Torres del Paine national park is one of the most incredible places on earth. It’s rough, untamed, and has been touched less by the people than other places.
The nature is incredible, with towering granite mountains with glaciers, turquoise lakes and rivers, raging waterfalls, and blooming pampas.
There are loads of things to do, from animal safaris to hiking to fishing and kayaking rides.
Not so many places to stay, so be sure to plan your trip quite well in advance.
The weather is crazy, especially the wind, so don’t be surprised if you must cancel some of the activities you have planned.
But it’s all worth it. And, if you can go to Torres del Paine, definitely go, as the views are definitely spectacular and shouldn’t be missed.
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- General information on Torres del Paine national park
- How to access the Torres del Paine park?
- How much does it cost to enter Torres del Paine?
- How to get to Torres del Paine?
- There’s no Torres del Paine airport
- Flying from Santiago de Chile to Torres del Paine – either Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales
- Driving from Santiago de Chile to Torres del Paine
- Flying from Buenos Aires to Torres del Paine – El Calafate
- Driving from El Calafate and El Chalten to Torres del Paine
- Bus from El Calafate and El Chalten to Torres del Paine
- Driving from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine
- Driving Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine
- Bus from Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine
- When is the best time to visit Torres del Paine?
- What accommodation is there in Torres del Paine?
- Luxury hotels and lodges in Torres del Paine
- Hotels in Torres del Paine
- Refugios and campsites in Torres del Paine
- What food is there available in Torres del Paine?
- What animals are there in Torres del Paine?
- What activities can you do in Torres del Paine?
- Last words about Torres del Paine
General information on Torres del Paine national park
Location: Chilean Patagonia. South of Chile, region Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica
Time zone: GMT -3
Currency: Chilean Pesos
Outlets: types C and L, which means 2 (like in Europe) or 3 round pins. 220V voltage.
Visa requirements: Wikipedia has a nice comprehensive list of visa exempt countries. All EU citizens, UK and USA passport holders can visit Chile for up to 90 days without a visa.
How to access the Torres del Paine park?
There are three entrances to the Torres del Paine national park: Rio Serrano, Laguna Amarga and Lago Sarmiento – that are the entrances mentioned in the official website of Torres del Paine, but it doesn’t seem like they have the most up-to-date information.
I’ve seen entrances Laguna Azul and Laguna Verde mentioned in some places as well, so I’ll show where these two are located as well.
It’s quite a pain to find these on Google maps even if you know where to look, so here are the locations and names of the entrances. I’ve even marked them on a map so that you don’t have to search and suffer.
The most Southern entrance is the Rio Serrano one. It’s located close to Hotel del Paine and is called Accesso Serrano Parque Torres del Paine on Google maps.
Laguna Amarga entrance is called Guardería Laguna Amarga – Base Administrativa CONAF on Google maps. It’s not far from Rio Paine and Puento Laguna Amarga, on the Y-156 road.
Lago Sarmiento entrance is Guardaparque Parque nacional Torres del Paine on Google maps, and it’s by Lago Sarmiento on the road Y-150.
Laguna Azul entrance to Torres del Paine is located at the eastern end of Laguna Azul, just off the road Y-160. It’s called Guardería Laguna Azul on Google maps.
I couldn’t find the Laguna Verde entrance anywhere on the Google maps, but it seems to be at the end of the road Y-180, just after Hosteria Mirador del Paine.
How much does it cost to enter Torres del Paine?
The entrance to Torres del Paine is paid. One day entrance for a non-Chilean adult is 25.000 Chilean pesos, and three-day entrance is 35.000 Chilean pesos. From October 1 until April 30, you can pay in USD and EUR as well.
You can pay the fee to the park at the 3 main entrances – Serrano, Amarga and Sarmiento. There it’s cash only.
Another place where to buy the ticket is in the Puerto Natales bus station, where it’s possible to pay only by credit or debit card.
How to get to Torres del Paine?
There are several options on how to get to Torres del Paine.
The most convenient ones are flying down to Patagonia – Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or El Calafate – and then either driving or taking a bus from there.
It’s possible to drive or take a bus from Santiago, but it would take a very long time and cost a lot more than flying.
There’s no Torres del Paine airport
There’s no airport directly in Torres del Paine.
The two closest are Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales in Chile.
If you are planning to come from Argentina, you can fly into El Calafate from Buenos Aires.
Flying from Santiago de Chile to Torres del Paine – either Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales
The best and fastest way to get to Torres del Paine from Santiago de Chile is by flying into Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales airport.
There are numerous daily flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas, some of which have stopovers in Puerto Montt.
Most of them are operated by Latam, which is not a low-cost airline, thus the flights are rather expensive.
There are flights operated by low-cost airlines Sky Airline and Jetsmart. If you book these flights well in advance, they can be ridiculously cheap. The cheapest flight I’ve seen is 35 euros.
Puerto Natales is the closest airport to Torres del Paine, so there are not too many flights, plus it’s open only during summer. There are only a few flights a week operated by LATAM during the peak times in the summer. Thus, it’s an expensive option, so we wouldn’t really recommend it.
We flew Sky Airline during our trip to Patagonia (and South America as a whole). Don’t expect anything fancy, but it did get the job done.
The only thing I didn’t like about Sky Airline was that on one of our last flights they tried to charge us for the hand luggage, saying the suitcase was too big. It wasn’t, though, and I was sure for a few reasons: it was like our 10th flight with them during this trip and no other times was there a problem, and I had checked before that the suitcase fit in the measurer thing in the airport.
The gate attendant was using a measuring tape, and I noticed that it was set 5 centimetres too little! So basically, they either made a ridiculous mistake (they didn’t have to use a tape, as they had a cardboard case for checking suitcase sizes), or they were scamming people. I saw before that other people had to pay the oversize baggage fee, so if I didn’t make a stink, they would have charged us, too.
Driving from Santiago de Chile to Torres del Paine
Obviously, if you prefer it, you can make the drive from Santiago to Torres del Paine. Just keep in mind that it’s going to be more expensive and take a lot of time.
If you rent a car and want to return it somewhere in Patagonia, you’re going to have to pay quite a hefty fee. On the other hand, driving back all the way to Santiago is going to cost a lot of fuel.
Plus, timewise it would be hella a lot of hours on the road.
As for buses, be aware that there are no direct ones, so you’d have to transfer. And it takes more than a day to get from Santiago to Torres del Paine, and you have to both transfer and cross into Argentina.
Flying from Buenos Aires to Torres del Paine – El Calafate
If you’re traveling in Argentina, you can consider flying to El Calafate. It’s the closest airport to Torres del Paine National Park in Argentina.
There are several daily flights to Buenos Aires operated by Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM (both similarly priced and generally more expensive than the low-cost airlines flying to Punta Arenas).
Word of caution – most of these flights operate to the domestic airport Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires, while the international flights arrive at Ezeiza airport. In case you’re transferring in Buenos Aires, take this into consideration.
From El Calafate then you have to either drive or take a bus to Torres del Paine. You can even consider visiting Los Glaciares national park, which is located very close to El Calafate – there’s a reason the park has been made one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites!
Driving from El Calafate and El Chalten to Torres del Paine
It takes a bit more than 4,5 hours to get from El Calafate to Torres del Paine Welcome centre by car. It takes a bit more than 4 hours to get from El Calafate to the Laguna Amarga entrance of Torres del Paine.
Driving from El Chalten to Torres del Paine takes approximately 3h longer than from El Calafate. First, you need to drive to El Calafate, which takes approx. 3h, and then continue just like described before.
When coming from El Calafate, we were advised to go to Esperanza on the road nr 5 and then nr 7. Gerson from Adel rent a car advised us not to continue on the road nr 40, although it kind of looks like a shortcut, because the road is really bad. Plus, there’s a gas station in Esperanza where you can refuel.
I’d recommend asking your rental agency about the road, though – who knows, maybe it’s been fixed now.
Bus from El Calafate and El Chalten to Torres del Paine
If you prefer to take a bus, know that there are no direct buses from El Calafate or El Chalten to Torres del Paine. You first need to go to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas and then take a bus from there to Torres del Paine. The trip from El Calafate to Puerto Natales takes about 5h, to Punta Arenas – 6h.
Some of the companies that do the trips from El Calafate and Puerto Natales are Bus-Sur and Cootra Cooperativa de trabajo Río Turbio.
Cal-Tur and Chalten Travel do services between El Calafate and El Chalten, so you can then continue to Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine.
Disclosure: we don’t have experience with the bus services in Patagonia.
Driving from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine
Puerto Natales is the closest town to Torres del Paine. The road between the two is nice and paved.
It’s approximately 100km from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The closest entrance to the park is Sarmiento, a bit more than 83km and 1h20m driving time.
The route itself is rather easy – you just need to drive on road nr 9 for 15 to 20km, depending on where in Puerto Natales you start your journey and then turn left on the road Y-290. There you continue for 65km until you reach Torres del Paine.
Driving Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine
As for the drive from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine, you just need to drive the 250-something kilometres from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales and then continue to the park. The road to Puerto Natales – road nr 9 – is paved and rather good.
Just keep both of your hands on the steering wheel!
Bus from Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine
If you prefer taking a bus to driving, it’s not really a problem as well. There are several bus companies that run daily services to the park, just make sure to get your ticket the day before. You can get the tickets at the bus terminals or ask your hotel for help.
The buses for Torres del Paine depart in the morning and return in the afternoon.
Two of the companies that run services between Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine are Bus-Sur and JB Patagonia.
The bus trip from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine takes approximately 2 hours. The bus stops in three places in the park: Laguna Amarga, where you have to buy the park ticket, Pudeto, and Administracion.
By the looks of it, there are no direct buses from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine. Considering how long it would take to go from there to the park, I’d recommend staying in Puerto Natales if you’d like to do day trips.
Disclosure: we don’t have experience with bus services in Patagonia.
When is the best time to visit Torres del Paine?
It’s very hard to say “this is the best time to go to Torres del Paine”.
Patagonia has four seasons, and each of them has something special. There are some common things for all of them as well.
The most popular times to visit are spring, summer, and autumn – so October to April.
One thing is definitely the wind. It can easily go up to 100km/h – Patagonia is one of the windiest regions in the world. When we visited, the visitor’s centre in Torres del Paine had 80km/h – 100km/h – 80km/h written by chalk on a board inside.
And it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a day, if not in 5 minutes, even if it is the summer.
But each of the four seasons has some benefits that you personally might like better than others. So to help you decide when is the best time for you to visit Torres del Paine, here are the descriptions of each season.
Spring in Torres del Paine lasts from September to November. The temperatures are just a bit lower than those in the summer, but the possibility of rain is higher. The weather in spring is usually unpredictable in Torres del Paine, but the winds are generally stronger than normal (and that’s saying something).
It’s the low season, so there are smaller crowds in Torres del Paine, but some hotels and even areas of the park could still be closed. The available accommodation will probably be cheaper, though.
Nature is in bloom, though, so you can get a chance to enjoy the sights and meadows covered with lovely wildflowers without the crowds.
The most popular time to visit Torres del Paine is in summer. It lasts from December until February, and the weather is relatively warm. There are strong winds (but when aren’t there strong winds in Patagonia?) and a possibility of rain (and snow, and hail, as we experienced during our visit in December).
Since summer is the high season in Torres del Paine, everything is open – hotels, restaurants, and the park itself. But the crowds usually scare away some animals that might be seen during the shoulder/low seasons.
Most of the activities, like hiking, kayaking, etc., are easier done in summer, as the weather is warmer and there are more daylight hours.
Autumn in Torres del Paine lasts from late March until May. The weather is getting colder, going into freezing temperatures at night, and there’s even a possibility of snow later in the season. On the plus side, though, the winds are getting less strong.
Photographers – and any other lovers of beautiful – will definitely be enthralled by the colours of autumn foliage on the magnificent Torres del Paine mountains. Nature lovers will enjoy the sights of baby animals strutting about.
Autumn, like spring, is the shoulder season, so the crowds are winding down. But the accommodations are still open, which means a greater chance of getting a room in some of the best hotels in Torres del Paine!
At the end of the season, the services are getting reduced, so, if you wish to go in Autumn, make sure to check what’s available.
Winter is the off-season in Torres del Paine and the whole Patagonia. It lasts from June to early September.
The weather is cold and snowy, but the winds are milder. In winter, though, there are snowstorms possible.
Similar to Autumn, winter in Torres del Paine offers some great views that are perfect for photography. The mountains covered in snow look magnificent!
As for animal lovers, there’s a great chance to see some of the elusive pumas that live in Torres del Paine, as they come down from the mountains to look for food.
Although services are very limited, it’s still possible to do some of the adventure activities and hiking. You just have to make sure to book everything in advance, as most of everything (hotels, camps etc) will be closed.
There’s a strong possibility that many of the trails will be shut due to snow as well, so make sure to check it out before booking anything.
On the plus side, there are very, very few people visiting Torres del Paine in winter, so you would have almost all of the park for yourself.
What accommodation is there in Torres del Paine?
There’s not too much accommodation available in Torres del Paine itself, so it’s wise to book it very well in advance. In fact, you now can’t even stay at the campsites if you don’t have a reservation.
On the other hand, although there is a limited amount of accommodation available, there’s something for every budget in Torres del Paine.
Some of the accommodation listed here is inside the park, and some are just outside of its borders.
Note: it’s mandatory to book your lodging in Torres del Paine, even if you plan to stay in a campsite in your own tent.
There are quite a few options in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, which are a bit further away from the park. You just need to choose between a hotel and an apartment.
Luxury hotels and lodges in Torres del Paine
Very nice rooms, amenities, spa, and the view. Even though it’s a national park, you can find accommodation in Torres del Paine which will make you feel like you’re in the best of the resorts.
Some of the lodges even offer private guides to you!
You’ll pay the price for it, but, if it’s in your budget, a luxury hotel in Torres del Paine would definitely make the stay even more amazing.
Just to avoid misunderstandings, by luxury I mean that the hotel has at least 4 stars or offers something very special that makes it stand out from the others, such as glamping.
Here are some of the luxury lodges near and in Torres del Paine.
The Southernmost Relais & Chateaux hotel in the world, Awasi Patagonia is set not far from Torres del Paine, with views of the Torres del Paine mountain range, the Patagonian steppe and the lake Sarmiento.
There are 14 luxury cabins available on Awasi Patagonia’s private reserve, situated in such a way that you can enjoy the amazing views, but still have privacy.
Each cabin comes with its own personal guide and a 4×4 vehicle. You can plan your own itinerary with the help of the guide and enjoy excursions at your own pace.
After a day of hiking off the beaten trails, enjoy soaking in your private hot tub or have a drink by the fire. Every day, enjoy exquisite meals in the hotel restaurant, whose menu was created by chef Federico Ziegler.
The rates are all-inclusive, and include the cabin, meals (breakfast, lunch, appetiser and dinner), drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), private guides and tours and private transfers to and from Puerto Natales and Cerro Castillo.
Located by the scenic Sarmiento lake, Tierra Patagonia hotel and spa offers all-inclusive rates for 3, 4 or 5 nights.
There’s a spa with a steam room, sauna, heated pool, hydromassage tub and an outdoor hot tub. The pool looks beautiful – there’s an inside infinity pool with a panoramic view of the wild surroundings. Maybe you’ll even spot a guanaco or a fox?
If you wish to have some SPA treatments, you can get them for an extra charge – there are massage sessions and facial and body treatments with stones and natural elements available. The treatment rooms have aromatherapy oils, peaceful sounds and soft lighting. There’s even a yoga studio available in the hotel.
From the outside, the hotel blends in with the nature around it, and from the inside, it has a light and lovely minimalistic-inspired décor with light wood furnishings, elegant chairs, and rugs. All rooms are equipped with heating and feature baths.
As with other luxury hotels in Torres del Paine, Tierra Patagonia offers tours to its guests in and around the park. There’s hiking, biking, horse-riding, scenic voyages and “special interests” like bird watching, kayaking, and fly fishing.
Of course, the meals are included in the price of the stay. They offer Patagonian cuisine – an irresistible mix of hearty stews, slow-cooked soups and tasty dishes, sourced from the nearby estancias surrounding our lodge. The drinks are also included.
One thing that I really like about Tierra Patagonia is that they are big about sustainability. During the building of the hotel, they removed all the fauna, kept it in greenhouses, and then replanted it around the hotel.
Some of the excursions provided are about the native life in Patagonia, like tours to estancias, sharing Patagonian asado, and horse-back riding through the pampas with gauchos.
Patagonia’s original luxury lodge. It’s located in the heart of Torres del Paine by the lake Pehoe and offers spectacular views of the Paine Massif and the “Torres” and also the Salto Chicco waterfall. The hotel offers all-inclusive packages for three nights and more.
The incredible location offers access to some of the best tours in the park. Plus, they have their own stables with horses and a private catamaran can take you to the French Valley and close to the Glaciar Grey.
There are more than 40 tours available, including hiking or horseback riding. There are group tours for small groups – one to eight people.
Explora Patagonia has a heated, covered pool, a sauna, and four open-air hot tubs just steps away from the Paine River. There is also a massage room where you can enjoy a massage.
Of course, since the rate is all-inclusive, you have meals and drinks provided. The meals are local and are made to provide enough nutrition to satisfy you after a day of hiking.
The rooms in the hotel do not have TV or wifi, which are available in the common rooms. That is done on purpose so that you can “plug off” and really relax during your stay in the Torres del Paine national park.
Located in the more Southern part of Torres del Paine, close to the centre of the park, the hotel and spa Rio Serrano offers views of the Paine massif and the Serrano River.
The hotel offers both standard and all-inclusive rates. The all-inclusive rates come with a full board and excursions included. It also includes transfers with fixed times,
The full board provided is breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with soft drinks and house wine by the glass. But there’s also an open bar where you can get everything except premium liquors, wines, and beers.
Excursions are by the calendar and have a bilingual guide. Some of the tours available are hiking, horseriding, rock climbing, and even a hike to some cave paintings.
The entrance to the spa with a climatized pool, sauna, and the gym is included, but the massages and wellness treatments are not.
The rooms have 7 different categories and are decorated with Patagonian culture in mind. Some of the rooms do not have the best views, so try to ask for them when checking in.
Luxurious Mongolian-style tents overlooking lake Toro and the Paine Massif in Torres del Paine – that’s Patagonia Camp. The yurts have private terraces with views of the lake and Cuernos del Paine.
The inside décor and furnishings are handmade from local wood.
There’s a double or king bed, private bathroom, and sitting area in each yurt.
You can choose between an all-inclusive rate or a room+breakfast.
The all-inclusive includes full-board, transfers, and choices between 12 different guided group excursions.
The full board includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, both alcoholic and soft. The transfers available are from Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas.
Some of the excursions available are fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
A cosy and eco-friendly accommodation located just by the trailhead to the base of the Towers.
The geodesic domes of EcoCamp Patagonia have a lovely view of the towers, so you get a chance to watch the sun colour them all shades of orange and pink. At night, enjoy the starry sky through the ceiling windows.
There are different types of domes to stay in available. Standard ones are smaller and offer basic accommodation with no toilet, heating, or electricity.
The superior, suite, and suite dome loft domes are bigger, and have electricity, heating, and private bathrooms. They offer the best views as well.
Besides the lodging domes, EcoCamp Patagonia has community domes and yoga and wellness domes as well. Community is a strong attribute of the EcoCamp, so you can enjoy spending time with other travellers while eating in the restaurant or having a drink.
On the same community note, if you’re travelling alone and don’t want to pay a surcharge for having a dome to yourself, EcoCamp will place individuals of the same gender together in a standard dome. They will never put you together with a person of the opposite gender and will not ask you to pay a supplement charge if a combination is not possible.
EcoCamp packages include a shared transfer from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales (or public bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales) to EcoCamp, all meals, park entry and the cost of any included excursions. For additional details, take a look at the Trip Facts section of your selected itinerary. Tips and personal items, like souvenirs, are not included in any programs.
Hotels in Torres del Paine
Staying in Torres del Paine itself is already quite expensive, so you might not have a luxury hotel in your budget, which is reasonable.
If you still want to stay in the park itself but don’t want to use hostels or campsites, there are some “normal” hotels available as well.
It’s not exactly a “budget” accommodation, but still less expensive than the luxury ones that I mentioned above. Basically, hotels in Torres del Paine fall into the “midrange” for price and quality, with some offering all-inclusive rates with tours to those who wish to have a guide help them.
Some of the hotels in Torres del Paine, although not luxury, offer hot tubs as well for those sore muscles that you get after hiking!
The hotel which we stayed at during our trip to Patagonia – Hotel Del Paine.
It’s located on the banks of the Serrano River and offers incredible views of the turquoise waters and the mountains.
The rooms are located in little cabins and are rustic and cosy. They have double beds and a private bathroom, as well as a seating area with a work table.
Wifi is available only in the common areas or, if your cabin is close enough to the main building, you might catch it in your room are well.
There are both all-inclusive rates and normal trips available.
The all-inclusive rates offer excursion services such as horseback riding, fly fishing or hiking, plus, of course, full board.
Hotel Las Torres has an incredible location. It’s a family-run ranch, where you can see baqueanos caring for horses.
It’s located right at the trailhead of the Base of Torres, so it’s rather busy.
There are both standard and all-inclusive rates available.
The all-inclusive rates include transfers to and from Punta Arenas or Calafate, full-board, open bar (not including premium spirits), tours with bilingual guides and a 20% discount in the spa.
There is an abundance of excursions available. You can explore the park’s flora and fauna, have tours that focus on culture and heritage, plus the standard hiking, horseriding, fishing, and more.
Quite an interesting option near the Laguna Amarga.
Tiny House Torres del Paine has wood-style cabins, and they really are tiny. The space is used efficiently, though, because the cabins can fit even five people.
Each Tiny House has heating and a private shower. The meals are served in a different hut – there’s a continental breakfast, boxed lunch, and menu dinner available.
Tiny House Torres del Paine offers the comforts of a hotel with the calm of nature. Enjoy the mountains, the lagoon, and the animals that are around there – Laguna Amarga is home to many interesting animals in Torres del Paine.
Arguably one of the most exclusive locations in the park, the Hosteria Pehoe is located on an island in the lake Pehoe.
It doesn’t come with any type of luxury and the hotel might be a bit worn at places, but the position is clearly unrivalled.
Rooms are located in four separate buildings. There’s heating in all of the rooms, and private bathrooms as well.
There’s a restaurant and a bar as well. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel, you can enjoy the views from the cafeteria during lunch.
Refugios and campsites in Torres del Paine
Refugios in Torres del Paine are basically hiking hostels. Since they are located near the hiking trails, they have campsites available as well.
Since refugios are privately owned, their adjacent campsites are paid.
The only free campsites are operated by the CONAF, which is a government organization. Those are campsites Italiano and Paso. Unfortunately, you can’t stay in them overnight for now.
The other campsites are operated by two companies: Fantastico Sur (Las Torres) and Vertice. Most of these are located near refugios operated by the same companies and you can get food there, as well as rent camping equipment so you don’t have to carry your own.
These are the refugios and campsites in Torres del Paine along the W and O treks:
- Refugio and Camping Paine Grande (Vertice)
- Refugio and Camping Grey (Vertice)
- Camping Italiano (CONAF)
- Camping and Domes Francés (Fantastico Sur (Las Torres))
- Refugio, Camping and cabins Los Cuernos (Fantastico Sur (Las Torres))
- Refugio and Camping Torres Central and Norte (Fantastico Sur (Las Torres))
- Refugio and Camping El Chileno (Fantastico Sur (Las Torres))
- Camping Serón (Fantastico Sur (Las Torres))
- Refugio and camping Dickson (Vertice)
- Camping Los Perros (Vertice)
- Camping Paso (CONAF)
Read more about each of these refugios and campsites in Torres del Paine in our article.
What food is there available in Torres del Paine?
Food in Torres del Paine is a bit of a problem.
There are no specific restaurants – they are available only as a part of hotels and refugios. The restaurants offer breakfasts and dinners, as well as lunches which you can often get as a takeaway. These are perfect for days of hiking.
You don’t necessarily have to stay in the hotel to enjoy the dinner that they offer – so don’t be scared to try different places during your stay in Torres del Paine. There’s loads of interesting food to enjoy in Patagonia!
There is a café located near the Salto Grande waterfall. It offers soups, salads, and sandwiches. But be aware that, since it’s the only café in Torres del Paine and located near a very popular landmark, it’s usually very full.
Some of the refugios have convenience stores available with some limited options, but be aware that the prices are not low.
The best option, if you’d like your own snacks, is to get them in a supermarket before arriving in the park. We’d recommend shopping in Punta Arenas if you go there, as the supermarkets in Puerto Natales have a smaller choice and higher prices.
There’s a restaurant in Cerro Castillo Estancia El Ovejero Patagonico – about an hour’s drive from the eastern parts of Torres del Paine which we can recommend. It’s especially convenient if you continue on to Argentina after visiting Torres del Paine.
What animals are there in Torres del Paine?
Since the climate in Torres del Paine is rather harsh, it might come as a surprise to you that there is actually quite rich and interesting wildlife in the park.
With 120 types of birds, 250 types of plants and 25 mammals, Torres del Paine really cannot complain about lack of diversity in flora and fauna.
It might come as a surprise to you, though, that there are some animals in Torres del Paine, especially birds, that you would expect to see in the tropics, not next to glaciers.
Examples? Sure! Flamingos and parakeets!
Many of the animals are close to extinction, mainly because of the loss of habitat, which is actually really sad. Examples of those would be the huemul deer and condor, both of which are actually on the coat of arms of Chile.
On the other hand, Geoffroy’s cats used to be endangered, but because of conservation efforts, it’s not anymore! Yay!
What activities can you do in Torres del Paine?
There are different activities in Torres del Paine National Park for different tastes and levels of physical ability.
You can, obviously, go hiking – there are many trails that don’t require overnight stays in a tent or even a high level of endurance. There are even guided glacier hikes available!
But there is so much more available!
There are all kinds of outdoor activities in Torres del Paine – kayaking, and fishing, and horse-riding, mountain biking, and even puma tracking! So many activities and most of them don’t require any prior knowledge.
At the end of the day, if the weather doesn’t really allow you to do any of the paid activities as it did for us, there’s always sightseeing and enjoying a glass of wine in a hot tub.
Last words about Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine is definitely one of the most interesting parks in Patagonia.
There are loads of things to do and even more to see.
If you’re looking for a unique vacation idea, this is definitely a place you should visit. The scenery will definitely leave you impressed.
Just know that the wind will probably knock your hat off. And maybe your socks as well.