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Location of Torres del Paine

Servicio Nacional de Turismo Av. Providencia 1550, Santiago de Chile ✉ www.sernatur.cl/contacto-general ☎ (56 -2) 731 8336 (56 -2) 731 8337

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SERNATUR Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Government of Chile


L O C AT I O N O F T O R R E S D E L PA I N E

torres del paine

Park administration. The Torres del Paine National Park is administered by the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF). Its offices are found in the Lago Toro area, 80 kilometers from Puerto Natales and 33 kilometers from the Park’s main entrance. Offices include a visitors center which features environmental education activities. Office hours are from 8.30am to 8pm ptpaine@conaf.cl Phone: (56 61) 691 931 CONAF administration offices Lago Toro area

REGIONES: ARICA Y PARINACOTA

TARAPACÁ

ANTOFAGASTA

ATACAMA

U S E F U L I N F O R M AT I O N

Emergency numbers Ambulance 131 Police 133 Firefighters 132 Search and Rescue

136

Poison control

(56 2) 635 6800

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COQUIMBO

Tips A three-day trip is recommended to get to know all the main attractions and to avoid any letdowns due to stormy weather. The mountain peaks (Cuernos and Torres del Paine) are often covered by clouds.

VALPARAÍSO METROPOLITANA O´HIGGINS

To avoid rain, review weather conditions before selecting a route. If bad weather is predicted, the visit could begin from the Laguna Amarga sector, which takes hikers to a steppes area where there is little rainfall. If good weather is predicted, it is best to enter at the Serrano sector in order to see the Paine mountain peaks and the Grey Glacier.

DEL MAULE BIOBÍO

ARAUCANÍA LOS RÍOS

LOS LAGOS

The weather changes very quickly. Within a single day you can experience both cold and hot weather, wind, rain and even snow. It is best to wear layers of clothing, have a hat for both sunny and cold weather, and to carry sunblock and sunglasses.

AYSÉN

MAGALLANES

Torres del Paine

For a successful trek it is indispensable to have good quality gear and to wear three layers of clothing - the first layer to keep the humidity from building up, the second for warmth, and the third, breathable rain gear. Also indispensable are a good tent that can resist very strong winds, a sleeping bag for below-freezing temperatures and good trekking boots that have already been broken in. It is necessary to bring a good map, ideally one that you bought beforehand and thoroughly studied so you can familiarize yourself with key names, including Torres trekking routes, Camp Pehoé, Park Administration, Portería Serrano, and so forth.

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Transportation phone numbers Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Airport

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(56 61) 238 181


INTRODUCTION

The Torres del Paine National Park is the undisputed icon of Patagonia. Not just because of its impressive Cuernos and Torres del Paine mountains, which are portrayed in thousands of postcards, but also because the Park is unique in bringing together all of Patagonia’s principal ecosystems at a single location: pampas, forests, glaciers, mountains, lakes and rivers. UNESCO celebrated this unique diversity by declaring it a Biosphere Reserve. The Park’s trekking routes are considered to be among the most impressive in the world and provide the best views of the Paine Towers and the Campo de Hielo Sur glacier. There are also less strenuous trekking alternatives, and many of the Park’s attractions can be seen by car.


Highlights The Park’s trekking routes are considered to be among the best in the world. Patagonia’s principal ecosystems come together in one place: pampas, forests, glaciers, mountains, lakes and rivers. The possibility of taking close-up photographs of the animals is one of the Park’s greatest attractions. The fauna don’t feel threatened by people and don’t flee in their presence. The Park is open year-round and the climate is more stable in the winter, because there is less wind. In the summer there are more than 18 hours of daylight due to the Park’s southern latitude.

A C C E S S T O T H E T O R R E S D E L PA I N E N AT I O N A L PA R K

There are two access roads to the park from Puerto Natales, which is 247 km north of Punta Arenas. Both allow access to the park’s entire trekking route. The old road is 120 km long (60 km paved) and ends at the gateway to Laguna Amarga, Laguna Azul and Sarmiento. The new road is 80 km long, 20 km paved and 80 km gravel, , and ends at the gateway to Serrano. During the summer, there is regular bus service from Puerto Natales. A novel way of entering the park is in a zodiac boat from the Serrano River. The expedition begins onboard a ship from Puerto Natales that navigates the Última Esperanza fjord to visit the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers. Travelers then change to a fast-moving zodiac that crosses the river to enter the park. The trip offers exceptional views of the Campo de Hielo Sur glacier. Transportation Bus companies only provide daily service during High Season, while during low season they offer excursions depending on


the number of passengers. There are also private transport companies providing special minibus services for up to 12 people, as well as tourism taxis and rent a cars, which can be booked in Puerto Natales. Buses JB. Arturo Prat 258, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56- 61) 412 824, busesjb@hotmail.com

Buses Gomez. Arturo Prat 234, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56-61) 415 700 - 411 971 info@busesgomez.com

Buses Maria Jose. Esmeralda 869, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56-61) 414 312 - 412 218 Juan_lasa@hotmail.com

VIA PAINE Bulnes 518, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56-61) 414752 turismoviapaine@live.co

Entrance Fees for the Torres del Paine National Park. High Season (October 1 to April 30) Chilean citizens: $4,000 Foreigners: $15,000 Children: $500 Low Season (May 1 to September 30) Chilean citizens: $3,000 Foreigners: $8.000 Children: $400 * Prices are in Chilean pesos.


M U S T - S E E AT T R A C T I O N S I N PA I N E

The Torres del Paine peaks. These peaks are the most iconic and beautiful image of the park and Patagonia. The mountains include, among others, Paine Grande, the Cuernos del Paine, Almirante Nieto, Paine Chico and the famous Torres del Paine mountains themselves. Threading through these peaks are the two trekking routes: the “O” and the “W.” Lago Pehoé and Lago Nordenskjöld. These are the two most famous lakes in the park and have the best views of the Cuernos del Paine. They are surrounded by an imposingly beautiful landscape, accompanied by the lakes’ green waters. The Lago Grey and Glaciar Grey. The lake is formed by the Campo de Hielo. Sur glaciers and receives huge blocks of ice that break off from the Grey glacier, providing a truly spectacular sight. Enormous ice blocks float to the lake’s shore, providing a great photo-op. You can also take a boat on the lake to approach the front of the glacier. Salto Grande. This waterfall is in the Pehoé area just 2 km. from the main road. Although it isn’t a very high waterfall at just 15 meters, the enormous amount of water that drops from Lago Nordenskjöld towards Lago Pehoé is impressive. It is also possible to take a quiet walk from here to the Mirador de los Cuernos del Paine, one of the most scenic vistas in the park. Cascada Río Paine. This spectacular cascade is found on the Paine River in the Laguna Amarga area, next to the road that goes to Laguna Azul. From here you can see the Torres del Paine, the three granite spikes that have made the Park famous around the world. Laguna Azul. The road between Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul is one of the most noteworthy in the Park because of its backdrop of high mountains, steppe vegetation and the large number of animals, especially guanacos and ñandús. Laguna Azul offers the only vantage point in the Park with a view of the Torres del Paine without hiking. If you are lucky and there isn’t any wind, these incredible granite formations are reflected in the laguna.


HIKING TRAILS

Circuito Paine. Also known as the “O,” or the Paine Circuit is the longest of all the trekking routes - 93.2 km. Depending on your physical condition and the weather conditions, this trek takes between 7 and 10 days. The path is surrounded by the Paine mountain peaks, and hikers can admire the best of the park’s beauty and diversity of climates and ecosystems here. The highest point on the circuit is Paso John Garner, a 1,200-meter high pass, which provides a spectacular view of the Campos de Hielo Sur glaciers. Difficulty: Medium and high Length: 93.2 km Duration: 7 to 10 days Season: November through March. The “W” Circuit. This alternative was devised by trekkers themselves as a way to cover most of the great sights in fewer days: Mirador Torres del Paine, Cuernos del Paine, Valle del Francés and Glacier Grey. These 76.1 km have become the most visited hiking trail in Chile. Difficulty: Medium and high Length: 50,1 km Duration: 4 to 5 days Season: All year Refugios and camping grounds are located along all the trekking routes so that visitors can rest and socialize, or buy supplies or a prepared meal. For more information, visit www. parquetorresdelpaine.cl

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T O R R E S D E L PA I N E AT T R A C T I O N S

Above: The Torres del Paine peaks . Below : Lago Grey and Glaciar Grey.


Above Lago PehoĂŠ Below Cuernos del Paine peaks.


T O R R E S D E L PA I N E B Y C A R

The park has 97 km of roads suitable for cars and two routes from Puerto Natales, so that a car circuit is possible. The Cerro Castillo Route is 154 km long and takes you to the gateway to Laguna Amarga. If you continue north through the steppes, you arrive at Laguna Azul, the only place in the Park where it is possible to see the three peaks of Torres del Paine without needing to hike. If you head towards the southwest, the road goes along Lago Nordesnskjol and you can see the Cuernos del Paine. In Pudeto you can see both the Salto Grande and the Mirador de los Cuernos after a brief, 45-minute walk. The road continues to the AdminIstration Office, where you can then go towards Lago Grey. Here, the alternatives include a walk along the beach to see the enormous ice blocks, or a boat ride that takes you to just in front of the Grey Glacier. The return road to Puerto Natales, by way of the Serrano entrance (80 km).

T O R R E S D E L PA I N E I N T H E W I N T E R M O N T H S

The best postcard-ready photos of the Park are shot in the winter months, thanks to the snow-covered peaks, the frozen lakes, orange-tinted skies and the greater variety of fauna such as pumas and huemul deer - which descend from their mountain habitats in search of food. There’s also less rainfall and less wind between July and October It is important to keep your plans flexible, keeping in mind the limited hours of daylight during this time of the year and the winter weather, as it is likely that snowfall could impede access to some places. Only the “W” is open for hikers, and it absolutely necessary that you be outfitted with gear that can handle the winter weather: appropriate rain- and windresistant clothes and a sleeping bag for minus 0ºC night temperatures - hopefully a bag rated for -20°C. The only refugio operating at this time is Paine Grande (on the west side of Lago Pehoé). Although all the campgrounds are closed, they still may be used, always keeping the “leave no trace” philosophy in mind so that nothing is left behind. Visitors must carry out all garbage and take it back to the city with them.


Some travel agencies offer full-day excursions year round. It is also possible to lodge at in different hotels which open all year round and offer horseback riding, treks and boat trips to Glacier Grey. (No boat trips in June and July.)

WHERE TO SLEEP?

There are hotels in the Park, deluxe campsites (“glamping”), refugios with rooms and shared bathrooms, and a great variety of camping alternatives. Most of the campgrounds are well provisioned, with hot showers, electricity and cooking areas. The most rustic are found on the “O” route, where flat camping sites are scarce, which is why it’s recommended to get an early start on your trek, so you won’t end up sleeping on a slope. You can also find accomodation in Villa Serrano or in Puerto Natales, base town of the park. For more information please go to the website www.sernatur.cl and enter the tourism service searcher.

CAMPGROUNDS Camping Las torres, Camping Los cuernos, Camping Chilenos, Camping Serón. Agencia Fantástico Sur.

☎ (56-61) 614 184, 614185

www.fantasticosur.com

Camping Paine Grande, Camping Grey, Camping Dickson, Camping Los Perros. Agencia Vértice.

☎ (56-61) 412 742, 415 693

www.verticepatagonia.cl

Camping Pehoé. Located in the area of lago Pehoé, with access from the main road, 12 km away from the administration office. Previous reservation required

☎ (56-61) 249 581,

249501, www.campingpehoe.com

Camping Río Serrano. Located in the area of Lago Toro, 7 km away from the administration office.

☎ (56-61)

206993 – (02) 1960448, 1960447 www.cajalosandes.cl


Camping Laguna azul. Located in the area of Laguna Azul CONAF Administration Office Torres del Paine National Park.

☎ (56-61) 691931

Useful information. Lake crossing in catamaran boat. You can can cross Lago Pehoé in a catamaran boat, leaving from the Pudeto area at the Paine Grande refugio and campground. The catamaran only runs from October through April. Los Arrieros 1517, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56-61) 411 380 info@hielospatagonicos.cl (web page under construction: www.hielospatagonicos.cl) Boat trips to Glaciar Grey. Turismo Lago Grey/Hotel Lago Grey. ☎ (56-61) – 712 129 – 712 190/1/2/3/4/5 navegación@turismolagogrey.com www.turismolagogrey.com Non-Perishable Food Supplies: Laguna Amarga center and Administrative center. Also in refugios located on the trekking routes. First Aid Clinic: at the Park’s administrative office. Carabineros police: there are four police officers posted near the administrative center, but only during the high season. Gasoline: Only in Puerto Natales.

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/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Tourism Information Local Sernatur Office Pedro Montt N°19, Puerto Natales. ☎ (56-61) 412 125 infonatales@sernatur.cl Municipal Tourism Office Bulnes Nº 285, Puerto Natales, ☎ (56-61) 209 548 Recommended sites: www.conaf.cl www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl www.patagonia-chile.com

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