Torres del Paine
The above map is of the only trails available in the park, it’s not like any other park where you have multiple trails, these are the only ones. The classic ‘W’ shown in red is the most popular one. The yellow “O” also joins onto the red ‘W’ but the back part in yellow, you will find a lot less people. The usual time for the ‘W’ is 5days/4nights and for the ‘O’ is 9days/8nights. But of course, you can go at your own speed and there are many different ways to hike these trails. Such as, do it all on your own – bring your tent and food. Then you have the other options of hiring someone to guide you through the park, with prepared meals and sleeping in refugios (better than a tent, not quite a cabin, usually domes). So you have one extreme to the next; glamping vs roughing it.
Also looking at the map, it seems as though some of these hikes you can do in a day, like just hiking to the Towers. Sure can. The only thing is transportation into and out of the park isn’t the best and it takes 2 hours from Puerto Natales to the park. So these day hikes become more unrealistic. Staying in the park is also really expensive. There are no hostels.. many pricey hotels. So if you’re gonna go, do the W or the O hike. Another option is taking just a day tour of the park, but you’ll be in the bus a lot and there is no hiking. it brings you to scenic points.
we had the WORST luck with weather here and since we got stuck in Ushuaia, it meant less days here, 3 to be exact so doing the ‘W’ would not be possible. It rained constantly and snowed in the park. So much snow that they closed the French Valley since the snow was up to your thigh. Because of the rain and snow, this meant low clouds and seeing the mountain peaks would be rare. We spent a lot of time in our hostel backpackers kaweskar which i would highly recommend. Every few hours we were checking the weather, hoping it would clear up. No luck. We decided to go with the day tour since it was the best option for us to still see the park in the time we had.
This is what we saw on our tour
This was the best we saw of the towers…
The wind was also crazy strong, I was afraid to hold anything, even my phone in fear that it would fly away. Here in the picture below you can actually see the group of girls to the right falling over. Hence my power stance.
These are the devils horns…
And this is the shore at Grey Glacier. We couldn’t get up too close to the glacier since we didn’t have any time really. but we were able to walk the shore of it, in freezing cold weather.
Needless to say, I will be back to do the ‘O’