Torres del Paine masterbook
TheTorres del Paine National Park is the most recognized tourist attraction in Chile, and its circuit W, one of the most famous trekkings in the world. There are hundreds of mountaineers and outdoor sports lovers who visit Chilean Patagonia looking for contact with nature, but they do not always arrive well prepared. Then we leave you a complete guide to go to Torres del Paine.
How is the weather in Torres del Paine?
The weather in Torres del Paine is very unpredictable, so you should be prepared for all kind of weather conditions. Rain, intense sun and of course, a lot of wind.
Do I have to physically prepare myself to go to Torres del Paine?
The National Park has trails and activities for all physical states. The range goes from easy/moderate to intense if you do O circuit. The W circuit is a bit lighter, but it does require sufficient physical condition to charge your backpack for several days. So, it is better to be in a good shape.
Are there ATMs in Torres del Paine Park?
No, there is no ATM in Torres del Paine, so we recommend that you withdraw enough money in Puerto Natales.
Is there a WiFi connection and plugs in the shelters?
The shelters have Wifi network but it is not included in the price of the programs, if you are interested you can pay it directly in each shelter (with a credit card on the page). Depending on the speed and time of use, its price goes from the US $ 4 for 30 minutes of use.
As for plugs, you can find them in the common areas of shelters and campsites, but as there is a limited amount, we recommend carrying charged external batteries. Consider that your cell phone will be in airplane mode during the trip so it will not waste a lot of battery power. Some shelters turn off electricity during the night, remember to ask at reception when checking in.
Inside the park there is no cell phone signal for Chileans either.
Is the water in Torres del Paine potable?
Yes, the water in the park is suitable for consumption.
How far in advance should I book a program for Torres del Paine?
Circuits W and O have a high demand and their quotas are limited, that is why there are dates in which the quotas are sold out months in advance. We recommend that you reserve your space as early as possible.
What is the difference between a program with accommodation in shelters and a program with camping accommodation?
In a program with accommodation in shelters you will sleep in a shared room (bunk beds), with shared bathroom, while in a program with camping accommodation you will sleep in a double private tent (including sleeping bag and insulator) with shared bathroom. It should be noted that for this second modality the tent will be set up in each of the accommodation places, that is, you will not have to transport, assemble or disarm tents, it will be prepared at your arrival.
What is the difference between a guided program and a self-guided program?
In a guided program you will make the circuit in the company of a professional guide, who will support you to have a good physical performance during the walk, and will give you information about the different places you will visit along the circuit.
In a self-guided program you will go individually and autonomously walking along the trails of the park. This second modality is possible since all the trails of the park are properly signposted. Before starting the program, you will be given an explanatory talk about the circuit and you will be given a map with all the details of it.
Can I leave part of my luggage in Puerto Natales while I am on the circuit?
Yes. You can leave all the luggage you will not need to make the circuit in the luggage storage area of the bus terminal in Puerto Natales. This custody service has a price of CLP $ 2,000 per backpack, per day. If you are in a hotel or hostel you can ask them directly for the service, most of them have it for free.
Can I leave part of my luggage at the shelters / campsite while I am on the circuit?
Shelter: Yes, you can leave all the luggage you will not need on the trails you make for the day in the lockers for free to go out with a smaller backpack.
Camping: Depending on your site, you may have a locker next to your tent (do not forget to bring a padlock for more protection). If you prefer, you can pay for a locker inside the shelter.
Should I bring food to the park?
If you hire one of our programs, you do not need to buy a lot of additional food, the lunch boxes have enough snacks and the extra weight can bother you. We recommend buying sweets or small chocolates to help you on longer hikes. In several shelters there are stores to buy basic necessities in case of need.
Is there transportation to get to Puerto Natales from Punta Arenas and El Calafate?
The companies Bus-Surbus, Buses Pacheco and Buses Fernández offer the regular bus service from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, while the Bus-Sur, Turismo Zaahj, and Cootra companies provide the regular bus service from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. To know prices, availability, and frequency of these services you should review the information published on the websites of the companies indicated.
How much weight should I carry in my backpack in order to complete the trails?
Always try to travel light. Anything you won't use is going to be an extra weight that can bother you. If you are used to trekking and walking with weight, you can load up to 1/3 of your body weight. If it's the first time you're doing an adventure like this, we recommend reducing it to 1/4 or even 1/5 of your body weight.
How to prepare the backpack to make the W circuit Torres del Paine?
Good trekking shoes, hopefully with a high top.
First Layer (long sleeves) x 1 or x 2. (Merino wool are very warm)
Boxers or long shorts x 1
Socks x 2 (for trekking, better if they are thermal)
Waterproof pants x 1 (not required .... but it can help you if there is rain, cold or wind)
Trekking Pants x 2
T-Shirts for Trekking x 2 or 3 (they can be short sleeves)
Second Layer x 1
Insulated Jacket x 1
Windsweep Jacket x 1
Buff x 2
Gloves x 1
Beanie x 1
Crocs or sandals (for shelters and bathrooms)
Water Bottle (minimum 500ml)
Sunscreen and Blistick or lip balm
Frontal Flashlight + Stack of surcharge
Personal hygiene set (including toilet paper)
Quick drying towel
Personal medicines (Paracetamol, ibuprofen, antidiarrheal, anti-allergic)
Sleeping caps (remember that you will sleep in a shared room)
Camera, GoPro, cell phones, etc.
Dry Bags (To put the clothes inside the dry bag and protect it from the rain)
Now that you have clarified all your doubts about the Torres del Paine Park
Credits: Carolina Lamatta M. – Gochile.cl