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TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Freeport, New York
posts: 38
reviews: 52
TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

We're thinking about visiting Torres del Paine. But most of the reviews seem to involve quite a bit of hiking. My girlfriend has a very bad knee & ankle and can't do any kind of lengthy or strenuous walking. Is it worth visiting if we're mostly going to see it from a car or a bus tour?

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 880
reviews: 2
1. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Yes, especially if you have good weather the scenery is quite stunning. You can also take the cruise on Lago Grey to see the glacier close up and if you're into horseback riding you can do that at the Hotel Las Torres.

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,081
reviews: 57
2. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Absolutely. Lots of people visit but don't hike.

Rome, Italy
posts: 8
3. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Yes, you have excellent tours by bus and you can enjoy a lot Torres del Paine.

Minneapolis...
posts: 187
reviews: 2
4. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Hello NightLion,

Yes, yes and yes. If it's in your budget you could also consider one of the incredible adventure lodges in Torres del Paine that offer a range of 'a la care' excursions. Many will not be hiking intensive, rather sightseeing by vehicle and more (perhaps her knee is ok for biking?). Below is a breakdown of those various lodges in case they interest you:

1) Explora - most expensive but incredible in every way, horseback riding in addition to other excursions. Personal attention is unrivaled and the hotel maintains a sense of simple elegance.  http://www.explora.com/explora-patagonia/.

2) Tierra Patagonia - Explora's new competition, little less expensive and awesome as well. There great location and views, a great range of excursion choices, and the newest facilities make this lodge a great choice. Food range is wider and it has a younger feeling mood and atmosphere making it better for honeymoons and young couples. - http://www.tierrapatagonia.com/

3) EcoCamp Patagonia - great hiking-focused package that allows you to hike an abbreviated version of the famous 'W' while staying in comfortable accoms - much more affordable - Wildlife Safari option for a less hiking intensive itin also available. This is ideal for those who still want to feel very close to nature and may recall their camping days very fondly but prefer to leave them in the past.  http://www.ecocamp.travel/ 

4) The Singular- very new and rave-worthy. Outside of the park but with access to park in addition to more fjords and vast wilderness outside the park. Horseback riding and kayaking excursions, excursions are generally a bit less 'active'. Hands-down the best food of all the lodges. - http://thesingular.com/puertobories

5) Patagonia Camp - middle of the group pricewise - really neat 'rustic luxury' concept where you're staying in really cool yurt style safari camp. Location means a bit more driving for excursions and small size means a bit less choice each day. - http://www.patagoniacamp.com/index_eng.html

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,081
reviews: 57
5. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Jordan,

Any chance you can desist from cutting and pasting your favourite expensive places in the park?. This is NOT what the OP asked for.

Or if you do want to print a list of places, why not include cheaper places?

miami
posts: 3
reviews: 30
6. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Jordan:

THANK YOU for the concise posting about "expensive" places. Chile is expensive. Some people want expensive. Others cheap. All of us love travel.

Aruba
posts: 576
7. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Yes excellent list of expensive places. I'm planning on a visit in January and I'd love such a list of affordable places if possible. Thanks.

Minneapolis...
posts: 187
reviews: 2
8. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Hello All,

The poster indicated a need for flexibility which the inclusive lodges tend to offer, although they are generally expensive. And my particular expertise in addition to independent W hikes and locally guided multi-sport trips, tends to be at nicer places. If you're looking for a trip where you have independent transport and are looking for affordable accommodations in or near the park, I suggest Estancia Cerro Guido, which is also a great place to get some authentic Patagonian culture in addition to a comfy bed. In terms of those offering inclusive packages that are more affordable (relatively speaking; this would still be very expensive to many budgets) check out Hosteria Las Torres. Location sees a lot of traffic but the access is great, the accoms sufficient, but the overall experience in terms of excursions feels a bit more 'mass market', but that is the nature of a larger, less expensive lodge. They also do on B&B basis.

I apologize if my post offends you PeterScot; I attempt always to offer constructive and helpful comments when posting on TA, however it can be difficult to to make everyone happy: as TravelinDudeMiami thoughtfully pointed out we are a vast user community with a wide range of tastes and knowledge.

Cheers and all my best,

Jordan Harvey

Knowmad Adventurer

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,081
reviews: 57
9. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Interesting that the traveldude felt motivated to make this their first post.

Aruba
posts: 576
10. Re: TDP still worth visiting if hiking is difficult?

Thanks for the recommendation of Cerro Guido, Jordan. I checked out the website and it does look lovely.

However, we would like to maximise our time in the park and are looking for something a bit closer (we will be coming from El Calafate, have a rental car and will be staying for 3 days).

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