Chantal returned in January from a Full Circuit in Torres del Paine. Here she tells us about her experiences on the trip and in booking with Swoop and our partners…
I had the most fantastic adventure in Torres del Paine! THANK YOU!
How was your experience of booking with Swoop Patagonia?
Swoop Patagonia was great in informing and accommodating me with a local operator and finding a suitable group for my level of hiking. The website also had abundant information about travel to and around Chile. They also send you a very thoughtful pre-adventure gift 🙂 I would recommend anyone to go through them!
How were Swoop’s partners in Torres del Paine?
Their itinerary was great! The half guided, half self guided circuit I took was planned to be completed in 7 days. The days were ver
y long but it was definitely achievable and worked with my short travel schedule.
How was your guide on the W portion of the Trek?
The guide (Dorthe) was wonderful providing lots of info about the park (natural history, geology and political history). We got snowed out on our second last day and could not make it through the pass. Dorthe was very good about accommodating the group so we could keep going to finish the circuit instead of turning back. It added an extra day to the trip and we had to improvise for food (and pay a little more $) but it was all worth it! I am also very grateful that Dorthe gave me some second skin for my blisters.The porters were just as awesome!
Is there anything you would change about your trip?
If I were to change anything I would do it in 8 or 9 days instead of 7. Eight days is good middle ground for full challenging trekking days without feeling rushed to have to keep going. I would definitely suggest taking more time to enjoy the park and rest 🙂 The scenery is breath-taking!
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlights were the John Gardner pass and the Patagonian winds! Despite the bad weather I am very fortunate and happy that I was able to complete the circuit.
Do you have any tips for people planning a similar trip?
I would highly recommend second skin as a necessary first aid item for blisters on the feet. This trek was my first of this length and second skin saved my feet! Also a leash/strap for sunglasses. The wind blew them right off my face and carried them a while. Luckily someone found them and brought them to camp!
Did you manage to visit anywhere else on your trip?
After Torres del Paine, I took a day tour to Tierra del Fuego to see the King Penguins. My vacation finished with a 5 day stop in Santiago and Valparaiso. Although completely different than the Patagonia region it was good to learn about Chilean history.
It was an amazing trip! THANK YOU!