Torres del Paine Wildlife Extension

Patagonia symbolizes faraway, still unexplored lands and untouched wilderness. Here, hidden at the far south of the Andes is the Torres del Paine National Park, by far one of the most impressive sights in the southern hemisphere. This program appeals to the traveler who is primarily interested in discovering the wildlife of the national park and who may not wish to walk over the traditional, more difficult trekking trails. The dramatic mountain formations crowded with glaciers, lakes, fjords, ancient forests and incredibly varied wildlife, such as guanacos, flamingos, condors, and huemules (Andean deer) offer some of the most magnificent views in the world.

Trip Itinerary

ANTICIPATED ITINERARY, ACTUAL ROUTE MAY VARY

Day 1  §  Santiago/Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
You’ll be met at the airport in Punta Arenas (arrive around 1:00 pm with the earliest flight from Santiago) for your transfer (216 miles/5 hours) to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way you’ll stop in Puerto Natales to view the town and enjoy lunch. Here, you will have the chance to leave any luggage that you will not need during the trek in our local office in Puerto Natales and to take the short walk to see the enormous Cueva del Milodon, a giant geological wonder that once sheltered the remains of a prehistoric sloth. In the southern hemisphere’s summer, the sun sets around 11:00 pm, giving you plenty of light to admire the landscape and the craggy mountains as you enter Torres del Paine National Park. Upon arriving, you will be treated to a wonderful dinner. Spend the night at the EcoCamp or at Hosteria Las Torres. (L,D)

Day 2  §  Lago Sarmiento
Take a drive through the park, enjoying views of Lago Nordensjkjold and Lago Pehoe along the way, until you arrive at the Paso La Feria where you begin walking toward Lago Sarmiento. This trail features great views of the Paine Massif and allows for frequent spotting of condors, guanaco herds, and puma tracks. Later today, drive back to the EcoCamp or Hosteria Las Torres for dinner and your overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 3  §  Lake Pehoe
Today cross to the western side of the park with stops at some secluded lagoons for short walks and bird watching. Laguna Amarga is a great place for spotting Chilean flamingos, and Laguna Cisnes is noted for its swan colony. Upon reaching Lake Pehoe, you visit the Salto Grande and walk on the Nordenskjold trail (1 to 1 1/2 hours roundtrip) to a lookout with impressive views of the Cuernos del Paine peaks, which tower at 8,700 feet. End the day with a short nature walk at Lago Toro and a look at the visitor’s center, before heading back to the EcoCamp or Hosteria Las Torres for dinner and your overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 4  §  Lake Grey & Grey Glacier
Enjoy a wildlife-watching walk along the Pingo River Gorge up to the Chorrillo de los Salmones (1 1/2 to 2 hours roundtrip, weather permitting). This route takes you through native beech forests and an assortment of remarkable geological features. After a box lunch, walk for about 45 minutes across the sandy beaches of Lake Grey to board a boat. Sail across Grey Lake (3 hours) and approach the towering walls of the beautiful Grey Glacier. Dinner and overnight at the EcoCamp or Hosteria Las Torres. (B,L,D)

Day 5  §  Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas/Santiago/Onward
Early this morning you leave for Punta Arenas. Arrive at the airport in time to catch the evening flight back to Santiago. In Santiago, you will catch your onward international flight. (B,L)

 

NOTES:

THE ECOCAMP is a type of luxury camp similar in concept to the famous African lodges. It is an environmentally friendly camp, especially important in a National Park with the characteristics of Torres del Paine. It was designed with comfort in mind, yet stresses the importance of interfering as little as possible with the natural surroundings. Sleeping occurs in big comfortable 2-meter-high domed tents that have wooden floors and are resistant to the strongest winds, rain, and even Patagonian snow. They are each equipped with 2 or 3 single beds, sheets, blankets, and down comforters. The EcoCamp has a large dome tent equipped with a living area, a dining room, and a fully equipped kitchen run by a chef. The EcoCamp also includes a bathroom module/cabin with composting toilets, showers, and solar-heated hot water.

HOSTERIA LAS TORRES is located at the entrance of Asencio Valley, on the doorway to the Paine granite pillars. Its wooden one-floor construction resembles old Estancia architecture, and the building houses over 50 rooms.
HOSTERIA GREY is located on the southern shore of Lago Grey inside of Torres del Paine National Park. The Hosteria offers a nice view of the lake and its floating icebergs. It has 20 rooms with private bathrooms, hot water, and a central heater.
HOSTERIA TYNDALL is located by the Serrano River at the southwestern side of the park, with good access to Lake Grey, Lake Toro, Pingo Valley, Tyndall Glacier, and the Pacific Ocean. The Hosteria is a wooden building with a broad view of the Cuernos del Paine peaks.



Duration 5 days
Group Size 2-14
Lodging 1 star-3 stars
Grade I-II
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