Known for its magnificent mountains, turquoise lakes, glaciers, deep valleys, and diverse ecosystem, Torres del Paine National Park is the crown jewel of Chilean Patagonia.
In this travel guide, we’ll look at the best things to do in Torres del Paine National Park, its history, best locations, etc. Enjoy reading!
|Park||Torres Del Paine National Park|
|Things to do||Lake Visit, Tracking, and many more|
|Hotels near Torres Del Paine National Park||Ecocamp Patagonia, Hotel Lago grey, and many more|
|Entry Fee||CLP 3.500 – CLP 25.000|
|Camping Locations||Multiple Locations|
Where is Torres del Paine National Park?
Situated in the southern most part of Chile, Torres del Paine National Park is one of the eleven areas that protects the Magallanes, Patagonia region and Chilean part of Antarctica. You can witness incredible granite summits that are lined up together in the Paine mountain range to create the stunning Torres del Paine National Park.
About Torres Del Paine National Park
This Park is one of the most unique and highly visited national parks in Chilean Patagonia.
With 227,298 hectares of pristine natural beauty, the Park encompasses stunning mountains and lakes, glaciers, evergreen forests, and vast ice fields.
The Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in1978 and the 8th wonder the world in 2013 due to its cinematic beauty that will leave you awe.
Besides its unparallel beauty, they boast a wide variety of wildlife with the largest population of pumas and guanacos, over 400 species of birds, and endangered Andean Deer native to Patagonia.
Due to its stunning scenery and abundant and diverse mix of things to explore, this Park attracts more than 250,000 visitors every year, of which 54% are foreign tourists.
History Of Torres Del Paine National Park
Patagonia’s glaciers have slowly molded the stunning jagged landscape of the Torres del Paine throughout millions of years. The glacial erosion process can still be seen everywhere you look.
The first descriptions of the Park were found in the book of a Scottish traveler, Lady Florence Dixie, named “Across Patagonia,” published in 1880.
She was among the first foreign tourist to visit the Park and referred to the three towers as Cleopatra’s Needles.
The Park was established on 13 May 1959 as one of the 11 protected areas of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica.
Initially named “Grey Lake National Tourism Park,” it was renamed Torres del Paine National Park in 1970, and Chile’s National Forest Service took control of the Park.
In 1977, 12,000 hectares of land were donated to the Chilean Government by Guido Monzino, and the conclusive boundaries of the Park were established.
In 1978, UNESCO designated the Park as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Best Things To Do In The Park
This Park offers a diverse range of fun and adventurous activities. Here are the top 5 must-do things in the Park on your first visit:
Hike To Towers Of Paine
This Park offers a lot of stunning sights, but if there’s one sight that stands head and shoulders above the rest, it is Los Cuernos, also known as “Paine Horns.”
Take a hike to these magnificent towers to explore the breathtaking beauty of jagged mountain peaks through the horizon at every turn.
The North, Central, and South Towers are the most attention-grabbing, standing at an average altitude of 2,400m, similar to Cleopatra’s needles.
The best time to visit the towers, is when they get illuminated by a blaze of orange, giving one of the most spectacular sights to witness.
Puma And Guanaco Tracking
This National Park is home to more than 256 different mammal species, but the two of the most famous are the puma and Guanaco.
Both species thrive in the Park, and especially Pumas are found in the exceptionally high number, making this Park an ideal place for puma tracking.
Guanacos are, however, still significantly less common on the hiking routes, so to track them down in their natural habitat, you’ll need to find an expert guide.
Visit The Gray Lake
Gray Lake is another famous landmark of the Park that provides the most remarkable views.
Declared as an International Biosphere Reserve, the lake is more than five hundred meters deep, covered with ice sediments and massive floating icebergs that will leave you we-struck.
Visitors can kayak or canoe across the lake to witness its otherworldly beauty up-close and click some amazing photos.
Trek To The W Trail
The W-trekking trail is one of the most famous hiking routes of Torres del Pain for nature lovers that runs through all the major attractions of Torres del Paine, including the Frances Valley, Grey Glacier Valley, and Ascencio Valley.
Embark on this daring adventure of 4-7 days and explore the charms of Torres del Paine, great outlooks, and steep slopes, or break it down into easy day hikes from comfortable hotel bases, or incorporate it into longer and wilder treks.
Kayaking In The Azur Waters
Kayaking in this Park is one of the most serene adventures you can experience. Few places in the Park allow kayaking, including Rio Grey, Lago Grey, and Rio Serrano.
Visitors can choose between multi-day trips or a two-hour quick trip to paddle around the icebergs, admire the dramatic fjords, and explore the far-flung Serrano Lagoon and Serrano Glacier.
Best Time To Visit Torres Del Paine National Park
Everyone has their favorite season, and it’s up to you when to visit to get the most out of this spectacular Park.
This Park transforms completely as the season changes. Summer brings the warmest days with strong winds, while winters are the best time to enjoy stunning views of snowcapped peaks.
Autumn is a great time for photographers to capture the leaves’ color while fans of flora and fauna will appreciate the blooming wildflowers in Spring.
Map Of Torres Del Paine National Park
All the paths are marked in this Park; make sure to download the map of the Park for added security and find out more about trekking routes, places to stay, how to get there, and plan the perfect visit to Torres del Paine.
Click here to download the official map of the Park.
Hotels Near Torres Del Paine National Park
There are tons of hotels, luxury lodges, and camping sites scattered across the Park. Here are some top accommodation options that offer top-notch services and views while keeping you close to the Park.
- Hotel Lago Grey
- Rio Serrano Hotel + Spa
- Hotel Las Torres Patagonia
- Ecocamp Patagonia
- Konkashken Lodge
Camping Locations At Torres Del Paine National Park
This Park offers two types of campgrounds; free park campgrounds and fee-based campsites run by the refugios.
There are four park campgrounds; Guardas, Italiano, Torres, and Britanico, three of which are located along the W Circuit and one along the O circuit.
The campgrounds run by refugios have more facilities and tend to be more crowded. For more information about camping fees and reservations, click here.
Weather Of Torres National Park
The Park is known for its highly unpredictable weather. The climate conditions in the Park can pass through four distinct seasons in one day.
Winters are cold with an average high of 41°F and a low of 27°F, and the temperature averages around 55°F during the summer months.
March and April bring the most precipitation and Torres del Paine’s legendary winds that can reach up to 110 mph.
Make sure to check out the current weather conditions before planning a visit.
Entry Fee & Passes
The entrance fee of this Park is different for national and foreign tourists. For foreign adults, the entry fee is CLP 25.000 per day, CLP 12.500 for teens, and CLP 25.000 for seniors.
The entry fee for National adult tourists is CLP 7.300 per day, CLP 3.500 for teens, while children and senior citizens are eligible for a free pass.
Both National and foreign tourists can also buy a 3-day pass for CLP 35.000.
The entrance tickets at the Park or through CONAF Online at least one day before visiting the Park.
Note: The park doesn’t accept other currencies or credit cards, and you can pay the entry fee in Chilean Pesos.
Checklist For Packing List
If you’re wondering what to pack for your first trip to this Park. Here’s a checklist of the must-need items you should pack:
- Waterproof Backpack
- Warm layers of clothing
- Rain jacket
- Sturdy waterproof hiking shoes
- Walking sticks (highly recommended)
- Sunscreen & hat
- Sleeping bag
- Mosquito repellent
- First-aid kit
How many days should I Spend in Torres del Paine National Park?
Though one full day is enough to see all the main attractions of the Park, we’d recommend spending at least 1-2 days if you want to experience hiking and camping.
Is Torres del Paine National Park worth a visit?
Visiting the Torres del Paine National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
The incredible landscape, scenic beauty, and plenty of wildlife make it worth seeing at least once in your life.
Can I hike the Torres del Paine National Park on my own?
If you’re tight on a budget or looking to move at your own pace, taking photos and stopping to admire views, then self-guided hiking would b great for you.
However, you’ll have to be extra careful and stick to the trails.
Shefali Jain is a Content Editor & Writer at National Planning Cycles.
After completing her graduation in hospitality, Shefali decided to follow her passion and started writing. Shefali has been writing for two years now and contributes to our website as a skilled editor and content writer with strong research skills. Writing product and service reviews, biographies, and book reviews are some of her key areas, among many others in which she specializes.