I returned from Patagonia a week ago, and I haven’t written any posts because, well, I’m just sad I’m not there anymore. My girlfriend Kalyn and I had an incredible time exploring both the Chilean and Argentinian sides of the region, and for a majority of the time we enjoyed spectacular weather.
Getting to Patagonia was a haul. After a 9 hour flight from Dallas to Santiago, Chile we tacked on another 3.5 hour flight down to Punta Arenas, Chile. From Punta Arenas, it was a series of lengthy bus rides from destination to destination. However, one destination stood out above the rest on our trip: Torres Del Paine National Park. Now, everywhere we went in the region was different and beautiful, but our 5 day/ 4 night trek in Torres Del Paine was the highlight. (Trekking around El Chalten, Argentina, home to Mount Fitz Roy was awesome and a close second. Check out my Instagram for pictures!)
As you may remember from my trip itinerary, our trek in Torres Del Paine was called the “W” because of how the route shaped through the park. The launch point for the park was in Puerto Natales, Chile. We got to Puerto Natales by taking a 3.5 bus ride from Punta Arenas. We spent the night in Puerto Natales at an awesome hostel called Tin House Patagonia (and we would stay there again after we completed the trek). Because so many people head to the national park from Puerto Natales, the town has everything you need for your trek. We purchased all of our food, fuel, and some random equipment for the W-Trek the day before we headed out. Something that made our lives a little difficult was that we arrived in the city on a Sunday, and a majority of the stores were closed. We ended up finding everything that we needed, but it turned out to be a trek in its own right (upon returning to Puerto Natales on a Friday, every store was open and sold everything we could have needed).
We spent the evening at the Tin House organizing all of our food and supplies and dividing them between our two packs. Now because we had packed for two weeks, we had a bunch of additional items we didn’t need for the 5 day trek. Luckily, our hostel let us keep a bag of stuff behind to claim upon our return. After getting our bags loaded up, we cooked up a nice dinner, split a bottle of Chilean red wine, and got to bed too late for our 6am wake up.
The next morning we took a bus around 7am to Torres del Paine. The bus ride was about 2.5 hours, and while that may seem like a perfect opportunity to grab a couple more hours of sleep, I stayed awake with anticipation. We entered the park at Laguna Amarga, where we payed our entrance fee, got a quick tutorial from a park ranger, and hopped on another bus that would take us to towards our starting point. I also caught a glimpse of the famous Las Torres, which I would see up close and personal on the last day of the trek. The transfer bus dropped us off at the catamaran (ferry) stop at Lake Pehoe. The ferry was stuffed with backpackers heading to the trail head at Paine Grande to begin the adventure. The ferry ride was also gorgeous. Lake Pehoe was an otherworldly color of blue, and it offered splendid views into the park.
Now I want to show you what the trek looked like each day. So enjoy the pictures and make sure to read the captions. Here is another look at the map of the the trek:
Day 1- Paine Grande to Refugio Grey
Day 2-Refugio Grey to Refugio Francés
Day 3-Valle Francés to Refugio Los Cuernos
Day 4-Refugio Cuernos to Refugio Chileno
Day 5- Sunrise hike to Las Torres and hike to Hotel Torres for pick-up
The “W” Trek was one of the greatest experience of my life. Each day was like hiking through a postcard. We trekked about 12 miles per day didn’t shower once. The last morning sunrise chase was the perfect way to cap off the trek.
Hope you enjoyed the visuals of my trek in Torres del Paine! Stay tuned for some more posts on my adventure in Patagonia. Explore on!