Heart: Valle Frances Torres del Paine NP, Chile After breakfast, we begin a challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley), a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups’ rhythm. An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south east face of the Massif. From this point, we can enjoy our first truly wonderful view and then continue up the trail until reaching the upper prospects of the valley. The entire group of geological formations of the high valley can be admired here: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza! (Fortress). It is time to have a picnic and recover from the walk. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well. Next, we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located in the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. Finally, upon reaching the Refugio, the luggage is organized and there is time to talk about the day while enjoying a replenishing dinner. / B / BL / D /
Day 4, Thursday, Torres del Paine’s Big Daddy is on the Way: Glacier Grey! Torres del Paine NP, Chile Today we’ll hike from Paine Grande Lodge along the shores of mountain-lined Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the blue face of Glacier Grey. You’ll have lots of time to marvel at this calving glacier before the boat ride across Lake Grey with its floating pieces of ice. You clothes and personal belongings are once again transported separately from the lodge in duffel bags. From Lake Grey’s southern end we transfer to the EcoCamp. If the weather conditions do not allow us to navigate Lake Grey, we’ll instead hike to Glacier Grey. Then at Pudeto we’ll board the catamaran to cross Lake Pehoe. From there, we’ll take a short drive back to Cascada EcoCamp in where we’ll enjoy the night. / B / BL / D /
Day 5, Friday, the Great Challenge: The Mighty Torres del Paine Torres del Paine NP, Chile Time for a great breakfast and lots of enthusiasm! Our goal is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine NP. We walk from the camp site towards Hostería Las Torres and connect with the winding uphill path to Ascencio Valley – the valley which supports the eastern face of the Towers’ base. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers are passed along the scenic walk into the valley. It’s not a difficult walk, but energy should nevertheless be saved for the final challenge: the moraine. This mass of boulders is the last guardian before our face to face meeting with the uplifting Torres del Paine. The moraine is sufficiently steep to consider doing it slowly and with an adequate amount of precaution. After a considerable effort, the Towers come into full view, rising majestically before us with the glacial lake visible below. This is one of the most breathtaking sights of the world! The famous Torres del Paine (2, 900 m/ 9, 400 ft) consists of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. Is there any better place on this planet to have lunch? Of course! But since we are in Patagonia, at the feet of the mighty Torres del Paine, we will enjoy life, the view, and a bite to eat! Once everyone is ready, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley, and return to the EcoCamp. / B / BL / D /
Day 6, Saturday, Soft Day in the Eastern Lakes Torres del Paine NP, Chile We hike to the Laguna Azul lookout where we have a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and granite towers. We continue along the eastern side of Lago Sarmiento to the calcium formations on the lake’s shores where guanacos are often seen. Later we trek to Paso Las Corneas with spectacular views of Rio Paine, Lake Pehoe and the massif of Paine. Depending on the group, we can also hike to the Toro lookout point that offers more soul-candy scenery - Lago Toro and the Pampa, or steppe! Upon returning to the EcoCamp, a farewell dinner is celebrated. This is sadly our last night in Torres del Paine, we take notes and talk with our friends, relax, feel the strong Patagonic wind while watching the heavens above, all these days in the Park will be profound memories when we return home. / B / BL / D /
Day 7, Sunday, Adios Torres del Paine! Punta Arenas, Chile Transfer from Torres del Paine National Park to Punta Arenas airport in time to catch your flight back to Santiago or any other destination. End of services / B / BL /
Included - All ground transport private and domestic as indicated in the itinerary. - Boat crossing over Lake Grey. - 4 nights accommodation at EcoCamp standard domes (shared basis). - 1 night accommodation at Refugio Paine Grande and 1 night in Refugio Los Cuernos. - Park fees for Cueva Del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park. - One expert English speaking trekking guide. - Sleeping bag for the refugios if needed. - Transportation for your luggage within the Park: while trekking you will carry just your daypack. - Meals: As mentioned on itineraries
B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner.
Excluded - Flight tickets (we can help buying local flights for you) - Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip). - Voluntary tipping to guides and staff. - Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp or refuges. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres Del Paine NP is suggested. - Items of personal nature.
EcoCamp Located in the heart of Torres del Paine, the EcoCamp consists of tented igloo-type domes built to minimize the environmental impact while providing a comfortable setting and maximum exposure to nature. There is electricity available for charging just camera batteries (voltage: 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, two round pins plug). Food at the EcoCamp has the same quality as the one you will have on a family dinner at your home, this means it is plenty and delicious!
Standard Domes at EcoCamp For our trekking programs the accommodations at the standard domes are in a sharing basis only. There is not single accommodation availability unless a "forced" single accommodation is needed due to different gender single travelers not willing to share. Bathrooms are located in a single facility divided by gender and are shared by all the guests; they have showers with hot water.
Refuges These are typical mountain huts, open to the public that visits Torres del Paine. It has rooms for 4-6 people. The beds are single, bunk type and we will provide you with a sleeping bag and a polar fleece liner (you don't need to bring a sleeping bag!). The bathrooms are also shared and they have hot water. The refugios are heated and have a very comfortable dining area. Food at the refugios could sometimes don’t match your expectative, it is simple food prepared for mountain people with low emphasis in flavor and presentation.
Transport In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia transport is in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 persons. When we have only 2 to 4 persons we use smaller vehicles, usually 4x4, driven by the tour guide. On the regular departure trips you will share the vehicle with other EcoCamp guests joining other tours. On the private departure, the vehicle will be of your use exclusively although limited to the given itinerary and time schedules; additionally arrival and departure transfers for private groups might be shared with other passengers following our environmental policy which impel our operations to keep the ecological impact as low as possible and thus avoiding to drive the same way at the same time with two half-empty vehicles.
Weather The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, both the strong marine and the South Patagonic Ice field influence make the weather hard to predict. In spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and eventually snow. Even in summer (December to march) you should come prepared to find cold- strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfalls. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºCmax, 2ºC min).
Physical Demands This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. To enjoy this trek it is essential to be in shape before you arrive. It is not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of conditioning well before departure.
What You Need to Bring We will send you a complete pre-trip info brochure once you book including things you need to bring in detail. Meanwhile take a look of some general items to have on mind: US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP, day backpack (20-30lt), duffel bag (70 liters), waterproof trekking boots, waterproof parka & pants, inner isolating layer (fleece or wool), three changes of clothes, sun hat, sun screen, hiking socks, sandals (for after hikes), bathing suit, sunglasses, towel (optional), ski poles (optional), long underwear, extra change of socks, flashlight/headlamp, extra insulating layer (fleece, wool, or expedition weight long underwear. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BRING SLEEPING BAG.
DISTANCES AND OTHER DETAILS Day 1, Torres del Paine NP, Chile Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales: 254 km / 158 miles / 3 hrs driving. From Natales to Torres del Paine C. Torres: 147 km / 91 miles / 2.5 hrs driving.
Day 2, Torres del Paine NP, Chile Los Cuernos Trail: Approximate walking time: 6 to 7 hrs. Distance: 16 km / 10 miles Altitude: low altitude trails, no need to worry.
Day 3, Torres del Paine NP, Chile French Valley Trail: Approximate walking time: 8 hrs. Distance: 25 km / 15 miles Altitude: low altitude trails, no need to worry.
Day 4, Torres del Paine NP, Chile Grey Trail: Approximate walking time 4 hours Distance: 14 km / 9 miles Navigation time: 40 minutes Altitude: low altitude trails, no need to worry
Day 5, Torres del Paine NP, Chile The Tower’s Trail: Approximate walking time: 9 to 10 hrs round trip. Distance: 21 km /13 miles round trip. Altitude: low altitude trails, no need to worry.
Day 6, Torres del Paine NP, Chile Eastern Lakes Approximate walking time in the different trails: 3 hours Distance: 5 to 8 km / 3 to 5 miles (depending on weather conditions) Altitude: low altitude trails, no need to worry.
Day 7, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Chile From Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales: 147 km / 91 miles / 2.5 hrs driving. From Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas: 254 km / 158 miles / 3 hrs driving.