A stunning landscape of granite peaks, colossal glaciers and windswept, arid grasslands, Torres del Paine National Park is Patagonia’s most famous adventure travel destination. Easily accessible for even short Patagonian itineraries, this enthralling national park is best visited with a Torres del Paine tour.
Before you book, read our top tips for organizing and getting the most out of a tour in Torres del Paine National Park.
Decide on the level of comfort you want
As Torres del Paine National Park’s popularity and renown has grown, so have the opportunities for visiting in comfort and style. Gone are the days of nights spent in chilly tents; instead, find everything from eco-domes to luxury hotels with dramatic views of the iconic main towers of the park.
These types of tours normally involve accommodations located outside of the park’s grounds, with a guide taking you into Torres del Paine every day.
For those planning on trekking any of the park’s main trails, camping and dorm-style accommodations are available at various campgrounds en route.
Check that all meals are included
The quality of the food that you can expect to eat in Torres del Paine National Park varies depending on the type of tour that you take.
If hiking the classic ‘W’ trek, the four-day ‘W’ shaped route that visits the park’s most famous sights, you can expect to book a Torres del Paine tour where food is supplied by the canteens at the campgrounds.
Those attempting the ‘Q’ or the ‘Full Circuit’ treks will most likely be required to carry a lot of their food and equipment as there are only a handful of campgrounds with canteen facilities on this route.
If you are taking a Torres del Paine tour and staying in one of the hotels located on the edges of the park, you can expect all meals to be included.
Pack for all seasons
Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, in particular, are well-known for the changeable nature of the weather systems found here. As a result, it’s likely you’ll experience all four seasons in one day in the park, so bring clothing to adapt to the unpredictable weather.
A windproof and waterproof jacket, along with a series of base and mid-layers to protect from wind chill are essential. A 30-40l backpack if you’re doing day-trips into the park or the ‘W’ will suffice, whereas for the ‘Q’ and the ‘Circuit’, a 60 or 70l is more suited to the amount of equipment you will need to bring.
If choosing to camp with your own tent, make sure it’s designed to withstand the park’s notoriously strong winds, which are particularly powerful during the summer.
Don’t forget your camera or extra batteries
The breath-taking landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park must be seen to be believed, so you’ll want to take as many photos as possible as mementos of your trip.
Bear in mind that in the refugios and campgrounds on the main hiking routes there are plug sockets but you may find yourself in a queue of others waiting to charge their electricals. Considering bringing extra camera batteries or investing in a power pack to ensure that you’re never without enough power to snap that classic photo of the Paine Towers.
Read our guides to planning a Torres del Paine tour
Whether you choose to book a Torres del Paine tour or go self-guided, we’ve written extensively about how to go about planning and organizing before you leave.
You’ll find the following guides invaluable:
- Our ultimate checklist for planning your hike around the ‘W’.
- The essential guide to hiking in Torres del Paine National Park.
- Information about how to get to Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas and how to arrive at the park from other places in Chile and South America.