Mapa torres del paine

Plan your trip to Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Chile and one of the most complicated to plan, since you have to make reservations in advance and knowing exactly how much time you will spend on each trekk. For this reason, I share with you 11 useful steps to consider when planning your adventures to the eight natural wonder.


For now, only the W is open in the Torres del Paine National Park and certain restrictions apply such as: you need a PCR test of 72 hours since you took the sample and a sanitarian passport

If your dream is to travel to Torres del Paine and you consider that planning this trip is somewhat complicated and confusing, you are in the right place, since I will briefly describe each one of these steps you will need, detailing those that require further explanation in additional posts, which I will do later.

I hope you like the list and if something is missing feel free to comment, so here it goes:

1. Decide how many days you will be in Torres del Paine

Depending on the amount of free days you have and / or the route you decide to take.

Also, you must take into account your physical condition; the possibility for rainy, windy or snowy days; the schedules of the routes and the number of hours you will need to move from one point to another; taking into account the stops to take photos, rest and / or eat.

To calculate the sections, you can take a look at the times indicated on the official map that you can find at this link, where you can also see the campsites and routes.

For this you can pick from:

  • Trekkings for the day, such as Base Torres among others.
  • W circuit: 4 to 6 days.
  • O circuit: 8 to 9 days.
Mapa torres del paine
2. Choose the dates according to the season of the year

Consider that prices, weather and availability of the routes may vary according to the season of the year, as well as the opening of the campsites and the volume of visitors inside the park. Therefore, it is recommended to make the respective consultations before planning your trip.

Historically, the month with the best climate is the month of December, although the high season is considered from October 1st to April 30th, which are the warmest months of the year in the southern hemisphere, where the summer season begins in December and the fall season begins in March.

So, depending on the time of year you decide to travel, you could choose between a better climate, trees with autumn colors, frozen water, snowy roads and, in some cases there will be closed paths.

From april, there is a high probability to see snow and the lagoon in Base Torres to be frozen.

3. Choose the route

You can consider that it takes around 4 days to do the W and 8 days to complete the O.

Once you choose the route, you must define in which direction you will do it and calculate the time it will take you to go from one point to the next, so that you can make the reservation of the campsites in advance.

Route O can only be done in the same direction, while the circuit W can start at the Laguna Amarga Port, having as the first stop the Mirador Base de las Torres del Paine and lastly the Gray Glacier, for the subsequent crossing by catamaran of the Lake Pehoé or, you can go in the opposite direction, starting at this point to start the route going to the Gray Glacier and leaving the Base Torres Viewpoint last.

There are also other options that do not require trekking and there are activities available within the park such as: Gray Lake navigation, hike on the Gray Glacier, horseback riding, among others.

4. Decide if you will pay for a tour or do the tour on your own

You must compare routes, prices and services, in order to make the most convenient decision for you. Just as you will have to decide if you will bring your own backpack or pay a muleteer to take it to the point where you will camp, as well as if you will take specific tours such as: navigation on Gray Lake and / or walk on Gray Glacier, among others.

You also can ask for places in which you can leave your backpack while you do a certain part of the circuit.

5. Know the means of transport you will use

Take into account if you will go by car, if you will take a bus from where to where, the schedules (yes, the trails have schedules for safety reasons) and duration of the sections, the prices associated with round trip transportation and if you will take the catamaran and in what way.

You will also have to decide if you will get to Puerto Natales by direct flight; if you will fly to Punta Arenas and from there you will take a bus to Puerto Natales; if you will connect from another city on the Carretera Austral and if you will do it by bus or other means.

In case of buying an air ticket, it is better to take advantage of the offers or buy in advance to make it less expensive.

If you will arrive by car or bus from the Carretera Austral, consider that it ends in Villa O’Higgins, from where you will have to cross to Argentina to continue moving south. Take into account the documentation necessary to cross the border.

6. Make reservations at campsites or lodgings (if applicable)

Based on the dates selected in step 2, you must enter each of the websites of the selected accommodations to make the respective reservations, which you must make in advance, since there may not be availability for the chosen dates.

Take into account that you can only stay one night in the free Conaf campsites and you can book more than one night in the paid campsites.

You must have the reservations to be allowed to enter the park.

7. Equipment inventory

Take an inventory to see if you have all the equipment you will need for camping or if you will rent (all or parts of) the equipment or if you will need to buy or borrow something that you don’t have.

When choosing what to bring, consider that Torres del Paine is usually very windy, you can experience the 4 seasons during the same day and even rain or snow, depending on the selected season.

Consider that, if you travel by plane, you will not be able to carry gas cylinders with you and you must buy them in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales.

8. Food inventory

Make the distribution of the days with the respective meals, taking into account the ease of cooking the food and its weight when transporting it. Always carry a little more, as it is better to have excess than not having enough.

Take into account that in Puerto Natales food is more expensive than in other cities in Chile. You can buy it in Punta Arenas or bring the food that you will consume, taking into account the weight and volume that it will occupy inside your luggage.

You could also pay for food at the campsites if you don’t want to carry the extra weight or cook, but for this you will need to invest more money. Try to bring everything you will need.

You can take the water from the natural springs, try to take it from places where it is flowing and a little higher than the level of the path.

9. Estimate the necessary budget

You must take into account the expenses of:

  • Transportation (air, land and / or water).
  • Food.
  • Lodging.
  • Equipment.
  • Tours.
  • Contingencies.
10. Improve your physical condition before the trip

Consider that, in case you decide to do the route on your own or with trekking tours, you will take long walks with weight, so you could consider conditioning your body in advance, in order to be able to resist in a good way the trekkings of several days in a row.

If you think your condition is not that good, consider rest times between days and add them to your schedule.

11. Read the Torres del Paine National Park restrictions

Torres del Paine is a National Park of Chile, so it must be taken into account that there are certain things that are not allowed in the National Parks of Chile, such as: making fire, smoking, it is allowed to use a stove only in the areas demarcated for this, flying drones, damaging the natural and cultural heritage, bringing pets, feeding wild fauna, among others. You can see the complete information on the official website of the park.

¿How to go to las Torres del Paine?

Gogle Maps: Portería Laguna Amarga.

Author’s Additional Comments

Since I am a photographer and wanted to take a long time to walk the trails on my own, I considered doing the W in twice the time (1 week), considering breaks and time for photos and possible changes in weather.

This article is a summary of what I have researched and used to plan my trip to Torres del Paine.

I understand how confusing many of these points can be at first glance and how difficult it is to find all the information in one place. This is why I decided to make a series of posts, to facilitate and provide a methodology to prepare the Torres del Paine trip.

At the moment when I make the trip, I will make the pertinent updates in the post and I will add the images that should not be missing. Until then, I hope you liked it and it was useful.

Happy travel!

PD: In case you want to donate for this or other trips, you can do so in the link in the footer.

General Data
Maximum height W:
850 m
Maximum height O:
1200 m
Cumulative elevation gain W:
3500 m
Cumulative elevation gain O:
6517 m
Total distance W:
72 km (ida y vuelta)
Total distance O:
93,2 km
Torres del Paine, Waterfalls, Hanging Bridges, Viewpoints, Lakes, Glaciers, Prairies and Wildlife.
Drinking water, Bathrooms in the Camping and lodging areas, Camping area, Hotels, Shelters, Parking. For other available facilities, check this link.
Restricted hours of the trails.
It is not allowed: smoking, making fire, pet access (guide dogs only), use of drones, cycling, swimming, paragliding and skydiving.
You can use a stove only in designated places.
You cannot feed wildlife or damage natural and cultural heritage.
You can camp only in authorized areas with prior reservation.
You cannot stay more than one night in the free campsites.
For those who have a car, there is no gas station within Torres del Paine Park, the closests are in Puerto Natales or Villa Cerro Castillo.
Visiting Hours
They vary according to the season (high – low) and you can find them here.
Entrance Fee

Adult, chilean: 7,000 CLP

Adult, foreign: 25,000 CLP

Adult, chilean (more than 3 days): 10,000 CLP

Adult, foreign (more than 3 days): 35,000 CLP

For updates and / or the rest of the rates you can consult this link.

Link of interest
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