This adventure through the farthest reach of the Andes is a perfect way to experience what is arguably the most beautiful park in South America, Torres del Paine on and off trails, wander between the granite spires of Los Cuernos and Las Torres. Walk down glaciers, cross the pampas on horses, climb through icy passes, and kayak rivers and fjords. This two-week excursion through southern Chile will leave you awestruck!
You will be picked up from your hotel in Puerto Natales, southern Chile. The beautiful two-hour van ride through the Pampas will leave you at to the Hosteria Las Torres. This is entrance point for all hikers in the Torres Del Paine National Park of Chile. From the hosteria the start of the trail winds through fields of daisies along the eastern foothills of the Paine massive to the camping area known as Seron.
From Seron you will continue along the beaten path to the camp of Coiron. Rather than camp in the common campground area your group will hike another hour or two up the hill and camp at the tree line so that we are in a position to hike over the pass the next day. From camp we will have a great view of Paine Lake to the north.
Facing northeast, this is spectacular place to watch the sun rise over the Pampas of Chile and Argentina and its endless lakes. Away from the tourist train and definitely off the beaten track you will hike over the 1400m pass just to the east of Cerro Oggioni.. This descent into the Valle Ascencio offers incredible views of Cerro Paineta and of the Fortaleza. Camp is at Campamento Japones, the staging area to climb the Torres del Paine.
A short hike up the Valle de Silencio will offer views of the seldom climbed Escudo and South Tower of Paine. After lunch you will make the two-hour descent down the well-maintained trail to Las Torres camp.
An early morning start will get you to the lookout just before first light. The view of the three towers of Paine over the Ventisquero glacier and Moraine Lake is one of the most impressive views in South America. With luck the towers will be lit up with the orange light of sunrise that you see in all the postcards. Breakfast will be followed by a longish day down the valley and to the west. Three hours of walking along the north coast of Nordenskjold Lake will leave you at Los Cuernos Refuge.
Often condors are seen soaring between the enormous rock horns of Los Cuernos, a view that will adorn breakfast. After packing up you will continue up the French Valley. Five ours of walking will leave you about 45 minutes past the last established campground in the valley. Camp is in the fairy meadows that are guarded by over ten, kilometer tall stone sentinels.
The pass between the French valley and Refugio Los Perros has been done less than a dozen times but is supposedly one of the most beautiful parts of the whole park. A 15m wide snow and ice chute winds its way between the 500m tall granite towers. A passage that truly seems improbable. Ice axes and crampons will be used but the route is not technical. You will descend down the side of Los Perros glacier to the hut.
This is the crux of the regular tourist trail and one of the longer days on your journey. After the 700m climb up to the pass the next 4 hours are spend walking down to and along the enormous Grey Glacier. If there is access to the ice it is often easier to walk on the glacier than the trail next to it.
From Camping at Grey you will traverse around to the Hostel of Pehoe. This is a mellow day with wild views to the south. This area is known for its wildlife. With a little luck you might see a Ñandú, Puma or some Guanacos.
The porters will take all of the climbing and camp gear out on the catamaran. You will jump on horses and work your way to the Park Administration. A vehicle will be waiting to take you to Camping Serrano, where you will unload the kayaks and make camp for the night.
After a quick “how to” session you will
descend the Tyndall River to the lake that shares its name. Here
you will tour below the glaciers feeding the lake before continuing
down to the Pekín Guerrero Ranch, where you will camp for
Day 15 & 16:
Two days are need as reserve days. Weather in Patagonia can be very temperamental and an extra day might be needed to cross one of the passes or to get out to the oceans on the kayaks.