Trekking Torres del Paine 7D Tour

EcoCamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile. The region’s first fully sustainable accommodation south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers upscale camping in geodesic domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants. Enjoy trekking through scenic landscapes by day, past rivers, mountains and Patagonian wildlife, and relax in EcoCamp‘s domes at night with delicious food and wine.

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

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.

This Trek departs every Monday on regular dates, from October to April – Ask us for private departures.

Starting / Finishing Points

The trip starts on Monday’s morning in Punta Arenas. Pick up times are between 10:15 and 15:30 hrs at the airport. The trip finishes on Sunday at Punta Arenas Airport at 15:00 hrs or later depending on the group flight schedule. For domestic flights you have to be at the airport 1 hour before the flight leaves. You can also either start or finish in El Calafate city, Argentina, regular tickets included, check last section.

Day 01

Monday, the Patagonic Adventure Starts…

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park.

En route we make a couple of stops – First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of “Seno de Ultima Esperanza”, where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen.
The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there’s plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.

/ Lunch / Dinner /

Day 02

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.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner /

Day 03

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 Here we picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn’t keen on resting. Then we descend through a rippling terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. We organize our luggage, relax and enjoy a replenishing dinner.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner /

Day 04

Thursday, Torres Del Paine’s Big Daddy is on the Way: Glacier Grey!

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

Today we hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. We enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the blue face of Glacier Grey. There’s lots of time to marvel at this calving glacier during the boat ride across this lake, with its floating pieces of ice. From Lake Grey’s southern end we transfer to EcoCamp. Occasionally the weather may not permit us to sail across the lake, or during Shoulder Season (October and April) the sailing might be cancelled if the required minimum of 10 passengers isn’t reached. In this case we will trek up to the sightseeing point offering a spectacular view of the Glacier. Then we’ll return on foot to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to Pudeto‘s dock, from where we’re driven back to EcoCamp.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner /

Day 05

Friday, the Great Challenge: The Mighty Torres Del Paine

Torres Del Paine NP, Chile

Time for a big breakfast and lots of enthusiasm – Our goal today is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres Del Paine NP! We walk from the camp site towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower’s eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world’s most famous views overlooking the Towers.

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. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner /

Day 06

Saturday, Soft Day in the Eastern Lakes

Today is a relaxed day after yesterday’s challenge. We set off leisurely after breakfast and drive to Laguna Azul passing by Cañadón Macho, home to a rich fauna including guanacos and Ñandu. We stop en route to enjoy views of the Patagonian steppe and the towers from a different angle. At Laguna Azul we hike to the viewpoint where we have a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and granite towers. After lunch we drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. As we walk northwards along the trail we see fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! We pass by Goic lagoon and after an approximate 5 km relaxed walk we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we’re picked up and driven back to EcoCamp to celebrate over our farewell dinner.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner /

Day 07

Sunday, Adios Torres Del Paine!

Punta Arenas, Chile

We board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas in time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Or, alternatively, we board an early morning vehicle to the border to continue our journey to El Calafate.

/ Breakfast / Box Lunch /

Trekking Torres del Paine

– 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.

– Flight tickets.
– 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.

All Mondays from October to Aril 15th.

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 – SGL ACCOMODATION
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 4×4, 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 is 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 is 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 is 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 is 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 is 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,
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.