More About Torres del Paine Treks
Why Hike Torres del Paine?
Torres del Paine is Chile’s most famous national park, and is arguably the Patagonia region’s most well known destination. There is also Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park, which is phenomenal as well. Both Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine are very worth visiting, but we explain here why we chose Torres del Paine to be our main Patagonia destination.
The major advantage of Torres del Paine is it is better suited for multi-day treks, which is not only the Wildland specialty, but also we believe the best way to enjoy Patagonia. With backcountry refugios and campgrounds, it is wonderfully situated for a hut-to-hut trek across the landscapes of Patagonia. Torres del Paine also offers all that Patagonia offers: glaciers, icebergs, lakes, rivers, creeks, waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife and more.
When to Go
Patagonia is – for inhabitants of the northern hemisphere – a winter destination. It’s trails and hikes are accessible from October through March, but the peak season is December through February. If you’d prefer to see fewer people and don’t mind potentially harsher weather, then we recommend looking at October/November or March. If you’d prefer better weather and don’t mind seeing more people, then December-February is a great choice. Either way, you’re in for an incredible adventure!
Choosing the right trip
Choosing the right trip is of course a key ingredient in the “Enjoying Torres del Paine” cocktail. Here is a quick description of each trip and what interests and abilities each tour is best suited for:
- W Trek: This is the most famous hike in Patagonia. It is a wonderful all-around experience of the park in a relatively short amount of time. It is Level 3 difficulty and the trek itself is 5 days of actual hiking. Most of the time our guests stay in the refugios on this trip, but you can opt for tent camping instead if you’d prefer more privacy (refugios are communal accommodations). If you camp, you can still access the bathrooms and showers, and we will dine together indoors.
- O Circuit: The O Circuit is longer, harder and more remote than the W Trek. It also takes us up and over a pass to Grey Lake, which is a phenomenal part of the trip, and that isn’t part of the W Trek. This trek is Level 4 difficulty and the trek itself is 9 days of hiking. Most of the time our guests stay in the refugios on this trip, but you can opt for tent camping instead if you’d prefer more privacy (refugios are communal accommodations). If you camp, you can still access the bathrooms and showers, and we will dine together indoors.
- Patagonia Lodge-based Tour: This is a very popular tour. It’s a Level 3 difficulty, the same as the W Trek, but we stay at a front country hotel that is not communal accommodations. This trip overlaps with much of the W Trek with a more comfortable feel and more privacy.
- Patagonia Basecamp Tour: On this trip we combine a series of day hikes (similar to the lodge-based tour) with front country camping. This is a Level 3 difficulty trip that packs a lot of punch into 5 days, and is a price point option for budget-minded travelers.