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7-Day Torres del Paine National Park Group Tour + Tierra del Fuego Optional Extension

I’m delighted to announce my first-ever Worldly Adventurer reader trip to Patagonia!

This October, I’ll be heading back to Chilean Patagonia and I want you to join me! We’ll be heading into one of the region’s most stunning places, Torres del Paine National Park, but with the aim to see it differently – and far away from the other tourists. 

The scenery in Torres del Paine National Park is exceptional.

There will also be the opportunity to sign up for a four-day, three-night extension to Chilean Tierra del Fuego, subject to interest. 

This is a bespoke trip designed with Worldly Adventurer readers in mind. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path Patagonia adventure – and keen to do it in the company of other like-minded travelers – then this is the perfect trip for you. I’ll also be there to share my knowledge of Chile as a country I lived in for three years. 

Seven-day tour of Patagonia’s jewel: Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park is Patagonia’s most famous destination. Known for its incredible mountain scenery packed with glaciers and milky-blue lagoons, it’s an adventurer’s playground. 

While most come to Torres del Paine to hike the multi-day W trek, our focus will be a little different. We want to escape the crowds (one of the reasons we’ll be traveling in October) and head to parts of the park that far fewer visitors ever see. 

Los Cuernos as seen from the road into Torres del Paine National Park from the south
The Los Cuernos mountains at the heart of the national park

Join me as we embark on a seven-day, six-night adventure that’ll combine day hikes across hidden corners of Torres del Paine, plus the route up to the park’s eponymous towers, with a puma tracking excursion.

We’ll be staying in comfortable, eco-friendly glamping accommodation with dazzling views of Los Cuernos, the horn-shaped mountains at the heart of the Paine Massif range. 

Key information

Dates: October 27 to November 1, 2024

Cost: $3,300 per personpay your deposit before June 21st and get $100 off this listed price

Combine this tour with the four-day Tierra del Fuego optional extension (below) for a $300 discount on the full tour

Trip highlights

  • Explore Torres del Paine away from the crowds – not only will we be heading to some lesser-known parts of the park, but we’ll be doing so in shoulder season, when the park is at its quietest
  • Hike up to Mirador Las Torres, the viewpoint for the park’s eponymous granite towers
  • Spot pumas in their incredible Patagonian habitat
  • Enjoy a range of medium-difficulty and one demanding hike in South America’s most famous trekking destinations
  • Spend four nights in Chile Nativo’s secluded, eco-friendly Riverside Camp, where double lotus belle tents with astonishing views of the Los Cuernos mountain range and locally inspired dining await (think king crab, Patagonian lamb, and other delicious specialties) 
  • Share the experience in the company of like-minded adventurers from across the globe and alongside Steph Dyson, the travel journalist founder of Worldly Adventurer

Itinerary

Sunday, October 27: You’ll fly into Puerto Natales airport, where the transfer will be waiting to take you into this fjordside town, which has found fame for its proximity to Torres del Paine National Park. We’ll start with a briefing around 5pm, where our guides for the week will share all the essential information and instructions for the upcoming days. It’ll be a great opportunity to meet me and the other members of the group before you head out at your leisure for dinner at one of the town’s excellent restaurants. 

Included: Twin or double room in three-star accommodation. 

Monday, October 28: We’ll start early with a transfer from Natales to Estancia Lazo, a ranch on the eastern outskirts of the national park. Here, we’ll begin our hike for the day with stunning views of the Paine Massif, the mountain range at the heart of the national park, before trekking into the national park on an easy, lesser-hiked trail. 

We’ll pass the shimmering waters of the beautiful Laguna Honda before reaching the Lago Toro viewpoint, which will grant us even fuller views of the Paine Massif, dominated by the striking Los Cuernos (the Horns) formation, and the many lakes that make the park so bewitching. 

Hiking in Torres del Paine

Finally, we’ll reach the Weber Bridge, where our transfer awaits to take us a few miles south to Riverside Camp just outside the national park, for our three-course dinner. This glampsite is home to comfortable double lotus belle tents, ensuite bathrooms with hot showers, wifi, and delicious, locally inspired dining; but the real attraction is its views of Los Cuernos, which you can watch dawn and dusk as the light shifts the colors of these truly dazzling mountains. 

Included: Twin beds in lotus belle tent at Riverside Camp; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Tuesday, October 29: Today, our van will take us 30 minutes back into the national park and the starting point of our hike up to the Mirador Ferrier. This 4.5-hour challenging hike (around 700m/2,300 ft over just 2km/1.2 miles) takes us up to a breathtaking viewpoint of the entire national park, with incredible panoramas of Lago Grey with Glaciar Grey beyond. You’ll also see the Los Cuernos mountains rising above Lago Pehoé and Lago Nordenskjöld.

Afterward, we will take the short walk to the dock for our three-hour boat navigation on Lago Grey, which will circle icebergs to take us across this lake to reach the colossal, blue-hued Grey Glacier.

We’ll then return to camp for a delicious three-course evening meal. 

Included: Twin beds in lotus belle tent at Riverside Camp; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Wednesday, October 30: We’ll be heading to another lesser-known route today. The Cornisas trail is a short hike that combines beautiful views of the Paine River and Lakal Lagoon, with vistas of the iconic Cuernos del Paine. 

After this hike, we’ll have lunch at Lago Pehoe, with similarly dramatic views of the Paine Massif, before taking a further short hike to the Cuernos Viewpoint, where we’ll also enjoy views of the sometimes serene, sometimes wind-whipped Nordenskjöld Lake, the French Valley, and the Paine Massif. 

A person runs down a wooden boardwalk at the Salto Chico viewpoint in Torres del Paine National Park, a short day hike
Views of Los Cuernos from near the Salto Grande waterfall

Finally, we’ll pass by the thundering Salto Grande Waterfall, which marks the junction between Nordenskjöld Lake and Paine Lake and is a photographer’s dream, because of the opportunity to photograph this stunning waterfall with the Los Cuernos mountains behind. 

Included: Twin beds in lotus belle tent at Riverside Camp; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Thursday, October 31: Today, we’ll be looking for pumas! Our destination within the national park will depend on where pumas have been spotted recently, with the hopes of encountering them hunting, meandering around the park, or even enjoying the sunshine. 

We’ll also be on the lookout for other key members of the park’s wildlife, including guanaco (the wild version of the alpaca), rhea (a cousin of the ostrich), condors, and even flamingoes. We’ll aim to observe them from a distance while hiking in sectors of the park they’re known to frequent.

A family of pumas I spotted on my last trip to the park!

Afterward, we’ll drive to Laguna Azul in the northeast of the park, where we’ll enjoy our first views of Las Torres, which are only visible on the Mirador Las Torres trail and from this side of the park.

Our transfer will take us back to our camp, where we’ll fuel up for tomorrow with a tasty three-course meal. 

Included: Twin beds in lotus belle tent at Riverside Camp; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Friday, November 1: Today might well be the highlight of your trip to Torres del Paine National Park: we’ll be hiking the park’s most famous trail. This eight-to-ten-hour trek is demanding but pays dividends, as you’ll be rewarded with views of the three fabled granite towers rising above the milky-blue lake. 

We’ll start with a two-hour transfer to the Las Torres sector in the northeast of the park, before we begin our ascent through lush forests, which should take between four and five hours. At the lookout point for the towers (at 900 meters above sea level), we will rest, take photos, and have lunch. 

Worldly Adventurer sat on a rock staring across Lago Torres to the towers in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia
Me sitting in front of Las Torres, the fabled peaks that give the park its name.

The descent follows the same path, and our transfer awaits to take us back to Puerto Natales, where we’ll head to a restaurant for a well-earned final dinner together and an overnight stay in a three-star hotel in the town.

Included: Twin or double room in three-star accommodation; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Four-day optional extension to Patagonia’s best-kept secret: Chilean Tierra del Fuego

If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to extend your trip to Patagonia, then you can also join me on a further four-day, three-night itinerary into a part of Patagonia that few tourists ever visit. 

We’ll be heading deep into Chilean Tierra del Fuego, the other half of the island on which the famous Argentine city of Ushuaia is located. But while the Argentina side receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, the Chilean side receives barely a few thousand. 

I first visited Chilean Tierra del Fuego around seven years ago as part of an independent road trip – and fell instantly in love. The problem was, lodging was basic and access very challenging. I returned earlier this year to visit the spectacular Lodge Deseado, a five-star lodge sitting on the banks of stunning Lake Deseado. 

You can read more about the experience here.

Steph Dyson standing before the Darwin Mountain in Chilean Tierra del Fuego
Near the end of the road in Tierra del Fuego

Tucked deep into one of the remotest parts of Patagonia, this lodge is probably the furthest you can get from tourists in the whole of Patagonia. While we’re traveling to Torres del Paine early in the season, we will see other visitors on the trails. In Tierra del Fuego, it’s unlikely we’ll see anyone else – but, expect to meet wildlife including the local king penguin colony, grey and red foxes, armadillo, guanaco, and, potentially even elephant seals. 

From the north of the island, you might be fooled into thinking it’s covered entirely with Patagonia steppe. But the deeper you drive south, the toothy peaks of the Cordillera Darwin reveal themselves, interspersed with crystalline lakes, rusty-colored peat bog, and old-growth forests of southern beech.

There is also the beautiful Parque Karukinka with hiking trails that allow you to admire the views from high above and some of the region’s most beautiful fjords, many surrounded by glaciers so remote that barely anyone has the chance to go there.

Key information

Dates: November 2 to November 5, 2024

Cost: $3,800 per person*book before June 21st and receive an additional $100 off the listed price

Discounted cost if combined with Torres del Paine National Park itinerary: $6,800 per person (saving of $300) 

*This trip requires a minimum of 12 passengers and will only be confirmed if numbers are reached.

Trip highlights

  • Head to one of the most remote, least-visited parts of Patagonia, where we’ll unlikely to see more than a tiny handful of other tourists
  • See some of the region’s most unique wildlife, including guanaco, wild horses, foxes, armadillos, beavers, king penguins, and if weather conditions allow, elephant seals
  • Go hiking in Karukinka Park, a private reserve with outstanding views of the pampas, peat bog, and old-growth forests
  • If conditions allow, head out by boat to the stunning Glacier Perry
  • Have the opportunity to speak to members of a small number of families who have lived in this remote, enchanting place since the 1960s and have remarkable stories to tell about their lives and the experience of living in Tierra del Fuego

Itinerary

Saturday, November 2: You’ll be picked up in Puerto Natales (or, if you’re choosing this trip exclusively, Punta Arenas) for the beginning of our journey to Tierra del Fuego. We’ll start with a ferry across the Strait of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego, where we’ll likely see toninas (Chilean dolphins) and potentially Magellanic penguins, which breed on a nearby island. 

As we arrive in Tierra del Fuego, we’ll get our first glimpse of the Patagonian pampas, as we arrive into Porvenir. This sleepy town on the northern edge of the island and overlooking the Strait of Magellan was founded during the short-lived 1879 gold rush and is home to colorful, rusted, and wind-weathered houses. 

A chilean dolphin jumping out of the water in the Magellanic Strait
A Chilean tonina as seen from the ferry across the Strait of Magellan

We’ll arrive at the basic but comfortable Hotel Barlovento, where our dinner will be served and we’ll spend the night. 

Included: Twin or double room in basic accommodation; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Sunday, November 3: Today we’ll rise early for our visit to the King penguin colony at Bahía Inútil, following a drive south from Porvenir.

King Penguins can seem a little out of place in the grassy fields of Tierra del Fuego National Park
King penguins posing at the king penguin reserve

Skeletal remains have proven that king penguins have resided in the region for hundreds of years and today a colony of some 60 penguins can be observed in this private reserve, where it’s possible to get within a few dozen metres of the penguins.  

After our visit to the penguins, we’ll continue our drive further south to Karunkinka Park, a private reserve protecting 300,000 hectares of Patagonian steppe, peat bog, and southern beach forests. On the drive, we’ll likely see other wildlife including guanaco, rhea, and red and grey foxes. 

Once we reach the park, we’ll embark on an easy-to-medium-difficulty three-hour hike to Pietro Grande, a circuit that clambers to the top of a hill for panoramic views.

Views from a cabin at Lodge Deseado in Chilean Tierra del Fuego
The views from this remote lodge are stunning – and you can watch the sunrise from bed!

Finally, we’ll drive an hour further south to reach Lodge Deseado, a high-end lodge with nine beautiful cabins constructed using locally sourced lenga and with huge windows granting sweeping views of the lake. We’ll start with an aperitif before a well-deserved dinner, which will showcase local ingredients in imaginative dishes. 

Included: Twin or double room at Lodge Deseado; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Monday, November 4: Weather conditions will shape our plan for the day, with plenty of excursions around the lodge available. Hopefully, we’ll be able to head even deeper into Chilean Tierra del Fuego to where the road hits the edge of the Almirantazgo Fjord.

A picture of an "end of road" sign at Caleta Maria in Chilean Tierra del Fuego
The end of the road at Caleta Maria

Known as Caleta Maria, this was the region’s main entry point when it was used by a lumber company that constructed an incongruous airstrip here back in 1943. The beautiful Glacier Parry is impossible to visit from anywhere else but is a short trip away by boat from Caleta Maria, and there’s a chance to spot elephant seals nearby.

We’ll also have the opportunity to meet Don German and his wife Marisela, the couple who live in one of the most remote parts of Chilean Tierra del Fuego. They have a truly remarkable story of settling their land when access was on horseback and you would go months without any sort of contact with the outside world. 

At the end of the day, we’ll return to Lodge Deseado for an aperitif and dinner. 

Included: Twin or double room at Lodge Deseado; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Tuesday, November 5: Today is the final day of our adventure. We’ll check out of the hotel and return overland to Cruce Bahía Azul, the northern tip of Chilean Tierra del Fuego, to take a short ferry ride across the Strait of Magellan, before we head west alongside the water, to return to Punta Arenas. 

Included: Twin or double room in three-star accommodation; breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

FAQs about the trip

What are the dates of the tour?

The seven-day Torres del Paine National Park itinerary runs from Sunday, October 27th until the evening of Friday, November 1st, 2024. You will need to book flights to arrive in Puerto Natales by Sunday, October 27th to join the tour. 

The four-day Chilean Tierra del Fuego itinerary runs from Saturday, November 2 until Tuesday, November 5, 2024. You will need to have arrived in Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas by the evening of Friday, November 1 to be ready for pick up the morning of Saturday, November 2 to join the trip. 

Can I opt to do just one or both parts of the itinerary?

Yes! You can opt to join us just for the Torres del Paine National Park itinerary, just for the Chilean Tierra del Fuego itinerary, or for both parts of the trip. 

If you book both parts of the trip together, you’ll receive a $300 discount on the price. 

What can I expect on this tour?

The seven-day Torres del Paine National Park itinerary is an active adventure aimed at taking you to some of the park’s key attractions – but also going beyond the beaten trail, too. It’ll be an opportunity to hike among some of the world’s most stunning scenery, get close to a glacier, watch guanaco, condors, and hopefully pumas in their natural habitats, as well as learn more about the ranching culture of the region. 

Views of the torres (towers) in Torres del Paine National Park from Laguna Azul
We’ll be heading to parts of the park where few other visitors go

The four-day Chilean Tierra del Fuego itinerary is for even more intrepid souls looking to go where few others do. This itinerary will require quite a long time in the van heading deep into the island, but the rewards are worth it: we’ll break up the journey with wildlife sightings and hikes, and then get the chance to enjoy a slice of luxury at the beautiful Lodge Deseado.  

What’s more, you’ll be traveling with me, a travel journalist, guidebook author, and founder of Worldly Adventurer. An expert on Latin America following a decade of living, traveling, and writing about the continent, I’m also a Patagonia addict and I’m so excited to share this special part of the world with you. 

This tour is being operated by Chile Nativo, a local company with over 20 years of experience running tours in Patagonia. I’ve traveled with them previously and know that the quality of their service is outstanding. 

Is this the right tour for me?

You’ll be in a group of up to 15 adventurous travelers from the Worldly Adventurer community. If you’re curious to go beyond the typical tourist sights, keen to learn about the culture and environment of the national park, have a moderate level of physical fitness (we’ll be doing one challenging eight-to-ten-hour hike, among other trekking activities), and are keen to share the experience with a group of like-minded people, then this tour is perfect for you.

For the Chilean Tierra del Fuego itinerary, there will only be one medium-difficult hike; most of the other activities will be either by boat or require little exertion. 

Flamingos beneath the three towers in Torres del Paine National Park
Flamingoes in Torres del Paine National Park

You’ll also travel alongside me; after ten years traveling for work, I promise I’m a great travel companion! Even if you’re joining the tour alone, you’ll have the chance to get to know other members of the group, with group dinners offering the perfect opportunity to share the day’s experiences. 

Please note, a single supplement of $1,500 per person for the Torres del Paine National Park tour. For the Chilean Tierra del Fuego element of the tour, a single supplement fee will be calculated when reserved. 

What things are included?

Seven-day Torres del Paine National Park itinerary

  • All private transportation indicated in the schedule 
  • Six nights of accommodation, four in Riverside Camp (twin dome) and two in a three-star property in Puerto Natales (twin or double) 
  • All meals indicated in the scheduled (five breakfasts, lunches, and dinners) 
  • Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Guide (English and Spanish speaking)
  • Expert ranger in tracking pumas 

Four-day Chilean Tierra del Fuego itinerary

  • All private transportation indicated in the schedule 
  • Three nights of accommodation, one in Hotel Barlovento (twin or double) and two in Lodge Deseado (twin or double) 
  • All meals indicated in the scheduled (four breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; if taking this trip exclusively, breakfast is not included on the first night) 
  • Entrance to Karukinka National Park
  • Guide (English and Spanish speaking)

What things are not included?

  • International flights
  • Flights to and from Puerto Natales 
  • Transfer back to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas airport at the end of the trip
  • Any additional nights
  • Medical expenses
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except those included in menu
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities for guide/driver

What is the payment schedule?

You will pay Chile Nativo a deposit of 25% to confirm your space on the tour. You will be required to pay the balance by August 18, 2024. 

If you need to cancel before that date, you will receive a full refund. You can read Chile Nativo’s terms and conditions to learn more about their refund policy. 

Because the trip to Chilean Tierra del Fuego requires a minimum of 12 participants to run, this itinerary will only be confirmed when this number has been reached. Deposits will be refunded in the case that the itinerary does not run. 

What will our accommodation be like?

During the Torres del Paine National Park section of the trip, we’ll be staying in three-star accommodation in Puerto Natales and comfortable twin lotus belle tents at the Riverside Camp just outside the national park. All lodging is en-suite and the tent accommodation includes heated blankets, towels and bathrobes, biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, and soap, and heated bathrooms.

Snug yurts in Chile Nativo's RIverside Camp in Torres del Paine National Park
The lotus belle tents at the Riverside Camp are extremely comfortable

In Tierra del Fuego, we’ll be staying in a basic hotel in Porvenir, followed by two nights in the high-end Lodge Deseado, where all bedrooms have central heating, towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soap, and sensational views from their huge windows. 

Who is Chile Nativo?

Chilo Nativo has been operating tours in Patagonia for over 20 years and is considered the region’s leading travel company. I traveled with them to Torres del Paine National Park in 2022, where I took a boat up to the snout of Glacier Grey, spotted five pumas as part of a puma-watching tour, and hiked some of the park’s least-known (and quieter trails!).

I also bedded down in their beautiful glamping site where I watched the light change across the Los Cuernos mountains every morning and night. It’s an understatement to say I’m excited to re-experience all of this with you!

We’ll be staying in their beautiful, eco-friendly Riverside Camp, in twin-bed lotus belle tents, complete with central heating and private bathrooms. But the best part of the experience will be the location: we’ll wake every morning and go to sleep every night with views of Los Cuernos, the horn-shaped mountains at the heart of the park.

A crab lasana at Lodge Deseado in Chilean Tierra del Fuego
Expect excellent, locally-inspired food on the tour

Oh, and the food: their on-site dining room serves up Patagonian classics including roast lamb and king crab, plus plenty of options for those following vegan, vegetarian diets or with alternative dining requirements. 

For the Chilean Tierra del Fuego extension, we’ll be heading deep into one of the region’s most remote places and doing so in style, with two of our three nights staying at the beautiful high-end Lodge Deseado.

You can expect beautiful wooden cabins overlooking Laguna Deseado (the sunrises are sublime!), outstanding dining, and the opportunity to venture to the very ends of the earth. This part of the tour will require many hours spent in a vehicle traveling south down the island, but we’ll be breaking the drive up with various excursions and the likely chance to spot plenty of resident wildlife en route. 

What will the weather be like?

Patagonia is legendary for how variable the weather is, so it’s very hard to predict! Typically, Patagonia is at its most windy during the peak of summer (December through February), so we can likely expect more settled weather at the end of October. However, it’s necessary to pack for all climates: the region is known as one where you can experience four seasons in one day! 

Los Cuernos with wild horses in front in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia
If the sky’s clear, we can expect to get some incredible views of Los Cuernos from the campground.

We will be staying inside tents, but they come with a heated blanket and central heating in the en-suite bathroom. There is also a larger restaurant tent heated by a wood pellet stove. 

Need further information?

Contact me at [email protected] or click any of the “book now” buttons above and I’ll get back to you!