Torres Del Paine Explorer Trip Highlights

  • Kayak in the iceberg-choked glacial waters of Lago Grey and approach the massive Grey Glacier 
  • Summit the famous Paine Towers while completing the famous ‘W’ route of Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Hike into the dramatic French Valley and witness rumbling avalanches in an amphitheater of granite peaks
  • Spend your evenings in Patagonia’s stunning natural surroundings and sleep in comfortable backcountry regions

Itinerary Overview

Kayak in Patagonia, Chile amongst icebergs, ice hike atop glaciers and hike the famous ‘W’ route in Torres Del Paine National Park. Spot wild guanacos, condors, penguins and other wildlife as you journey amongst turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers and jagged granite peaks. This exciting multisport itinerary is packed with unforgettable Patagonian scenery and challenging outdoor adventure at the end of the world.

Torres del Paine National Park

DAY 1  Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales

Explore the charming lakeside village, Puerto Natales.

DAY 2 Base of the Towers Hike

Hike to the famed Base of the Paine Towers. Picnic in the shadow of the sheer granite peaks with waterfalls flowing from hanging glaciers into emerald green, iceberg-dotted waters.

DAY 3 Las Torres – Lago Nordeskjold – Horns of Paine

Set out amongst the Horns of Paine peaks and hike along Lake Nordenskjold arriving to camp at Las Torres.

DAY 4 French Valley

Hike into the Valle Frances ascending the amazing, natural granite amphitheater to the French Glacier. Continue along the lake to the cozy Cuernos Refugio.

DAY 5 Kayaking Grey Glacier

Sea kayak amongst shimmering icebergs on Grey Lake and picnic above the glacier.

DAY 6 Grey Glacier Ice Hiking

Boat to the face of the massive Grey Glacier with granite peaks soaring in the distance. After strapping on your crampons, you’ll explore ice floes and caverns while hiking on the glacier. Continue on a classic Torres hike to Lake Pehoe.

DAY 7 Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – Onward

Transfer to Punta Arenas and begin your journey home.

Is It For Me?

A physically vigorous trip combining trekking, kayaking and ice hiking. No prior ice hiking or kayaking experience is required, but participants should be in good physical condition and looking for adventure.

Knowmad has vast knowledge and operations in Chile; this is a private trip and we are happy to modify excursions, accommodations, and the flow of the itinerary to perfectly suit your travel style and interests.

Have questions? Talk to an expert: 612-315-2894

Important Info

2016 COSTSTorres del Paine

  • $2,495 per person / 6 or more travelers
  • $2,750 per person / 4-5 travelers 
  • $3,345 per person / 2 – 3 travelers

Additionally, regional airfare is estimated at $300 (Santiago/Punta Arenas & Punta Arenas/Santiago—subject to change). Knowmad Adventures is happy to book and issue these tickets for you.

TYPE Flexible Date Private Departures. You choose the date, your travel companions and one of our adventures. This is great for families, groups of friends and couples.

VIGOROUS TRIP These trips typically require very good physical condition or pre-existing skills. Expect to be in challenging terrain for long durations. Activities include mountain biking, ice hiking, canoeing, cultural opportunities, history, shopping, wildlife viewing.

DEPARTURES October through April.

LENGTH 7 days – 6 nights comfortable hotels

BEGIN / END Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile

Air Travel

INTERNATIONAL Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You may arrange your international airfare independently, or we are happy to offer our feedback and assistance in helping you book it.

REGIONAL If booked by Knowmad Adventures, internal airfare for this trip (Santiago/Punta Arenas & Punta Arenas/Santiago) averages $300, however this is an approximation and the airfare is subject to change upon booking. If you would like to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us prior so we can verify the departure and arrival times.

What's Next?

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Signing up is easy. Call us at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com and reserve your spot. Or simply download our registration form, fill it out, and send it back to us along with your trip deposit. Please refer to registration form for terms & conditions.

Weather & When to Go to Chile

The best time to visit Patagonia is during the dry summer season which is November through March. It can rain any time  of year and can also get windy. Daytime temperatures during this season are typically in the 50s and 60s  F (10-16 C) although it is often sunny and feels more like the 70s F during the daytime.

Weather in Southern Patagonia

Prior to your departure, you are provided a detailed pre-trip information packet including a recommended pack list, information about the regions you’ll be visiting, suggested readings, up-to-date health information including any recommended vaccinations and more.

Accommodations

Our trips feature comfortable accommodations that complement their surroundings. We seek out intimacy and character, but never sacrifice cleanliness and security. We also find the best value for quality. In general, our physically moderate to vigorous trips feature hotels classified as 3+ to 4 stars, while less physically demanding trips feature 4+ to 5 star hotels.

As South American travel specialists, we’re experts and have inspected hundreds of properties. Knowmad is happy to suggest upgrades and alternative hotels based on your preferences to ensure your trip is perfect for you. Photos below are from this itinerary’s preferred accommodations. For more specifics, call or write to request more info, or download the detailed trip itinerary.

places to stay in chile

Accommodations featured in this itinerary are the following:

  • Kau Lodge, located in Puerto Natales, Chile
  • Refugio Chileno located in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  • Refugio Los Cuernos located in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  • Paine Grande Lodge located in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  • Lago Grey Lodge located in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1  Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales

After arriving to Punta Arenas your guide will meet you at the airport and you’ll unwind on a 3-hours scenic drive through Patgonian Pampa to the small town of Puerto Natales. After arriving to your hotel nestled on Last Hope Sound with views of the Serrano Glacier, enjoy a delicious dinner while chatting with your guide about the adventure to come.

DAY 2  Base of the Towers Hike

You’ll head out early by van and enter Torres del Paine National Park. Begin trekking to the Ascencio Valley where from above you see the river running wildly past Refugio Chileno where you will spend your first night. After a quick stop here continue through a forest of the native lenga (southern beech) trees until reaching glacial moraine. From here it’s an hours trek before the towers seemingly emerge from nowhere. This spectacular hike affords views to three pink granite towers above a hanging glacial lake, and below is part of what gives Torres del Paine its fame.

Hiking detail: approximately 6 hours, 16 km or 10 miles

  • B, L, D – Refugio Chileno, bunk bed accommodations with shared facilities

DAY 3  Las Torres – Lago Nordeskjold – Horns of Paine

After a hearty camp breakfast, we continue our spectacular hike along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold and, if you’re feeling up for it, take a dip in the icy waters as we picnic on the beach. This classic hike runs just below the towering Horns of Paine before passing the hanging glaciers of Almirante Nieto and onward to the base of Los Cuernos mountains.

Hiking detail: approximately 5 hours, 11 km or 6 miles

  • B, L, D – Refugio Los Cuernos, bunk bed accommodations with shared facilities 

DAY 4  French Valley

Today you head into the park’s most beautiful valley, one unique in the world for its beauty. Throughout this full day’s hike enjoy fantastic views of the natural granite amphitheater that makes up this enclosed valley, as well as the waterscapes below including lakes Pehoe, Skottsberg, Toro and Nordenskjold. It is also possible to hear and see avalanches coming down from the glacier. Hike deep and high into the valley or relax and soak in the scenery before trekking onward to Paine Grande Lodge where you can enjoy a pisco sour (famed Chilean cocktail) as the sun sets over the Paine Grande and Los Cuernos Mountains.

Hiking detail: approximately 6-8 hours, 15-24 km, or 9-14 mi. depending)

  • B, L, D – Paine Grande Lodge, bunk bed accommodations with shared facilities

DAY 5  Kayaking Grey Glacier

Setting out early you will hike along the Grey Lake before its massive glacier at lake’s end comes into sight. Continuing on you will reach the glacier lookout point witnessing giant floating icebergs up close and the Patagonian Ice Field’s most spectacular glacier. Relax and enjoy a lavish picnic in the midst of this natural wonder before a safety briefing and suiting up for your glacier kayak. This once in a lifetime experience allows you to safely kayak amongst massive icebergs and up to the face of the glacier towering above.

Activity detail: approximately 3-4 hrs hiking, 11 km or 6 mi., 3 hours kayaking

  • B, L, D – Lago Grey Lodge, bunk bed accommodations with shared facilities  

DAY 6  Grey Glacier Ice Hiking

After breakfast your expert guide will give you a safety, technique, and equipment briefing before strapping on your crampons and embarking upon the glacier. The route reveals the immensity of the glacier itself with its crevices, slopes and cracks. Those with experience will have the opportunity to do some vertical ice climbing. After a few hours return to terra firma for a delicious lunch followed by an amazing boat ride aboard the Grey II back to the face of the glacier for an iceberg pisco sour and relaxed two hour cruise through icebergs. Upon disembarking you will transfer by van back to your lakeside hotel to refresh and relax before a rousing farewell dinner. *Note: For this excursion hiking boots are not provided, you must bring your own traditional hiking boot.

DAY 7  Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – Onward

Departing Puerto Natales you will visit the Magellenic penguins at their colony in Otway Sound before continuing on to Punta Arenas airport in accordance with your onward flight home.

  • B

Extend Your Adventure

Wine Country

Bike from vineyard to vineyard on gentle country roads, tour the cellars, taste fine wines, eat gourmet cuisine and stay in charming boutique hotels. With premier wine growing valleys just an hour from Santiago, a few days in wine country is an ideal extension to your adventure and a good example of the diversity of landscapes and lifestyles within Chile.

Atacama Desert

Looking for unique? Earth’s closest thing to Mars, Atacama will not disappoint. Your trip to this surreal landscape offers countless cultural and adventure excursions to choose from during the day, while spending nights in a true oasis, the Tierra Atacama boutique hotel and spa. Return for a dip in the pool and enjoy a local cabernet with gourmet cuisine. Don’t forget to take advantage of the world’s best moonscape and stargazing. 

Easter Island

A tropical paradise with history, culture and mystery at every beautiful turn, a visit to Easter Island – the world’s most isolated speck of land – will captivate any traveler. Meander through the picturesque countryside dotted with volcanoes, and learn about the mysterious Moai statues erected by the original Polynesian tribes who inhabited the island. Still today little is known about the statues or their creators. While circumnavigating the island on visits to the diverse Moai sites, you’ll have opportunities to relax on deserted, white-sand beaches, explore volcanic caves with petroglyphs and walk the rim of a seaside volcano. 

Let The Journey Begin - Call Us: 612-315-2894

Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first and sometimes the easiest way to get started is to simply give us a call 612-315-2894. You’re likely to get company owners Tara or Jordan Harvey on the phone, and we’re happy to chat travel at absolutely no obligation to you. Or send us a quick email at travel@knowmadadventures.com and we’ll get back to you shortly.