Torres del Paine
October 17 - 23, 2021
Explore the famous Torres del Paine on this four-day extension. Discover the Paine Massif’s many faces from different vantage points throughout the park. Take a boat excursion to Grey Glacier in hopes of seeing it calve while taking in the beautiful colors of its face. Search for guanacos, foxes, Andean condors, Magellanic woodpeckers, and many other bird species all in the midst of the springtime display of the plants in this beautiful park.
• Discover the scenery and wildlife Torres del Paine is famous for: the Paine Massif, Andean condors, guanacos, and much more.
• Explore this park during springtime when plants are beginning to bloom.
• Three-hour boat excursion to the face of Grey Glacier.
This is a pre-trip extension to our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula tour from October 21 to November 12, 2021. The information in this itinerary is supplemental to the main itinerary.
Itinerary updated: July 2019
|Oct 17||Travel to Punta Arenas, Chile.|
|Oct 18||Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.||Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas, Chile|
|Oct 19||Drive to Torres del Paine stopping along the way for wildlife and photography opportunities.||Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, Torres del Paine||B,L,D|
|Oct 20||Dawn viewing the Horns, boat trip to Grey Glacier, and sunset viewing and photographing the clouds and mountains.||Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, Torres del Paine||B,L,D|
|Oct 21||Explore plant and bird life at alkaline ponds and reed-fringed lagoons.||Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, Torres del Paine||B,L,D|
|Oct 22||Dawn viewing the Towers or the Horns, and then drive back to Punta Arenas, stopping en route for wildlife, for your overnight included in the main tour.||B,L|
|Oct 23||Continue on our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula tour.|
Our Trip Leaders
Originally from Santiago, Matias moved to Patagonia in 2004 and now lives in Punta Arenas so he can spend more time enjoying nature and the outdoors. He has guided trips to King George Island, Buenos Aires, Brazil, the Chilean Lake District, and Patagonia. He works with nonprofit organizations that help conserve the local environment and ecosystems. Because he loves to expand his knowledge of biodiversity, photography, environmental interpretation, and conservation, you may find him in a course offered by the local universities.
A glimpse into our journey
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile. Our local agent will transfer you from the airport to the hotel. If you would like to arrive earlier, we can arrange divergent airport transfer and extra hotel nights.
Drive to Torres del Paine National Park
During your journey to the park, you will observe how the strong westerly winds have sculpted the vegetation of the Patagonian steppes. En route you may find guanaco, a southern relative to camels, southern grey fox, and Patagonian skunk while enjoying your first contact with southern beech (Nothofagus) forests. You will stop several times for photography and wildlife observation along the way. You may find colorful groups of Chilean flamingos on the alkaline pools and black-necked and coscoroba swans on the shores of Ultima Esperanza Fjord in Puerto Natales. Driving towards the park, enjoy splendid vistas of the hilly terrain and if it’s clear, of the Paine Massif in the distance. While visiting the valleys you will learn about the origins of the dramatic backdrop of Torres del Paine, one of the finest natural spectacles in Patagonia. In the evening you may do a nice nature walk or a sunset photo session.
Western Torres del Paine and Grey Glacier
You will start early to view and photograph the Paine Massif at dawn. Today you will explore the southern and western regions of this huge national park, which comprises 600,000 acres. The omnipresent Paine Massif, a magnificent set of rugged peaks formed out of granite and sedimentary rock, dominates the landscape. You will have the opportunity to explore the southern beech forests and its diversity of plants and animals; you may find Magellanic woodpecker, austral parakeet and, if you are lucky, the shy Andean deer (huemul). Take in the contrasting mosaic of towering mountains, glaciers, wetlands, steppes, and forests. Lake Grey is one of the highlights of the day. Colossal icebergs are stranded on the southern shore of the lake after a long and slow transit from the glacier front. From the southern shore you will board our boat (the M/V Grey II) for a 3-hour excursion through the icy waters of the lake towards the impressive and actively calving front of the Grey Glacier. Grey is one of the nearly 50 outlet glaciers originating from the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the world’s third largest ice cap after Antarctica and Greenland. The front is full of crevasses and the solid glacial ice colors vary from whitish to deep indigo. The glacier is flanked towards the east by impressive granite walls that are part of the Paine Massif, and towards the west by the eroded and low summits of the older Andes. The photography is great at this particular spot. You will be treated with a glass of Pisco sour or Scotch with millenary (glacier) ice. In the evening you may do an optional photo outing for sunset and the dramatic cloud formations.
Eastern Torres del Paine
You will keep exploring the alkaline ponds and reed-fringed lagoons located of the eastern part of the park. Approximately 120 bird species are found in the park and you will see a considerable number of them with the help of binoculars and the spotting scope. The flora is also very worthwhile for observation and photography; the park holds probably nearly 500 plant species, and since it’s springtime, it’s a great time to see the myriad of flowers that bloom in these magnificent landscapes. In the evening you may do another optional outing to view and photograph the mountains and clouds at sunset.
Eastern Torres del Paine and back to Punta Arenas
You will start early to photograph and view the Towers or the Horns with the first light. With the right lighting, the mountain base turns orange and the scene becomes very dramatic with peculiar lenticular clouds moving fast over the peaks. At the eastern corner of Sarmiento Lake, you will reach a location that commands the most incredible views of the towering peaks of Las Torres, the pinnacles from which the park takes its name. As you move around the park, you might observe herds of guanaco, the curious-looking lesser rhea, and impressive Andean condors soaring along the road. During the morning you will visit the eastern side of the park to enjoy the views of one of the impressive waterfalls of Paine River and if it’s clear, of the fabulous granite columns of the Paine massif from Laguna Amarga. If you’d prefer to hike to the base of the Towers, you can opt to do this today; your hotel can provide a guide (costs extra). After your picnic lunch, you will head back to Punta Arenas.
Join our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula tour
See the South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula tour itinerary for today’s details.
Explore the famous Torres del Paine on this four-day extension.
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Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Trip Cost, double occupancy||$3,300|
This cost will be added to your main tour balance. The payment schedule and cancellation policy are the same as for the main tour. See main tour itinerary for complete terms and conditions.
- All leaders, transport, park entry fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Accommodations for the nights of October 18 through October 21; your overnight on October 22 is included in the main safari costs.
- Meals from breakfast on October 19 through lunch on October 22.
- Mineral water to refill your reusable water bottle.
- Airport transfers from Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel Cabo de Hornos, regardless of arrival day.
- Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.
- All airfare, airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
- Passport and visa fees.
- We can arrange divergent airport transfers and extra hotel nights for an extra cost.
- Gratuities – tipping is, of course, discretionary, however we suggest budgeting about $25 per participant per day for October 19-22 with our leader (about $100 total per participant).
- Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Read more about travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.
Torres del Paine is notorious for its unpredictable weather conditions, so be prepared for wind, warm sun, and sudden cold. The average temperatures in Torres del Paine in October range from about 35°F (2°C) at night to about 55°F (13°C) during the day, and rain is infrequent.
Airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.
Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ) by October 18. Depart from Ushuaia, Argentina (USH) after 12:00pm on November 11.