Ok. I will not say I am the most knowledgeable, passionate or enduring hiker. But this trek made me smile. Right through. Blisters, trembling knees, screaming toes, stinging sunshine & tears with laughter: We’ve had it all. Read on if you want to find out how you, too, could enjoy the hike of a lifetime. In amazing, beautiful Torres del Paine National Park. With the most amazing friends: World Travelers Anne-Laure & Julien, complete with “Pins And Needles” in their legs 😀
The Arrival: EcoCamp Patagonia
For anyone with a budget and an appetite for a once-in-a-lifetime, “glamping” (glamorous camping) experience, I shall definitely recommend EcoCamp Patagonia. Their strong environmental mission sets them apart from all other accommodation in rural Chile, and their staff is ever so kind making sure we feel absolutely comfortable. Camping huts such as the luxurious, top-notch suite dome we are invited to stay in are unlike anything I have ever experienced before. A must-do for avid luxury travellers in Torres del Paine!
Day 1: Hiking into Las Torres del Paine Mountains
It pays to get up for sunrise. Seriously. I know it might seem hard, but let’s put it this way: When was the last time your goal for the day beckoned you so nicely … ? On our way up the mountain, we are blessed with ever-improving weather conditions: Both spirits and clouds are lifting!
Tip of the day: Leave your luggage (trekking pack / camping gear) at Campamento Chileno and climb the world-famous Torres del Paine with just a bottle of water, some snacks & a great camera to celebrate. An experience you will never forget!!!
Day 2: From Campamento Chileno to Refugio Los Cuernos
For this day, I will start straight with the tip of the day: Be wary of other people’s tips! This might sound contradictory, but remember: Enjoying this trek pretty much depends on your individual physical ability and preparation, regardless of what other (fitter / faster / more experienced) hikers may say. So go prepared: Scarfs for intense sun or cold wind & rain, flip flops to wear in the evening (remember those “screaming toes”!), iPhone that doubles as a mirror & alarm, a charger for your camera. Oh and the chocolate. Oh, and the money to buy extra wine from the huts … or else 😉
On this second day, we gradually move downhill from Las Torres to amazing Los Cuernos Mountains, managing sticks and stones, shaping our legs, sharing stories, watching wildlife, eating heaps, smelling er going strong, and sleeping early. It’s a hiker’s life !
Day 3: Valle Francés & Paine Grande
For those of you who may have wondered so far: The “W-Trek” actually is shaped like a W, yes! On our third day hiking, we make it to the “centre of the W”, or into the French Valley – spot on for my friends from “La Grande Nation”! We are just about in time to appreciate the giant French Valley Glacier before the mist descends and rain chases us towards our last hut at Paine Grande. With the weather turning, we are even more appreciative of just how lucky we were on the whole trek so far. Wow !
As our last tip of the day, we recommend sharing your experience of hiking in Patagonia with friends, either long-term or more recent, like-minded travellers from the road. It is just so much more amazing walking “the Camino” together – and yes, those “caminos” are everywhere, not only in Spain. Nature wields its own power and spirituality, and much of this can be felt here in Torres del Paine. Be sure to check it out !
For any more tips on hiking & trekking in Torres del Paine, please feel free to leave me a message here! My friends and I will be very glad to help 😀