An 11-day Chilean Backpacking Excursion filled with new friends, amazing adventure, and a once in a lifetime experience.
Detailed Itinerary (subject to change)
Our tailored backpacking excursion through Torres del Paine is an 11-day excursion in southern Chilean Patagonia filled with a beautiful mix of luxury and adventure. From 5-star hotels, riverside camps, glaciers, otherworldly vistas, and one of the most incredibly backpacking experiences in the world, we have everything covered.
Dates: December 23 – January 2
Fly in to Punta Arenas
Fly in to Punta Arenas. Transfer from Punta Arenas to The Noi Indigo Hotel. I will be greeting you here and helping you get settled after your long travel. Once everyone has arrived at this beautiful boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Puerto Natales we’ll sit down for an amazing dinner and cocktails and go over the next 10 days.
Christmas Eve at Pampa Lodge
Private Zodiac from the Singular Hotel into Torres del Paine National Park. Taking the Zodiac into the park is incredibly special. Only a few people get the chance to witness this. We’ll be arriving in style floating up river past glaciers and through lagoons. After this we’ll start our day by jumping aboard an enclosed cabin boat that will take us close to Balmaceda Glacier. Here we’ll disembark and take a lovely walk through native wood- lands seeing a variety of birds and spring flowers before reaching the incredible Serrano Glacier and its incredible lagoon of icebergs. This is truly a site to see as we are sadly losing our glacier at an incredibly fast rate. We’ll then float the Serrano River taking in unique angles of Torres del Paine, sit down for a traditional asado lunch with an incredi- ble view of the glacier. Christmas Eve we kick up our feet and lay our heads at the stunning Pampa Lodge in the National Park.
Let the Trek Begin!
Our transfer takes us along an unpaved road heading to Torres Del Paine. When entering the Park, we will have excellent picture taking opportunities of guanacos (llama family) and Grey foxes, driving alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black- necked swans. We will start our first day trekking to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. Our walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests (Nothofagus family), glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (2952ft), excellent for picture taking. At this point we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (9350ft) and a lagoon with slurry waters due to erosion produced by glaciers. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch, and after being awed by the towers we’ll start our descent, following the same path back to our camp. 2 hours by private transfer, 7-8 hours round-trip, 18 KM
The Trek Continues!
We will begin this day early morning, and weather permitting, to enjoy an impressive view of the Tower’s peaks painted with orange light. We will start our walk through a very old tall deciduous beech forest with the chance to see a woodpecker or fresh puma tracks. We follow a well marked trail, slightly sloping, that will lead us to an excellent viewpoint of Paine Chico Mountain in the distance, to finally arrive at the Serón camp site where we will set up our camp and enjoy a good dinner. 4-5 hours, 9 KM
Endless Flowers & Beautiful Sights!
This is the easiest span but especially interesting for flower lovers who, depending on the season, will see orchids, calceolarias, violets and oxalis. We will go around Paine Lake along a flattish path with views of many mountains, including Cerro Escudo (The Shield) and Cerro Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head Mountain -the profile of an Indian is observed in the rocks). Lastly we will arrive at the beginning of the Paine River, from where we will be able to see the incredible Cerro Cubo (Cube Mountain) and Dickson Lake. 6-7 hours, 18.5 KM
Following Los Perros River
At this point we will start one of the most beautiful sections of the park, walking through some of the oldest beech forests, along an undulating path, following Los Perros River, with breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls and exuberant vegetation. We will cross a hanging bridge over Los Perros River to arrive at the terminal moraine of the hanging glacier, giving birth to a lagoon with sedimentary waters. Half an hour from this point is Los Perros campsite where we will stay overnight. 5 hours, 9 KM
Rewarding Day Through the Grey Glacier & Southern Ice Field
This is the most difficult day of the whole circuit, but at the same time has a dramatic beauty worthy of the effort. We will head up on a pronounced path through forests to arrive at a swamp area, keeping us busy for a couple of hours. We will continue ascend- ing, maybe finding some snow, until coming to the John Garner pass at 1200MTS above sea level. From here we have an outstanding view of the Grey Glacier and the Southern Ice Field, with its many unclimbed peaks. We will head off alongside the glacier, on an up and down path through fallen trees, contrasting with the exuberance of the Nothofagus forests, walking underneath the Cordon Olguín with its huge thick granite walls. If lucky enough we will see ice calving from the front wall of the Grey Glacier, before ending up on a beach of sedimentary sand where we will spend the night. 10-11 hours, 22 KM–
Today we enjoy a leisure morning, around the camp or in front of the Glacier Grey looking for some ice calving from the huge glacier wall! Alternatively we can go ice hiking on glacier grey. We have lunch in the Refugio before we start a hike to the Pehoe Lake. 3-1⁄2 hours walk, 11 KM
Happy New Year!
After a good breakfast we commence our out and back trek to the French valley. We will start going around the south-west side of Paine Grande, the highest summit in the Park, through native forests of fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the hanging bridge over the French River to observe the first glimpses of the glacier. Then we will ascend (2953ft) for one hour amidst a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach a view point, with magnificent panoramic views, where we enjoy a good lunch. We will take the same path back to Pehoe Lake, and then cross the lake by catamaran and take a private transfer back to The Altiplanico complete with New Years Celebrations!! 6-7 hours, 17 KM, 35 minutes by catamaran, 2 hours by transfer.
Day of Leisure!
Day of leisure at The Altiplanico! Rest those weary feet.
Transfer from Altiplanico to Punta Arenas airport or Puerto Natales Airports.
What is included?
- All hotels, campsites, and private tents (pre setup for you at each campsite)
- All Excursions
- Private guide for our trek with knowledge of the flora and fauna and National Park.
- All food for our trek and hotel stays (Breakfast & Dinner)
- All transfers between destinations
What is NOT included?
- International airfare to and from Chile (Punta Arenas)
- Tipping our guides
- Backpack, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag
- A couple lunches here or there on the way to and from Punta Arenas
- Lunches at hotels
- Massages or treatments at hotels (if interested please inquire ASAP)