Torres Del Paine is one of the southernmost national parks in the world, which means that it is home to pure natural sights that are a product of its wild and unforgiving reality. You’ll definitely want to bring a great camera along with you for this trip, as you’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again to capture incredible moments. Chile’s Patagonia takes you into a whole new world that is absolutely captivating. Here’s everything you need to know before you take a hike there.
When To Go
Torres Del Paine is a seasonal spot, and the best time to visit is during Chilean summer which falls between December to February. This is when the park will be the busiest, but you’ll avoid potential rainfall of January and March. Beginning of December or beginning of March are the best times to visit. Winter is also a beautiful time to visit, but you won’t be able to camp and you’d need to book hotels instead.
How To Get There
If you are coming from Santiago, your best bet is to fly to Puerto Natales. It takes about 3 hours to arrive by flight. Once you land, you can take a 3 hour bus ride that takes you to the trail head. It is recommended that you reserve a bus ticket in advance, especially during high season.
What To Pack
Packing correctly for this trip is extremely important, as it can mean the difference between having a fantastic trip and having an absolutely miserable time. Pack outdoorsy and waterproof clothes that y0u can layer. You should pack clothes that will suit all four seasons, since the hike will likely present you with a variety of weather situations. You should also bring a pair of worn-in hiking boots.
You’ll also need to pack camping gear including a waterproof tent, mattress, sleeping bag that suits winter, and cooking equipment. You can also rent camping gear in Puerto Natales, where there are rental shops. There are also pre-assembled tents with mattress and sleeping bags that you can reserve and pay for ahead of time at the campsites.
The majority of campsites along the ‘O’ or ‘W’ treks have “full board” options which include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options or even “half board” options that include lunch and dinner. This will mean you won’t have to carry food supplies and equipment and you won’t have to worry about cooking. Alternatively, you can bring everything with you and prepare it yourself, just make sure you bring enough to sustain yourself and that you’ll be able to carry everything.
Other Things To Think About
You might want to bring a headlamp for hiking after dark. You should also bring some form of entertainment like a Kindle, cards, or anything else to keep your evenings occupied. Make sure what you do end up bringing is lightweight and easy to transport. Another good idea would be investing in a padlock to keep your unattended tent safe and keep your objects locked up. Definitely bring a reusable bottle with you and think about getting a portable water purifier.