Torres del Paine

Welcome to the Chilean hikers paradise. Read about how to get to Torres del Paine, the main attractions and things to do inside this reputed national park in Chilean Patagonia. 

Torres del Paine National Park, created in 1959, is one of the most visited destinations in Chilean Patagonia. Its first inhabitants were the Tehuelches, a native community of skilled hunters, which only survives today in Argentina. With its 227,298 hectares, extended hiking trails, glaciers, lakes and stunning mountains, the park hosts thousands of travelers per year. In 1978, the park was declared as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and the 8th wonder of the world in 2013. Impressive mountains like the Paine Grande and its famous “towers” are the natural attractions that everybody comes to see! Several glaciers that belong to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field can be seen if you walk the park. There are hotel and campsite options for those wanting to stay a couple of nights inside the park (Let’s show you things to do in Torres del Paine!).

Attractions
Attractions

Attractions

Eating & Drinking
Eating & Drinking

Eating & Drinking

Tours You Might Like

Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice

How many days should I stay in Torres del Paine?

You can do a full-day visit to the main attractions from Puerto Natales or El Calafate, but we recommend that you stay at least one night in one of the hostels,hostels or refugios inside the park. If you are really into hiking you can do the famous W circuit (4 days, 3 nights)

Best time to visit Torres del Paine

The climate in Patagonia is a very important factor to consider. The maximum temperature reaches 20 °C in summer and drops to 0 °C in winter. 

Although it is possible to visit the park throughout the year, it is recommended to do it between October and April, when you can enjoy days with more than 16 hours of light, sunny and with less rain. In low season, it is likely that many services are closed, although the lower influx of tourists can be a plus for those seeking greater tranquility on their trip.

The park officially lies in the “temperate climate of cold rain without a dry season”.

How to get to Torres del Paine?

Flight: If you are travelling from Santiago de Chile, this is the most direct and fastest way to get to Punta Arenas, the city with the closest airport to Torres del Paine National Park. With a LATAM direct flight you can reach Punta Arenas in 3h 30 min. From the Punta Arenas Airport you must continue the trip by public  bus or rented vehicle to reach the park (around 3 hours driving on paved road). And, if you are in Buenos Aires, the fastest option to get to Torres del Paine National Park is to take a plane from the Argentine capital to the city of El Calafate and then take a bus or rented vehicle to reach the park and drive for about 6 hours.

Bus: You can take a public bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales (Chile) (240  kms, approximately 3 hrs). Or you can take a public bus from El Calafate (Argentina) to Puerto Natales (Chile), a 7-hour trip (depending on the waiting time at the border crossing).

Self-drive: You drive to Torres del Paine from different points of Patagonia, such as El Calafate (Argentina), Punta Arenas (Chile) and Puerto Natales (Chile).

Can I find ATMs in Torres del Paine?

No, there aren’t. You can provide yourself  enough Chilean pesos in the nearest town (Puerto Natales o El Calafate in Argentina) Even though some hotels have credit cards, connections might be lousy due to the remoteness of some areas.

What is the proper tipping?

In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose. 

For tour guides , estimate around USD 10/15 per person, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver. In hotels, you should tip porters for handling bags:USD1.00 for every two bags.

Same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases, the housekeeping (between USD0.50 – 1.00 per night), and the concierge staff if the have helped you to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities. In Chile we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.

How much money can I spend per day in Torres del Paine?

If you haven’t booked a full-board program (all meals included) calculate some money for lunch (US 25 +) and dinner (US 40 + ) depending on the restaurants / hotels you visit. Some hotels accept credit cards, but we recommend taking cash in case the connection does not work. To have cash will help you with the tipping as well.

Do I need a visa?

When it comes to tourism purposes, nationals of certain countries can travel to Chile visa-free, provided that they will stay for less than 90 days. The visa-exempt nationals can travel to Chile with their passport and obtain a Tourist Card (Tarjeta de Turismo) from the immigration authorities upon the border crossing. Learn about countries requiring a visa to visit Chile here.

What to include in your luggage

Torres del Paine National Park is characterized by having an unstable trans-Andean climate, with strong winds, especially in summer. The average temperature in summer is 12 ° C, with a minimum of 0 ° C and a maximum of 23 ° C, the annual precipitation reaches 700 mm.

Warm clothes and fleece are always a great choice because they will warm you and protect you from the winds, quick-drying clothes (the advantage of special fibers is that they dry very quickly and the body does not get cold), windbreakers and / or waterproof jacket, walking shoes and sunscreen. Dress up in layers. So this could be your packing list:

Tickets to Torres del Paine National Park

The entrance fee to the park is unique, independent of the length of stay of the person who pays it and varies according to season. 

During the high season (that is, from October 1 to April 30) only cash payments are accepted in Chilean pesos, dollars or euros. The entrance fee for a foreign adult is 24USD. During the low season (that is, from May 1 to September 30) only Chilean pesos are received and the ticket price is 15USD.

Where to go for a run in Torres del Paine?

It all depends on where you are staying. If you are staying in the hotels within the park, the possibilities are endless since contact with nature and the large expanses of green invite you to run everywhere. If instead, you are staying in Puerto Natales, a good option for running is the waterfront (Avenida Pedro Montt), that features an incredible view of the sea.

Where to meditate?

In the same way as with physical activity, meditation can be practiced in any corner of Torres del Paine. Contact with nature and with the impressive landscapes that this corner of the world offers invite you to connect with the environment and with yourself.

Where to watch the sunset?

  • Hosteria Pehoe

From this inn, both sunrise and sunset are dreamlike. If you don’t stay there, you can visit the restaurant, organize an early dinner and take a few photos of this fairytale sunset

Sustainability

Sustainability

Torres del Paine

Local businesses

 

  • Etnia Patagonia

Etnia fabrics are handy made with sheep’s wool and alpaca. In addition, handicrafts with recycled materials and souvenirs are also offered. Only products made in Chile are marketed in a sustainable way. You can learn more about Etnia here

Address: Manuel Bulnes 1004,Puerto Natales, Patagonia,Chile.

Mon – Sat: 10:30-20:00 hrs, Sun:11:00-13:00 hrs

 

  • Ñandú Artesanías

Ñandú Artesanía is a meeting place for typical products from Chile and Patagonia. In its premises in Puerto Natales, Cueva del Milodón and Villa Cerro Castillo you will discover handicrafts, jewelry, wooden figures and souvenirs, books, tourist guides and maps, as well as accessories with regional motifs such as hats, blankets and jackets. 

Address: Capitán Eberhard 301, Magallanes Puerto Natales, Chile

Mon-Sat: 09:00 – 22:00 hrs, Sun: 10:00-22:00 hrs

 

Who to meet

 

  • Artisanal fishermen in Puerto Natales

On the Puerto Natales waterfront, in the southern sector, there is a great diversity of boats at the dock. Meeting the artisanal fishermen while they engage in their typical activities is a very special experience that will bring you closer to the native traditions of the area.

How to help

 

  • AMA Torres del Paine

In November 2004, the AMA Torres del Paine Environmental Group was formed, with the aim of supporting and financing research for the development of programs aimed at environmental care and preservation. AMA’s goals include supporting conservation, scientific research, and environmental education. These activities within Torres del Paine National Park and surrounding areas can minimize negative impacts and reduce the risk of future environmental problems, while maintaining the area’s natural and cultural resources. You can learn more about AMA here

 

  • Torres del Paine Legacy Fund

This project seeks to ensure a sustainable future for Torres del Paine National Park and its surrounding communities. At Torres del Paine Legacy Fund they see the growth of tourism as an opportunity to create a positive impact, uniting travelers, residents, the public and private sectors to carry out local sustainability initiatives that strengthen the long-term health of the region. 100% of all donations go directly to sustainability initiatives that preserve, support and celebrate the park and its surrounding communities. To make a donation, please follow this link

 

Sustainability tips

 

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.