Torres del Paine National Park

#2 in Best Things To Do in Chilean Patagonia
Torres del Paine National Park picture
Evelyn Proimos/Flickr

Key Info

Torres del Paine National Park, Southern Chilean Patagonia

Details

Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Exulted as one of the most scenic hiking venues on the planet, Torres del Paine National Park draws admirers from far and wide. You'll marvel at jaw-dropping vistas at nearly every point along the trails—aquamarine lakes, lush forests, glistening Glacier Grey, and, of course, the soaring granite Cuernos del Paine (Paine Horns). While hiking, you'll also notice clusters of adorable guanaco (animals that closely resembling llamas), candor, and sheep.

The park's two most picturesque trails are the "W" route and the "Circuit." The "W" is a four-day trek that, as its name suggests, zig-zags in a "W" formation around dramatic peaks. If you opt to take the "W" trail, you'll want to start at Laguna Amarga and then journey west. On the trail, you'll reach picture-perfect vantage points of Los Cuernos (Paine Horns). Most travelers say that the actual hiking is less challenging than combating Chile's heavy gusts of winds. One TripAdvisor user suggests, "Allow 4 nights [and] 5 days for the "W". […] It is not easy trekking due to wind and rocky surfaces and is so beautiful that it shouldn't be rushed." The "Circuit" on the other hand, encompasses the whole park, but requires seven to 10 days and plenty of hiking experience.

The easiest way to reach the park is a two-hour car or bus ride from Puerto Natales; buses depart daily from Puerto Natales to Laguna Amarga, one of the park's three main entrances. For more information on how to reach Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine, consult our guide to Getting Around Chilean Patagonia. The park is open to visitors daily. Roughly 23 miles from the park entrance, you'll find the Conaf (Chile's National Forestry Commission) visitor center, which helps orient visitors with an expansive overview of the park. During the summer season (November to March), Conaf park rangers are on duty, and welcome visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. During high season, admission costs 15,000 CLP (about $30 USD); during low season, admission costs 3,000 CLP (approximately $6 USD). For more information, consult Torres del Paine National Park's official website.

See all Hotels in Chilean Patagonia »

More Best Things To Do in Chilean Patagonia

Southern Chilean Patagonia1 of 8
Tierra del Fuego2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Southern Chilean Patagonia

Occupying the southernmost area of the country, Southern Chilean Patagonia (SCP) draws visitors looking to admire the breathtaking landscape. Most visitors flock to Chile's southernmost province—also known as Magallanes (named after 16th-century conquistador Ferdinand Magellan)—to admire Patagonia's breathtaking landscape. From Magallanes' capital city, Punta Arenas, you can journey to Torres del Paine to admire its striking jagged peaks or head to Isla Magdalena to snap photos of thousands of Magellanic penguins scurrying along the shoreline.

Southern Chilean Patagonia is beyond secluded—separated by the Strait of Magellan and two soaring ice caps—but that only adds to its mystique as the gateway to Antarctica. The best way to reach Southern Chilean Patagonia is by plane from Santiago to Punta Arenas. It's also easy to access this region from Southern Argentine Patagonia. Cancha Carrera is a popular border-crossing, located between Torres del Paine and El Calafate (Argentina). Just be sure to acquire a visa before crossing; you can do so at an Argentine consulate in Santiago or before leaving home. For further details on how to navigate Southern Chilean Patagonia, consult our guide to Getting Around Chilean Patagonia.

Read more
Evelyn Proimos/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in Chilean Patagonia »

Explore More of Chilean Patagonia

Recommended

The 6 Best Sedona Jeep Tours

Take a rollicking ride through Sedona's natural beauty in a rugged SUV.

Holly JohnsonJuly 16, 2019

The 12 Top Florida Keys Beaches

Relax on the sandy shorelines from Key West to Key Largo.

Gwen PratesiJuly 15, 2019

The 15 Best New Orleans Walking Tours

Take on the Big Easy with a stroll through its streets.

Lyn MettlerJuly 15, 2019

The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours

Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 12, 2019

The 5 Best Oahu Helicopter Tours

Tour this picturesque island from the air on one of these excursions.

John RodwanJuly 11, 2019

The 15 Best Los Angeles Tours

Maximize your time in Los Angeles with the insider tips and historical context provided by the best local tours.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 3, 2019

The 15 Best Las Vegas Tours

See a different side of Sin City – its attractions go beyond gambling.

John RodwanJuly 2, 2019

The 10 Best San Diego Boat Tours

Explore this coastal city's sights with a relaxing boat excursion.

John RodwanJuly 1, 2019

The 15 Best Nashville Tours

Engage with the city's country roots on one of these tours.

Lyn MettlerJune 28, 2019

14 Top Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit

Head to upstate New York's winemaking region for scenery, history and lots of vino.

Kyle McCarthyJune 27, 2019