No matter how many photographs you see of the Torres del Paine National Park, nothing can prepare you for your first real-life encounter with this epic landscape. The grandeur of its towering granite peaks, the depth of its dramatic ravines, the jewel-colored tones of its immense lakes, the power of its rushing rivers, humble and inspire awe in all who visit. On this adventure-filled journey, you will travel from the east boundary to the west end of the park, staying in dramatically set lodges along the route.
Starting from $5,100 per person based on four travelers
November through April.
After arriving in Punta Arenas, you’ll be picked up and brought to your lodge, where you will meet your guide and discuss what’s in store for the following few days.
This cozy, nine-bedroom lodge sits on the fjord-edge of the port town of Puerto Natales. Its rooms and on-site café are among the best places to watch the sun set over the water
Occupying a converted early 20th-century cold-storage warehouse, this pioneering hotel – set inside a designated historical monument – still retains much of its original brickwork as well as some vintage industrial machinery. The rooms are spacious and elegant, with fjord-view windows and the food is out-of-this-world. If you want somewhere with character, this place has it in abundance.
Begin journeying north to the Las Cumbres Estancia (ranch), set amid the Sierra Baguales mountain range in the northeast of the Última Esperanza province. On this eco-friendly, sustainability-focused ranch, which puts preservation of the natural landscape at the fore of its mission, you can explore remote canyons and search for millions-of-years-old fossils that reveal the story of life, in its paleontological park. Hike up to the top of the ravine to inspect the eerie and beautiful petrified trunks from trees that have transformed to stone. After, you’ll be taken to your ranch for a nice home cooked meal.
Start today with a scenic one-hour journey across the grassy pampa of Patagonia. Once we’re through the main entrance of the park, we’ll continue on foot toward las Torres – aka the iconic granite towers that have become a symbol of the park. Trek to the Ascencio Valley, taking in views of the rushing river speeding past the Refugio Chileno. Continue past hardy lenga beech trees that survive despite the harsh conditions of this remote corner of the world, until you reach the glacial remain – a ridge formed by the debris accumulated by an advancing glacier. From here, it’s a one-hour ascent to the top when – as if from nowhere – the three iconic jagged granite peaks appear before you, with a milky blue glacial lake below. The journey is 11 miles (19 kilometers) long and will take around eight hours total (round-trip).
This simple and clean hotel enjoys the most stunning setting, right at the foot of the famous granite peaks, with many rooms offering head-on views of the Torres.
Today, encounter some of the standout sights in the park, including the powder blue waters of Nordenskjöld Lake, the Salto Grande waterfalls and the majestic Lake Pehoé, whose radiant blue waters reflect the image of the chiseled stone peaks that rise up behind it. Enjoy lunch with a distractingly beautiful view at a restaurant in front of the Paine massif. After, drive to the Serrano River, one of the main waterways in the park, for dinner at the lodge where you spend the night.
Sitting pretty at the edge of Lago Grey, just a stone’s throw from the Grey Glacier, this recently renovated hotel boasts of a splendid setting few other properties can match. Enjoy simple, tasty food, comfortable rooms and spectacular views of the glacier in the distance.
Today is devoted to the gorgeous 104-square-mile (270-square-kilometer) Grey Glacier, part of the extensive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is among the world’s largest masses of ice. Kickstart your explorations with a one-hour catamaran trip across Grey Lake. Continue on foot on dry land during a three/four-hour long trek. Marvel at the majestic blue-tinged glacier from many different angles, from far-away lookout points where it appears like a river of frozen ice and from up-close at the lakeshore when its huge proportions are fully revealed. After, if weather conditions allow, hop aboard a kayak and paddle around the chunks of floating ice at the edge of the glacier.
Simple, but comfortable, you will spend the night resting your weary limbs at this comfortable lodge at the glacier’s edge.
Travel by zodiac boat out to the glacier for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Clamp on your crampons and arm yourself with an ice pick for a three-hour walk on the glacier, during which you can observe its cracks, tight tunnels and lagoons, whose gem-toned waters seem to glisten a hundred shades of blue. Travel back to Puerto Natales by boat, circling right up to the front of the glacier en route. Absorb the awe-inspiring views with a pisco sour – cooled by glacial ice – in hand!
Today is the final day of the adventure as you travel from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas Airport for your onward flight home.
Not ready for the adventure to end? Check out this Argentina inspiration, a perfect combination for your Patagonian Adventure!
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