Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

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Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby rwfox » Mon 17 May, 2010 10:00 am

The wife and I are planning to walk the Paine Circuit (10 days) in Patagonian Andes next March. It looks like it will be around the 20th of March which is getting late in the season.
But the Lonely Planet guide seems to think it will be alright at that time. Has anybody walked the circuit in march? Can you help with information:

Which is the best way to get to park with backpacks via Boat or Bus? Which one gets you to the start point?

We also need to book the Refugio's, Can this be done in advance? (NZ model) or when you arrive at the park entrance? Its a long way to go, so it would be nice to have the accommodation booked.
However, in Europe we used to just phone ahead for the next couple nights. (I won't have a phone on this trip).

I have herd you can buy supplies (and wine) on the walk, but that may only be in peak season?

I will need fuel for my MSR is there a shop at the park? or will I have to buy in Puerto Natales (petrol)?

My wife is not keen on red meat is this going to be a problem at the Refugio's?

Tent: how windy is windy?

We shall be traveling from Ushuaia on the 17th to Punta Arenas is the Bus the best way?

Are there any other walks in the south we NEED to do?

Any other tips would be welcome :D .

Cheers Roy
Last edited by rwfox on Thu 26 Aug, 2010 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Joel » Sun 23 May, 2010 2:29 am

wow...

good luck with that Roy.

Maybe you should contact a Patagonian Trekking agency?
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Ushuaia » Mon 24 May, 2010 12:05 pm

Hey Roy,
March is an awesome time with the fagus colour change! The circuit typically opens late in the season due to land slips following winter...and remains open till around May - but hey this was in 08.

The most economical way to get to the park is via bus from Puerto Natales. You can arrange a bus to the park directly at your hostel, or through various travel agents in puerto natales...If organised from your hostel the bus typically picks you up directly from your hostel.

Refugios - not sure. We tented for the whole circuit and avoided that scene. Although, the refugios on the back half of the circuit eg dickson and perros are not as extravagant and maynot be as well equipped as the larger refugios (which seem more like hotels) set on the W track.

Refugio shops - Yes - some of the refugios have small shops where you can buy supplies like chocolate, wine and fuel etc. The refugios set on the W track were open during the autumn as it is very popular. However, it varies from year to year and is alot more variable for those set on the remoter parts of the circuit. I would purchase important stuff like fuel in Puerto Natales- Bencina Blanca is readily available.

Wind? Yes it is very windy! However, should you chose to stay at the designated camp grounds most are set in sheltered locations. From memory Pehoe camp seemed to be wind whipped, but we didnt camp there.

French valley is really cool and the camp ground Britanico is reccommended should you want to trudge that little bit more up the valley to avoid the masses and camp closer to the Cuernos.

Cheers, e
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby rwfox » Mon 31 May, 2010 10:01 am

Ushuaia..
.......Thanks for the information its really good to get feedback from someone that's actually done the walk. I was using an old copy of the Lonely planet guide from the library. But having now got the latest addition, it gives the booking contacts for the Refugio's. They are run by several different company's. The cost of accommodation with meals (hot shower) is around $55 dollars which is much cheaper that Europe last year.
I will carry a tent as there is one very long day that some people split by camping. Plus its always useful if the snoring gets to bad in the Refugio.
The book also suggests that the winds can drop off in March so that's a positive. I still have a fair bit of planning to go with my itinerary based on how many weeks I can get of work .

Roy :D
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Fitz » Sun 27 Jun, 2010 12:29 pm

Accom is easily available in the P Natales, people will meet you off the bus with their offers (dont worry, very civilised). We were never disappointed by the quality.
Rd meat, I dont think they eat much else!
Windy, Oh yeah, "lifted me up in the air and deposited me 5 meters away windy". (Late Feb, beautiful scenery). As previous poster stated camp sites are pretty good - mostly sheltered.
Refugios are hit and and miss, used a lot by the large squads of Israelis when we were there. I found that to be unpleasant. A tent is the way to go.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby rwfox » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 6:34 pm

I thought I would share some pictures of the walk now I have completed it.
I think Tasmania's walkers would love it, there were similar fungus species and beautiful beach trees in full colour.
The walk is quite diverse with Mountains, Glaciers, Lakes, Snow and Wild Wild Winds. :D
Attachments
RKW_2011_4160.jpg
Torres Del Paine
RW_2011_3371.jpg
Views on the W track
RW_2011_4052.jpg
Beach Trees in Colour
RW_2011_3863.jpg
Sunrise
RW_2011_3702.jpg
Glaciar Grey
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby stepbystep » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 7:28 pm

Awesome place, one day..... thanks for sharing :)
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby weetbix456 » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 8:27 pm

woahhh..thats amazing! 12 months away and counting :mrgreen:
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Drifting » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 8:33 pm

oh brother am I jealous!
All good things are wild, and free.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Azza » Thu 10 Nov, 2011 10:26 am

rwfox wrote:The wife and I are planning to walk the Paine Circuit (10 days) in Patagonian Andes next March. It looks like it will be around the 20th of March which is getting late in the season.
But the Lonely Planet guide seems to think it will be alright at that time. Has anybody walked the circuit in march? Can you help with information:

Which is the best way to get to park with backpacks via Boat or Bus? Which one gets you to the start point?



Hi,

I did the full circuit in March this year. It was one of the most amazing walks I've ever done.

March is a good time, just outside the crazy peak season - so things aren't too crowded, the weather can get a bit windy though.

There is no boat to the park.. you'll need to catch a bus, all the accommodation in puerto natalles can arrange transport for you.
There is no need to book ahead, just the night before. The bus can drop you off in a number of locations, so you need to work out
where you want to start. There is no 'specific starting' point.
I made the decision based on the weather - it was a perfect blue bird data so we got dropped off at Armaga and then got a beat up shuttle bus
down to the Hotel Las Torres and walked up to the Central Towers of Paine. (And started the circuit from there)
Other options include starting down at Paine Grande or Refugio Grey - you need to catch a ferry. I didn't do that. But the ferry is pretty expensive from memory.


rwfox wrote:
We also need to book the Refugio's, Can this be done in advance? (NZ model) or when you arrive at the park entrance? Its a long way to go, so it would be nice to have the accommodation booked.
However, in Europe we used to just phone ahead for the next couple nights. (I won't have a phone on this trip).


We didn't stay in the refugio's. I had a tent and was quite happy to camp. So I think you can book ahead - I just don't know how.
Once you added up the cost of the refugio accommodation and food, it got really expensive per night. Maybe $80 per head.
Versus $14 to pitch a tent outside, and you had access to the showers as well.
Occasionally we'd go into the Refugio and have dinner and a goon box of wine.
At that time of year I didn't see a need to book ahead, the refugio's weren't full, and they were just starting construction of some new mega-super sized refugio's in the park.

If you want to do the full circuit - you may want to consider carrying a tent. Round the back of the park the refugio's are sparse.
You can rent tents at some campsites, but your putting yourself under significant pressure to get from one refugio to the next.
e.g. Chileno to Refugio Grey is a big day. Seron to Chileno as well.
I don't recommend doing it simply because your rushing through some spectacular scenery.
Also the section between Chileno and Refugio grey - gets very Tasmanian with knee deep mud and is certainly a shock to people who aren't used to it.

rwfox wrote:I have herd you can buy supplies (and wine) on the walk, but that may only be in peak season?

I will need fuel for my MSR is there a shop at the park? or will I have to buy in Puerto Natales (petrol)?

My wife is not keen on red meat is this going to be a problem at the Refugio's?



No problems getting 'supplies' at that time of year. El gato goon boxes are ~ $8 per litre. Beer is about $5 a bottle.
You can buy chocolate bars etc and all sorts of random stuff at campsites and refugios. Personally I wouldn't rely on it for major supplies.

Buy petrol in Puerto Natales.

I don't think we had any red meat in the refugio... mostly chicken from memory.

rwfox wrote:Tent: how windy is windy?

We shall be traveling from Ushuaia on the 17th to Punta Arenas is the Bus the best way?

Are there any other walks in the south we NEED to do?

Any other tips would be welcome :D .

Cheers Roy


Windy - very..... but the camp sites are very sheltered so its not an issue. Just out walking you can get blown off your feet.

The best way to Ushuaia is to fly. Barring that the bus works. The usual route is to travel up to El Catafate in Argentina and fly down from there.
Which leads onto other must do walks... El Chalten -> Fitzroy and Cerro Torre are spectacular.

You can PM if you want any further info.

CHeers

Aaron
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby rwfox » Thu 10 Nov, 2011 2:29 pm

Thanks Aaron for some good tips. (Next March is actually last March now) I think we must have been on the track a week after you, we spent 12 days in the park.
There was also an entry in one Refugio guest book from someone in Deloraine, they had been there a week before us. Plus we meet some guys from Flinders Island on our walk.

One extra tip when planning, is that the new large refuge at Las Torres closes on the 1st of April.
After which its camping or the expensive hotel. We camped and had dinner/ beer in the Hotel. :D
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Azza » Thu 10 Nov, 2011 4:34 pm

:oops: lol... I didn't look at the dates...!

I think I was there around early/mid March, before heading up to El Chalten then down to Ushuaia. I certainly noticed the season change and towards the end of march the tourists started dropping off as the wind increased.

Truly a magical place my only regret was not doing more walking and camping while in South America. I guess there is always next time.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby weetbix456 » Thu 10 Nov, 2011 8:49 pm

haha, i enjoyed the tips azza! thanks a lot
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby rwfox » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 1:47 pm

Hi Onestepmore.
There is some more information on Torre Del Panie here. Maybe the two leads need to be combined. Cheers rw
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Onestepmore » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 4:47 pm

Thank you for bumping this
I just got a rude shock when I investigated plane travel costsfor Syd to Santiago etc. Steep.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Hallu » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 5:10 pm

Yeah I've looked at it a while ago, and it's between 1600 $ and 2000 $ return depending on whether you go in the shoulder or peak season. You also may wanna stick to companies such as Qantas, Air NZ or Emirates, and LAN as the safest South-American airline.
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Onestepmore » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 7:06 pm

Well, that must have been a while ago!
Unfortunately we have to go peak season, Dec/Jan, as it's the only time my husband can close his business down for a few weeks.
Economy return from Sydney to Santiago with Qantas, and then LAN to Punta Arenas and return same route is $8, 902.
/cry
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Re: Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

Postby Hallu » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 7:58 pm

That was for Sydney/Santiago in November. But it seems the January return flights to Santiago are between 3000 $ and 4000 $ per person, this is insane, same thing for Buenos Aires... And a return flight Santiago/PA is around 450/500 $ return. Either it's expensive because it's peak season, either it's because it's too early to book. But February prices drop... I think it may actually be less expensive for you to go via Los Angeles, New York, or Mexico City in January... But yeah, 4500 $ for a flight is really steep...
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