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“Breathtaking”

Torres del Paine National Park
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$219.00*
and up
Private Tour: Torres del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave with Lunch
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A hiker's dream, this national park contains huge granite mountains surrounded by clear lakes and a series of well-maintained trails that vary in degree of difficulty.
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
144 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Its been a year since I went here and when I look at my pictures it looks like it was yesterday. Breathtaking place. Weather was unpredictable. We took a 8 hour trekking about to base towers. It started with sun, wind, rain and ended with snowfall. It was an experience I will never forget. Though trekking was tough it was worth it. We encountered sand twisters and strong winds. On our way up and down we meet many tourist. The entire park is worth a visit. There is a small lodging available in the midway while trekking to base towers, they have clean bathrooms and food available.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Priyadarshini R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Moraga, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“What you need to know ahead of time”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I completed the "W circuit" in 5 days, west to east. In my opinion, this is what you need to know for your preparations:
- The weather is unreliable and highly unpredictable. However, you need to book the Refugios way ahead of time... That means that if you are doing Refugios, accommodation arrangements are inflexible in a park where flexibility is a big plus. That's an argument in favor of backpacking vs. Refugios. But if you are like me, with little desire to carry tents, mats and sleeping bags, and if you only have 5 days to do the whole thing (and no spare days), you have to take what the park gives you. Take it easy and pray for good weather. Once you start walking your route is fixed and booked.
- You can't call the Refugios to change plans- they don't have a telephone. Communications inside the park is by radio only. The only Refugio with email service (no wifi, just a station that uses satellite) is Paine Grande. You will be disconnected from the world, hurray!!
- Doing west to east or east to west does not make a lot of difference. It really doesn't matter, compared to the other big factor: weather. You want to have the best weather for day 3, when you visit Valle del Frances in between Refugio Cuernos and Refugio Paine Grande, and for the sunrise in the Torres (morning of day 2 or day 5, depending on your direction). Since day 3 is right in the middle, going in either direction does not change your weather for day 3... But for the Torres, I'm glad I walked West to East because the best weather came at the end. But that was pure luck and I could have been the victim of the exact opposite situation. In any case, is not like you have a lot of flexibility. So again, pray for good weather, but if you could manage the schedule a bit, great weather is not that important in the West side of the W. Watching the glacier in not so good weather works just fine- while missing the Torres because of heavy fog could be very disappointing. By the way, it doesn't matter if you go in spring, summer or fall... you can get a storm at any time of the year.
- Some of the best views of the Cordillera Paine cannot be seen from the W circuit. It's not a bad idea to budget 1-2 extra days to have a more complete experience. I didn't do this... but I'm committed to come back to explore other areas of the park. By the way, the park is huge and the W is just a piece of it.
- You can't start a fire anywhere in the park, so no hot food for you unless purchased in the Refugios at somewhat abusive prices.
- Refugio Grey is a great place and by far my favorite Refugio. The ice trekking in the Glacier with BigFootPatagonia turned out to be amazing. I strongly recommend it.
- While people fantasize with the Torres, I found that the glacier, the Cuernos and the Nordenskjold lake are probably as interesting and beautiful.
- If you are from the US, try to stay calm and avoid jealousy when you learn that your European counterparts are taking 2, 3, 5 months off, while you're in a hurry to get the most out of your more limited vacation time.
- If you are taking a regular bus between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales upon landing at the airport, BOOK THE BUS in advance. I almost messed up all my plans for not doing this. I arrived late and there are only 1-2 buses departing Punta Arenas after 7pm. If they are full and they don't have booked passengers to pick up from the airport, they may not stop.
- There are plenty of electrical outlets in all Refugios... so you can reload your camera batteries.
- Trails are very well marked with the exception of the path between Campamento Italiano and the Mirador beyond Campamento Britanico, which is not too bad. You don't need GPS!
- Give some time to watch the fauna outside the W. There is a very nice trail starting from the Laguna Amarga gate that is full of guanacos and carcasses... the puma eats there.
- Enjoy! This is a truly phenomenal place.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank cazaresil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
227 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Even if the weather is poor it can look terrific.”
Reviewed November 22, 2013

A magnificent landscape and if you manage to have some fine weather with little wind then so much the better. Almost a 360degrees of mountain scenery with magnificent views from many vantage points. Things are not cheap in the park and at the peak season you will quickly need to decide what you want to do or else you may miss out if you have not pre-booked. This is quite a remote and limited season area so that partly explains the high prices.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Spectacular Landscape”
Reviewed November 19, 2013

We had the opportunity, last summer to visit with my family, Torres del Paine National Park, in one day trip starting very early, 5.30 am, our trip began in a comfortable minibus direct to Puerto Natales, 4 hours away from Punta Arenas, region´s Capital. After a short stop there, we went on to Paine´s, where we enter the park around 11.am, a beatifull landscape and many picture breaks took us around the park, in about 7 hours, Serrano River, Grey lake wich is glacially fed, Dickson and Sarmiento´s lakes, are fantastic, many cascades and wild animals (foxes, llamas and condor) were on a close look, that´s what definitively caught our hearts and minds on this tour. lunch breaks and bathroom stops were an asset too, so We´ve only recommend to all, to come and will never forget this visit to the recognized 8th wonder of the world. To finish, we got back to Punta Arenas around 23.00 hrs. and directly to the hotel were we talked about a surprising day wich will stay in our memories forever.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank richpineda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Uauuuuu!”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

One of the most beautiful places i've seen in my life!
The views, fauna, flora, lakes, glaciers and amazing rivers made this trip a very special vacation.
The sounds (and the slence), the smells and the feelings become almost overwhelming due to its uniqueness and strenght.
A must see!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Alfredo H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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