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
4.5

scorecard

  • 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

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.

Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

If you are rescheduling a vacation or booking a future trip, consider purchasing an insurance policy with the CFAR benefit.

The 21 Best Costa Rica Tours

Dive into this natural paradise on these exceptional excursions.