Stacey returned in early January from a Full Circuit trek in Torres del Paine National Park. Here she tells us about her experiences on the trek, and in booking with Swoop Patagonia…
‘We seriously couldn’t be happier with the whole thing and how it worked out so thanks so much.’
How was your trip?
It was fantastic! Thanks so much!
How were the OPERATORS we put you in touch with in Torres del Paine?
Thanks for getting us in touch with them- they were perfect. Gonzalo and Johanna were really great to communicate with and made it all very easy.
… and how were their GUIDES on your Full Circuit trek?
Our guide Maurizio was the best. It ended up being just Simon and I and him, which for 7 days could have been weird but wasn’t at all.
He knew everyone on the trail, we felt like some friends who he was showing a good time. He was knowledgeable, professional and safe but also relaxed and fun when it counted.
What are your thoughts on the value of taking a GUIDED Full Circuit over trekking the Full Circuit INDEPENDENTLY?
For the first few days we wondered whether we really needed a guide. But then the weather came in and the pass closed. Everyone had to turn back except us and the other group that were out with our operator (who were a day behind due to weather).
We absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do the hike without a guide. We met a few other couples without a guide who had to turn back and we felt very lucky.
How did SWOOP do in helping you plan and arrange your trip?
We were really happy to use Swoop because its so hard on the internet to organise things in a foreign country – the websites are variable and you never know what you’re actually getting.
We were quite last minute with our organisation and didn’t know that much about the area so it was great to have someone to give us advice and assistance. Your quick and informative replies were really appreciated.
We’re so glad also that we took your advice about doing the Full Circuit instead of the W Trek. We wouldn’t have been challenged enough on the W and would have missed so much amazing hiking on the north side of the park (mostly the Southern Patagonian Ice Field which was our favourite part!).
Do you have any TIPS for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?
Tips for others doing the Full Circuit would be to definitely use a guide,
We would also recommend doing the Full Circuit and not the W Trek if you want to really see the park and want more of a challenge.
Take cash because you can buy beer and wine along the way, which is pretty nice after a long day hiking. And you can upgrade to a refugio last minute if all your stuff is soaked and you need a good sleep.