How to Prepare trekking in Torres del Paine
The main attraction of the Torres del Paine National Park is undeniably the majesty of its mountains, the unique landscapes and extensive trekking circuits that are an open road for visitors to enjoy a complete experience.
However, there are some suggestions that we will recommend you to consider, to avoid being exposed to problems or setbacks during the trip, allowing you to enjoy the best experience of trekking in Torres del Paine.
Chilean Patagonia is located in the extreme south of Chile, territory characterized by the rough terrain and a radically variable weather. Therefore prepare your trip is a step that requires a lot of concern. The following list contains items that we recommend don’t forget before you start the journey to the Torres del Paine.
Recommendations for trekking
- There are many trails in Torres del Paine, you can make some of them in a day and others are part of trekking circuits. The W circuit has a 62 km of distance in total and crossing all the way it takes at least about 5 days and 4 nights. For this reason, it is necessary to study the route in advance, estimating times and distances, in order to control the unexpected factors.
- It is important have a trail map all the time, which allows tracing your location as accurately as possible (at the Park admission you will be receiving a map). Also, you must respect all signaling pathways of the park, allowing you to maintain a safe trip.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water per day is a crucial factor. Due to the extensive travel, hydration is recommended every 5 minutes per hour of walking. Water from streams of Torres del Paine is clean and safe, so you can go on the way resupplying; remember to always use water to areas distant to populated areas, like buildings and campgrounds.
- To transport all the necessary, equip a backpack with good capacity and fully adjustable to your body type, where in addition to water and food, you can carry your clothing and personal items. If you sleep and eat in shelters, a 5-8 kilos pack is enough.
- A good way to complete the circuit W smoothly and timely is to maintain a steady walking pace according to your physical abilities; rests and hydrate frequently in short periods and begins each day journey early, ideally before 9:00 am, to have light all the way.
- Hat and gloves: thinsulate (thermal) provide good protection against the cold and wind, so be sure to add it to your luggage.
- Sunglasses with UV filter.
- T-repellent cloth (combination of polyester, cotton and other synthetic materials), which allow the rapid evaporation of perspiration and prevent body cooling.
- Sandals for crossings creek and rest (in some shelters you can’t enter with shoes).
- Shorts, short-sleeved and long sleeve T-shirts.
- Pants and trousers covered for water.
- Goretex parka, for weatherproof and extreme cold protection.
- Shoes or mountain trekking are important, because this type of footwear is specially manufactured to withstand extreme conditions, to provide comfort and safety when you’re walking. Those factors that can make the difference between an enjoyable trip and a disastrous experience (don’t bring new shoes!)
- Sunscreen and sun hat.
- Insect repellent, remember we are in a National Park, where although there’s no dangerous insects, you may find mosquitoes and other.
- Remember that in the Torres del Paine National Park there isn’t access to the Internet, so don’t overload yourself by adding a laptop. It is better to travel light and enjoy the various attractions of the Fantástico Sur shelters, cabins and campings.
- Within the park there are no ATMs, so we recommend traveling with cash or credit card.
- Do not forget that smoking is not allowed within the shelters, ashtrays are provided on the exterior spaces of these. Also remember that smoking is not permitted on hiking trails in the National Park, in order to reduce the risk of fire.
- Respect and signaling pathways of the park, don’t walk off trails, most parts of the accidents occur for not following directions.
- In some shelters it’s not allowed income with shoes, if you’re staying in shelter, you can keep them in your room.
- Camera: We recommend you bring a lot of batteries, because in the park is not possible to charge batteries, because we’re working with renewable energy systems and their efficient use.
- Binoculars: Most of the trails are full of wildlife birds. There are also good guidebooks that can help you identify the different species.
- Custody: Because no part of the W Circuit and starts and ends at the same point, we recommend you leave your stuff in Puerto Natales.
- Central Zone of Chile supplies the Patagonia with many products (from over 2000 km north of the region). You could find fruits and vegetables, but the variety is somewhat limited especially if you have a special diet.
- If you’re a vegetarian, allergic to lactose or celiac, report it when you’re booking. However, we recommend you bring some extra food that contributes to your diet.
In Chile there is a law to promote tourism, which are released from paying tax on your accommodation (VAT – 19%) tourists with the following requirements:
- Foreign tourists
- Non-residents in Chile
- pay in foreign currency
- stay in hotels or shelters (not applicable for Camping)
This is required:
- Present your passport, payable in foreign currency
- Card to enter the country and stay in shelters.
Take this off option and don’t forget to bring your documents!